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Eseoghene Ohwojeheri: [rejoinder] Chimamanda, are our differences not enough already?



by Eseoghene Ohwojeheri

I read Chimamanda Adichie’s article, titled “Why Can’t He just be like Everyone Else?”, where in she made a case for homosexuality and condemned the law prohibiting it on the basis that we are different. I read the said article with that painful smile on my face. Painful because I realise how weak man is especially when the foundation of his ideologies are standing solely on his intellect rather than guidance. Smile because I marveled at the beauty of truth; truth is so beautiful falsehood cannot be truly beautiful no matter how beautifully presented

Let me begin by telling you how different I am; I prefer heat to cold, I find “how are you” disrespectful, I admire naive people, and I think News is overrated, yet I am normal and if you knew me you’ll agree. I also know a normal person who asked if he will be allowed to farm in heaven, and another normal person who is left handed when he writes and right handed when he eats and left handed again when he has to lift an object only to be right handed one more time when what he is lifting is money. Even in physical preference I know the mass of normal women who speak of 6 packs as what they wish for in their husbands and I also know one normal lady who says a man has to have pot belle to be appealing; no kidding! Indeed we are a people so different.

Now consider the case of Armin Meiwes. One day in 2001 he was so different he posted an advert online saying he was “looking for a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed”. And you will think the world will say who is this psycho but Bernd Jürgen, an Engineer from Berlin, was interested because he was “different”, he was so different he wanted to be eaten, to him that was the peak of sexual gratification. Now this kind of different is really really different and it opens our eyes to the fact that the “different” we accept should have limits. But let us conclude this oddly interesting story later.

Firstly, Adichie spoke of how it was unfair and unjust to outlaw homosexuality because it is not a crime. She hinged her submission that homosexuality is not a crime on her own premise that a crime must have victim or harm society and when two adults who so happen to be same sex choose to love each other there is no crime because there is no victim. We hope to respectfully ask our dear writer; by your ‘no victim no crime’ premise does it follow that if a man of 45 decides that he is in love with his daughter of 25 and she loves him too romantically then there is no crime in their having sex? If there is please who is the victim?

Furthermore we want to ask, again very respectfully, how about when a man drives a car heavily drunk but he drives it properly and there was no accident, no victim. No crime? How about a couple, and we have seen such, who say they are in an “open relationship” in other words the husband says ok my wife is allowed to have sex with whoever she likes and the wife says my husband is also free to have sex with whoever he likes; no victim; no crime? How about a superbly skilled fellow who does surgery without qualification but meanwhile all his patients are healthy and all operations he has carried out so far were successful; no victim, no crime?

What a world it would be. There is indeed need for us to broaden our horizon on what a crime is. Man commits crime against others, some other crime he commits against himself, and some other against God. Homosexuality is a crime against society because it threatens our existence and shuts the door in the face of the next generation, it is a crime against self because it harms the body from Human Papillomavirus (HPV) to Anal cancer among other diseases and you can see this people practically falling apart, and it is a crime against God because He has prohibited it in all of His scriptures

Secondly, in the article, we are told that Nigeria has “real problems” and homosexuality is not one of them. Things like electricity, illiterate graduate, healthcare and violence crimes were listed. You see, real problem is when you don’t know what real problem is;

It is because we have life that we need health care, enjoy electricity, and hope to be safe from harm. So how come that which threatens our existence is not a real problem? There is this error of assuming moral issues are non-issues whereas for every “real” issue you produce there is a moral issue fuelling it.

Those who stole your billions did not do so because they have paper fetish or the faces of Alvan Ikoko, Murtala Muhammad and the others on the naira notes were irresistibly handsome, they did so because of the same cravings we asked you not to create, not to fuel and not to defend but you called us “religious” like it was a bad thing and told us these were not the “real” issues. There is almost no single youth from among the crazed modernist we are raising who does not aspire to be rich, almost none will be satisfied with being able to provide food that will stretch the backs of his family, no, he is raised to always want more courtesy of songs and movies that promote this materialism but then it is not a “real problem” so if I say for example that laws should be made to stop people from glorifying wealth and promoting illicit sex via entertainment, I will be told these are not the “real problems” forgetting that the “real problems” would not be there if these matters were properly handled;

The politician who imports girls from all over the world with the money meant to build schools would have been satisfied with his wife if not for the promotion of pornography both raw and subtle, the contractor who inflates prices and abscond with contract money still would have been satisfied with the little he is making if not for our glorification of riches and the Minister lady will not drive a car worth 255 million if there were no cars produced for that amount of money. We must know the real issues; our sanity, honour, and morals are some of them and even an homosexual person agrees homosexuality is immoral only he attempts to relegate morality

Thirdly, the idea that a law against homosexuality will promote violence against homosexuals is a tiring cliché. In today’s world when people want to lobby for things they either threaten violence or use violence as an excuse. It seems to me that violence is used more as an excuse than it actually exists. For the fear of violence the American government will tap phones, read your mails, incarcerate innocent people, violate the constitution, video tape you and invade countries and the violence gets worse. For the fear of violence honest talk about my Islam and your Christianity is almost completely ‘haram’ed in the media and the result is that we do not understand ourselves which has led to more violence. Now for the fear of violence you ask us to permit that which threatens our very existence and we ask you; what then is the essence of this fear and what will we do next for it?

Will we also say all laws against stealing be removed because people kill thieves or suspected thieves in the market places? No, we deal with that issue separately. I was surprise that an article which said don’t blame homosexuals for the violent sexual crimes of homosexuals, including the rape of little boys, will turn around attempt to blame anti-homosexual laws for mob action against homosexual people. Perhaps you didn’t notice the double standard there our dear.

Fourthly, there was this talk about how people were created to have natural craving for people of the same sex and we say in reply that we were all created with different challenges as human beings. As a man I can say I am created to be attracted to almost every naked woman I see, does that justify my acting on such attraction and approaching another man’s wife or looking at her nakedness? Having the cravings is one thing, acting on it is another, telling people to “be themselves”, in a manner that means whatever you desire you do, is calling them animals. Unfortunately, confused modernists (not referring to the writer) have taken self-control to be hypocrisy whereas self-control is part of life. Some people have narrated how they felt like laughing in the wrong places sometimes where another person is being mourned and they had to hold back, why they felt like laughing they didn’t know but they knew man does not have to do what he feels like doing this is why we are not animals

Finally, we must know that there are acceptable differences, which are even too much among the people of today’s world, and we don’t need to accept whatever new differences perversions throw our way in the name of live and let’s live. If we do then we have to also accept Apotemnophilia which is sexual arousal caused by the idea of having one of your limbs cut off or being made to look like an amputee, we will also accept Ursusagalmatophilia so that it is normal for people to be sexually aroused by teddy bears, and we will also accept Dacryphilia as normal so that a person is only sexually aroused by seeing people cry which leads him to violent behaviour, and we will also consider pornography normal provided both the actors and the watcher are matured and “consenting adults”. After all these what will be left of us?

I’ll tell you what was left of Bernd Jürgen who responded to Armin Meiwes’ advert for “…a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed”. He got to meet Armins on 9 March 2001 and they both cut off his penis and ate it together after which he begged Armin to caught him up and eat him as he has always desired to be eaten. This was their idea of sexual enjoyment, plus there was no victim and it has a nice name: Necrophilia i.e sexual attraction to corpses

We say, consenting or not, this kind of “different” we will not accept, let a man and a woman get married and raise children honourably with love and respect. Perversions should not be given new names. It is really this simple.

– Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri is the Director, Moral Project. Follow this writer on Twitter: @faruqish

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  1. Ikenna Okorie

    2014/02/20 at 10:00 pm

    Well said Eseoghene. These days I see why the saying “the fear of God, is the beginning of wisdom” is actually a sound statement. Devoid of faith even the brightest people come to erroneous conclusions. Humanity exists today because being gay and lesbian wasnt accepted back in the day. Its painful how some people dont see how this and other forms of impulsive behavior is detrimental to continued human existence. And I wonder, does one have a right to change sexual orientation? As in Am gay today and straight tomorrow? Imagine what that would do to marriages? How many people will die before cures to new diseases that these behaviour would bring are found? And what of they have rights too? What is a bestial is “omnisexual” ? Its really sad for people to be simplistic about these things.

  2. TUOYO

    2014/02/21 at 9:53 am

    Well said. Am just scared that the position of “our” dear Ngozi on this matter may affect how some people would see her works and her opinion on issues.

  3. Steve Cheney

    2014/02/21 at 7:32 pm

    Very beautifully articulated, but utterly vicious and grotesque in its meaning. Resonant with reasonableness, you are the one who eggs on the mob from behind.

    • King

      2014/02/22 at 1:03 am

      Faggot! That is the problem with you faggots, you cannot tolerate opposing views. And there is no doubt that this writer is picking on a topic beyond her league. That is the problem when you are ambitious and really do not know limitations.

  4. amakatchi

    2014/02/21 at 11:35 pm

    I wish I could agree with this writer who writes so well but makes little sense. How do u begin to compare DUI and quack medical practice to homosexuality? These have obvious end results, and are clear crimes. This is clearly because a drunk driver who didn’t hit someone today would tomorrow or someday. A quack would kill someone someday too. I’m yet to see ur end results of homosexuality. If you want to claim that they end up with anal cancers and HPV infection, I’d also like to tell you that straight people end up with cervical cancers and HPV as well from having multiple partners. I’ve never heard of anyone crucified for having multiple partners. Your examples of incest and open marriage are actually the ones that make some sense but if I were to answer, they’re not crimes and there are no victims. Ur moralistic nature might not accept it but they’re acts engaged in by consenting adults, and until they complain to u that they are harmed, u can’t term them crimes.
    Let’s be realistic here. We all know good from bad. I’m not asking u to base ur judgement from the bible. Even atheists know good from bad, so if u have the urge to do smth bad and u hold urself back from doing it, that’s ur conscience. I don’t think anyone has the right to say homosexuality is bad if it does not affect u in any way. People keep talking about how gay life will end human existence because procreation would end. I think they leave out the fact that a majority of humans would never be gay to save their lives.
    I am totally indifferent to people’s way of life, gay or straight. I just don’t consider it a crime. And it’s not!

  5. El Clarividente

    2014/02/22 at 6:19 pm

    By reading Eseoghene’s article to the second point I see someone begging us to say some differences are beyond acceptance even though no harm us being forced on another. More amazing is his comparison if being homosexual to drunk driving since he got lucky and no one was hit. I guess shooting in the public is OK if no one gets hurt. I am tired of hearing arguments based on a framework that it doesn’t have to make sense. It’s disheartening.

    That article makes no sense. He’s talking about anti-gay law and he’s talking religion. It’s shameful how they don’t see the difference. If they say religion and politics are the same then pay attention to the article and while you are at it, please take “credit” for all the bad of politics

    Bigotry will do no good. We are in a age where more people think. Phase reply after thinking (to the article/epistle writer)

  6. lordrumens

    2014/02/24 at 8:56 am

    Re: Amakatchi – Your comments have exposed your inability to think further than you would admit. A drunk driver who didn’t hit someone today would hit tomorrow you said. That is exactly the point of the writer. If homosexually is glorified today, it may not be a problem today just like the driver under the influence today might not be a problem today. He may hit someone tomorrow while DUI and homosexuality will surely be a problem tomorrow as procreation would be a problem and the human race would subsequently be wiped out after sometime. Guess you didn’t see the writer’s analogies. Eseoghene did not glorify having several sexual partners in his article and even if he didn’t say so, it was obvious from his article he wouldn’t be in support of a man having several sexual partners on all grounds. That there are no victims does not mean that an act is not a crime. So if a man of 60 years old has a consensual sex with your daughter of 13 years, I bet you will not see it as a crime since it is consensual and no victim and your daughter has not complained? We all surely don’t know good from bad because if we all do, we will know that a square hole is meant for a square peg only. You said “I don’t think anyone has the right to say homosexuality is bad if it does not affect u in any way.” So if a gay man rapes a boy(rape is definitely non-consensual), it is right simply because the victim here is not my brother or son? Now let us remove the ‘victim’ end. If a 60 years old man sleeps with a consenting 13 years old boy, we are expected to give the man an award because the 13 year old who consented is not my brother or son?

  7. Sodipo

    2014/02/24 at 1:41 pm

    I nearly couldn’t finish reading this ridiculous essay. Your understanding of morality is severely lacking and grounded in religion, which prohibits you from educating yourself.
    I’ll try to address every point you’ve made in this pathetic excuse for a rejoinder.
    The taboo of incest is a societal thing and is purely so. Tell me please who is harmed there, the father of the daughter. I don’t think either is being harmed. The idea that incest is bad stems from the fact that it prohibition the growth of a population (for example a tribe of people) because it usually results in a child that has some form of deformity (which isn’t the wrath of God but simple genetics) and the incest taboo should be dealt with as such: a societal construct; as unreal. Is it any of your business what two consenting adults decide to do with their own life? I think not.
    The man driving under the influence is clearly committing a crime simply because of the possibly that there could be a victim. Law isn’t simply about punishing a criminal but reducing the number of victims as well, a deterrent. And once more, is it any of your business how a couple decide to define THEIR OWN relationship? What does it matter to you? Will it, without your knowledge, change your relationship with your husband or boyfriend? Or anyone else for that matter? The question asked about the surgeon is one of the best things in your reply, it was very hard for me to answer, but as my philosophy is ‘do what you wish as long as you harm no one’, then I would say that no this surgeon has committed no crime as long as he has made his patients aware of the fact he is not certified to carry out surgery. However, he is obviously qualified to perform surgery, seeing as all his operations have been successful.
    How does a man commit a crime against himself? You failed to explain this and so that statement, as far as I am concerned is invalid. Also not everyone believes in God; you cannot expect people to adopt your definitions of things when they are influenced by your religion which many, many people, myself included, do not follow. You also do not explain how homosexuality threatens your existence or the existence of the human race. Am I to assume then that the average homosexual is looking to eradicate his own species? Does he or she arm themselves with an AK47, steps out of their house and begins to kill their family, friends, and neighbours? Or do you mean that when one homosexual springs up he or she instantly turns any heterosexual persons within a certain radius into a homosexual and then they turn other heterosexual person into homosexual and it carries on till a point where no heterosexuals remain on the planet and (in your ignorant mind) sexual reproduction ceases and the human race slowly falls into extinction?
    Many homophobes have cited the extinction of the human race in their homophobic rhetoric and to them and to you I ask these questions:
    1. Are you so insecure in your own sexual orientation and in the knowledge of your friends’ and families’ sexual orientation that you fear you’ll turn homosexual upon contact with an actual homosexual?
    2. Have you never heard of IVF?
    3. Have you never heard of gay men sleeping with women and gay women sleeping with men and producing children?
    4. Have you actually stepped outside of your own house, removed yourself from underneath that proverbial rock that is ignorance? Have you?
    I was so glad when you mentioned HPV and not HIV for I am sick and tired of seeing HIV mentioned whenever speaking about homosexuality as though it is exclusive only to that population of people. But you fail to mention that HPV can be contracted by heterosexuals as well, not only through vaginal intercourse but through anal sex which (this might shock you to learn) heterosexual couples still practice. So really, anyone practising unprotected sex (and therefore at risk of contracting HPV and a whole gamut of STIs is committing ‘crime against self’ and that would include most married heterosexual couples. Should we therefore make it illegal for everyone to have unprotected sex? An absurd question, no?
    Those stealing your billions are committing a crime because they are harming other people, which is very clear. It is obviously not because they have a fetish for paper, after all they didn’t go round the banks of Nigeria taking physical money out of safes and the like; it is because money is power and they crave power. Surely you know this. If anything they are the ones you should be persecuting seeing as they inhibit us from dealing with real, physical (and not moral) problems like the ones listed by Adichie and that is why it is a real problem, it is not solely to do with morality. It has effects in the physical world and not the spiritual or mental world, where morals lie. Point to me a physical effect of homosexuality, with credible evidence please. This might be hard for you to find seeing as there aren’t any that haven’t already been disproved, and you don’t seem to have actually done any research of your own, you, and almost every other homophobe, are just parroting rhetoric.
    The youth of the world are being raised to want more money, yes, and that is a problem. Instead they should be taught to be comfortable with being comfortable. The want to be better and more powerful than our fellow Nigerians and humans is rooted in Nigerian culture and, dare I say, African culture. This has nothing to do with morals but simply society and culture itself. Also simply because Adichie did not mention the corrupt nature of Nigerian and African politics does not mean it isn’t a ‘real problem’.
    Your ignorance makes it so hard to finish this… can I even call it an article? The politician who imports girls from all over the world does so because of his belief in his power as a man and the inferiority of the woman, his belief that the woman can be reduced into a sexual object that exists to fulfil his sexual desires; he will never be satisfied with his wife. This is due in part to pornography but largely due (pornography is influenced by these as well) to erroneous ideas about gender, sexism, misogyny and ignorance perpetuated by people not unlike yourself. Nigerian culture is a melting pot of these things.
    The contractor would not have absconded with all that money if it were not for the worth we tie to money (which is inescapable); if it were not for the power that comes with wealth (which is so clearly seen in Nigeria and the West). No car production costs 255 million Naira; it is only the worth of the brand (which is a construct) that makes it so expensive.
    Our sanity is a real issue because it concerns our survival. Our morals can be considered a real issue sometimes because it concerns our survival within a community. Our honour cannot be considered a real issue because it does not concern our survival. Real issues are things that concern our survival and only those.
    I implore you to look at the situation in Russia and the increasing violence against LGBT people. I want you to look at the increase in that violence since the law banning gay ‘propaganda’ was passed. While I doubt you disagree with the law, even you cannot deny that there has been an increase. Once again you lack of knowledge make this ‘article’ very hard to read. Do you deny that there is violence against homosexuals in Nigeria? If you do then you are far blinder that I thought.
    Citing a serious flaw on the part of the American government does change the fact that by criminalising a minority you are reducing their standing in society. The Nigerian government is putting them on par with murderers and rapists; you are putting them on par with murderers and rapists. While I do not condone violence it’s isn’t very hard to imagine why someone would want to be violent towards a murderer or a rapist. The media isn’t the one causing violence between Muslims and Christians they do that themselves by virtue of practising that religion. Media simply perpetuates this violence, just as you are perpetuating (though seemingly unwittingly) violence against difference.
    Again, how is our existence being threatened by a small population of people that have always existed since the dawn of man?
    How is stealing anything like homosexuality? One is a crime that harms someone in the physical and sometimes mental realm and the other is a thing that has been wrongly made into a crime and harms no one.
    The idea that homosexuals are intrinsically paedophiles is a tiring cliché. You evidently know nothing of what a homosexual is and what a paedophile is. You also do not know – because you’ve chosen to remain in that stagnant pool of ignorance you live in – that most paedophiles are actually heterosexual, simple research will tell you that, literally Google it. Also Adichie rejects the idea that homosexuals rapes little boys, were you not reading? Or did your ignorance and arrogance blind you again?
    Once more I come back to my personal philosophy, ‘do what you wish as long as you harm no one’. You can have sex with whomever you want, whenever you want as long as you have consent from the party(-ies) involved ensuring that no one is knowingly causing harm. If you do not want to do that, then that is your prerogative, after all you are harming no one in making that decision.
    When you say ‘this is why we are not animals,’ I’m assuming you know we are in fact animals and every function of our body and mind is a result of us being animals and not plants or bacteria, and that you in fact mean ‘this is what separates us from all other animals’. In truth what separates us from other animals is our level of conscious and that’s it. You are right in saying man does not need to do what he feels like, what he shouldn’t do, else my voice would be hoarse from screaming at people like you. But man also gets to question why he shouldn’t do that thing and if the answer does not satisfy him then he is free to do that which he ‘shouldn’t’ do. Homosexuality is one of those things. If you free yourself from erroneous ideas of sexuality, sexual orientation and gender; the illogical constraints of society, religion and culture you find yourself being happier. Why must a homosexual man make you happy instead of making himself happy? Why must he subscribe to your way of seeing and your way of life and not any other that he accepts as his own?
    In what way does someone else’s sexuality concern you? Are they trying to convert you? I think not. Are they trying to have sex or establish a romantic relationship with you? I think and hope not. It does not affect you, it only affect the parties involved. If someone gets aroused by a teddy bear, is that my problem? No. Is it anyone’s business but theirs? No. You ask what will be left of us if people being to have desires such as these and I say to you we will be the same as before: the human race. We have always undergone massive cultural shifts and we are still here. Cultural change is inevitable.
    In regards to Brend Jurgen and Armin Meiwes, how does their eating of Jurgen’s body concern you. It might offend you but is that any reason to refuse to accept it, especially when it was consensual? It exists anyways and does not need your acceptance.
    In everything you’ve said you’ve failed to produce even a modicum of facts and only argued based on opinions which are rooted in lies and fabrication and ignorance. I ask you, sir, to simply educate yourself concerning the matters you’ve spoken of. It’s really simple but that is all that is needed to make the world a better place.

  8. amakatchi

    2014/02/26 at 4:16 am

    Re: Lordrumens – I was going to write u some other detailed explanation of my little point u conveniently refused to understand, but after reading Sodipo’s marvelous piece, I decided to direct you there for answers. I couldn’t have written it better. Well said, Sodipo. I’m yet to get a reasonably objective reason from anybody why homosexuality should be criminalised. Nobody has hit it so far, and that’s because there’s none whatsoever.

  9. Rime

    2014/04/29 at 3:19 pm

    Sodipo, I couldn’t av said it better myself. I couldn’t even finish reading the article especially having read Chimamanda’s piece. I found it patronising, uninformative, ignorant, ridiculous, annoying and over righteous. Besides Nigeria is a Country of diverse people, culture, and religion not a Church. Our laws should not be based on the Bible

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