Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tempted to touch? Think again. Your freedom ends where someone's nose begins.

To all the young ladies who have been violated by mates, employers, teachers, superiors at work and people higher up the economic ladder in your communities, know that you can be helped if you report it. For the many young ladies and gentlemen who are suffering same this day in silence, your unwillingness to confront those who commit these acts embolden and empower them to continue: You today, someone weaker and more vulnerable or more gullible tomorrow.

Permit me to be base and state it as it is: Whether some creep is fondling your breasts at work, touching your bum, groping you each time you are called to their office or coercing you to attend hotels and private residences with them, know that you don't have to live with this.
Report them at work and home; report them to the police and seek redress in a court of law. You will not eat stones if you don't let them have their way.

You too are somebody's valued child and someone's respected present or future spouse.
Our collective failure to confront those who abuse any of us makes them bolder. It is never too late to stop what's wrong.
And now.., to my article....#civics #commonsense #manners #etiquette #hrbkkd #hisroyalblackness

Everyone deserves a right to their personal space. We make contact with others by choice, not by coercion nor intimidation. Wherever it is done by the latter, people have the right to pull away, fight back or seek redress in court.

As part of civics and etiquette it behoves parents and teachers to let the young irrespective of culture, colour and creed know right from wrong, and boundaries in life's common situations.
"Reach out and touch somebody's hand; make this world a better place" no you can't. That is unless they invite you to touch them or are in dire need of a helping hand.

A brief, firm handshake is the TOUCH of choice that must suffice for everyone in the workplace and most social circles.
Anything more, and one is cruising for a bruising at a work tribunal or in a court of competent jurisdiction.
For family and true friends, a warm hug or kiss on the cheek is in order. The long embrace and kisses in the moonlight are best reserved for the one true love one has else what's the difference between the cognoscenti and the great unwashed.

... Just because someone opens their arms wide does not mean the young, innocent or naive should hug them. Open arms and a come hither smile does not convert the ill-intentioned from the devious old fox in Little Red Riding Hood into a soft and cuddly teddy bear.
My father taught me to meet open arms with a polite, warm and firm handshake, if the are not trusted friends or family: A smile in the face and a knife in the back oft occurs during an embrace.
Over-familiarity with people one does not really know is a sign of weakness, trying too hard and sometimes inferiority and desperation; in fact it is a brand pillar of the lower classes if such still exists at all.

One shall learn about or be introduced to another prior to a handshake. Thereafter conversation helps decipher the probable future touchable from the definitely undesirable, unconscionable and untouchable.
Good manners inform society that maintaining the handshake for an entire month in the least after meeting in person is minimum requirement for getting to know people.
Pretense may ensue but well-peeled eyes shall see the concealed flaws and look no further than a firm handshake, saving both parties unnecessary gate-crashing and misappropriation of personal space before a swift parting of ways.

Good touch signals welcome, civility, respect.
For family and close friends it signals warmth, delight, love.
Bad touch conveys disrespect, denigration, lust, plunder, abuse.
The young and old, the properly dressed and even the nearly unclothed must maintain clear boundaries and a sensible distance to avoid bad touch at all costs.
Wise parents have advised their young for years; No touch for strangers. Unless they are properly introduced by known and trusted persons, avoid touching them as you would the plague. No touch for fleeting acquaintances, not even at festive occasions. Exceptions are made for public greetings at funerals and the select few gatherings of academia, industry and sporting activities. Still, if touching in plain sight casts a doubt, you will do well to leave it out.

In the case of family and good friends, no touch can be disconcerting as it is a sign of discontent and neglect. At best it says 'leave me be' or signals a need for conversation to fix an existing problem.
No touch is, however, less worrisome than excessive touching: Those invasive glides of the hand on arms as he/she laughs at some unfunny joke, that uncomfortable knee-holding as they attempt to illustrate a point or shift in their seat, what with the face-feeling as they compliment your skin, and invasive thigh-cruising as they pretend to be speaking about something of interest.
Letting these pass unchallenged and unstopped can be akin to signaling to the world that nearly everyone is a bosom friend and potential candidate for dancing beneath the sheets.
On the one hand one suggestive song goes 'Tempted to touch' and on the other Law Enforcement and Health & Safety say
'Hazard. Keep off.'

The wind may carry what people say
And the ears hear truth as well as hearsay
The eyes may see what people do
And the nose smell well what's wafting through
but Touch is oft deliberate and intimate.
Yes, intimate.
And in the same manner as it leads to tickles of fancy and passion,
it also leads to harassment, grievous bodily harm, caution or prison.
So unless he/she deliberately invited you to
Think twice before you touch their waist.
Unless you are dating him/her too
Don't reach for their bum in playful haste.
Spend some quality time to woo
before you close in on their personal space.
Check your manners before you brush against a thigh
Of one who momentarily catches your eye.
Touch is personal and sensitive;
Its use ought to be restrictive.
So keep your invitations to be touched clear and limited. And keep your touch uncommon lest you become common;
for in this nouveau monde, it can lead you to be seriously trampled upon or become an ex-con.

By Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (13 June 2014 at 08:32 via his Facebook notes)

Emergency RAPE Escape Tips

"To my daughters I will repeat what I tell my lady friends.
If a man tries to rape you aim at his balls and hit hard with your knee. Then go on and stick your fingers in his eye. No one remains composed after that.
If that fails do the yuck thing. Pee or poo on yourself. Yes. It's yucky but it's washable. RAPE is not washable" Kofi B Bentil

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Piece of My Mind: Last Days are Dangerous, The KKD Factor

One of the unresolved mysteries of 2014 is the disappearance of a Malaysian Airline Flight MH370 with 227 passengers and 12-member crew on 8th March. Another one, which is very close to us, is the disappearance of Hip-Life Musician Castro and his female friend who went jet skiing on the Volta Lake. We thought the mysteries were enough for 2014 but just this morning, another Asian Airline goes missing with 162 passengers including 17 children and 7 Airline crew.

It is just three days to the end of 2014, and news just came in that some girl called Effe is accusing one of Ghana’s finest entertainment and fashion icons, KKD (Kwesi Kyei Darkwa) of rape. The news sent the shivers down the spine of almost everyone who heard it; at least the ones I saw.

I would guess that KKD might have thought to himself that “thank God the year is coming to an end and nothing evil has happened to me.” But that thought was obviously not enough to prevent this misfortune, which we are told he has denied vehemently. The matter is with the police. But I bet, even though nothing has been proven, KKD never thought 2014 would go down with such a stain on his hard-earned image.

People, the year is not over yet and anything at all can happen to you, good or bad. We all hope for good things. I believe people are praying some last minute prayers for the best to happen to them before the year finally ends. Indeed, the average Ghanaian would tell you the year, generally did not go well. So people are expecting some last minute breakthrough. Good may come your way, but last minutes could also be dangerous, and KKD knows that better.

Back in senior High, our teachers used to say last days are dangerous, especially when we had just few days to go home for vacation. Weeks before we went home for holidays, they warned us and kept saying, ‘last days are dangerous!’ and yes, they are. The most painful thing was when you had lived in school the whole semester without breaking any of the school rules but you fall victim to the rules just a few days, sometimes hours to vacation, and throughout the vacation all you think about is the punishment you would face when school resumes.

I remember how most final year students get expelled, debordenised or were refused writing their final examinations for breaking school rules. Most of us felt we were almost out of the school so we did not mind breaking school rules and it caused some people their final examinations.

Those who were in my year group in Senior High can bear witness to a story of a first year student who joined some final year student and broke bounds a few days before vacation. They were caught and the senior housemistress said the School’s Disciplinary Committee was on break so they could only get punished after school resumed. Before school reopened, we heard rumours of a first year student’s death and guess who it was, that particular first year student. Living in Ghana and knowing how most Ghanaian parents react to some of these things, I would imagine the young lady could not open up to her parents before her death and kept thinking of the punishment.

We often hear stories of misfortunes that come the way of people who are about to get married a night before the wedding day. Sometimes, unexpected things happen on the wedding day itself. The most recent one I heard about was when the groom was about to enter the car to go for the wedding and his trousers got torn badly.  This was at the last minute.

People have also told several stories about misfortunes they met a night or few days before a very important trip. There is something about last days that make people nervous, go gay, or even sometimes misfortunes occur. I am not too sure if that is the same fever that catches people when the year is drawing to a close. But it is important we pay attention to the last days’ imminent dangers and step rightly. My pastor always says “if you can’t do anything, you can pray.” Be watchful, be careful before you take any step within these last three days. But above all, take my pastor’s advice. Be Prayerful.

2015 is just a stone throw away, and in our minds, we are already there. But this is the time many things can happen, good and bad. This is just to serve as a reminder to everyone, stay safe, stay out of trouble and live to see 2015.

Akosua Asiedua Akuffo