EXPRESSIONS Opinion

MONDAY MUSINGS – DEALING WITH GHANA’S LOVE FOR SEX TAPES

It says a lot about the state of the nation we live in today that the biggest news during the past week was not the revelation by two commercial sex workers who appeared on JoyFM’s Home Affairs programme at the end of April and stated that their clientele included Members of Parliament (MPs) and ministers. Instead, the biggest news in Ghana in the past week has been the release of yet another sex tape purported to have been made by two students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

The video was publicly screened at one of the halls on KNUST’s campus and it’s been shared on the various social media outlets. The irony of these cases is that the one that involves guardians of our constitution patronizing an act that is illegal in Ghana and is punishable by fines and jail sentences has barely got a mention in the media while a private legal act between two consenting adults which was leaked, obviously without approval, has the attention of the whole nation.

The reaction to the leaked sex tape has been typical. The young lady in the video has been vilified for everything imaginable. Assertions have been created, supported by hastily formulated and incredible stories and shared by a public practically baying for blood. The general reaction to the sex tape has been to shame the girl for falling lower than the very high standards that society sets for ladies, never mind the fact that the moral decay in the country is prevalent almost everywhere. As usual, the young man in the video has barely got a mention except maybe for praise at his “luck” in bedding such a girl or his “prowess”.

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Making a private sex tape is not illegal and despite the hullabaloo that comes with the leak of any sex tape, the reality is that the numbers of sex tapes that are made daily far outnumber those that are released. It can’t be stopped much as it is impossible to stop the clear case of premarital sex that those tapes clearly glorify. What can actually be dealt with is the release of these tapes. The release of a sex tape, if “offensive to sensibilities” of the nation, is deemed to be punishable according to the law. The release of a sex tape, without the express permission of any of the participants in the tape, constitutes an infringement of the owner’s right to privacy. Most of the time, these releases are done as a form of revenge to one or both of the parties in the video or in order to shame them. Other times, however, the leaks are perpetrated as a sort of morbid self-gratification. The case needs to be made that those who release these tapes are even guiltier than the partakers.

The moral decadence in the country shows no sign of abating and with wider access to technology as well as the decline in our native and religious values, things are only going to worsen. However, we can ensure that such acts, decadent or not, do not find their way into the public by ensuring people who make a habit of offending the sensibilities of the nation – beginning with those who publicly screened the tape at KNUST – are made to face the consequences.     

In the meantime, however, can we please discuss MPs soliciting sex from prostitutes, or is that no longer a big deal?

Author: Ferdinand Senam Hassan, threesixtyGh Writer

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