Catcalling: A Rape Culture or Catching Cruise

"Red Alert……….. Virgin!!!!!!Deflowered!!!!!! 
Choose a path and be sincere for the gods know the truth".

" What is all this again. I already told you guys I hate passing this route", says Sophia.

"No! No! No! Fine girls we see you. Don’t be shy…….. Choose a path and let the gods decide your truth". A crowd of guys shouted from the rooftop.

"We can't continue standing like this, let’s split up passing through the route and whatever they say don’t let it get to you". I urged my friends.

As we passed the route, "Oh! They’ve slept with these ones tire… see them, its well written on their faces. Olosho them(prostitute)! How much for a night? We wan chop this thing too na with laughter coming from the guys upstairs".

Those who passed the virgin route met the same fate. 
"You. Who?  Virgins? As they set like this?  E be things. Come collect premium knack and renounce your status… The one in the middle, wait. Give me your number, let me set you up. The one at the right for make sense too oooo". Followed by drumming, cheering and singing from pool of male students on the pathway.

Walking down that road brought a lot of discourse.
 "How! How! How can these guys do this to us. Our counterpart, level mate. That one at the right shouting is a damn fresher sef" Complained Sophia.

"It’s just Aro, the usual norms, I think they are celebrating their hall week or so, that’s why it’s much worse today. They are just catching cruise. We are not passing there again, friends".

"Catching what cruise???? That’s slut shaming, humiliation, sexual harassment and this school supposedly priding on rewarding character firstly has enabled this act to thrive. That’s simply a barbaric act and all part of rape culture".

Rape culture is a social environment in which predominant behavior of sexual violence are normalized and justified fueled by persistent gender inequalities and attitudes about gender and sexuality with cultural norms and institution promoting impunity. Rape cultures are pervasive and deeply rooted in long standing patriarchal belief, power and control. Rape culture treats rape as a problem to be solved through improving the behavior of potential rape victims by making unreasonable sacrifice to avoid sexual assault.

Its examples includes

1. Tolerance of sexual harassment through misogynistic culture, jokes about women bodies, cat calling.
2.  Trivializing sexual assault
3. Defining masculinity as being toxic, crude and razz.
4. Defining feminity as being demure, not cold and subservient.
5. Gratuitous objectification of women as sex objects.
6. Victim blaming (What did she wear? Where did she go?) and refusing to take rape accusations seriously.
7. Teachings on how to avoid getting raped instead of teachings on not to rape.

Rape culture takes many forms; it goes beyond the narrow notion of a man assaulting a woman as she walks alone at night. While people may staunchly agree rape is terrible. Normalizing and trivializing through words, actions, inactions, sexual violence, sexual harassment, and catcalling leads us down a slippery road of rape culture.

Rape culture cross all barrier and it's gender inclusive. We are all part of the rape culture.Why? We all support rape culture whether intentionally or inadvertently. Cat calls, sexual harassment may not necessarily leads to rape, but it is an enabling environment for rape culture to thrive.

Catcalling is a worrisome rape culture that  virtually pervades all university  campuses. It is so disheartening that most students particularly females have experienced this. It manifest itself in heckling, ratings on attractiveness and body parts, lewd sexual jokes, slut shaming, humiliating, rape joke, and inappropriate groping in worse case scenario when victims retaliate by talking back.

Rape Culture and sexual assaults are not simple issues with simple solutions. To disable rape culture, we need to focus more on how do we stop rape from occurring and dismantle the structure that trivialize rape and change the attitude that perpetrate it.

Campaign and awareness needs to be created specifically to teach sexual education, what constitute sexual assault and harassment, subject of consent during orientation week and part and parcel of school programs. Establishing policies on zero tolerance against sexual harassment in its varying form. Universities need to review their sexual violence policy and include factors that will eradicate rape culture.  Just trials with stiff and fast punishment to perpetrators of this act by suspension, rustication or jailing of the students/lecturers depending on the severity of the case will serve as deterrent to others.

As individuals, speak up against rape culture. None participatory excuse is not enough. Speak up on witnessing an harassment or assault. Drop the shitty bro and sis code, orientate and re orientate friends. A mind that truly knows, LEARN, UN LEARN,  and ACT RIGHTLY is a mind that is truly free.

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