The Observer (Kampala)

15 November 2012

Uganda: Just Writing - Why Aren't We Better People?

In 2010 or thereabout, a friend told me about a friend who, in order to get a job, was asked to perform a sexual favour for her boss-to-be. "Kyokka the ki-man is old," said my friend, who added, "She asked someone whether she should do it or not."

I didn't find out whether her friend ever complied with her boss-to-be's demands. But recently, a friend told me about a man who on hooking her up with a job asked that she sleeps with him.

"He asked that we meet and suspecting his ulterior motives, I went with my boyfriend," said my friend, who I shall call Tory. "When we met, he asked that I give him 'some'. He was that bold," told an unhappy Tory.

She says she asked why she should and he explained that it was because he had connected her to a job. She told him she was averse to the idea. He said it wouldn't matter much. It would be done only once and would take a short time. "Only ten minutes," he said.

When Tory refused him, he threatened her, telling her she would "see". "Sincerely why are men like that?" a nearly tearful Tory asked and then explained: "He just wants to make women feel dirty. He wants them to live with the knowledge that they did something despicable and that he has power over them."

All said and done, none of us could understand sexual harassment. Why do men (and women) of repute do it? Why do they want to make other human beings feel dirty and less worthy?

Are other animals like this; asking for sexual favours in exchange for pasture? Why are human beings worse than animals sometimes? Can't we just be good (where even if we don't give, we don't take from others)? I wish we could.

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