When as a child you try to raise your voice about an an important issue. You are branded big headed. “Shut up, children should not speak when old people are discussing serious issues. What do you know? ” You shut up!
When you are a girl and you say there is this man suggesting “bad things” to you. You are blamed for throwing yourself on him. Why do you blush around him? Why do you dress as such near him. You shut up!!
When married and your partner is abusive and you try to speak about it. If you are a man, you are branded “weak” How can a woman do that to you? If you are a woman, you are told how marriage is like that. How all men are the same. How the generation of your mother endured worse things. How you should not embarrass the family. “Marriage is not easy.” You shut up!!
When you are on the ruling side and you know things are not going on well. You raise your voice against say amendment of the constitution with abandon. You are a rebel. You are subversive. You are counter revolutionary. You shut up!!
When you are in opposition and you speak up against any negative developments like candidates going against their words of “I will not run again” “You have been bribed, you are a hypocrite.” You shut up!!
Sex itself is a no go zone. I’m now 26, almost everything I know about sex is personal initiative, no “elder” has ever had a candid conversation with me on the same. Just glossing and treating it like some distant no go area that never happens when it is happening everywhere, everytime, and the memories I have of terminologies used when I was young are, “Bad manners.” “Private things.” We shut up!!
When you ask questions about the belief systems like religion. Its blasphemy. Its an abomination. Just believe. Don’t question. God does not “tolerate” that. You shut up!!
We are a society that victimises victims, encourages not saying no to elders and the powerful, one that uses whatever weapon we have; money, power, beauty to take advantage of others and this has not just started. Men in this part of the world have always dominated women and youth using wealth and tools of mutedness to silence them. Beautiful and “endowed” women have exploited men and accumulated ‘not worked for’ riches. This is who we are! This is the evil of silence, this is why rape victims keep quiet and suffer in silence, this is why it’s dangerous for it to be known you are HIV positive, this is why we condone all sorts of vices.
Now we ask, why was everyone quiet?
Shame. Shame. Shame on us.