Let me start with you, especially if you are young. How are you reading this article? What will you do if someone tries to look over your shoulder at what you are reading? Probably you may think of quickly scrolling to another page, pretending that you were reading something else. I will not blame you for that; it is the problem with us, Nigerians.
We live in a society of pretence, a country that sex is not just clothed, but masked; yet we have one of the most sexually-active youth populations, or should I rather say all populations? Sex education is forbidden in families; but a perverted form of the same education is being taught in homes to even toddlers, by the TV, the internet and mobile phones; these have taken the place of parents.
Maybe, our world has changed so fast that the older generation cannot keep pace with ours, the MTV generation. In their days, brothels were found in red-light districts, and one could identify commercial sex workers by their dressing. Now, if we were to judge our generation by the standards of the past, every district may have a red light status, and you and I know how many people on the street could qualify by dress and actions as prostitutes.
I may be exaggerating, but In the days of our parents, children were so warned against “blue films” that they abandoned a movie if a night scene was featured, as the predominant colour would be blue. Today, everyone that wishes has an unlimited access, not only to things that are “blue”, but also “X-rated”.
Whores of our parents’ generation would be so enraged by how sex has now been made so cheap, how the price for which sex could be sold has fallen to an all-time-low of NO PRICE; and how their profession has become so unprofessional that just anyone is now being employed by it.
So the turn-table generation our parents belong to cannot really cope with our fast-paced MTV generation…but that is no excuse for our society to keep sex education wrapped up in the veil of hypocrisy and mask of religion.
In Nigeria, we claim to be religious. It is here that we find people who are more Christian than Christ and more Muslim than Mohammed. Thus, even in religious places, sex is masked and sex education viewed as a taboo, even when we now here tales of sexual abuse in these places, or by those who run them.
We try to excuse ourselves by lying against our culture, a culture that we have long abandoned. Our quest to be accepted as ‘Western’ and ‘civilized’ has made us to become slaves of ‘western’ ideologies. Now, we are being colonized by ‘their’ media, or isn’t it our uncensored media? We have created a society that leaves the next generation (especially females) vulnerable and exploited, abused and dejected…a society where rape victims swear an oath of silence as culprits roam free; a society where sexual harassment is a “normal thing”…these are the things that give a 50 year old man the mental green light to rape a two year old girl.
Perhaps, things went from bad to worse in our society when “blue” was no more just a colour: blue films; “X” was no more just a letter: (X-rated things); “gay” no more meant being happy; “sexy” became a synonym of “beauty”…or maybe we lost our path when the “PG” stamped on Nollywood movies became just a combination of letters, enabling them to feature soft-porn movies. Maybe things started to deteriorate when explicit musical lyrics became national anthems and our national television stations had no watershed time. Could it be that we went mad because we could now have access to all sorts of movies and pictures in our mobile devices, and lock them away in folders we name “virus”, “empty” and “don’t open”? Did the social media satisfy our quest for fame and take away our sense of shame? Despite these, we live a life of pretense and wear a large label of belonging to a conservative society. Conservative, my foot!
Things have gone beyond the fear of AIDS, sex education is the right of every citizen; it serves as a protection in a country where sexual exploitation is the norm, and perverts are on the prowl, unrestrained.
It is time for us to wake up from this life of lies and hypocrisy and use sex education to protect the future generation. In schools, at homes, in places of worship and work, action must be taken, let us strip off sex and save our future.
by Effiong Samuel
(This article was published on Rise Network’s Thesheet.ng website in July,2016 where he used to write the Expressions column.)
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