When I first read Bisi Alimi’s narration of his experience with sexual misconduct, one thing was clear: the intention was altruistic in trying to encourage others to speak up about their own sexual harassment and not suffer in silence. But as someone mentioned in the comments section, it was poorly written and leaves plenty of room for guessing. More importantly, it blurs the very thin line between altruism and self-servitude.
For a traumatic event such as this to be made public, I believe it has to be veracious, leaving little or no room for doubt and withstand any form of scrutiny.
The victim has said he and the “predator” had “a complicated back story”. He did not elaborate on the nature of said back story, leaving room to assume that it might have involved rebuffed sexual advances or a prior consensual sexual encounter between both parties, in both cases giving the predator the idea that he can try again or tap it one more (Think Okafor’s Law).
We can draw from the narrative that the childhood friend (CF) is a Nigerian and that his husband (or ex-husband, as Bisi suggests) is white and possibly – but not necessarily significantly – older, and also more than likely in a better economic position than CF. It is not for us to pass judgment on the marriage, as the dynamics of a marriage are whatever makes a couple happy. So who is to say that they are not in some form of open marriage, whereby CF procures younger men for his husband? As such, there is a possibility that CF may have set the victim up.
In 2014, the victim was couch-surfing as he was homeless, but somehow he was able to buy an airplane ticket to Switzerland. OK, granted, CF could have paid for the ticket for him to visit, but is this how his kindness is paid back? When the tsunami of this sexual harassment and abuse cases started and it triggered Bisi’s suppressed memories of what happened, the right thing to do, in my humble opinion, would’ve been to call CF and tell him what happened, rather than letting him find out in a public forum? Or at the very least don’t put clues in the narrative that could easily let anyone decipher the identity of CF and his husband in about ten clicks on the internet. This makes his claim (twice) in the narrative that he means nothing malicious seem a bit spurious.
I know these days, it is normal for seemingly upwardly mobile couples to communicate with – and gush effusively to – each other via social media, possibly to show the world that they are very much in love. But I speak for only myself when I say, as a Nigerian gay man, if the Almighty blessed me with a significant other and we stood up in front of all and sundry and vowed to hold and cherish each other, I would first tell him of my traumatic sexual harassment episode face to face, before announcing it on social media.
But that is just me, and like I said, it is not for us to judge the type of marriage people have.
The rest of the narrative is highly likely, but the first incident casts a shadow on its veracity mainly for the reasons I have stated above.
I wish sexual harassment didn’t exist in any form and that it wasn’t the latest Cause Célèbre. Unfortunately despite the number of followers we have on our social media accounts and hundreds of likes and reshares garnered on our posts, we are not all celebrities. We don’t have to have the same experiences as the aggrieved to be seen to be in support of the cause, all the time. There is a growing weariness in some quarters regarding the daily revelations of sexual harassment cases. So when a new one comes up, there is a strong need for the accusation to be credible and not have a whiff of bandwagonism.
Written by Oracle