I stumbled upon a Facebook post on the “RantHQ Extension” group. The writer had argued in favour of the #silhouettechallenge. According to him, why should dignity be tied to private parts? What’s the big deal? Are they not just like other parts of the body?
He went further to portray the black man as unintelligent as these do not matter in the White Man’s land. I requested to engage him in the comment section and after three comments, he deleted the post. So, here is enlightenment for him and his likes.
Man is different from other creatures; he is far intelligent, he is autonomous, he can REASON. Other than Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola’s, “Oration on the Dignity of Man”, several thinkers and philosophers have discussed and still discussing, What is dignity? What makes a dignified being? What does it mean to say one is not dignified?, etc…
My question to the author was, “what is dignity?”. Simplify put, dignity is the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed.
I went further to explain that criticizing a challenge that necessitates people recording nude videos giving a silhouette effect using red bulbs or snapchat filters does not mean that we TIE dignity to private parts, rather, it is part of what constitutes dignity. In fact, there are records of men and women having sex in the name of silhouette!
Oppressors and slave owners strip their subjects of their dignity and that is what makes a slave a slave. Freedom of speech and of movement is denied; there is no liberty and exercise of their volition. In a land where the people have been enslaved, freedom is not just denied, the women are raped.
Looking back at the Atlantic Slave trade, we can see how the slaves were stripped. You will not see a slave wear a clothing of beautiful colors. Rather, they are stripped of their freedom, rights and clothing; these are part of what constitute dignity.
Animals have no clothes, humans do. When we start to detach dignity from the covering of private parts and nudity is said to be civilization, that only brings us to the stone age.
In refuting the idea that Nigerians are unintelligent to criticize the so-called silhouette challenge, I pointed out that Facebook, owned by a white man will bring down your post if reported for nudity and confirmed. I asked, “Will Joe Biden and Kamala Harris walk to the white house naked?”
Imagine the world leaders join the challenge with Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Angela Merkel, Cristina Fernandez, Buhari, Putin, Erdogan, etc., twerking ferociously to justify that year 2021 is the year of reason and of enlightenment.
Meanwhile, the one who fines a woman for being covered, protects the right of the one who dresses half-nude and the one who legalizes a law that permits a father to sleep with his daughter and mother with her son should not sit in the council of men discussing, “The Dignity of Man”.
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman