Maybe There Are No Good Men
Temitope Ogunniran
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Maybe There Are No Good Men

Temitope Ogunniran

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Maybe there are no good men

Maybe they're all trash. I'm kidding- I know good men exist. Just like I know that

they’re in the minority. You know how I know? Because I am a woman, and women

know. Hell, men (as much as most of you won't openly admit) know. Black women

most especially, know. Because we have experienced it, we have data spanning cen-

turies, my guy. We fucking know. And we're tired. And so we are asking for more- we

are saying "this and this is how you stop violence against us, this is how you stand up

for us, this is how you love and support us, and since you want to protect us so much,

"this is how you protect us".

Your collective response? "Nah. You're confused- you're lazy. You're not like my mom who "sacrificed" (aka suffered), who endured, who did 'xyz' to take care of us......all without, or with very little assistance from my dad. You're not ready for the hard work that a "good" relationship/marriage is". Perhaps this never occurred to you (ok I'm being facetious, but you already know that).......... but she's human. Maybe she never enjoyed any of it, maybe she didn't even happily or willingly do it.

Maybe she did a lot of it because she knew that she had no other option. I mean really, who enjoys being lied to, or cheated on, or physically/emotionally abused by their partner, or being elected (under no actual basis aside from gender) as the sole proprietor of home labor- that often goes without recogni-tion? Whooooo …..enjoys a life of unpaid and thankless servitude???

And when we then say "ok.We are gonna focus on just women- teach them how to empower themselves and survive. You say we don't talk and that's why sexual assault continues to happen? We'll start talking - even if it's through 280 characters, a thread, we'll expose the men that harm us.And then you come,  you read our stories and make it your sole obligation to find holes in them- but to what end?

Why is your first response to someone recounting a horrifying

experience, not empathy but annoyance, anger, mockery.... defense. Why is it defense

and not empathy? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that? You tell tales of

men that were wrongfully accused. None that you know personally of course.

But one you'd heard of.

And then we say (even if): take that number and compare it  to

the amount of women that have been sexually assaulted at some point, reported AND

Unreported. Tell us, how many accused men have actually been convict-

ed, how many of them have had their careers destroyed?  Hell how many were even

alienated from their communities? You get me those stats and compare it

to "1 out of every 6 American woman has been the victim of an attempted or completed-

ed rape in her lifetime", and then we can talk.

And for my Nigerians- oooh come on, let's not even lie. I mean with our culture of silence?  Imagine what that number is in Nigeria, where we've even coined a term for men in the universities, who orchestrate plans of their assault on women, with the intention to beg and plead with the woman once the violation is complete? All the while feigning innocence? Right- rape and beg, aka R&B.

And what about the lecturers that require women to sleep with them or risk failing a course? What about the employers that brazenly wear their armor of sexual predator from the inter-

view stage? What about Uncle  ________? Hmm.

Cut the shit- you get it, you just don't care how women feel about the violence they face. Because somewhere, honestly (truly), you don't believe that women are actually equal to you. And you know that this violence exists. Although for the sake of "playing the devil's advocate" you pre-

tend during these conversations, to inquire in innocence "but what do women really

go through though? And y'all gotta ask "y'all selves" "what am I doing to cause it".

But anyone actually intelligent enough to see through your bullshit knows what the truth is. Not only do you not fact, you think maybe, sometimes, women deserve it. You hate women- stop being a coward and say it with your chest.

Women for you, are to be fought, feared or fucked. But what does the fact that

your empowerment comes SOLELY from the subjugation of women, but really, (fill in the blank) say about you?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news (again, I'm lying) but you're not as sharp as you as-

assume yourself to be. You see,  some of us-a lot of us- see right

through you. We see right through the man who couldn't find a fuck to give, the one

who knows he's most likely a member of the "all" in his "Not all Men" campaign. Who

knows that he is capable of the same violent behavior; who might even perpetuate it.

So whichever package you try to deliver your bullshit in- calmly, aggressively, "humorously" - shit really ain't funny, but we see right through it.

So shout out to all the women that have stopped being obligatorily nice to men.

The ones who have decided that they will no longer tolerate the kind of man who insists  and demands that the humanity of women is explained, defended, or is presented as an air tight, irrefutable defense case to him.

Who abuses women- either physically or emotionally, who supports the "discipline" of women because he's afraid of them, who harasses, body shames, bullies, tries to divert attention from women.

Whose default stance is to question or mock a woman who's just recounted a bad sexual experience, who doesn't personally harass or contribute to the subjugation (in his opinion anyway) of women but who also doesn't make attempts to intervene when he witnesses their harassment. Whose thirst for male acceptance is more important than ensuring the safety of women.

Who doesn't realize that women are just as human as he is- that women are not either just good girls or whores, intelligent or pretty, and are certainly not the sole guardians of modesty, virtue, or morality. Who fails to understand that women can also desire sexual experiences and encounters in the way that men do.

Shoutout to the women that have been stubborn, "bitch",- the ones who have decided that their lives are just theirs. That they are their whole selves, and not just an extension of the people (especially the men) in their lives. Shoutout to the women that refuse to wear humility and likeness as an obligatory cloak- the ones that never found it compulsory (especially without earned merit) to be nice, and the ones whose edges are now flourishing because they no longer are. I see you sis.

Oh hey 'good guy', you thought I forgot about you?  😊

Temitope Ogunniran
more in this issue
Memoirs of a Third World Millennial Vol.1
Chijioke Osuji
  • Audiobook
  • Memoir
Who Will Remind Us?
Heather Njoku
  • Nonfiction
  • Memoir
Mazi Nwonu
  • Fiction
  • Thriller
go to issue Iii

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