by Adamu Aderinsola
#MenAreScum. #HurtBae. #UberBae. #5KBae.
All recent hashtags that have dominated the Nigerian internet and even real-life conversations. All hashtags that have thrown the problem of misogyny and the ills of patriarchy in Nigeria on the table for us to thrash out. Nigerians – and not only the women – are finally coming to terms with the objectification of women and denigration of the female species. 2017 was shaping up to be a good year for the culture. If the economic recovery was not going to come through, we’d have made significant cultural progress, at least.
Until Reuben Abati thought to open his foul mouth – or stain the web with his vile and frankly, idiotic writing – this morning. He decided that it would be a good thing for his notoriously dwindling reputation to offer us his take on the concluded Big Brother Naija reality show in a very wordy article that tried too many times and too hard to pander to pop culture using popular slangs and phrases.
If that’s all he tried to do, Reuben would have still succeeded to get people talking. We’d have talked and laughed about how unabashedly he kissed Multichoice’s butt and the good reasoning behind his point – the single point in that long piece – about how “fame and influence is seen as an opportunity to oppress and demean”.
However, the only thing Dr Abati succeeded in doing is to use the position of fame and influence in the media industry to further demean women. He went from TBoss to Bisola and even the female guests that appeared during the show’s finale, spewing vile comments from a position of no knowledge because it’s completely clear that man did not watch the show.
To say that TBoss “got some of the male participants ousted by entrapping and outsmarting them with her sexual wiles” while projecting herself as a “sex object” would have been bad enough but it would have passed as his ignorant opinion. But he had to expose the deepest and darkest evil misogyny that lies in his heart by daring to say that if TBoss had won, it would have been because “she would have looked good on the billboards”. That’s not only insulting to TBoss but also to all the voters; that they see nothing but a face.
Yet, this is not even the point where you beg Dr. Abati to own his disgusting and outdated ideas of what use a woman’s “looks and talents” mean. In a single paragraph, this PhD holding fool, without missing a beat, shamed two women for misfortunes that came upon them in the house.
First, he claimed TBoss was Kemen’s nemesis in the house as if the world wasn’t watching as the disqualified housemate tried to take sexual advantage of the girl in the dead of the night. And even if the story, understandably remains unclear to him, the simple lesson to be learnt from that event is how we need to call the Big Brother and the show’s organisers to account for their poor handling of a case that could well be sexual harassment. But this man was decidedly going to side with only the male folks and Big Brother must have been off limits. The same way Thin Tall Tony, the married one who told all the lies in the world about his marital status and about his family was not to blame as far as Reuben is concerned. it’s Bisola, the one who got lied to, that was “whorish, cheap and self-denigrating”.
Let’s not even talk about the body shaming. In an embarrassing rant about breast in this same article, the old man spoke so rudely about TBoss’ breast while exposing his weird lust for the body parts of the popular Cossy Orjiakor. And then on top of that, he tried to shame Tiwa Savage for being fat.
And if you are still thinking that this was just an unfortunate outing of a man who hungrily lusts after full-breasted women and nothing more, then his shameful demand that Annie Idibia twerks for him by asking her husband to order her to do it next time (Tuface – thanks, TuBaba but next time tell Annie to twerk for us- what was that!) as if we lived in a re-enactment movie of the master-slave era in Southern America and not in 2017 will leave you in no doubt that Reuben Abati is a shameful old misogynist desperately in search of cheap popularity.
Creative mind. Enthusiast. Learner. Multipotentialite. And here, an assistant editor.