The word “twerk” – a dance move popularised by singer Miley Cyrus – actually dates back to 1820, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The dictionary describes twerking as dancing “in a sexually provocative manner, using thrusting movements of the bottom and hips while in a low, squatting stance”.
In recent months, ‘twerking,’ which is very common among females, has taken the centre stage in the theatre of dance, and with the rate at which it is being embraced by young people; drastic moves have to be urgently made to curtail the scourge. A thorough overview of the dictionary definition of the concept of twerking clearly opens the eyes of the well-meaning public to the gross implications.
This sexually provocative dance has become a major pandemic in the various sectors of the society. There is barely any place you will go in the society where young people will not perform the dance – as long as there is music. This is happening in the faces of African parents who are believed to be crusaders of good morals yet nothing is being said.
A typical example that comes to mind is a medical student from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mirabel Obi, who ‘twerked’ unclad in front of Akpabio Hostel in a bid to win a dancing competition of N30,000 prize. This clearly exposes the level of ‘wokeness’ among young people today, it shows that morals have eventually given way for every form of iberiberism and you wonder if some of these ‘woke’ young people had any form of home training while growing up. Mirabel even went ahead to defend her wokeness without any form of remorse: “We were all dancing in front of the girls’ hostel, and there was never a place where twerking was violating the school rules and regulations. Twerking has nothing to do with my academics because you can’t even make it to be a medical student in UNN without crossing 300 and above in your JAMB. I am still very serious and I know how to balance my social/academic life.”
Lecturers in higher institutions have been given a new pandemic to cope with. How will they, especially the loose ones, fend off the hormones to pounce on these twerking students? Recall that the Sexual Harassment Bill passed by the National Assembly is primarily targeted at lecturers. Now that lecturers are to go to prison when they smile suspiciously at their female students as enshrined in the Sexual Harassment Bill, how will they protect themselves against the seductiveness of twerking students?
Precisely, the Senate at its plenary session of Tuesday, 7 July 2020 passed the Sexual Harassment Bill, 2020 (SB 77) which seeks to prevent, prohibit and redress the sexual harassment of students in tertiary educational institutions.
Presenting the report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Chairman, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC: Ekiti) stated objectives of the Bill to include:
- Prohibiting the offence of sexual harassment of students in tertiary institutions;
- Criminalizing the act of neglect or failure of administrative heads of tertiary institutions to address complaints of sexual harassment within a specified period;
- Creating a strict liability offence by removing mutual consent, as a defense in the prosecution of sexual harassment cases in tertiary educational institutions; and
- Maintaining and sustaining the fiduciary relationship that exists between educators and students with the aim of making tertiary institutions a conducive center of learning and moral rectitude.
It can be argued that students have ‘democratic’ right to twerk – this is one of the many ‘beauties’ of democracy, but if this is at the detriment of the penis of the lecturer passing by, what should be done? Remember, 1 Corinthians 8:9 said “But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble”.
It is democratic rights that made Mirabel to say: “We all know that you cannot expel a student on the grounds of twerking.” But when lecturers respond—consciously or unconsciously—to the twerking gestures, they shall be escorted to the gallows to spend the next 14 years. This is a clear indication that justice under this concept does not reflect equity. The senate needs to pass the Twerking Harassment Bill so that we can all live in peace – what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.