How do people not understand 'consent'?
So, a week or so ago, my Facebook news feed was inundated with allegations and counter-allegations of a sexual assault that had taken place in the Big Brother House. As I'm not actually watching the show, I wasn't really sure what was happening.
But I did read a lot of stuff on consent (or lack of it) and as usual, some people took it very personally and the female is the Jezebel in this.
Three things that need looking into:
1. How do people not understand 'consent'?
I actually looked for the clip on YouTube and watched it. If someone is sleeping, drunk or incapacitated in some way, they didn't consent. They're not in a position to do so.
Therefore, depending on the extent of your sexual activity, you are either a sexual predator or a full-blown rapist. Yes, some things are uncomfortable to hear.
2. That sorry excuse for an apology
Have you ever had dealings with a pathological liar, who can actually make you doubt your own eyesight, hearing and sanity? In the interview with Azuka (who has got to be the weakest interviewer I have ever seen in action, but that's not the point of this), this man just blabbed.
He seemed more interested in promoting his fitness brand (and will probably show up in a Nollywood film soon). Yet … #3
3. There's very little about reality television that's real
This came as a shock to me. I remember a show that my friend went on and she admitted that some of the things we saw on screen, didn't exactly happen that way.
What we saw was real, but they had had so many takes and some people were actually coached on what to say. Fast forward some years later, I was contracted to script for a reality show. And this is normal. I cannot mention the name of the show or the brand that I worked for – there is an ironclad NDA that I signed with clear eyes – but the show has aired.
And the words I typed on my laptop were said on screen. Word for word. A part of me doesn't want to believe that anyone would be so stupid, as to assault a sleeping person while Africa is watching. Because we've seen this happen before … and that is part of the problem.
Something similar has happened before; another girl was touched without her permission some years ago and it was so distressing and jarring, that it was discussed in the House of Reps. Or was it the Senate? Everyone was talking about it.
We've also seen people do weird and wonderful stuff in the Big Brother House – not just Africa but in the UK, as well. And yes, you can't anticipate every reaction even to scripted material, but can only hope in some cases that the subjects take it away. However, I do have to ask – why was Kemen now thrown out of the house, immediately it happened? Why was there a need to wait?
Chioma Nnani is the award-winning author of FOREVER THERE FOR YOU and BECAUSE HOME IS. One of Africa's most fearless storytellers, she was a 2016 CREATIVE AFRICAN Awards finalist in the category of “Best Fiction Writer”, and a DIVAS OF COLOUR 2016 finalist.
Chioma has also been nominated twice for a UK BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award in the “Best Author” category, was named “One of 100 Most Influential Creatives” in the world by London-based C.Hub Magazine, lives in Abuja, where she runs THE FEARLESS STORYTELLER HOUSE EMPORIUM LTD, can be reached on @ChiomaNnani and blogs at www.fearlessstoryteller.com for which she has won a 2016 Blog of the Year BEFFTA.