Beware of ‘Uncles’

beware of uncles african behind the schmile men are trash

Today’s post is a rant for readers my age, a word of advice to readers slightly younger and hopefully a word of enlightenment to readers much older.

The subject: uncles

It’s an unfortunate reality many young girls face- not one that I believe requires any form of legal action in most cases, but one that is too greatly overlooked and is currently causing me much distress.

Some Background…

As I started writing this, my mind was cast back to a post I read many months ago, I urge you to read it in order to fully understand the type of uncle I mean: read here. Grace Ajilore, a vlogger, also posted a video discussing this same topic: watch here.

In summary, these uncles I will be speaking on today are simply older men, both relatives and non-relatives that are awarded the title as a sign on respect, most commonly in African culture.

So hopefully now you get the gist.

Before I begin my rant, let it be made clear that I am not suggesting that all uncles behave in this manner. Neither am I ignorant to the fact that some young girls are simply outchea in these streets chasing older men. These things happen. But I think men as a whole need to take more responsibility for the majority of situations, exercise more self-control and behave!

My rant may be one-sided. I am a victim. Bias should be expected. Sue me if you like.

kanye shrug behind the schmile beware of uncles

Abeg, I’m a poor student who is in her feelings right now, nobody should sue me, I have no money for you.

My thoughts:

Culture

My problem is with these uncles that aren’t actually related to you and feel entitled regardless of your age.

This is due to many factors: predominantly their cultural background and the customs to which they relate. As has been explained in the sources provided, in many cultures throughout history, it was not unheard of for a man of 30 to marry a young girl of 13. Such is not the norm anymore in most parts of the world, but it isn’t much of a rarity either once you leave the ways of the West. This cultural mentality has migrated along with these ‘men’ and left young girls feeling like helpless prey in environments such as church and family functions where they should feel most safe.

Boundaries

Another contributing factor (in my opinion) that has led to this issue being so prevalent in African culture is the matter of boundaries (which clearly aren’t strict enough) and the emphasis that is placed on respecting elders. I understand that our elders are wiser and deserve respect and I partially agree. But problems arise when that elder is in the wrong and you are not in the position to correct them. If this were a guy closer to your own age, you would find no difficulty in telling him where to shove the ‘friendship’ he is so forcefully offering. But how does one draw the line without crossing over into the realms of disrespect with someone that doesn’t understand the meaning of the word no and chooses to disregard the massive age gap that you mean to emphasise when continuously reiterating the fact that he is an uncle???

‘Aunties’ too!

This doesn’t only apply to uncles, I have been in situations where aunties in the church have forcefully tried to play cupid. Aunty please, I do not wish to marry your brother, your cousin, your inlaw or even your son. Let me be!

Side note: these so-called wise elders are really giving the church a bad name *le sigh*

These individuals who hold no blood relation to you are placed on a pedestal where respect is demanded and not earned meaning that his/her 50 years of existence may have amounted to 50 years of foolishness but he/she is warranted your respect and obedience nonetheless. So whether they are trying to marry you or be your ‘friend’, you are placed in an awkward position where you aren’t given the chance to speak up for yourself! When you do, your words are dismissed because now you are simply a rude child. You could be 13 or 21, but for defending yourself or your body: you are now a rude child.

Please take note- when they were trying to court you, you were an adult, now that you have refused or opened your mouth to say no, you are a child. Ignorance is the work of the enemy dear friends, do not let it consume you.

Society is the REAL problem

As credible as this order of respect is, it is only a minor factor. Ultimately, reprimanding such offenders (in either a respectful or disrespectful manner) can only occur after the matter. Some of us are fortunate to have parents that understand that this respect boundary is not simply black or white and will fight for us in cases where we have been silenced. Unfortunately, some people do not have such support. But regardless of where the victim stands, the root cause is not that you cannot say no, rather it is that these uncles feel it is okay in the first place.

men are trash behind the schmile beware of uncles

#MenAreTrash… yeah I said it!*

*I know that not all men are trash- I’ll be discussing this is another post. Please do not bite my head off

Our patriarchal, misogynistic society is to blame. I have a habit of leaving disclaimers, but I won’t apologise for stating facts. No means no in ALL instances. I’m in no way trying to liken the behaviour of uncles to rape culture where this phrase is frequently used. However, the fundamental principles are the same! Dress it up all you want, these are the facts! Ultimately, if men didn’t feel as though they were superior to their female counterparts, they wouldn’t feel justified in approaching (harassing) young girls in the street in the way in which they do.

If women were given the same power, freedom and respect for their bodies that men are, young girls wouldn’t have to worry about the uncle that was waiting for them at the bus stop. They wouldn’t end up discussing it in passing with their friends as a topic they could all relate to and brush off as the norm. They wouldn’t feel that they didn’t need to tell their parents about the old man that was harassing them because they wouldn’t have heard similar stories from their friends that made them think it was simply a part of growing up. They wouldn’t fake smiles and offer kind greetings to these same strangers that made them squirm on the inside all for the sake of trying to maintain respect.

Let us not forget our young boys…

I for one have never heard of a young boy experiencing such from an older woman… This isn’t to say that it doesn’t happen, but it certainly isn’t nearly as common.

When a friend of mine wrote that post that I shared earlier, so many in my circle could relate. We knew exactly what she was going to say before she said it because we had all experienced it. We all grew up and moved on and simply marked it down as a part of growing up.

A Message for the Parents:

Aunty, Uncle, please: be mindful of who is around your children!!! Please pay close attention to the relatives and friends that you expose to your children, most especially your young daughters.

More importantly, develop a close relationship with your children! If your child is too afraid to speak up about the terrible things that might be going on right under your nose, then you are part of the problem! You should have a closeness that allows you to discuss ANYTHING with your child in order to prevent things like this or put them to a stop if need be.

A Final Word for the Young Girls:

I came back here in frustration, after an occurrence with an uncle that after 8 years does not understand the meaning of no, to tell my younger readers that it is not okay! You shouldn’t be able to relate and none of this is your fault. We just live in a messed up world where you are unfortunately seen as a sexual object to a proportion of ‘men’ that is far too great.

Never shy away from confiding in anyone you trust and tell your parents! You are not alone in this fight!

Do not be afraid to tell that uncle to piss off, and if they label you as rude, tell them (with a schmile) that Tisha taught you!

Stay safe!

Tisha x

#Schmile

I’m sure many reading can relate and if you wish to share your stories in the comments below please do. More importantly, if you have any tips for the younger generation that is reading- PLEASE SHARE!

  105 comments for “Beware of ‘Uncles’

  1. biancadottin
    November 10, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    This is such a great message! My husband and I are so protective over our kids and are very aware of who we allow around them. So many people need to read this because that is not the case for everyone. Thanks for sharing!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you so much for reading! So glad to hear this!

  2. November 10, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I love this post! I think the most important point made was the fact that no one respects boundaries. It’s almost “disrespectful” if your child doesn’t hug a certain family member, even if they don’t know them. Or if that child feels uncomfortable. Even as an adult there are some “uncles” that I refuse to hug because they make me uncomfortable.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s definitely something that needs to be discussed more! Thank you for reading x

  3. November 12, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I can relate to this post. Do you know how many “uncles” I’ve had growing up. And you are right when people who aren’t related to you but because of how you address them, they feel entitled to be whatever. I don’t want my child calling anyone aunty or uncle who isn’t. Great read

    • TishaKimiira
      November 12, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Glad you could relate and enjoyed it! Thank you for reading!💙

  4. November 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Someone needs to hear this message. I know there’s been a lot of attention on Hollywood, but it’s necessary to address whats going on in the real world like you did!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      I agree! These issues affect everyday life! Thank you so much for reading 💙

  5. November 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    As I read this I need to say I never heard of this. “Uncles” trying to court young girl and if not they are being rude? Sorry if this is your experience but that is new to me. Also I have heard lots of mom having boyfriends and to disguise the relationship or new live in situation she would tell the kids to call him uncle…which I think is stupid too.

    I hate fake family titles to be honest. I know some girls call men their “bro” but are sleeping with them so its a diguise so it doesnt look like its a relationship. In any case no older man or person calling themselves “uncle” have the right to make any woman feel uncomfortable and if the girl is underage I am hoping the mother steps in and correct that “uncle”.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      Glad I could raise awareness for you! I agree- using titles to abuse power or hide inappropriate relationships is wrong by all means! Thank you so much for reading and contributing to the discussion- I really appreciate your feedback!💙

  6. November 15, 2017 at 3:56 am

    I have an daughter and girl I’m keeping a close eyes on these uncles and aunties lol. I love your blog by the way!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 15, 2017 at 9:00 am

      Thank you so much!!!💙

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