In Nigeria, it’s almost impossible for a woman to walk past a group of men, without one or more screaming something like ‘eys fine girl’ at you. If you are lucky that’s where it ends, if you are not, one of the men will proceed to try and ‘toast’ you.
The toasting usually involves stalking you and being called ugly after declining to give out your number for the upteenth time.
The biggest problem with catcalling and this form of toasting is that the men who engage in it don’t seem to see the problem with it. It’s no big deal, they are only complimenting you and you should feel flattered, na you get wahala.
So this week we explain catcalling and toasting in ways men might find more relatable.
Once you enter Yaba market, before you blink ten traders are in your face asking ‘fine boy you wan by chinos’. You might not have even entered the market to buy anything, you are probably late for work hurrying to your next bus stop but the traders won’t let you see road. There’s no point telling them to leave you alone because they no dey hear word. And if you lash out that’s when they’ll balance on your head.
That’s how it feels when you and like five of your friends approach a girl who’s just walking on her own. And instead of leaving her alone when she says, you decide to start following her.
You know how Nigerian police stops you to ask for something for the boys if you have a nice car or if you even just wore fine shirt that day? The entitlement they even use to ask for the money, as if you were owing them money before. You are doing the exact same thing when you expect a woman to give you any attention or her number just because you told her ‘is she an angel because she looks like she dropped from heaven’.
Has your car ever broken down on a lonely road at midnight before? And before you knew it, a man or some men appeared out of nowhere to come and ‘help’ you. In that moment you don’t know if they really want to help, or if they are ritualist going about Nigeria collecting peoples’ penises.
You just hope your mother’s prayers are actually working. In that situation no matter how many times they tell you ‘baba calm down’ you don’t let your guard down until you are in the safety of your car and on your way.
Now imagine how a girl feels when you approach her alone late at night. Persistently asking her for her number and trailing her down a lonely road.
I guess what we are really trying to say is that the next time you stop a girl to tell her that her bum bum is big. Or you tail a girl from Ikoyi to V.I just because you want to collect her number, stop, think and put yourself in her shoes.