Every once in a while, celebrities lend their voice to champion causes they believe in, from cancer to education to women’s rights. Pretty Mike has decided to lend his voice (action) to women advocacy, but in a weird way. Pictures of two girls on a dog leash held by Pretty Mike surfaced online and opinions…
Every once in a while, celebrities lend their voice to champion causes they believe in, from cancer to education to women’s rights. Pretty Mike has decided to lend his voice (action) to women advocacy, but in a weird way. Pictures of two girls on a dog leash held by Pretty Mike surfaced online and opinions flew around. To put someone on a dog leash sort of paints the picture of control, of dominance. It is not a picture that is uncommon in our society – the picture of men’s dominance over women. This didn’t go unnoticed on social media. He was called out, criticized, and subsequently arrested by the police.
Many people have commended Governor Ambode and the Police for taking actions to protect women’s rights. In our very patriarchal society, where FGM and other atrocities are committed against women, it is praise-worthy to find out that the governor would not condone such a degrading treatment to women. In contrast, Kemi Olunloyo is disappointed in the governor. She claims Pretty Mike was engaging in a foreign practice used on catwalks and that putting girls on a leash is a form of freedom of expression. So Pretty Mike wanted to express himself by putting girls on a leash? I am confused as to what he could have been trying to say.
Some people think the fault lies with the girls for agreeing to do such a thing, but in a country like ours, people will agree to do anything for money. Freedom of expression is certainly allowed in the constitution but should it go to the extent of dehumanizing another human being or causing harm?
Pretty Mike, after being released, put up a statement saying he was advocating for women. By putting them on a leash? In what way does putting those girls on a leash advocate for women? I am confused as to what Pretty Mike’s definition of advocacy for women is.
Some people are of the opinion that the girls consented and so that makes it okay. It actually doesn’t. I asked a lawyer, and he had this to say.
“It doesn’t matter if they consented. Dehumanizing acts are against the law. Consent cannot make them legal.”
It’s almost akin to your friend asking you to kill him or her. Murder is still illegal, regardless of whether your friend wanted to be killed or not.
But what does feminism have to say about this? Isn’t the idea of feminism to create a space and place where women are allowed to choose what they want for themselves? If a woman chooses to be a man’s bitch, so be it, right? If a woman wants or chooses to stay in an abusive relationship, so be it, right? If you want to be killed, that makes it okay? I think not. If we think and act along this line, then we would allow a lot of detrimental ideas and practices slide.
Over to you. Where do we draw the line between dehumanizing or degrading acts and consent? Who determines what counts as dehumanizing? If someone is in a dire financial situation, can they ever truly give consent? Let me know what do you think about these questions and this whole Pretty Mike issue.
Photo Credit : PULSENG