Beware of ‘Uncles’

Reading Time: 6 minutes

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 of 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!

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105 Comments

  1. November 5, 2017 / 11:41 am

    You hit the nail on the head! This has gotten me to think of a time an “uncle” tried to pass his place with me.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 5, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      So unfortunate how common this is! Thanks for reading💙

  2. November 5, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    I think we should teach young girls some form of self-defense since an early age and teach them what are appropriate (and what not) interaction with these older men (“uncles”).

    • TishaKimiira
      November 5, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      I agree- we shouldn’t have to, but while we’re striving for change it’s a necessary step! Thanks for reading💙

  3. Anonymous
    November 5, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    Great read

  4. November 5, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    ❤️ this is one thing I despise about the our culture, we try to cover it up instead of dealing with it. Thanks for addressing the issue head on.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 5, 2017 / 2:47 pm

      I really appreciate your support- so happy that people understand where I’m coming from! Thanks for reading 💙

  5. November 5, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    Thank you for being transparent and sharing your truth! This culture has got to stop and I’m glad more women are being open and rallying against it. The fact that some people, both men and women, see no issue with these “uncles” shows how much our society lacks value for girls and women.

    Kendro

    • TishaKimiira
      November 5, 2017 / 3:50 pm

      So glad you’re in agreement!!! Thank you so much for reading💙

  6. OlenaRosanne
    November 5, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. So many so-called grown folks are not grown at all. They are irresponsible criminals.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 5, 2017 / 11:07 pm

      Put simply!!!!! Thank you for reading!💙

  7. November 6, 2017 / 3:20 am

    This is not okay! I hope all parents build relationships with their kids so they feel like they can tell them anything especially before or when these things happen!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 6, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      I hope so too! Thanks for reading💙

  8. November 6, 2017 / 5:07 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. This topics is rarely address, instead it’s considered hush hush.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 6, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      I appreciate this! Thank you💙

  9. November 6, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    You’re so right with this! I’ve seen many “uncles” not hold up the title and I’ve also seen some young girls just straight up out here being savages! We have to do better as a society and it starts with educating our young men and young ladies from a very early age.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 6, 2017 / 3:11 pm

      I agree, most things stem down to the right education at a young age! Thanks for reading 💙

  10. November 6, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Gosh girl you kind of got me with the things about boundaries in African culture, because I am African too, actually African Arab and Muslim soooo you can guess how it is!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 6, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      It’s unfortunate that I can imagine exactly what you mean! Thanks for reading x

  11. Preet@thevelvetlife
    November 6, 2017 / 9:36 pm

    This is so sad and unfortunate that this happens in the society. This is not about countries, cultures, and religions, it is about the mindset of people, which needs to change.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 6, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      I agree! The main issue here is society! Thank you for reading x

  12. November 6, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    Very insteresting post! Thanks for sharing your story!

  13. November 7, 2017 / 1:54 am

    Thanks for sharing. Culture is important, but it’s important not to let it sway what you really want or how you feel.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 7, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Completely agree! Thank you so much!💙

  14. November 7, 2017 / 8:16 am

    Very interesting thoughts. I often have come accross whilst being younger alot of ‘pervy’ and innapropriate behaviour from the older men in my life aka ‘uncles’ and its just been ignored, glad your raising the issue!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 7, 2017 / 8:58 am

      Saddened to hear this but more reason why it needs to be discussed! Thanks for reading 💙

  15. November 7, 2017 / 10:26 am

    This is very interesting point of view!

    Kate

  16. Diana Tidswell
    November 7, 2017 / 11:08 am

    What an interesting thought! I really love this and I agree!

  17. Julie Syl
    November 7, 2017 / 11:43 am

    This is very true and the sad reality happening in society, glad that you speak up about this topic.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 7, 2017 / 11:47 am

      Thank you for reading! 🙂 x

  18. November 7, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    Such a sad reflection on the culture and society. Thank you for raising awareness.

  19. November 7, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    I must congratulate you for bringing such a important issue out into the public eye, the only way to kill this mentality is by spreading awareness. Great job 😊

    • TishaKimiira
      November 7, 2017 / 3:04 pm

      Thank you so much!💙😊

  20. November 7, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    Very informative post. It saddens and frustrate me that men think they can act a certain way because they are men.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 7, 2017 / 11:06 pm

      It’s horrible! But we can only work towards better! Thanks for reading 💙

  21. November 8, 2017 / 12:54 am

    I swear this is an issue across the diaspora. My only hope is that with each generation we see a shift in mindset because this behaviour has lasting consequences

    • TishaKimiira
      November 8, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      I hope so too! Thank you for reading 💙

  22. November 8, 2017 / 2:39 am

    This is super important thanks so much for putting it out there

    • TishaKimiira
      November 8, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Thank you!💙

  23. November 8, 2017 / 2:57 am

    Its great that you speak out regarding these issues. There are many who remain silent and should not!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 8, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Thank you!😊

  24. November 8, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    Ah, so much to unpack. I’m glad though that you are unpacking it. I know that so many women, and men don’t really work with getting to understand why some traditional things aren’t all that great. Sometimes it makes me sad. But when I see folks standing up for what they believe in, and limiting what people get from them, I have hope.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 8, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      It was A LOT to unpack haha! I’m glad you have hope- I do too! Thank you for reading!💙

  25. Sheena Steward
    November 8, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    👏👏👏 this was great!!! So much to unpack from your post. Uncles are deeply rooted in our community and they shouldn’t be. We need to start preaching a different narrative to our girls. Society is cruel and judgmental to women.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 8, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Very much so! We have to protect our girls!!! Thank you for reading!💙

  26. November 8, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    This great. I did not even know this was a THING until reading this. Something to piss me off all day now..rightfully so! Well done

    • TishaKimiira
      November 8, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Haha hopefully you aren’t too angry but I’m happy to raise awareness!!! Thank you for reading!💙

  27. November 8, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    Very important and much needed blog. That respect your elders ish and played out. Unfortunately it’s ingrained in us to do such which I can see it putting yourself in an awkward position. This is a great article.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 8, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      So glad you enjoyed reading! It’s definitely a difficult boundary to define! Thanks for reading 💙

  28. November 8, 2017 / 5:22 pm

    I relate so much here. I had a lot of “friends” that were older men when I was younger (12-17). We worked together. Now looking back on those experiences with that I affectionately call my “grown up glasses.” I realize a lot of what happened was wildly inappropriate. I don’t know a lot about African culture, but I think it just goes to show that this is a problem world wide.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 1:08 am

      I’m not surprised that the problem stems much further than African culture and its extremely unfortunate! All starts with raising awareness with our grown up glasses as you say! Thank you for reading!💙

  29. November 8, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Such an important topic! So many family members turn a blind eye to things going on right under their noses. We just need to ensure our kids understand what is appropriate behavior of adults and to tell someone if it happens.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 1:07 am

      Extremely important!!! Education for both parties is essential! Thanks for reading 💙

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 1:08 am

      Thank you!

  30. November 9, 2017 / 2:06 am

    In my culture, uncles and aunties are very involve in our daily lives. I wouldn’t agree to everything you touched on but in some extent I do understand. It is still very much up to you though on how you deal with it. For instance, I know in some cases I may come off rude but I do speak my mind to my aunt & uncles especially if it’s a subject i strongly believe in and luckily, my parents do a support me in some ways. Thanks for sharing this!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 8:12 am

      Each case will always be different! Thank you for reading 😊

  31. November 9, 2017 / 6:11 am

    That’s a great info you have shared here..I remember ‘aunties’ asking me silly questions whenever I went to someone else’s wedding!
    Stay safe!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 8:13 am

      Thank you!

  32. November 9, 2017 / 6:23 am

    Feel Sad. But this is true. everywhere in every country.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 8:13 am

      Unfortunately! Thanks for reading 😊

  33. November 9, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    I came across both of them, “uncles” and “aunties”. When I were younger, I was afraid of those people. Thank you for spreading awareness.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 1:41 pm

      Thank you for reading!😊

  34. danasiafantastic
    November 9, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    This is such a great post- boundaries are so important when it comes to these kinds of people.

  35. November 9, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    It is very important to make your children understand to share all instances of any irregular activity with the parents.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 5:16 pm

      Extremely important! Openness is needed in parental relationships

  36. November 9, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    Girl, I can really relate to this post! I’ve been tall all my life and have always looked older than my age so I’ve been harassed by “uncles” from a young age even in front on my parents *sigh*. It’s disgusting behaviour and it needs to stop! Great post by the way!

    Sugars and love,

    CynTea x

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 5:18 pm

      Tall girl problems- I feel you!!!!! Truly disgusting, just praying for change! Thank you for reading- glad you enjoyed it!💙

  37. Shell
    November 9, 2017 / 5:31 pm

    I think it’s important for parents to let children know to come and share with them anything that happens they are uncomfortable with or scared whether that be from an Aunty or Uncle or anyone.we need to protect our kids…

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 5:51 pm

      100000%! Thank you for reading!💙

  38. November 9, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    This is something that some of us face in our lifetime. I totally agree with you. I have been in quite a few circumstances prior both mentally and physically.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      Thank you for reading and sharing!!!💙

  39. Ashvaughn
    November 9, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Thissss!! This so needs to be said and understood by all. Thank you for writing it.

  40. November 9, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    It’s terrible how people take advantage of power and titles. In African and African American cultures it’s really sad. Some youth have no voice to defend themselves. Great post!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 10:05 pm

      Thank you!💙

  41. November 9, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    I say that all the time, Parents watch your child. Don’t just leave them with anybody even uncle and auntie. Make sure you are paying attention to your children’s behavior. Are they withdrawn when they were once talkative? I’m not a parent nor have I been a victim but I don’t understand when people say they didn’t know it happened..

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 10:06 pm

      It’s difficult as like you’ve said we’re not parents, but I agree that some things should be seen aa red flags! Thanks for reading 💙

  42. November 9, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    I agree. No is no and we are not children for defending ourselves and setting some defensive boundaries. That being said, thank you for clarifying that not ALL men are trash, because I was about to rant in the comment section LOL but just because someone is respected and looked up to in a community doesn’t mean that they don’t make horrible trashy decisions sometimes.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 11:01 pm

      Hahaha I knew someone would! It’s a general statement that shouldn’t be used but it gets the conversation going which is exactly what we need! Thank you for reading!

  43. November 9, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    In Latin American countries this is very prevalent. I think it’s important to make sure we never leave our children with others. This is such a difficult topic to talk about but I appreciate your courage in educating others.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 9, 2017 / 11:05 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing! I honestly had no idea this was such a massive problem elsewhere!

  44. November 10, 2017 / 2:35 am

    You have handled a delicate subject very well! It is an alarm that needs to be sounded. I know more than one person – including a family member – who was violated at the hands of such an “uncle” / “aunt” – and as you said, NO always means NO!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 / 8:16 am

      Thank you so much- I appreciate your feedback! And thank you for reading- happy to spark the conversation!

  45. Carissa (The Green Eyed Lady)
    November 10, 2017 / 2:36 am

    Thanks for sharing! I pay CLOSE attention to those around my children! And I pay close attention to their behavior when they are around others because when they cant tell you something their actions do!

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 / 8:17 am

      Actions speak VERY loudly! Thank you for reading!💙

  46. Kita
    November 10, 2017 / 4:53 am

    I watch mine. There are no uncles that come around and have access to my kids without me being present. NEVER.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 / 8:18 am

      Unfortunate that things have to be this way but safety first! Thanks for reading 💙

  47. EG III
    November 10, 2017 / 4:59 am

    Play cousins, uncles, aunties….They all fall into the same category when it comes to my daughter. You can say hih and cordial while I’m around, but it’s only a select few I would actually trust to care after her so I can completely relate to where you’re coming from.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 / 8:19 am

      Glad you can relate!!! Easy to feel isolated in such situations! Thank you for reading!😊

  48. November 10, 2017 / 6:05 am

    Interesting perspective as I am not a mom, but I do agree with on certain levels where I would probably feel that relief when I am protecting and making sure my child is safe from others.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 / 8:20 am

      Thank you for reading!💙

  49. November 10, 2017 / 11:04 am

    I don’t believe in giving folks titles. Either you are or you are not. I was forced to hug relatives growing up and I hated it. I taught kids to own their bodies and they don’t have to hug anyone. I’ve had to tell adults to respect my kids space, they aren’t obligated to hug and touch folks.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      This is an extremely important point you’ve raised! There are other ways to show respect w/o touching. Thank you for reading💙

  50. biancadottin
    November 10, 2017 / 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 / 9:23 pm

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

  51. November 10, 2017 / 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 / 9:29 pm

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

  52. November 12, 2017 / 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 / 10:04 pm

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

  53. November 13, 2017 / 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 / 4:43 pm

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

  54. November 14, 2017 / 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 / 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!💙

  55. November 15, 2017 / 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 / 9:00 am

      Thank you so much!!!💙

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