By Favour Chiagozie Ebubechukwu
It is no news that a woman’s body is designed biologically to harbor a fetus via sexual intercourse. However, it is detrimental to constrain a woman’s sexuality to ‘biology’. Time after time, we have seen young females get what we call ‘unwanted pregnancy’ in this country. Many times, our first response is to cover up the ‘shame’ and stigma in a swift and forceful marriage.
The second ‘best’ thing we usually do is to resort to throwing demeaning statements at them such as: “when you dey do, e dey sweet you, now e don set, you dey cry”; “what were you expecting? an iPhone?” “Keep your legs closed you will not hear; the same way you open am, that same way you go born am” and many other derogatory statements that stigmatize a woman’s involvement in her sexuality.
The question is this: should a woman’s choice to her sexuality be tied to her biological construct of having a fetus? Should a woman under any circumstance or status restrict her sexuality to baby making purposes? If not, what then, is the aim of the savage comments we spew at females who fall victim to their ignorance?
How we have valued mockery over education and savagery over sexual awareness is alarming to the reduction of gender inequality in our society.
We have bred a society that spontaneously and instinctively teach females to shun all forms of sexual engagements with the opposite sex, painting the male counterparts as some ‘devil’ who seek to squeeze sexual pleasure from her and then leave her with the consequences of pregnancy. This automatically conditions a woman’s mind to link sex strictly to pregnancy rather than equipping her with the right knowledge to take responsibility for her sexuality.
The sad part is that this dark conditioning has eaten deep into marriages. Because many women have been conditioned to link strictly, sex to pregnancy, when they get married, they feel undue pressure at the slightest delay in conception. In the long run, after they succeed in having the number of children they desire, they begin to see their sexual involvement with their partners as a mere duty and even feel aversion towards any creative sexual attempt from their partners.
We have seen young girls jump into swift marriages to conceal the shame of unwanted pregnancy and bury their potential for impact and intellectual contribution to the society. We have seen suicidal attempts and eventually, successful ones that emerged from a girl’s regret of ‘failing’ her parents by getting pregnant.
The fear of pregnancy should not be a torment to females’ sexual involvement. If we teach them to say yes when they mean to and not a doctrinal ‘no’ that tells a yes, they will take responsibility for their sexuality, not shy away from it. If we teach safe sex and its different methods, rather than the one-way-street abstinence, we will be creating unbiased options for them to weigh and make their choices. If we take down pregnancy from being the sole purpose of sex and focus on the emotional intelligence, responsibility and education, we will achieve the reduction of unwanted pregnancy. If we stop painting the image that the pleasure of sex goes solely, to the male counterpart, we will not have the regrettable statements like “after I gave him my virginity” or “after using me”.
While this is not an article to propagate promiscuity in the society, it is aimed at shunning the stigma and discrimination associated with women’s choice to and involvement in their sexuality. It is also a call to educate the female gender on different sexual precautions; to make their choices and take responsibility for them, while curbing the ‘villain-imagery-concept associated to the male gender in regards to straight sexual involvement. This, I believe, will curb the unhealthy tension and sexual war that have built up over the years between the male and female gender, and put them in a state of harmony and social intelligence.
Let us stop the stigma and enforce EDUCATION.