Have you ever loved? Have you at any point in your life been in love? A love so authentic and genuine — what bliss! You know that kind of love that leaves you feeling fulfilled and grateful.
A love that is marked by openness where the communication is absolutely two way. I am talking about the kind of love where the two of you feel mutuality and are sure about where each one stands and how you feel at most times.
My dear, dear reader, has your heart ever desired another in such a way that you are inseparable and it only makes sense that your love is more soulish than anything you can ever imagine?
Well, either you have been in love, witnessed love, yearned for it, watched it on television: am sure somewhere and somehow, you do know of this love. I have deeply loved and have been loved.
One of the critical aspects of love is consummating love with sex. A sexual intimacy so blissful only your body can fathom the experience. Yes, sex can be beautiful with the appropriate love and yes, let us not mistake sex for love.
Now if love can be consummated by sex and be so fulfilling, please explain to me how a grown up man sees a 15-year old as an equal lover?
Not only that, how does a man impregnate such a young innocent soul to the point of her losing her life in childbirth? What kind of messed up love consummated by sex is that?
Religion my foot, what religion?
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Religion is opium for the people. One thing that is certain pertaining to religion is that it is made by humans. It is people who assume power and make rules for others to live by.
The ones who make the rules obviously want to benefit from these rules and sadly at the expense of those they intend to follow the rules. This is what religion is about.
Religion thrives on power dynamics where the followers of a religion may be intimidated into not questioning what they see clearly as absurd.
If you keep seeing a picture, like when you go to church and you keep watching these young girls — of course you dream of them and declare what some deity has told you — sad! I have a 12-year old and 14-year old in my household. They are children.
They follow rules placed as the family constitution and may, at many times, not question.
Their mindset is naïve and they rarely can fathom what life is all about. Off course they do have their little crushes from time to time we do share and explore but, to say they know what love is about and let alone sex would be insanity.
Yes, children might experiment but we do have scientific evidence showing that sexual maturity does not happen at that age.
Having said that, religion is one tool that can be used to cower the followers to submission of young minds and older ones alike.
I mean after all you watch in church all the time so you can claim that your dreams have shown you a message from the powers that be.
Ridiculous indeed! It is preposterous to assume that religion is a solution to sexuality, after all, those who place those rules twist them willy nilly to benefit themselves.
Oh, come on, how can we stand and watch as the various powers abuse young women and this results in death? Just take a look at this — Anna Machaya (14-years old), Ferby Munyafi (15-years old) and now we have Nokutenda Hwaramba (15-years old) all dying in childbirth due to some religious narrative that says it is okay for a grown-up man to marry such a young soul.
What rape! We spoke about love and sex earlier on — what kind of a sane man does such a horrible act like this? Please help me understand how a sane man’s penis erects and desires sexual intimacy from a teenager of that age?
Let us call it for what it is, this is rape. We cannot just watch as the future of the girl child is robbed and it is supposed to be okay. This is just insane.
Where are the women, the mothers, the fathers, the aunts and all those who should protect the girl child? What are we doing, people? We cannot allow such atrocities to continue under our watch — this is unacceptable!
What kind of deity is okay with children being raped and forced to become wives at such a young age?
What kind of religion allows such madness to reign and facilitate untold suffering and the death of our girl child? This nonsense needs to stop and it stops right now! Government, like seriously?
How are we allowing this to happen and we rob ourselves of the gift of the girl child leading and trailblazing?
Whilst other children are seeking a decent education, this religion-induced rape is robbing our girls of their future.
We do not do that — now is the time to say enough is enough of using religion to abuse the girl child and steal the future of young women.
Redefining love and sex in religion
It is okay to love and also be sexually intimate like many people crave! I guess with the appropriate person, at a time you personally define and use your collectively agreed framework. This business of raping teenagers and forcing them into marriage has to stop.
The government of Zimbabwe as a signatory of many instruments at regional and international levels does have the necessary laws to enforce so as to put an end to the atrocities of raping minors.
Can we please agree that we hold hands and speak truth to power so we stop this raping and eventual death of our girl child?
Churches — those that condone the raping of minors in the name of marriages — can we please join those ensuring of the protection of our girl child so that she too experiences love and sex on her own terms?
Now is the time we put a stop to raping minors in the name of love and sex. This must end as we continue to create agency around this very critical narrative.
We come together and protect our girl child.
Until then, we live, laugh and love in a bid to show the world that we were here, becoming better, making our mark, and leaving our footprint as we make the world a better place!
Chirenje writes in her personal capacity as a citizen of Zimbabwe. - Twitter: @graceruvimbo; Facebook: Grace Chirenje; Instagram: @graceruvimbo