Maybe It Is Time To #ForgetOurGirls

Everyone has seen it, #BringBackOurGirls being ‘supported’ everywhere without a moment’s thought as to what it actually means.

Celebrities not exactly known for the intelligence or wisdom lined up next to first ladies, feminists and most ridiculous of all, feminist men, all posting stupid pictures of themselves holding hashtag nonsense on social media. I guess the head of Boko Haram was supposed to see a post in his Facebook timeline, follow the link to Twitter where #BringBackOurGirls was trending, be fearful of all the attention hungry, famous and ignorant people posting pictures and give up his fight, check in the location of the girls on FourSquare and upload a Vine apologising for his actions. Guess what, that isn’t what happened.

Michelle Obama posted this iconic pic but has it helped or are the terror groups using it to their advantage now

Michelle Obama posted this iconic pic but has it helped or are the terror groups using it to their advantage now

 

Even Zimbabwean celebrity porn stars jumped onto the bandwagon (okay let’s be honest, that woman’s porn efforts were half hearted at best, she is not a star on screen, with or without her clothes). You thought you could get publicity for your alleged career by hashtagging on something EVERYONE was on? You thought next to Michelle Obama etc your picture would be noticed? Chick please! The sad fact is #BringBackOurGirls is mostly about privileged and opportunistic people who can’t take five minutes to research a problem jumping onto a bandwagon, not to change anything but to make themselves feel all warm and fuzzy inside for raising awareness.

The dynamics behind Boko Haram are complex, much as you insist of painting them as a few insane Muslims who hate women. But I guess it would be asking too much of you to be able to think in more nuanced tones than them evil, us good. Rebel movements without grassroots support cannot survive, Mao covered this over fifty years ago people. If Boko Haram is untouchable it is because it has some support amongst the muslim majority in Nigeria. (bet you thought Nigeria was a christian country huh). Asymmetric warfare favours the smaller force with community support but instead of asking why people support it, what its goal is, how its tactics have evolved in the decades it has been around, you just write some nonsense on a white piece of paper and upload a picture of yourself looking like an ignorant, self righteous fool.

Al-shabaab just kidnapped 12 women in Kenya and it is the fault of #BringBackOurGirls. You have taught them that the lives of men are worth less than those of women by reporting on casualties by gender and focusing on dead women. You ignored the hundred of people killed in attacks since the girls were taken, more than three times as many killed as the kidnapped girls last count. You taught them that a kidnapped girl is worth more than a kidnapped boy by not caring that for decades boys have been kidnapped and forced to become fighters against their will. Boys have also been a more useful target for kidnapping as they could swell the ranks of the movement. You projected your twisted sexualisation onto the situation with your fantasies of girls being raped and kept as wives (by a religious rebel movement that must remain small and quick moving to survive?) and they responded by threatening to sell the girls. You decided that men fighting in the name of Allah were crazy terrorists and they released a video acting even crazier than you accused them of being. But you forgot than when you show someone your fears, he will embody them to strike at your heart. Kidnapping girls is the new normal and you made it that way but showing your bias and how easy it was to rile you and possibly push the Nigerian government into a tough negotiation. Thanks #BringBackOurGirls, thanks to you, the most lucrative sought after target of any African rebel force is now live girls, preferably those rich enough to be going to a decent girls’ school. Hashtag that.

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Masi is a blogger thinking African.

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  • S.K

    ok, someone is very upset. anyway, the BringBackOurGirls hashtag was not and is not targeted at Boko Haram…it is meant for the Nigerian Gvt who had not lifted a finger to assist panicked parents who did not know where their children were. Only after international attention did the Nigerian Gvt begin to pretend to look for the girls.
    Frankly speaking, your post seems very unbalanced and seems to imply you support these terrorists. It also does not offer a solution for these issues. should we just keep quiet and watch the al-shabaabs and boko harams of this world terrorise helpless citizens???

    I says, yay to hash tags because they draw attention to what is happening in the world around us. The help us remember how blessed we are to live in a country where girls can safely go to school, university, be voted into parliament and realistically dream of even becoming a president.

    • Masi

      ” how blessed we are to live in a country where girls can safely go to school” The insanity continues, the president of Nigeria himself admits Boko Haram has killed over 12 thousand people since 2002 and all you care about is girls going to school? I guess the 90 thousand people who got displaced and the thousands of forced child soldiers were not important enough to get your attention but a few hundred girls and suddenly you care. How compassionate of this hashtag to everyone who isn’t a school going girl.

      Has the Nigerian government carried out a military operation to please hashtag activists? No. For all the noise people make on social media about forcing the government to do things, have you actually bothered to look at the reason why Boko Haram is fighting and why the Nigerian government doesn’t want to go into the jungle after them? Should a country’s military be guided by people posting selfies with a hashtag or by generals and commanders with battle experience who make informed decisions about what to do and when to do it? Your indignation does not compel rational leaders to follow uninformed directives.

      Again with this raising awareness, drawing attention nonsense. Seriously, that shtick is for rich white people who don’t want to figure out complex, effective solutions or genuinely care about victims but want to feel like they’re lovely sweet people. Raise awareness for who to do what? You are self defeating when you counter a criticism of awareness raising by saying I am not offering a solution, raising awareness is not solving anything. And I assure you, your hashtagged pics were pointless, after Mai Obama, how much more awareness were your Zim celebrities and sister’s open mic pictures raising? Let’s be realistic here.

      Asymmetric warfare is a very difficult problem to deal with, and heavy handed attacks tend to antagonize the local population and help recruit more people into the militant group. Take a look at Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, anywhere. Now to assume this stuff is easy and bunch of celebs have figured it all out and trying to understand and root out the underlying causes of a problem must be supporting the terrorists is an exercise in self delusion and irrationality of the highest order.