By David Oluwasegun Ogundipe
There is a war against our women, it is one which we all concede should proceed- by commission or omission, right before our very eyes. It is raging, but in its deceitful cloak, it cajoles us all beyond the lenses of our vigilance and sensitiveness. Perhaps, defeating good judgement, public policy and native morals just on the altar of business, for the users and then. choice or maybe, consent for those used. You know it, I know it- leaving all of us in the know of a show of shame. A mockery of our collective fight against sexual abuse, a myopic and perverted judgement of our girls, ladies and women as mere sex objects, to be dignified, they say sex symbol.
Logic is the reason why emotion has not led humanity into oblivion. But it is to the nose to point out very quick, that logic without a touch of emotion makes man a wild beast. The absence of one without the other sure spells doom- the type which is set to develop into an atomic bomb capable of eroding the values and worth of a typical woman if we keep keeping silent.
It was a huge billboard that I saw in Lagos a few months back- carrying inscriptions so enticing- advertising the product of an electronic company. A JJC in the city would be cajoled- dropping whatever goal he has in life to concede that men are created to buy a plasma television and nothing more. It shouldn’t be new, in Nigeria common balm is advertised in manners that suggest that it can cure cancer. In this case, the inscription was not enough, a picture of an almost unclad lady holding a remote occupied almost half of the space in the advert. It was really not an eyesore for me, but a mental task as the driver zooms off. What is the message? What is the logic? What is the nexus? I thought about it and nothing sensible connected with the advert. Are plasma televisions meant for half-unclad ladies? Will they give me one for free if I go to their office with an unclad lady? If I buy it, will I need an unclad lady to operate the remote before it works? I was confused- a sarcastic confusion at that.
Then, in its very untiring nature, it kept looking for me all over the places. I started stumbling more on soap adverts with pictures of ladies revealing more than enough cleavages, thighs almost to the level of buttocks and all that. Again the questions came- is that a warning to ladies that cloths would no longer cover their body decently once they use any of these soaps? Are the soaps meant for only strippers? It went on and on.
And now it is gaining prominence- for cushioned seats, it was all about a lady who barely covered anything in the advert. For mattress, the same applies. Is it now strange that sexual perversion is the order of the day as perpetuated by men and women who are more beastly than others? It is now very uncommon that it has stylishly crept into our style as acceptable. There is a freedom of choice- anybody may choose to go unclad to the market or anywhere, but beyond the legal exceptions is logic staring right into our eyes. At least, reason should be sufficient. As grave as the offence of murder is, the law shifts to the side of logic when provocation or self defence comes to play. Is it being bought even in religious gathering, nakedness is almost the norm.
The agencies saddled with the responsibility of regulating advertisement should look into this fast growing trend. Business enterprises and corporate bodies cannot hide under the guise of civility and insult the struggles of responsible and decent ladies by promoting this sick culture.
We cannot shut our eyes and lament that life is dark on our side. These anomalies are no small things and should be checked if the fight against sexual abuse and harassment will die the death that it is long overdue entitled to. A continuation of this anomaly is a war against women- one that we all endorse by our mere silence. God forbid a day that an ideal lady will be the determined by the number of her unclad pictures that are circulating on billboards, hand bills and the internet.
David Oluwasegun Ogundipe