8 April 2010

Liberia: Rising Sex Scandals

Those who blame pervasive moral decadence in Liberia on “modernization” or “new order of things” must be rudely awakened by recent serial reports of pornographic cases in the country. In the last three years alone, incidents of sexual scandals have awed the Liberian populace leaving the question of the status of morality in the society. And the sex addicts are a mixture of ages; they are not only teenagers, but also including high profile officials of government, instructors and school administrators, students, amongst others. As the nation grapples with another stunning sexual scam this week, The Analyst takes a look at what appears to be the sex epidemic (sexual immorality) sweeping across the nation.

24-year old Peterlyne Tarley is still certainly far from normality as her porn video clip spreads like desert wildfire in the streets and communities of Monrovia.

In what is purported to be a confession by the girl and which is released to the press, Miss Tarley admitted to the pornographic act and is expressing remorse. But whether or not the story she’s telling, or being told on her behalf is true, the emotional anguish and social stigma he’s carrying are indisputably extremely bitter and would remain indelible.

But if anyone thinks Peterlyne’s sex scandal as well as the emotional pains she’s enduring is unprecedented in Liberia, that person must be kidding. The epidemic had long begun and many persons, young and old, are victims and/or culprits. And the situation is worsening by the day despite the fact that the emergent information technology is concurrently exposing the scams.

A year or two ago, dozens of stylish nude photos of another Liberian girl (name withheld) flooded internet cafes, inboxes and digital cell phones. It was said then that the girl’s boyfriend lured her into the porn photography on the beach of Monrovia and many in the public domain appeared to be sympathetic to her while they condemned the evil lover/photographer.

At about the same time, nearly twenty photos of girls who some believed to be Liberians, were syndicated via the internet. The photos of the girls depicted sexually gruesome postures and many who saw them quickly turned the heads away. Some doubted the Liberian girls would go all out to get make themselves so terribly sexually abused.

In 2004, it was widely reported national and internationally that Liberian girls were seen on television in sexual orgy with dogs.

Former House Speaker George Dweh told a local newspaper at the time that on his official visit to Europe, he was privy to a video in which Liberians girls made love with dogs.

The report angered Liberian women who vehemently detested the report and unleashed sentimental blows on both Dweh and the newspaper.

Some of the women who badmouthed George Dweh and the local newspaper currently are top government officials in the feminist-oriented regime of President; they are yet to speak on worsening state of apparently consensual porn scams in which Liberian ladies brandished their nudity.

A few years back, a similar report caused Liberian journalists to swarm the rubber-forested base of Firestone when rumormongers alarmed that a girl believed to be a Liberian was made to have a sexual affair, resulting into strange sexual complications, with a dog at the staff quarter at the plantation.

Though the journalists gathered no evidence to prove the story true, some media institutions and locals speculated that the matter could be true because acts of pornography were repeatedly reported in that rubber-forested region.

The growing pornographic obsession amongst Liberians at one point transcended the domain of ordinary citizens and raised its ugly in the corridors of government, when a photo of an important cabinet minister was published in the local dailies depicting him being in sex with two ladies.

Official reactions did not condemn the Minister’s illicit sexual act, except for saying that while sex of the style found on the photo was wrong, it was not illegal. The Minister resigned.

During the days of Charles Taylor, it was also widely reported or rumored that an international mineral corporation near the St. Paul Bride in the Twe Farm area was heavily involved in pornographic business and troops of young Liberian ladies were regularly preyed upon.

While most of the obsessive sexual acts in the country are found to be pure pornography, some are said to be mere exploitation and abuse by individuals exerting undue influence and unequal power dynamics due to impoverished conditions of Liberian girls.

During the days of the civil conflict, both militia and international peacekeeping officers were found exploiting and abusing Liberian women in exchange for protection, food, cash and things of value.

In its 2006 report, Save the Children uncovered and reported myriad cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of girls. Young girls in Liberia, the report said, were being sexually exploited by aid workers and peacekeepers despite pledges to stamp out such an abuse.

According to the group, girls as young as eight were being forced to have sex in exchange for food by workers of local and international agencies.

Consistently, the UN in Liberia has often said it would investigate allegation of sexual abuse and exploitation and promised to implement its zero tolerance policy on SEA.

One woman, the group said, reported that she was forced to have sex with a worker for the World Food Programme (WFP), others have been forced to have sex with teachers for lieu of school fees.

The end of the war situation, including displacement and acute lack of food and other essentials of life, did not end of specter of prostitution, pornographic attitudes, or the exploitation and abuse that caused them.

Rumors and reports of pornographic cases fill the air and the trend of events show that the thirst for sex by all ages and careers is not plummeting or easing.

As the information age advances by the day and scores of Liberians who resided in other parts of the world are returning to the country, Liberian men and women are getting sexually sophisticated. Sexual orientations such as heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, zoophiles, pedophiles or polygamists are on an ever-expanding continuum and are commonplace in the country.

Though girls or women are the most affected, as they fall to various forms of sexual abuse and exploitation, it is also an open secret that most of them take themselves to the gallows to be sexually slaughtered.

A group of journalists discussing the Peterlyne sex scandal said there is scoop under investigation pointing to the prevalence of drug, particularly cocaine trade, in which young Liberian ladies are key suspects.

“Narcotic drugs and illicit set are like fish and water--inseparable,” said one journalist whose name is withheld because did not make the remarks knowing it was meant for print.

“Too many Liberian girls have gone exceedingly gluttonous for drug, sex and money, and the Peterlyne case is just a tip of the iceberg. Watch the streets of Monrovia keenly and you will wonder how some little girls around here, who have no known biological relationship with the well-to-do people of society, own and ride the latest flashy vans. The only thing these girls have to exchange is what we are seeing in the Peterlyne porn video clip--nothing else.”

In the name of modernity and “exposure to civilization”, Liberian ladies have imbibed various sexual orientations and take pleasure as a chief way of life.

Nowadays, women walk the streets barely naked. Breasts, upper thighs, and females’ under-wears which were regarded in times past as unspoken taboos, are deliberately brandished in the full flare of the public eye.

In a sense, as some observers say, pornography is in the streets as long as women cast their naked breasts and buttocks to men; and as long as both men and women kiss in public places as a form of greeting.

Speaking of rising ride of sexual immorality in Liberia, a religious man said on a public transport bus that “God will have to apologize to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah if he does not punish Liberian pedophiles and porn stars whose number is swelling by the day”.

Terrible, big things are happening is this town, he said. And except God helps us, and very soon, sexuality immorality will become a normal life activity.

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