Security Sexism

So the other day I had to run an errand at the INEC office in Maitama. I’ve never been there before but I’d heard security was pretty tight at the gate.

I got to the gate and the car I was in stopped to be questioned by an SSS guy in black with an assault rifle slung around his neck.

We rolled down the windows and then this idiot says to me “Hey Babe..”

I immediately said to him “That’s completely inappropriate and sexist. Don’t address me that way please.”

I guess his skull was too thick to get the message, but the asshole then opens his mouth and says “I can call you whatever I want.” and strokes his gun as if the fact that he has a gun means that he now has dominion over all humanity.

The last straw was when he started saying to my driver IN IGBO “Who is she? I can just detain her now. She had better be careful. Who does she think she is?”

I was so mad.

I said to him “Okwa i ma na n na wota Igbo?” – I hope you know I understand Igbo.

Eventually he waved us past but I can’t help feeling mad.

Why the fuck does every single security guard think he has the right to sexually harass any woman he sees?

This is why this country is a cesspit of sexism.

And this is why we need feminism more than ever.

A lot of women won’t stand up to idiots like this and the fucking driver was also too stupid to realise that what the SSS guy said to me was offensive as fuck. Or maybe he’s just a sexist asshole too.

Ugh, I am so angry and disgusted. Of course, once inside INEC, there was absolutely nobody I could report the incident to.

There are 22 comments

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  1. Geri

    Sigh. I literally exhaled deeply after reading this Sugabelly. Smh. It can be crushing because it comes from all angles, PLUS there’s nothing you can do about it half the time; except to keep calling them out on their nonsense.

  2. Mandy

    I am new to your blog

    you are very talented in many ways and I noticed you often come across angry
    not necessary angry at the issue you may be writing about.

    But your writing suggests anger from elsewhere but manifesting itself on your blog but heyyyy I guess that’s what blogging is about. ….expressing yourself

  3. Anonymous

    Sugabelly babe, I remember reading at 2 different social sites on issues in marriages within 1 week and your responses were “divorce him” madam, u always sound bitter about something. Release year inhibitions and free your mind, you will be complete, cos u are a bundle of talent. Let go of the angst and whatever dissapointment that you might have experienced, life is beautiful. You are still my best blogger tho and I love you to pieces. I need a chibi of me

  4. Anonymous

    Honestly I don’t get the ‘bitterness’ comments. If there is one thing that I can say with certainty is wrong, it is the way woman are treated in Nigeria. I should not leave my house in the fear that I will be sexually harassed. I shouldn’t have some stranger thinking its ok to whistle at me or call me baby or whatever, it is degrading and insulting. For as long as Nigerian men and women think this is ok, women would never be valued as much as men, even when we achieve great things. So be angry jare, you don’t have to manage degrading encounters

    All I can say though is sugabelly you should be a little careful, I am always quick to correct people’s sexist comments but one’s physical safety comes first, and therefore you should avoid arguing with a man holding a rifle. Chose what battles to fight and who to fight them with cause after a while you will get frustrated and eventually won’t change anyone’s perspective 🙂 Stay safe

    • Adura Ojo (Naijalines)

      I agree. Sugabelly, it takes nothing away from your argument here. Yes there is rampant sexism in Nigeria just like some naija men’s unchecked libido! But it’s important to be safe. I would not try reasoning with a man who’s pointing at me with a rifle! I know it’s annoying when sh** happens but girl you gotta put your safety first. Plenty of less risky places to fight the battle:)

      If you haven’t read Jude Dibia’s Blackbird. Please grab a copy. There’s a scene in there very similar to what you described except it’s a whole lot worse…Yes, the bastard went there because he had a gun. Sexually assaulted her by doing a really sickening strip search and she could not say a word! Sickening…but I guess she didn’t want her brains blown out. Such a realistic scene. i’m guessing it happens a lot. Raising awareness is very important – it’s where to do it – the perpetrator does not care at that particular moment.

    • Miss Fizzy

      I read that book and that bit nearly made me cry… being a woman in Nigeria, regardless of your status or class isn’t easy. You’re sexually harassed every where you go. Even at work, you’re not safe.. If you decide to act, you’re ostracized by your colleagues (even the female ones). I was sexually harassed at work once and when I told my mother what happened she advised me to keep my mouth shut and act like nothing happened. If that’s the kind of support that women get in naija, what are we supposed to do? Carry weapons? I’ve toyed with the idea of owning a gun and keeping a baseball bat in my car….

  5. Anonymous

    i never knew addressing someone as ‘babe’ was sexist. But we live and learn everyday. sugabelly for heavens sake exhale… soon you’ll tell ur husband or bf to address you as Miss sugarbelly to show respect. Damn! you need to chillax, even i as a woman i’m getting rather frustrated with ur extreme views. moderation in everything is necessary.
    I am sure you ogle men and call them all kind of sexy… is that sexist?

  6. Ginger

    Come on Anonymous at 4:13am, why should a man I dont know or dont care for call me ‘babe’? Even if used as a term of endearment I didnt not ask for it nor want it!!!
    It is sexist cause it comes from the position accorded him as a man in the society to think that any woman is up for grabs.
    If she had walked up to that gate instead of being seated in a car, he might have even touched her or grabbed her arm or patted her bum.
    That is wrong and Sugabelly has every right to be upset about it….just like i hope you’d be if it happened to you.

  7. Anonymous

    I am certain if a hot dude had walked up to sugarbelly and said, hey babe, she’ll be smiling like a little child. I don’t get why it is sexist. One might find it inappropriate but why sexist? She is beginning to sound like those black people who play the racist card all the freaking time. We get it sugarbelly, you are a feminist – whatever that crap means, but please like i said earlier chillax, it’s not everytime you need to fight to prove you are one. I’ve advised that you should focus on fighting REAL battles that women face in naija. ‘Hey babe’ is certainly not one of them.

  8. Anonymous

    I totally agree with all the comments that say you come across as angry. You honestly need to detox yourself of whatever bad experiences you’ve had in the past. You would use your talents much more positively if you did.

  9. Chantel Martha

    lol all the comments are just keep making me smile. Girl all i can say is in Nigeria where there are so many mad men especially the ones holding guns who think they are now gods…my dear don’t ever challenge them cos they are usually very trigger happy.Don’t forget assholes would always be assholes wether they are security men or just a cute guy anywhere.

  10. ohia girl

    this what I do now… look straight ahead, breathe deeply & keep quiet only answering questions that are related to my visit, trust me it works & this is coming from someone who made a t_shirt with a text across the back “don’t call me baby!” but I would i sometimes slip & retort like a hey baldy or shorty? in Nigeria the men feel every good looking woman is entitled to be stared down & complimented with crude 2 worded comments & most times I’m dumbfounded as to what my reaction should be giggle & cover my face with my braids! WTF!!!

  11. Chidi

    I’m very disappointed by all the comments asking Sugabelly to calm down or whatever. And the fact that they come from women show why this problem isn’t going away.
    Many times I’ve done the silent treatment and when it didn’t work (which was/is often) I give a lecture on why calling me ‘baby’, touching me when I don’t know you, or coming up to talk to me at night when it’s clear all I’m trying to do is get home in one piece is inappropriate and rude.
    and this behaviour stems from the fact that men in Nigeria view all women as available. The sales boy at Mr Biggs, the guards, the business men etc.
    Now is not the time to clamp down on a woman expressing her rage. Perhaps she sounds so angry to y’all because you’re not angry enough.

    Dear anonymous, being a feminist means refusing to be stepped on, taken advantage of, underrated and bullied simply because you have a vagina.
    Calling me ‘baby’ is demeaning and rude and is definitely a problem Nigerian women face. Plus. I don’t wear diapers.

  12. Chidi

    I’m deeply upset that women on here are not applauding Sugabelly.
    Overfamiliarity with a woman you do not know and who clearly does not want your attention is sexist and rude.
    Dear Anonymous, it is clearly a problem Nigerian women face.
    By calling you ‘baby’ by your boss, you’ve basically been reduced to the skirt that does his menial work or cannot be taken too seriously. Your suggestions will be second guessed (might not be in front of you).
    By calling you ‘baby’, that guard could decide to call her up and inform her that ‘cold dey catch’
    There’s an air of entitlement around Nigerian men, and Nigerian women need to learn when to say ‘Please don’t call me that’.

  13. The Mad Hatter

    Drama Queen!!!….Lmao! Seriously tho calling a Woman u don’t know ‘babe’ is higly Inappropriate. I think it constitutes some form of sexual harassment but I wouldn’t go as far as callin it Sexist, that may be a bit too extreme.

  14. Naija Junkie

    First of all SugaBelly you need to know that I fucking love you! Lol seriously you do rock! I have been stalking your blog for ages and I love how you say what NEEDS to be said the way YOU want to say it. It is refreshing to “meet” another young Nigerian woman who loves her country and culture without condoning any of the associated bullshit.

    I cannot believe the absurdity of these people acting like this overt sexism is not a big deal! And to all the people telling you that you are “angry” or dramatic–it’s time for some self examination because if you are not disgusted by the way women are treated in Nigeria then you are part of the problem. These people haven’t seen “angry” lol, I’m about to start my own damn blog. I am both inspired and provoked to write by this article and the comments. This idea that theres nothing we can do about being second class citizens in our own country is totally unacceptable and its got to stop! Sugabelly, you have started a movement and have gained a new and probably unwanted best friend lol.

    -Naija Junkie

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