Of Politicking and Prostitution


I’m not even sure where to begin with this article. Sometimes, someone brings something so absurd or fascinating to your attention that it captivates you for a few days.  Yesterday morning, I found myself gob-smacked by an article that was passed along by a reader to Nana and I. The following link ( http://news.myjoyonline.com/politics/201006/47648.asp ) chronicles the verbal smack down between Ursula Owusu and John Jinapor in which he intimates that she has engaged in prostitution to fund the building of her house in response to her comment that some NDC politicians had been able to build homes within 6 months of coming into power.

Now, if this had been the response of some Average Joe, a caller into a radio station with a class four education for example, I could dismiss his comments as the ramblings of some uneducated and very bitter Ghanaian man. However, Mr. Jinapor is the spokesman for the Vice President of Ghana. To levy these sorts of claims speaks not only badly of Mr. Jinapor, but reflects badly on our country’s VP as well.

I dunno. Perhaps I’ve been away from home too long. Some might say that because I live a relatively snug existence in Atlanta, I have no right to comment on the political fray in Ghana. After all, I can’t vote in the country, so what does my opinion matter? As it turns out, it matters plenty…because I am part of a sisterhood who defends women against lascivious insults of tired old men who have no better come back to her assertions (backed by fact) than to call her a “whore”. It’s a small boy tactic that only has place on our country’s barren football fields, or at best, the lower rungs of society. Calling or insinuating that a woman is a prostitute or has engaged in prostitution because you, dear sir, have been shamed by your own exposition has no place in politics or “polite” society.

Sadly, this “she must be a ‘ho” attitude is pervasive in Ghanaian society. It would appear that the majority of our men (and even some women!) have an overwhelming need to paint all women with a broad brush, boxing us into rather unfortunate and undesirable stereotypes. When I transferred to Ghana International School to complete my O Levels, I was immediately reviled by all my JSS class mates.  They said:

“You know all girls who go to G.I.S. are ashawos? Yes! They all wear mini-skirts! You Abena, you’ll become an ashawo some.”

In other secondary schools like LaBosco, I’d heard that when a girl got a good grade in class, it was immediately assumed or alleged that she was sleeping/flirting with the teacher, and that’s how she got top marks. (Girls aren’t smarter than boys)

If a girl had big boobs, she was ‘easy’.

If a girl was half-caste, she was definitely going to sleep around.

If a girl was endowed with a big ass, the “small boys” who could not keep their hands to themselves would redirect their rage on the poor lass after she screamed for the last time “stop touching me! I don’t like that” by saying that she was ashawo and she knows she likes it.

And now? Now an intelligent, hard-working, industrious woman who has spent her career tirelessly championing the cause of the defenseless is being classified as a ‘prostitute’ who used profits from the trade to ‘put up a house’. Really? Is this how we’re going to move Ghana forward? By insulting our nation’s best and brightest women – whether they be gari sellers who have the gumption to ply that trade instead of sitting around waiting for NDC to save them, or be they Ivy League lawyers who stand before judges employing eloquent speech – calling them prostitutes who “sit on laps of big men and politicians to put up houses”? If Ghana were nearly as progressive a country as she thinks she is, this man would be fired or would resign post-haste to stem the inevitable backlash! But this is the sort of nonsense that is tolerated in the country. And why? Why must a woman be labeled as a promiscuous whore or a frigid bitch if she is true to herself and employs her God-given wit, talent and hard headedness to advance her lot in life? Are we all to be relegated to exist as servile halfwits who can’t get along without a man? Is this Jinapor’s opinion of all of us? Is this the opinion of his own mother?

The good thing about this blog is that we have two types of writers: Those who get to say what they want to say, and those that choose to say what have to say. I find myself in the former group; and so it it with unabashed conviction that I assert that from where I sit, John Jinapor is the one that looks like a bitch with a dick stuck in his mouth. Let him suck on that.

Now I’ll leave it to Nana to give a more diplomatic and thought out response to the issue. She’s far more cerebral than I’ll ever claim to be.

6 comments On Of Politicking and Prostitution

  • Oohhhhh. Lol. Abena, I’m hardly the cerebral one but I’ll try 🙂

  • You just proved me right. 😉

  • u have said it all abena. its about time women are given the due respect in our societies.

  • oooooo she said let him suck on that…you go girl!

    On a more serious note, in my experience (note that I do not generalise) men resort to name-calling like “small girl” “ashawo” “bad woman who needs a husband” etc when they feel intimidated or “bested by a woman.” Sigh. It reeks of insecurity and the guy never comes out looking good or as Abena said you come out looking like “a bitch with a dick stuck in your mouth!” And yet where have I encountered this the most? At church!! How can you not see that you just look like a cornered rat lashing out with it’s weak pitiful limbs when you resort to this kind of crap? Sigh.

  • Marcia – We must begin to DEMAND it. These coots are going to give us nothing, otherwise they would have done it by now. In fact, the more I talk/think about the topic, the more annoyed I get. Mtssseeeewww!!!

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