Dont be sorry for us, be sorry for yourself

Olutosin
Posted October 1, 2015 from Nigeria

Yesterday, was invited to speak at a Christian gathering, all registered participants were church workers and they were leadersfrom various churches, about 14 churches. The speaker before me, is a Pastor that oversees a larger district. In his speech, he spoke about the attitude of a church leader and he encouraged them to be a man of one woman.

He digressed to the issue of violence agains women, and as began his statement, he said he felt sorry for Afican women because marriage is of a great disadvantage for women, he went further to say that he was sorry for girls and he knew that the situation will continue in Africa because no man would love to leave such a privileged position.

The audience began to feel sorry for women and they shook their heads for the plight of women. I am convinced that the Pastor is a wife batterer.

When it was my tirn to talk, I sought the audience's indulgence to digress, I asked if the women were sorry for being women, they all said no, I turned to the men in the audience, they were about thirty in number and I asked if they were sorry to have daughters, as children, they said no, and i asked why they all shook heads when the first speaker said he felt sorry for women in Africa? They kept silence, and I went further to ask if anyone ever regretted giving birth to daughters, they all shouted, No, we love our daughters.

The Pastor's speech gave me the opportunity to begin my session on gender based violence instead of the Life skills topic that I was given and it became and enriching moment that made other church leaders in the audience to want to replicate the programme in their own churches.

Violence against women on the pulpit must be addressed in Arica if we are to move forward, wife batterers should feel sorry for themselves not for the women. It is a shame for a Pasor to come up to say that Africa women will cntinue to suffer because of our culture instead of looking for an end to women's plight as regards violence against women.

Comments 11

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Sarah Murali
Oct 05, 2015
Oct 05, 2015

Wow, Olutosin, your story is such an inspiration! I'm so grateful you were there to speak out and raise the awareness of that community and this one! Your words turned a source of pity to one of pride. We should all try to remember your story and be prepared to speak the truth when such opportunities present themselves.

All the best,

Sarah

Olutosin
Oct 05, 2015
Oct 05, 2015

My sister, thanks for our voice here, keeping quiet will mean that I am on the side of the oppressor. Id rather talk than go home to regret my silence. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement.

Lots of love

Lisa Anderson
Oct 05, 2015
Oct 05, 2015

Dear Olutosin,

This was such a refreshing post! I have such a strong image of you speaking to the community and wish I could have witnessed this in-person. So grateful for the voice and wisdom you share both on World Pulse and in your community.

Warm regards,

Lisa

Olutosin
Oct 05, 2015
Oct 05, 2015

Oh yes, I am very sure that you would have stood us to speak if you were here, enough of their oppression. We will continue to speak as the occoassion demands whereever we find ourselves. Yes, we are the voices of our future and the future is now.

I have been invited in the same community to train 50 women and its a 3 months training, I am so glad that I spoke on OCtober 1, many of the women still discussed the topic today when we began the classes.

I am really looking forwad to have a fabulous time with the women, 5 of them are graduates and I will encourage them to join World Pulse. The woman die in us, whenever we refuse to stand and speak  for women's rights :)

Thanks Lisa

Lots of love

Liz Poulsen
Oct 08, 2015
Oct 08, 2015

Hello Olutosin - 

It is so inspiring to read about your bravery! I admire you for standing up in front of that group and contradicting what the pastor said. I agree that we shouldn't encourage people to feel sorry for women or girls, but rather should build the pride of women and girls around the world to prove to everyone how valuable women are. I'm sorry to hear about this pastor's wife--of course, please remember that anyone with an internet access can read your post, so do be sure to protect her identity (people may be able to figure out who she is if they live in your region of Nigeria). 

I look forward to hearing more from you!

In solidarity,

Liz

Olutosin
Oct 08, 2015
Oct 08, 2015

Thanks for reading and your encouraging comment. I have not written anything bad about her and I will love people to read it too. No matter how I try to hide these things, they are too glaring. I truly wish that people from my region will read this, if I write the story of abuse the wife is going through, you, my sister Liz will be very angry with me for keeping these secrets and not allowing this woman to run away. After my speech that Sunday, MY pastor invited me for an advise, but if we continue to keep these secrets, many women will continue to die in their sleep. Yes in their sleep. Pastors can stop beating their wives, they can and they will when we stop covering their secrets. Thanks a lot.

Elvire
Oct 15, 2015
Oct 15, 2015

Thanks Olutosin, for sharing.

I am encouraged and glad the audience heard another story, one of joy and hope and pride for having women around.

We should really not regret being women.Tenderness is not weakness, respect is not stupidity; we were wonderfully and fearfully made and should help those who mistake it for something else to join in building a blessed place for all.

Please keep us informed, I am looking forward to some of the pearls of your ongoing training.

Olutosin
Oct 15, 2015
Oct 15, 2015

Thanks a lot dear sister :)

Jet1988
Oct 15, 2015
Oct 15, 2015

Thank you Olutosin for your inspiring story!

Impressive for your strength to stand-up in front of the Pastor! 

Olutosin
Oct 15, 2015
Oct 15, 2015

Thanks a lot dear sister :)

libudsuroy
Oct 28, 2015
Oct 28, 2015

Dear Olutosin,

This is a remarkable act of courage. A dissenter's voice surely rocked the boat, and I hope some positive change has occurred since then.