If we truly desire to have a society of empowered females, then we need to start early by instilling certain knowledge in our young girls.
With all the outward negative influences being advertised as gospel truth, we risk losing the women of tomorrow to these fallacies.
It is about time now that we set the record straight by teaching our girls that;
They should always say NO to sexual violation and harassment
According to definitions by Wikipedia, Sexual harassment is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors while Rape, is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person’s consent.
I’m deeply saddened to learn that just recently, a certain school in my country nearly covered up a rape incident that happened within the school grounds. It is alleged that a Biology teacher (currently in police custody) defiled a 14 year old Form 1 student. The poor girl was forbidden by the school administration from calling her parents to report the incident, made to wash her garments (thus losing all evidence in the process) and kept in school until the duration for taking prophylaxis for the HIV virus lapsed.
It is further alleged that it was only after pressure from the rest of the students, to take action against the injustice, that the school decided to involve the law. The parents of the girl got to know about the rape incident from the police.
I have a huge problem with this scenario. Judging by the fact that the school is headed by a female, I wonder why she did not think it wise, to take immediate action that would have clearly helped the girl. I wonder why yet another female, made sure that this girl washed her garments therefore destroying all the evidence. I’m not in the business of pointing fingers and until the verdict is clear in this case, I shall leave it that.
However, I feel angered that a young girl’s innocence had to be robbed just because someone somewhere, had the audacity to not control his carnal desires. I feel like the whole approach to this situation was totally wrong. By making this girl keep quiet about what had happened, it was unfortunately being instilled in her that perverts can be excused as long as they are in authority.
We need to teach our girls to say NO to any forms of sexual harassment or rape for that matter. It doesn’t matter whether it has been carried out by God forbid, a relative, religious leader, an older friend of the opposite sex or a stranger. Rape is rape and sexual harassment is sexual harassment. We need to teach our girls to speak up when someone of the opposite sex touches them inappropriately or in a way that makes them uncomfortable. We need to get rid of that fear in our girls, to report something they feel bordered on sexual harassment or violation.
That way, our girls will clearly be able to distinguish between gentlemen and perverted individuals. They will be able to know that a man who respects a woman, does not force himself on her, neither does he touch her inappropriately without her consent. They need to know that gentlemen exercise self control and do not give in to their desires to touch and grope, like to quote the Bible, the heathen.
There’s a very thin line between being sexy and exposing themselves to perverts and ridicule
Nowadays when exchanging nudies and pouting in skimpy attire for selfies is the norm, our young girls need to know that there is a very thin line between being sexy and exposing themselves to perverts and ridicule. They need to know that once they have sent that nudie to that boy they supposedly fancy, then they should be prepared for any type of consequence.
Young girls need to know that their bodies should be respected by them first before any other person can accord them any respect. That once they have shared something on Instagram or Facebook or sent something to someone in an uncompromising situation, then it’s out there. That other person can decide to share it with the rest of the world or to prey on this young girl.
An increasing number of teenage girls are engaging in online dating and while there’s nothing wrong with trying your luck out on dating sites, we need to teach them that at their ages, they are still very vulnerable. All kinds of people sit behind their computers on a daily basis, posing to be people they are not. That good looking teenage boy whose profile picture on an online dating site may make you want to melt, could actually be a 60 something year old sexual offender preying on you.
The seemingly innocent requests to send him a selfie of yours in a bikini or a nudie, could just be a ploy to entangle you with something more dangerous than you could have ever imagined. Indeed, many sexual offenders have been known to forge friendships with unsuspecting teenage girls, in search of validation and approval via social media, only to lure them into their dens and violate or even murder them afterward.
We need to teach our girls that the celebrities they see online, posting selfies and photos of themselves on a daily basis are actually well protected. They rarely leave their houses without well trained bodyguards in tow to protect them. Their houses are fitted with the latest, sophisticated security equipment to quickly sense an intruder. They are on a whole different level from our young teenagers, something that they rarely disclose when posting their “sexy” photos online and details of their lives.
Our brains are our most powerful tool
We should teach our girls that despite the seemingly urgent need to pursue vanity, what we posses in our brains shall always be much more important. Looks fade, trends come and go, we age, but our brains keep on acquiring more knowledge as we carry on with life. The education we acquire from books, nobody can rob us of it. Our creativity and talent is God given. We may not be the most popular girl at school or even considered pretty, but that gift we have is much more precious than a thousand words of validation from our peers.
Our young girls need to know that they can look up to the likes of Malala as role models and not only the Miley Cyruses, Kylie Jenners and the likes. They need to know that they are not too young to do something for the benefit of girls their age. They need to know that what others think of them does not matter as long as their brains are intact. After all, they are strong women in the making.
Now I’m fully aware that I have mentioned we several times. The we is actually me and you who are more informed than a teenage girl. These are our mothers, our older sisters, our older female cousins, our female teachers, our female guardians and just about anyone, even if not female, who can teach a young girl on just how to be a strong future woman.