Feyisayo Anjorin

Freelance Director, Afro-Carribean Media Group


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How do we draw the line between embracing vulnerability and being careless?

Vulnerability could bring us pain and could be a source of great gain.
Rape statistics in South Africa reveals that most victims (mostly women) are raped by people that they know. Victims hardly expose the offenders; because they blame themselves for their woes, and because society hardly takes women seriously when they accuse men that have been seen with them at one time or the other.
After my college and varsity days in Johannesburg I visited my hometown (Akure, Nigeria) and initiated an event that is meant to educate youths and teenagers on issues of sexual health.
It is believed that if a girl visits a guy who is her friend or lover, she should expect sex (in fact, it is assumed that a girl visiting a guy is expecting sex at some point)
I had a hard time convincing some of the youths that when one person forces another to have sex with him or her, it is rape. And that familiarity or relationship does not change that fact.
Eventually, I worked with the team and directed a PSA “Rape”. Please watch in the link below
I agree with Brene Brown; relationships are about trust and vulnerability, and life will be miserable if we are always suspicious, and permanently on guard against possible betrayal.
We can’t help but be vulnerable to family and friends and lovers. And we can’t help but trust some people if we hope to be happy.
But there is also great danger in vulnerability. Sometimes, evil comes in packages that convincingly seem good; and friends and family may hurt us in a way other people cant.
How do we draw the line between embracing vulnerability and being careless?

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    Sep 9 2012: Your question reminds me of another that I see as related. It is a mantra in popular culture that we should embrace failure or fail early and often. But this does not mean we should go bumbling around without proper preparation or care and then applaud our failures. It means rather to try challenging things, give them a serious effort, and then not punish ourselves excessively if we mess up, particularly if the costs to ourselves and others are not large and corrections or adaptations easy to make.

    I think vulnerability must be qualified with caution in situations that are actually dangerous and irreversible. Sometimes the confidence we place in people will be misplaced. As you say, there can be wolves in sheep's clothing.
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    Sep 27 2012: about sex i dont want to say much ..
    about relationship i want to say that you should always be you .
    noting can change .we may find some widom ways to settle the problem .btu we should change
    and another point you should alwaus believe in your family .they wont hurt you .maybe they dont have the proper ways to express their ideas but they are always good to you
    about friendship we all need some friends in our life not much one or two is enough .they should really know about you
  • Sep 27 2012: Vulnerability - Raising two animals as pets - one a dog and the other a lion. After several years of carefull training imparted to both the animals, try kicking the dog. Dog will take it playfully and wag its tail. But lion will pounce on you 'cause :) the king is in pain.

    Carelessness - Same two grownup pets - feeding time - :) Try hand feeding the dog. Even if you dodge a morsel, the friendly dog will wait till you drop the food to catch it. Try the same trick with a lion :), if you are lucky you could walk away with atleast one hand intact! :)
  • Sep 16 2012: I think that we should understand the talk about vulnerability as something that is interpersonal and that there are other structures in societies that need to be dealt with before going down to that interpersonal level. I don't know if I understand your question correctly, but i believe that the problems you are talking about should be dealt with as an equality matter on a higher societal level. It's not up to the individual to deal with soicial structures like this. It's the wrong way to go about the problem. In fact it's impossible. It needs to be done just like you did, by information, and preferrably on an even bigger scale. It's a structural and social problem, not an individual problem. And it cannot be solved as an individual problem.

    As I see this talk, it has nothing to do with being careless or letting people do whatever they want to you. Maybe it's even the other way around? Maybe if you admit you are vulnerable it gets easier to stand up for yourself than if you walk around pretending you can handle anything or that nothing really matters? My answer to your question would be that showing vulnerability or not is not an issue in this case since it's a structural problem. Still, showing vulnerability can probably be helpful in other small or big personal ways to most people. That's what I believe.
  • Sep 10 2012: Brené also speaks of boundaries and accountability, here and there.
    Keep looking into her work.
    If we have integrity, we will be able to appropriately defend ourselves.
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    Sep 9 2012: Dear Feyisayo

    There is no acceptable line - it depends on the circumstances, time and place, persons involved etcetera. We can only speak of it in terms of principle, application has to be on individual basis.

    But let me play the devils advocate here and turn to your point on Akure, Nigeria. If it is generally believed that if a girl visits her lover, she should expect sex. And this is believed by the girls and the guys in that community, then any girl who visits her lover, within this system, want sex or should expect it.
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      Sep 9 2012: I believe people should be able to make up their minds without the pressure of popular beliefs.
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        Sep 9 2012: I believe so too but to prevent rape it is important to educate people on 'popular beliefs' and implication of the signal they are sending out. In a way this gets to your question when you asked on drawing the line between embracing vulnerability and 'being careless'. If you are careless regardless of the implication or popular beliefs you could end up as a victim. This is my point.