TED Conversations

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 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.

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