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09.01.2015 Feature Article

Rape: How Ghanaian Men Have Been Betrayed By Their Women

Rape: How Ghanaian Men Have Been Betrayed By Their Women
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In a soap opera I watched some years back, a man had consensual sex with her girl friend who seemed to be interested in his relationship with his wife. As part of the after-sex conversation, the young woman inquired about The man's wife, to which he answered that he would not divorce her as she was pushing. The woman's next move was to tear up her own underwear, cause her own body injury, ruffle the bedroom a little and then report rape to the police, which was upheld. In our daily amorous lives, who can bear witness to the truth in such a case.

Following the rape charge against the media giant, KKD and the unfolding legal arguments vis a vis the adage that "One man's meat is another's poison", it is wise to review the laws on rape in Ghana. The advanced countries and the developing countries have different cultures at least for now even if globalisation could integrate them.

The present adopted laws on rape for Ghana will make the situation comparable to the offence of defilement, where the advance countries are the adults (given their resources, level of knowledge and proponents/funders of the Women Empowerment Campaign), while Ghana and other developing countries are the minors (considering their low level of scientific and technological knowledge, and the unfair enactment of their laws in a foreign language which the majority do not understand!) These in addition to being new to democracy and that 'laws are made for man and not man for the laws', make this call for a review appropriate.

Sex is an essential human need everywhere when family life is considered; since charity begins at home, it makes it significant enough for our communities and nations to warrant our attention. Other noteworthy factors are that the whole Global Village including Ghana is in the human-rights era where choices are the fundamental pillars. Also, the culture of a people cannot be changed overnight when the adages of the very advanced countries say that even "habits die hard", and "you cannot teach an old dog new tricks".

Another issue is that in our 'modest' Ghanaian culture, women are generally so reserved and timid in sexual matters that sometimes one is made to think that they were created frigid so do not need sex; paradoxically though they are very sensitive to a man's sexual inadequacies enough to readily quit or cheat in a relationship! Last but not least is our Ghanaian traditional norm that a man should be the one to start a home before marrying and continue as breadwinner of the family for the woman to keep the home, care for the children and make the man comfortable.

These noted, it would not be difficult to appreciate that the gender equality objective, if necessary at all, will need sustained education/sensitisation for both men and women because some men and women may still prefer the perceived outmoded Ghanaian lifestyle. Is it not for the sake of human rights with its freedom of choice that religions and marriage types are not forced on any Ghanaian? Is this blanket and woman-biased interference of the traditional culture fair? Is it to support women to imprison men so that women could take their assets? Otherwise how could sex be considered a male-only-beneficiary act and let them suffer up to a quarter of a century imprisonment for improper handling of it! With the sex roles described above, one can appreciate that men have to be proactive in sex even if for the benefit of the woman.

Now all relationship education in Ghana's mass media seem to be swayed in telling what satisfies he woman and how they should be treated etc, obviously in response to women empowerment. Though not unexpected and still in order because men have always wanted to see their women good-looking and happy, it is the maligning and exclusion of the male in the forward-moving agenda that is bad and need addressing. If gender activist wanted fairness they could have for example appreciated and included rape or plunder on the part of the female against the man who is equally affected by the proposed cultural changes.

Though the woman traditionally is to be wholly cared for by her male partner from his toils, but the aggressive, provocative and at times selfish demands beyond the man's means could drive some men crazy and sometimes end their life when such women threaten to quit if their demands are not met! Is this not more damaging than sexual rape? Maybe for the almighty dollar, Ghanaian men have been sold by their female counterparts to please Global agenda.

Considering the "withdrawal of consent" for sex aspect in the rape law, it's counterpart for women in fairness would be for example a withdrawal of a man's consent for their woman to continue eating, in the middle of the meal or the man demanding his blouse even in public if he is not comfortable with her continuous eating or wearing for any reason. After all he owns the food and blouse, so they should be used to his satisfaction! Unthinkable situation, eh? Well, if such demands from the man will be unreasonable then it is time to review the sexual harassment laws so far enacted because they have unfair and punitive clauses.

Kwabena Ofori-Panin
Kwabena Ofori-Panin, © 2015

The author has 135 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KwabenaOforiPanin

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