Yesterday, I was reading through some posts on the front page of the Nairaland forum and I read one on a woman who stole eight poultry birds, was caught and stripped naked. It made me so sad watching the pictures that accompanied that post. Women were at the fore front of the pictures. They were probably the ones carrying out the “jungle justice” on this woman. I wasn’t sure.
See, I have no problem with a thief getting caught and punished. When you choose the path of crime, you must be aware that there are consequences for the choices you make. She did wrong by stealing eight poultry birds. There is absolutely no doubt about. She ought to be punished for her wrongdoing. There’s also no doubt about that. But there is a right process of handling theft in this country and jungle justice is not that right process.
But that is not really what made me so sad yesterday. And not because the application of jungle justice is not sad enough. It was simple because my focus, or should I say, my thoughts were on something else while reading that post.
Women watched, booed and cast scorn while a fellow woman was being stripped naked.
I know this woman was a thief.
I know she did wrong and deserved to be punished.
I know she could stand in the dock and be found guilty of her crime and convicted by a female judge.
I know these women, the ones who watched and booed and cast scorn on her, wanted justice and they deserved to get justice—if she had offended them.
But a woman to stand and watch her fellow woman being stripped to her bare skin?
Woman, where is your compassion? Where is your humanity?
It touched me, deep to my soul.
I despise jungle justice.
I despise the act of stripping criminals naked.
I despise the robbery of that last dignity from a human being.
And women watched one of their own stripped and they booed!
What is even more devastating is the thought that it might have been a woman stripping her off her clothing and laying her out there without the barest dignity.
Oh woman, why?
Men do this to us. Every time a woman is caught committing a crime, there is always this perverted desire to strip her and to demean her by presenting her nude and without dignity to the whole world. They do this to their fellow men too, but more so to women.
Only last week, my husband shared with me how some police officers came and bundled a couple having sex inside a parked vehicle off to the police station. They chose to bundle off this woman while she was still stark naked. The man was dressed.
So to take away her dignity. A perversion that is inexplicably buried in some humans, a desperate need to steal another person’s dignity.
But for a woman to do this to another woman? I consider it vile. Insensitive. Malicious.
Oh woman, how so quick we are much too often to debase one another!
We scorn the single mother.
We sneer at the single woman.
We mock the “barren” woman.
And we kick the stool out under the woman who is ambitious and an achiever.
Have you ever taken the time to read the comments on a post where any one of these female celebrities is making merry? More than half of these comments come from fellow women and most will cuss them out as cheap whores, politician side-chicks and pretentious liars.
Maybe all of that is true. Maybe these women actually do these things. Maybe you actually know them for who they truly are. But why must you always shame your fellow woman? Why at all do you find a need to do this? Does it make you more of a woman? More of a human maybe?
Woman, cover her nudity, do not rip the clothes off her!
I am not saying cover her sins or her crimes! I am not saying lie and pretend like you don’t know the wrong she’s done. I am not saying applaud and celebrate her when she ought to be cautioned and corrected. I am not saying sing her praises instead of tell her the truth.
All I am saying is do not strip her naked and do not allow another to strip her naked.
Don’t take that last dignity from any human. Don’t take it from any woman.
Woman, cover her nudity. When they want to strip her, say NO! And never, ever strip your fellow woman naked.
We need to stop this!
We need to stop this nonsense.