Recently, the unfortunate incident of a lady who is believed to have been murdered and dismembered for supposedly ritual killing trended online. Like all experiences of gender-based violence that has taken place, there is always, for some reason, the victim-blaming questions. What was she wearing? Why did she? How could she? And in this case, the mockery and blame game that insists that the lady caused her death after all she wanted to bam bam and chill with the big boys.
When violence against the woman occurs, the woman is always at fault. There was something she did that warranted the violence she got. It has become obvious that as opposed to the male gender who is excused from all sorts of behavior, women are received with less sympathy and even more interrogation. When Uwa was raped and murdered, they asked her what she was doing in the church at that time. When a woman is sent unsolicited nude pictures, they ask her what she was expecting and dig up photos of her as though she owes them anything. When a celebrity calls out a popular man of God for raping her, they ask her why she is just speaking, she must have seduced him and enjoyed it. Every day women are separated farther and farther from humanness. Why?
The answer to this is not far-fetched, it is obviously misogyny. Misogyny gets angry when women take up space, amplify their voices, demand for what is theirs, and assert themselves. Misogyny punishes a woman for succeeding and tries to tie her success to a man. The knee jerk reaction for misogyny to women who a man has concluded isshowing herself too muchor a woman who is simply just existing is to teach her a lesson that humbles her and “puts her in her place” by any means necessary. This is why we often hear questions like, don’t you know you are a woman? This is aimed at chipping away your self-confidence.
So, when violence strikes, when women are met with unfair circumstances it doesn’t take you long to find someone who tries to make it her fault, who says it’s good for her after all she is going contrary to what a woman is supposed to be.
Sadly, this reality has permutated beliefs that women are meant to be strong, take care of the entire family, swallow a man’s abuse, and take in everything with a smile. If you complain you are weak, if you reach out for help, you are an irresponsible woman who doesn’t know how to keep the affairs of the family. This accumulated violence makes it harder for women to get sympathy when necessary and distances them even more from being seen as victims in cases where they are victims.