By: Anifowoshe Ibrahim
In my first year in the university, I lived with weed smokers. It was a room of Royal Highnesses with the smoke constantly floating miasma-like. Every day, I had to answer the door around 2 am because someone wanted to “buy kush.” It was the smoke that bothered me. Somehow, I had begun to take note of how much time I was left to second-hand smoke. Averagely, it was 2 hours each day. I thought it was wild and unfair to leave these smokers to unleash their addiction on the rest of us. That they had the right to smoke anytime, anywhere with no regard for others. And when I had talked to people, they just shrugged it off as normal.
Although you might not see it this way, I am beginning to see that women are exposed to Men who are ordinarily animals. Who they subtly refer to as scum, in modern culture. It’s as if, just like the weed smoke, men were unleashed upon women in such ferocious manner that they seek to satisfy their selfish addiction anytime, anywhere. So, here’s a guy telling you how to deal with these scummanders. I have decided to break the Bro Code. But before you start to get the munchies ladies, let’s go,
First, you must understand that the men I refer to here mean all men. You see, ladies, when you say “Men are scum,” ensure that you say it at the top of your voice because that’s what it’s. Any attempt to be shut down, scream it louder.
Second, you will meet men that say otherwise. Those ones that shrug it off and attempt to explain that there are some good men out there. They know it’s untrue. They know what their fellow men are doing to women. From stabbing them with their manhood to breaking hearts like they score FIFA goals, they know. Call them hypocrites. Ladies, remind them they’re scums.
Third, those that attempt to remind you that not all men are scum are the insecure ones. They’re like white people hiding their obvious racism. When black people say “black lives matter,” they say “all lives matter.” They say it like we didn’t already know that. These men will tell you not all men are scum like you didn’t already know that too. They use their insecurities to overshadow the important discourse. Look out for them. When you find them, ladies, remind them of what they’re– scums.
The Guide to Dealing With Scums.
“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines”
— Robert H. Schuller, a scum.
It’s very important at this point to divide scums into categories. There are two types of scum. You wouldn’t know this, the bro code isn’t kind with snitches. They are: Scum of the Earth; Scum of Circumstances. Scum E and Scum C. Scum E are those that you’re closest to. They’re the worst model of men. You have names for them with tribal, societal, medical, status, religious innuendos: Yoruba demons; rapist; pedophile; pastor; imams; lecturers; etc. Scum C are those, who due to circumstances, become scums. I know this explains nothing, follow me to understand.
Recognising scum is quite hard. This is because we men mix seamlessly. We are like rainwater and tap water in a bucket. You just have to try and try to separate us. Few women have been successful in the past. I don’t have a definition for Scum C because they’re the same class of people as Scum E. However, I think the work of women will do justice in defining them.
Enter Charlotte Proudman. A lawyer of 27 years at Michael Mansfield QC and a PhD student at Cambridge. Starting out, climbing ladders, winning cases, Proudman was an award-winning lawyer. Being a good lawyer, she was aware, is knowing how to find the weaknesses of your opponent. Due to your obliviousness, you might not have heard of a white-collar app called LinkedIn. It’s a platform for professionals, men especially, thrusting themselves on each other. So, Charlotte reaches out to connect. But to who? You guessed right, a scum named Mr Carter-Silk, 57, married father of two and a senior partner at the London office of solicitors Brown Rudnick and most importantly, a senior learned colleague.
Mr Carter-Silk, upon receiving Charlotte’s connect request, replied that he would be happy to connect. He then went on to compliment Charlotte’s profile display picture. He said, in his scum tone, “I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture!!!! You definitely win the prize for the best LinkedIn picture I have ever seen.” Then, all hell broke loose.
Charlotte, our lawyer, became furious upon seeing this. She replied Mr Carter-Silk in the harshest of words: “Alex (not Mr Carter-silk, or Dear sir. Just Alex) “I find your message offensive. I am on LinkedIn for business purposes, not to be approached about my physical appearance or to be objectified by sexist men.” She added, “The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance is a way of exercising power over women. It silences women’s professional attributes as their physical appearance becomes the subject.”
To conclude her venting in her feminist flourish, “Unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour. Think twice before sending another woman (half your age) such a sexist message.” It didn’t stop there.
Even though Proudperson, sorry Proudman was always seen on Facebook posting ‘oooo lalala!’ and ‘hot stuff’ about attractive young men, she took the case to Twitter. Instantly, other women who couldn’t normally recognise a Scum if you gave them as chocolate came to Charlotte’s aid bashing “Alex”. Mr Carter-silk, you Scum of Circumstance.
Ladies, there are many Mr Carter-silks out there wearing the most expensive suits. They present the most charming smile and they wear the best cologne. They’re Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt, who was stripped off his positions because he said, in a lecture, that women in the lab “cry” when criticized. They’re Pastor Adeboye who was lambasted on the Twitter Court by women for saying that he preferred to work with a male secretary. They seem to be the nicest to women while at the same time fall into the easy trap of displeasing women. They also never understand how they became scums. How do you deal with them?
Once you follow this guide, you would be able to deal with them wherever you find them.
1. Identify: because identifying scum is hard, you might need these questions at the back of your mind: is he well dressed? Does he have a good standing in society? Is he respected even by women? They always have this positive personality.
2. Accuse: here, I mean, say something they did to you or to women. Make sure you include the impacts on other women in the accusation. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or false.
3. Use Catchwords: for example, don’t say that he verbally touched you, say that he’s a misogynistic lowlife scum who sexually harassed you with an unsolicited compliment.
4. Know the Words: words like “history,” “you guys,” “feisty,” “man up,” “dramatic,” “bitchy,” “bossy,” “man-hater,” “feminazi,” “loose,” etc. These are all words designed to keep women under. Don’t let anybody use them around you. If they do, it is very appropriate to be feisty. I mean, why can’t history be herstory?
5. Men of God: you see men of God, they’re bad eggs in religious clothing. Don’t you think that if Catholic priests were to meet at Area 51 today, it would be a battle of predators vs. Aliens? Rosary in hand, I touch my forehead and shoulders. Touch not my anointed my foot, God save them all.
6. Make It Trend: always bring it on social media. Always. Women have been silenced for far too long. Don’t just bring it, tag other women. If they shoot shot in your DM, screenshot it and post it with a caption like “just look at this one.” On Twitter, hashtags like #metoo are great. They would help you help get the required audience, enough retweets, enough opinions.
All these men believe that women are just delicate beings. But me? I don’t think so. I don’t think women should be clothed, fed, protected at all. I don’t feel women should be subjected to such domestication mannerisms. Women should be allowed their full rights. At what cost of political correctness? I don’t know. Those men who attempt to say otherwise, claiming it was “just a compliment” or it was a personal experience with females need a lesson on the gender war and third-wave feminism.
You don’t believe these guidelines? I didn’t complete my story. When the smoking became unbearable, I was getting high myself, I reported these “roommates” to the hostel porters. (Yes, I know, I have a long history of snitching.) But when the porters came to my room, they collected Kush well wrapped in rizzler and puffed with the Royal Highnesses.
Anifowoshe Ibrahim is a law student at the University of Lagos. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in the Kalahari Review, The African Writer, Naked Convos, The New Ink, The Nigerian Students Poetry Prize Anthology (2018) etc. When he isn’t writing cases and sections, he likes to think in lyrics. You can see more of his works on his blog ibankhandripping and follow him on Twitter @ibankhanwrites.