Our take on Lydia Forson’s text on Kennedy-Agyapong controversy - Part 2

Lydia Forson Fashion Ghanaian actress Lydia Forson

Wed, 6 Jul 2016 Source: Francis Kwarteng

Granted, Madam Forson’s article loudly discounted these underlying fabrics of our patriarchal phallocentrism and misogynistic national mindset, instead arguing against the recurring invocation of this peculiar rhythm of subterranean covariates as alibis to explain away out hypocritical proclivities.

She is partly right on this score, however, which is that we have no serious qualms about or objections to that line of creative, analytic line of thinking. She was certainly averse to the selective hypocrisy of the Ghanaian public in dishing out its righteous indignation to Kennedy Agyapong!

Yet any solution that also comes up short on looking holistically at this national problem, will merely further lead to a palliative medicalization of this chronic malady.

We need to look at the role the entertainment industry…movie and music…of which Madam Forson’s glamorous face, dramaturgic finesse, and exquisite accent enjoy some covetous prominence, overall, play in the sexual objectification and dehumanization of womanhood…

Here we can do well to recall the assertive vehemence with which Shatta Wale’s wife, Shatta Michy, defended her husband’s “Womammi Twe.”

We also see why it is morally nauseous for our female musicians to make songs highly disrespectful of African womanhood. We copy blindly without thinking about their impact on society…such as our hip-life music videos which endorse the aesthetic commodification of the bodies of women and girls in nude and semi-nude appearances while their male counterparts remain fully clothed…The fact that capitalism and economics are the driving factors behind these aesthetic acts should not in any way arrest our sense of cultural respect for the female sex!

For instance, many American girls and women primarily from the Latino and African communities happily refer to each other as “bitch”…a female dog…as a term or address of endearment, but sometimes if not oftentimes take umbrage at the opposite sex when they are referred to as such.

In one notable instance Civil Rights’ activist Cynthia Delores Tucker took on the American rap and hip-hop world by storm as she “fought” individual rappers, music executives and record labels for allowing their artistes to include misogynistic content in their songs. In fact she onetime sued the estate of Tupac when the latter referred to her in his song, “How Do You Want It”:

“Delores Tucker, youse a motherfucker…

“Instead of tryin’ to help a nigga you destroy a brother…

“Worse than the others, Bill Clinton, Mr. Bole Dole…

“You’re too old to understand the way the game is told…

“You’re lame so I gotta hit you with the hot facts…Want dome on lease?...

“They want to censor me; they’d rather see me in a cell…

“Livin’ in hell, only a few of us’ll live to tell…

“Now everybody talkin’ bout us I could give a fuck I’d be the first one to bomb and cuss…

“Nigga tell me how you want it…

Likewise, we have the troubling example of African-American rappers also using the derogatory word “nigga” as a term of endearment amongst themselves but take umbrage at White-Americans who dare use the same term for them. We see these hypocritical examples creeping into our popular culture as well.

Our male musicians are equally guilty of this new music genre that is gaining a foothold in the national consciousness. Our communications leaders and cultural gatekeepers rail against Shatta Wale’s “Womammi Twe,” A.B. Crentsil’s “Moses,” and Rex Omar’s “Abiba,” to name but three, yet these same critics would hypocritically allow worse foreign tracks on our airwaves as well as privately, even sometimes publicly, unabashedly endorse and patronize these so-called “vulgar” songs as they dance happily to them and as they enjoy them in the comfort of their homes.

The scenario is somewhat similar to late rapper Tupac’s “Dear Mama,” a Grammy nominated track that touts his appreciation of the virtues of womanhood, while in the next breath his gangster musicality promoted the glorification of sexual objectification of women, rape, dehumanization of femininity, and so on. Tupac and several other rappers have no qualms using the objectionable word “nigga” except, perhaps, when a white person uses it in reference to a black person.

But all these are not to say sexual objectification of women is necessarily bad or morally objectionable or repugnant, say, for the concept itself no doubt underlines the biology or physiology of romance and also underwrites the genetic perpetuation of humanity. Man’s sexual urge is coded into his genes. And romance is a mere physical manifestation of these genetic underpinnings of or proclivities in our complex makeup.

However, it is when it assumes a perception that essentially makes the female a domesticated object whose only presumed natural province is childbearing and no less satisfying the male’s testosterone-driven sexual urges, that it becomes problematic, objectionable and repugnant. A woman should be more than simply that perception of her as a natural design only good for man’s dildo, a domesticated sex object!

We need to encourage African-centered womanism and feminism to counter these negative perceptions about African womanhood and to promote awareness about the many contributions our women are making to our civilizations, for man’s civilization has no bright future without the creativity and contributions of our hardworking women to every facet of our spiritual and material existence.

Women are really tough as in the emotional, physical, and physiological pain associated with childbirth, for instance. We doubt how many men can tolerate this from one childbirth to another!

Even more pertinent are our women coming together as a progressive bloc to resist our culture of phallocentric- and patriarchal-driven misogyny. Madam Forson’s articles “Manasseh Azure Misogynistic” and “Women Against Women; When Your Ally Becomes Your Greatest Foe” exemplify this line of thinking! We shall not waste time and space on this aspect of our thesis!

It seems we have no idea how much gender inequality is costing our civilization and development. This is why men like Kennedy Agyapong should not be allowed to derail the little progress that has and still being in gender relations, with their careless, uneducated rhetoric.

Kennedy Agyapong’s volatile allegation, if he truly made those allegations in the first place, sensationalizes womanhood in a way that undermines progressive politics and development economics.

Particularly, the allegation sensationalizes Madam Charlotte Osei while being uncomfortably silent on her male counterparts in the alleged sex-for-role exchange, much like Acheampong’s infamous “Fa Wutu Be Gye Golf,” literally meaning “Bring Your Derriere in Exchange For Golf,” controversy.

In other words, manhood appears to be totally absent in Kennedy Agyapong’s sensational allegation though it is implied in the standing conscience of our cultural parlance, unless, of course, Madam Osei’s anonymous sexual partners in the sex-for-role exchange were and are females.

On the basis of our cultural parlance alone, we must also know that he, Ken, was clearly making some reference to her male counterparts involved in the sex-for-role exchange.

But who are these influential political men?

This is why Kweku Baako, Jr.’s unfortunate comment that Madam Osei should not seek redress in the courts is neither here nor there.

Madam Osei can, in fact, still go ahead and conduct the general elections while her attorneys seek legal redress in the courts.

From our standpoint, we will like to posit that it is far from clear if Kweku Baako, Jr. really grasps or understands the real national security implications of Ken’s powerful allegations.

It may have been lost on the former that whether Ghana remains as one geopolitical entity or otherwise, will largely depend on how the opposition NPP in particular interprets the election results in the general context of Ken’s allegations, particularly if the election does not go its way.

We shall return with Part 3…

Columnist: Francis Kwarteng