There is no fancy way of saying this; i am sick and tired of being told to ‘get used to it’.
When boys pull my hair on the playing ground and laugh at my embarrassment while they push me to the ground, don’t tell me to get used to it because after all, ‘boys are just being boys ‘.
When boys stalk me on the way home after class in secondary school, catcalling and whistling, pointing and laughing at my pubescent body, don’t tell me to get used to it because ‘I’m a girl and i should be flattered because it means the boys like me’.
When lecturers refuse to give me the grades i deserve and threaten to not allow me graduate if i don’t have sex with them, don’t tell me to get used to it because “it happens to girls that are beautiful and dress too attractively”.
When university cult boys threaten me with gang rape if i don’t date one of them, don’t you dare tell me to get used to it because ‘that’s what beautiful girls in universities deal with ‘.
When my job applications keep getting turned down because MDs, and Hiring managers won’t give me a job until i have sex with them, don’t tell me to get used to it.
When i walk through Balogun market to do my shopping and strange hands grope me and catcalls and whistles follow me, when male shop keepers in the market call me a slut because i slap their hands when they grope me, don’t you dare tell me to get used to it.
When inappropriate comments are typed under my photos on social media and sexual messages are sent into my inbox, don’t tell me to get used to it because ‘tons of other ladies receive same type of messages and they ignore it’.
These are the lifetime experiences of the average Nigerian woman.
We are sick and tired of being told:
‘Just ignore it’
‘It’s not a big deal’
‘You’re a woman, you should expect that’
‘You’re taking things too seriously’
Nigerian women have had to deal with one form of harassment or the other from girlhood and we are tired of this attempt to minimise our pain and silence us.
Telling us to get used to it, is saying that we do not matter, it’s normalizing the abnormal.
Telling us to get used to it is refusing to acknowledge the problem and do what is necessary to stop it.
Telling us to get used to it is subscribing to male privilege and suppressing the right of women to be treated as equal human beings deserving of dignity and respect .
We are women. we are human too. we are not created to be objectified and degraded.
We shouldn’t have to get used to being disrespected, abused and harassed.
Stop telling us to get used to it. We won’t!