Nigerian Women Stood Up to Toxic Masculinity During the #MarketMarch In Lagos
Nigerian women successfully protested against sexual harassment in markets on Saturday, despite being met with opposition by antagonistic men.
Nigerian women gathered in Lagos over the weekend to protest against the prevalence of sexual harassment in markets, with the first-ever #MarketMarch in Yaba.
The conversation around sexual assault in markets began earlier this year online, when Twitter user, Ozzy Etomi shared her experience of being harrased by men when visiting the market as a child, and how the behavior had become normalized. Many other women began to speak out, sharing similar stories of dealing with unwanted advances from men while at the market.
Several women took part in the demonstration, marching from Ojuelegba to Yaba with signs that read "Stop touching us" and "No be by force to buy."
However, when they reached the market, the women were met with the type of toxic masculinity that they were fighting against, as several men began to taunt and abuse them as they protested. Many appeared visibly angered by the sight of women standing up for themselves, while others began to shout "we must touch" facetiously, in opposition to the women.
"Yaba boys threw water and stones at us.It was as if we unleashed the beast in them and today I saw the physical demonstration of misogyny. They got aggressive and resorted to physical abuse", said Twitter user Moromoke.
"They made derogatory remarks about our person, they called us jobless and said we are prostitutes, they boo'ed us and sang shaming songs after us just because we made our stand known and said we won't take the harassment no more. I'm still shook, like the entitlement," she added.
Look at how upset this guy looks because women are protesting being touched without their consent. Wonderment https://t.co/4oXnyzskF5— Slay Queen- Stainless Baby (@Slay Queen- Stainless Baby) 1544910015.0
Nothing to see here at all, just being called ashawo 😊. I love it when men try to prove they are not trash by you k… https://t.co/YvDxYeSSrY— Chi (@Chi) 1544893265.0
"Ashawo, they no dey work" #MarketMarchYaba https://t.co/xNuSf8XDnk— Chi (@Chi) 1544896179.0
Oh and they also confronted and insulted the guys that accompanied us. They were livid. They threatened them & ques… https://t.co/LY6jeRcvpO— Renike (@Renike) 1544900710.0
Despite the brazen showing of misogyny that took place, the women made their voices heard. The Market March Organization described the demonstration as a success on Twitter: "#MarketMarchYaba was a BIG success," wrote the organization. "Big ups and huge thank yous to everyone who showed up. We had expectations, some were met, others were superseded. We stood firmly with one voice and it was clear. We have learnt a lot and can't wait to do more with what we know."
Several others online have rallied behind the women, expressing solidarity and encouraging them to continue the fight against patriarchy and gender inequality in Nigeria.
defiance by any means necessary. im still awe of how brave you women are, God bless y'all for refusing to be compla… https://t.co/qRrUMuDFSt— Ayinde Bukola (@Ayinde Bukola) 1544911361.0
My favourite picture from #MarketMarchYaba today. I shall not cower. No more shall I ask nicely. https://t.co/jxJXTJLg2i— Amarachi Nickabugu (@Amarachi Nickabugu) 1544913994.0
'When the sharpest words wanna cut me down...' Bravo 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 https://t.co/pA4LUxVEbi— Ijeoma (@Ijeoma) 1544908276.0
@mo_romoke Good start. Synergise with other women advocacy groups and even the DSVRT to get the government involved… https://t.co/x7RT3D0J9S— Ebube. (@Ebube.) 1544899279.0
One day, women will be able to walk freely in the market without fear of being groped, molested, insulted, and assa… https://t.co/ipBgHpAtEZ— Lady Voldemort (@Lady Voldemort) 1544899966.0
If you read the tweets, saw the pictures and watched the videos and still didn't feel intense anger and disgust, od… https://t.co/pgq62AVpZM— Yazid (@Yazid) 1544909653.0
If you read the #MarketMarchYaba topic today and still think women are overreacting when it comes to gender issues,… https://t.co/3xHwqgAjbS— Movie Non (@Movie Non) 1544903579.0
Gosh, did you see the bravery of those women today in #MarketMarchYaba? Some of the pictures are frame-worthy, and… https://t.co/CZUpeukuqU— Dayo the Champagne Socialist 🥂 (@Dayo the Champagne Socialist 🥂) 1544916420.0
Today, a brave group of women, showed up at Yaba Market to protest the normalized sexual harrassment that occurs in… https://t.co/gavjiJkWzd— TheGirlsLikeMe🌴⚡ (@TheGirlsLikeMe🌴⚡) 1544909660.0