Morality And Morality In Nigeria

907 Words4 Pages
In this essay I will discuss how the use of religion and law over moral degeneracy and dress have been linked in Nigeria as a of control women’s’ sexuality. I will explain how the religion serves to discriminate against other faiths and cultures and I will also discuss how debates over morality and dress are a way for men to reinforce patriarchy. Western influence is always referred to when indecent dressing and moral degeneracy is debated over in Nigeria, even though historically and now partial nudity (exposure of the body, torso) and minimal clothing is part of the Nigerian society mainly in rural areas. Therefore this means that debates over dress based constructed on a conservative African culture are highly fictionalised. The debates seem to be linking nudity in women’s bodies with sexuality in order to control it. This not only causes communities of Nigerians who previously viewed the nude body as normal and non-sexual, to readjust their perception to one that sexualises and burdens the women’s body with the shame of being a site of sin, sexual anxiety and corruption. As Bakare-Yusuf (2011) states, a general overseer of the largest Pentecostal church addressed the issue of morality and social corruption among his congregation and condemned women’s clothing for it (Bakare-Yusuf, 2011). Moreover the sexuality of women is seen as an essential part of their body, and the debates are centred on women dressing to please and attract men, ‘this ignores the fact that sexuality is not an essential feature of bodily display and dress, but an effect of the reaction of others’ (Bakare-Yusuf, 2011:123). It also ignores the fact that women might be dressing to please and express themselves or that their sexuality is not heterosexual... ... middle of paper ... ...’s dress. In addition what this says about the men in our society is that they impose conditions that control women because of the insecurities they have. Would it be right to compare male desire to that of primitive beings because they seem unable to control themselves; are men insecure about their sexuality and manhood and that they are victims of their own desires thus place the blame on women? In general it is interesting to see that women are only given three role choices (mother, virgin or whore) in the context of the debates, it’s also interesting to see how women are embodied as the site of moral degeneracy in the heterosexist masculine context of Nigeria. Overall it is interesting that the debate was fostered by a woman, ‘power in society operates through the silent internalisation of its strictures by the victims themselves’ (Bakare-Yusuf, 2011:127).
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