Would the percentage of Nigerians condemning Jungle justice decrease if the ALUU 4 victims were gays caught in the act?

183566_188040371235828_106356742737525_459468_7032241_n-1When I read the story of the 4 students of University of Port Harcourt that were lynched on allegation of theft, I wept for my country one more time. I have not watched the video and I do not ever intend to watch it. It is very difficult getting an online report of the story without graphic images of the victims being burnt alive. Nigerian bloggers and news reporters need to understand that such violent graphics should come with a trigger warning. I am already tormented at the thought of a human being burnt alive by a sick mob; I can do without the pictures and violent video, please.

 

Following the breaking of this horrible news, most Nigerians expressed shock that such barbaric acts could still so wantonly be carried out in Nigeria and with the tacit cooperation of members of the police force too. State security men were said to be present at the scene of the lynching but chose not to intervene.  Also, there were a few Nigerians who actually tried to justify the murders, they felt if these students actually stole mobile phones and laptops as alleged, they deserved to be lynched, and some even cited their religious books to justify this atrocious mindset. [Read more…]

Free Amina Tyler NOW: It is her body, her choice, her right!

Few months ago, Amina Tyler, a Tunisian woman, posted two photos of herself topless on Facebook.Amina-Tyler

The first image showed Amina with the words “Fuck your morals” written across her chest.

The second image has the words “My body belongs to me and is not the source of anyone’s honor” written in Arabic.

Since that episode, she has been hounded by Islamist conservatives who felt she has violated their honour by posting nude pictures of herself.

Whose body, whose honour?

After months of reportedly going into hiding, the outspoken Tunisian feminist who sparked a trend of “topless jihad” has been found and arrested by Tunisian authorities earlier this week and may be charged for conducting “provocative acts.”

What part of “My body belongs to me” don’t these idiots understand? If a woman wants to post nude pictures of herself on the internet, it is her body, her choice, her right. It has nothing to do with your moronic honour. FREE AMINA TYLER NOW!

This is my body; I have the right to do whatever I want with it. If I am not harming you, the decisions have nothing to do with you.

I have the right to post nude pictures of myself online. I have the right to use my body as a canvass, tattoo it or pierce it.

 

This is my body, I have the right to birth control, to abortion, to have sex with consensual adults regardless of their gender. I do not have to put up with your sermonizing or attempts to legislate over my body. [Read more…]

Accents and the Tragedy of Self-Hate

I recently started Video blogging and with it came the barrage of opinionated comments on my looks, appearance and quite interestingly, my accent! YEMMY IN JAPAN

I have never been self conscious about my accent.  I started making guest appearances on National TV programs almost two decades ago as a young human rights activist and vocal feminist. I remember the first time I appeared on one of the ‘posh’ Women’s programs which at the time passed as a ‘feminist’ TV show, I was immediately approached after the show by the popular presenter who told me, “Yemisi, you were really brilliant on the show, it would be great if we could get you to lose the accent”. Well, it happened that the presenter also ran a ‘Finishing school’ for girls … hmm do not ask me why a “feminist’ TV show presenter had a “Finishing school for girls’’… well, this is Nigeria we are talking about, and feminism, like many assumed “imported” ideology comes with its colonial baggage!

Anyway, she was so impressed with myyemy ituc points but not so impressed with my accent that she offered me a free session in her ‘Finishing school’ to get rid of my accent. I remember asking her why I would want to be rid of my accent. I mean, I wasn’t self conscious about my accent, especially since Nigeria is a diverse country with many local dialects and accent is one of the ways you immediately identify where a person is from.  Well, the young me was told that getting rid of my accent would be great for my profile, I declined her ‘priceless’ offer and  insisted that  I’d rather keep my accent as it is an integral part of my identity.

That was almost two decades ago. I have since gone ahead to speak at many national and international events, sometimes with heads of states and diplomats present. I have made a few speeches at UN meetings, appeared on a live televised round table debate with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and some other world leaders, but I never for a minute felt self conscious about my accent, and well, my audience never really complained and they mostly seemed to appreciate what I had to say. Shows you should choose your audience well! [Read more…]

I AM A WOMAN AND I AM WEEPING!

I am a woman and I am weepingSDC11524

The tears won’t stop seeping

Like a river it keeps flowing

At my heart it tugs, nipping

My eyes are bleeding

My nose keeps running

They say I should slow it

But all they do is blow it

Teardrops just like crystals

Not mine alone but all sisters!

 

I am a woman and I am weeping

On my feet I keep thinking

The dreams I have to maintain

The tears I cannot curtail

From day to night I toil

In the fields I till the soil

Bent over with hands, this I can bear

Hoping my behind I wouldn’t have to bare

For the children and the aged I have to care

The burdens sometimes leave me bare!

 

I am a woman and I am weeping

In the boardroom I am seething

They negotiate my seat

As I take in all the heat

It matters not that I have the brains

The body is what they want to drain

With my pen poised I stand on the stool

But they tell me brain is not the tool

As all they want is my body to drool

And for me to play the fool!

 

I am a woman and I am weeping

From the corners I am peeping

Paving the streets in my high heels

Hoping the deals I can now seal

My health and safety are at risk

But the children can’t eat sticks

In the boardroom, on the street

It matters not where I sit

My brain makes me an expert

But all they want is a Sexpert!

 Yemisi Ilesanmi speaking at the London 2010 July Pride

I am a woman and I am weeping

I fight the system but hope is fleeting

The streets I keep combing

While my heart keeps sobbing

How long shall I be suppressed

Now they say I am depressed

I do not need a mental operation

What I hate is this oppression

You can keep your psychiatry

While I kick your patriarchy!

 BY © YEMISI ILESANMI

I AM COMING OUT!

I AM COMING OUT!

buterfly rainbow resized new

I am coming out, out of my shell

Long under the influence of your spells

Locked away in your antique culture cell

Where no one could hear me yell

I had screamed all in vain

Only I could feel the pain

It is time to break the chains

The ghosts of the past I must slay

Weighed down by societal shackles

Banging to be out, proud and sparkle

 

I am coming out, out of my shell

Doing away with your lying shields

It is unnatural, you scream

You will burn in hell, you preach

Fires and brimstones you rake

From your societal grip I break

In angry defence the truth I seek

To be free, to be me, I must speak

Coming out, head high, sets me free

I am proud, out and ready to peak [Read more…]

SLAP SOME SENSE INTO BISHOP DAVID OYEDEPO!

I am angry, not just angry but very, very angry. I am indignant, not just for myself but on behalf of many sisters especially the voiceless sisters! If you are not angry after watching the infamous video of Bishop Oyedepo slapping a young girl to the thunderous applause of his church members, you are also a target of my anger!

 It is said that “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction”. Present day examples abound, e.g.  

“Homosexuality is a sin, let us kill Gays”

“Witchcraft is evil, let us slap young witches”

“I am the chosen one; therefore I will bomb out all others from my holy land”

“Sorcery is a sin; let us behead its practitioners”

 “Adultery is a sin, let us stone the unmarried pregnant woman”

 …and the list goes on and on.

 The YouTube video of Bishop Oyedepo slapping a young girl he accused of witchcraft should make any sane person angry. The thunderous applause from his followers during this dastardly act is nauseating enough to make one vomit. Why is there a complete lack of common sense amongst religious fanatics? I guess if they could reason, they wouldn’t be fanatics anyway! Really, how could any sane person encourage the molestation of a young person and actually applaud the torturer?

 

Religion is the opium of the masses, yes, many atrocities have been committed in the name of religion, but really, for how long must these atrocities continue before we break the chain of religious oppression in Nigeria?

The colonisers that introduced Christianity to Nigerians would noDOGt in this age, in their own country, dare openly embrace such atrocities as perpetrated in the name of God in Nigeria today. Africans need to wake up from their slumber and see religion for what it really is; an addictive drug that numbs reason and robs away common sense!  I do not even want to go into the mental slavery aspect of organized religion and how much it has Africans, especially Nigerians, in its evil grip! 

Bishop David Oyedepo had the audacity to slap the young girl who dared to assert that she is not a witch as accused, but a witch for Jesus. Now, how is being a witch for Jesus a crime? [Read more…]

Debunking the myths: Is majority support of ‘Anti Same-Sex Marriage’ bill a democratic license to discriminate against sexual minorities?

DSC_0995 ftb resized“Minority can have their say but majority will have their way” is the new anthem of majority homophobic members of the supposedly enlightened Nigerian community on the issue of the draconian ‘Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition)’ bill. The mere thought that some supposedly enlightened people still think a majority has the right to have its way at the expense of the human rights of a minority is really worrisome. What enlightened mind would even support such a proposition in this age?

 

Many Nigerians eagerly confuse democracy with majority rule, what a shame and how sad for my beloved motherland. There is a big difference between Democracy and Majority rule.  According to this ‘ill-perceived’ concept of democracy as ‘minority having their say and majority having their way’, I guess the scenarios below would be deemed democratic: [Read more…]

Debunking the myths: Is decriminalizing Homosexuality a slippery slope towards endorsing Pedophilia, Rape and Bestiality?

It seems no debate on human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals is complete without the inevitable snide remark, “If human rights of homosexuals are recognized, rapists, pedophiles and people who sleep with animals will start claiming human rights violations too”.188452_208137445878987_122256581133741_806700_345525_n resized

 Why do homophobes always feel the need to mention sex with animals when commenting on LGBT rights issues? How is homosexuality and sex with animals, rape or pedophilia the same thing? Isn’t it time people moved away from unjustified, illogical sentiments and address real issues? 

 Rape

Rape is trapehe unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.  It is a type of sexual assault usually involving forceful sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another without consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of giving valid consent. The term is most often defined in criminal law. A person who commits an act of rape is known as a Rapist.

 Sexual Orientation i.e. Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Pansexuality or Heterosexuality has nothing to do with sexual harassment. If anyone grabs your ass in public or even in private without your consent, it does not matter whether the person is heterosexual or homosexual; it is sexual harassment and assault.

Gender or sexual orientation is not the factor that determines if you had been sexually harassed or molested; lack of consent is the decisive factor. It is a criminal offense to sexually assault, harass or abuse anyone. So, what connection does a loving relationship between consenting adults have with rape?  None at all! [Read more…]

Debunking the myths: Is Homosexuality, Bisexuality or Transsexualism Un-African or Unnatural?

Homosexuality has existed from time immemorial, as far back as when same-sex persons ever came in contact. Africa is said to be the cradle of human race, it therefore can be logically inferred that homosexuality started in Africa, before human race started migrating to other places to spread its branches in different colours, shapes and sizes.   

 326924_2116765247425_1494540329_31789398_184925909_oMany African cultures and religions viewed Homosexuals and Transgender persons as gods, they were revered before intolerant religions and cultures started flourishing. It was the advent of colonisation and the import of foreign laws like Sodomy laws that brought Homophobia and intolerance into many African societies. I say “African societies” with a consciousness that AFRICA is not a monolithic society as it consists of many diverse ethnicities and cultures and therefore there is no monolithic, African culture. 

 Many Africans became intolerant of homosexuality and transsexuals only after foreign religions were [Read more…]