Tag Archives: age of consent

Differing views on Marriage: East v West Africa

At the weekend, I went for a friends 30th birthday dinner with eight other of her female friends. The group varied in age from 27 to 30 and 9 of the ladies came from West Africa (six from Nigeria and three from Ghana) while I was the only one from East Africa (because Kenya and Uganda). Of the ten of us, one was newly married, I’m engaged and one another was separated from her husband. The topic of conversation? How in West Africa, all seven of them would be an anomaly and indeed even being in South Africa, they are still not safe from the frequent question of “So when will you get married?” or “You don’t have a boyfriend? GASP” or “Do you even date?”

While we all had a good chuckle, it was surprising to me as in my family of five girls, only two of my sisters are married and both after 30. The other two that are not face no pressure from my parents or others to settle down. To each his own. Outside of my family, I would place it at about 30-40% of my female friends that are married, with 40% being a very generous upper limit. The rest are pushing hard on their careers, some have kids and live with their partners, some are happily single while others are unhappily so and seriously looking to settle down. Again everyone has the right to pick and choose the time and age when they do settle down.

Typing this, I am reminded of Chimamanda’s talk on why we should all be feminists. We teach girls to aspire to marriage and from a very young age, we don’t do the same with boys and that smirks of discrimination. We also cheat girls out of their best lives yet when we start to whisper thoughts that they are inadequate unless their status is somehow related to a boy i.e. a wife, a fiancee, mother of sons OR the poorer relative, a baby mama!! With all the strides we have made as women, it is a crying shame that in 2014 we still have to battle with this issue of perception and inadequacy when we opt out of the path selected for us right from the moment the Doctor declared the baby to be a girl. Very sad day indeed!!

Having shared my views, I am curious to learn of whether others around me also feel the same pressure to settle down and how you deal with it, or what you do about it?

Interesting links to read:

  1. The Atlantics article on The Confidence Gap
  2. Rita J. King on How to Close the Confidence Gap

On blogging: search terms that led people here

Again, I decided to update this list.

  • Whititude – the poem, descriptions about it, the writer that is still the most common search term. Funny-weird not haha because I don’t really read a lot of poetry or any of that.
  • Rebecca Nganga – my beloved lecturer.
  • josphat nanok bio – can’t imagine why!! But apparently he is a Kenyan parliamentarian
  • age of consent south africa – To my shock people search a lot for this term and it leads them here! Horrors of horrors!!But see my position here.
  • can i have skhothane punchlines and unknown skhothane CV – because I know so much about urban culture.
  • 419 Scam letters – my favourite piece of writing!!
  • Karumaindo Nairobi – some well known brothel in the hometown!!
  • various variations of good morning couple – because of these beautiful illustrations by Nidhi Chanani
  • Everwood and Oakwood – wedding venues.
  • For someone that doesn’t write about sex, I do get a lot of sex-related search terms that lead people here.

It always makes me smile to see this so enjoy!!

 

Ripped from the headlines

This  post is part of  the Daily Post at WordPress  posted on Monday this week. Briefly:

Head to your favourite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.  

I happened to pick up yesterday’s Daily Star newspaper and there on the front page was this story .  A ruling of the Pretoria High Court found that sections of the Sexual Offences Act, which made consensual sex between teenagers a crime, were unconstitutional. Hence, it is no longer criminal for children aged between 12 and 16 to have consensual sexual activities with each other.  This section of the law also made it illegal for teenagers to participate in any sexual activity including kissing. The ruling also states that any adult aware of such conduct between teenager has a duty to report it or they face jail time. Below is my response to this ruling (please note: the actual judgment has not been released and this is based on sensational reports by newspapers).

  • There are two issues at stake here: a legal issue and a moral one and not always will one inform the other. Morally, it is upon all of us as parents or parents-in-waiting to talk to teenagers about the benefits of abstaining but its not the place of the courts to do that on our behalf.
  • This ruling does not in any way make paedophilia legal – the legal age of consent in South Africa is still at 16 years old. Sex between an adult and a minor is still viewed as statutory rape.
  • Teenagers are already having sex, this does not in any way legalise it. This ruling clarifies further inconsistencies in the law where one section criminalises sexual activities for teenagers but another allows them to gain access to contraceptives.
  • The ruling offers an “out” for adults so concerned about underage sex – they are welcome to report the matter. Indeed, they are prevailed upon to report this matter to the authorities.
  • I don’t feel strongly about this ruling at all.