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Shine our eyes

With a few more weeks to download the entrails of my womb, visits to the gynae have become more frequent. My belly is virtually dragging my body along each time I try to walk.

I have an appointment with my doctor this afternoon and the very thought of it is eating me up.  But I don’t seem to have an option; it’s in my own interest to report at his consulting room at half past three today. He needs to examine my pelvic region as well as the region where baby will be popping out from.

Those vaginal examinations (VE) annoy me so much. They simply curl my toes.  Agh!  Don’t these doctors and nurses get tired of peeping into different tunnels of different patients?

“Please lie on the bed … draw your knees up … now widen up, widen up …”.  As he says this, he would be peeling on a latex glove, ready to take a deep look into my tunnels. Agh, taking off my underwear for nurses and doctors to do what they rightfully need to do to makes me feel all together very very uncomfortable.

Other times too they just jack me up like a car chassis and search for whatever evidence or otherwise they are looking for, my doctor and his nurses. I know the same thing is going to happen this afternoon. I feel so violated, upset and shy when it’s all over and I’m dressing up. I just feel like a bad girl who’s run from home for a quick shake-up with her “boy”. Mtcheew.

Last week when I complained of the excessive VEs, one nurse smiled and said, “madam, I know; you’re complaining because you feel too shy to willingly let us “see you”. But you shouldn’t feel shy. If someone actually stood before a congregation for a pastor to take off her underwear as evidence of some sort for whatever testimony it was she was giving, then you don’t have to complain oooo. We are ensuring that all is fine with you and baby. Her rendition of the explanation made me laugh. Minutes later, it sent me thinking about a lot of things though.

This nurse’s statement obviously was stemming from that clip on social media where a lady was seen with her panties midway between her legs, and a pastor examining or pointing at something in the panties. I felt so sad when I saw that post. I wondered how any woman would be able to show off her privacy in public in such a manner. My mind went straight to my experiences with my gynae and pondered whether she wasn’t shy being exposed in that manner.

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In fact, in a related clip, the same testifier was being shaved in the armpit by the same pastor.  Those two posts really received so much bashing from members of my year group’s Whatsapp page than any other post had in our three-and-a-half years of existence.

A few days later however, another story came up on social media where the lady in question came out to explain that it was just a movie she was acting; the whole portrayal wasn’t real. This was posted by one of my mates in the group. It generated even more discussion as two or three members confirmed that they knew for a fact how some women had become vulnerable in some churches and were being taken advantage of by their church leaders who I’m not sure whether to call pastors or not.

One of our mates actually told us of how a similar incident had happened in a place whose name I can’t mention. She said she had been invited there for a mid-morning prayer meeting.

According to her, the lady had not had her menstrual flow in more than three years. She’d been prayed for and had received her breakthrough. When she came forward to testify, she was made to show her soaked sanitary towel as evidence to the congregants. Oh!  What happened to ministerial ethics?

Eh? In her words, “you folks should have been there to see how the congregation clapped and danced for the evidence shown”. Couldn’t the crowd have been informed about what the Lord had done, without necessarily intruding on the privacy of the testifier? Things are happening in some churches paaaaaa. 

One other group member shared the case of a man who was impotent and had been prayed for.  Right in the presence of everyone the man who testified of instant healing was asked to show to the camera, his elongated and suddenly-turned-turgid manhood. This is unbelievably ridiculous, isn’t it? What’s all this?

Some religious leaders the world over are taking advantage of their congregants and the statistics are depressing. I remember an article by Baylor University researchers which I chanced to read some months ago. It noted that one out of every 33 women who attend worship services regularly has been the target of sexual advances by a religious leader. Of course this research was conducted in the US, not Ghana, so the figures aren’t referring to us here. 

But if this is really happening elsewhere in the world, it still calls for worry. According to the study the problem is so universal that it almost certainly involves a wide range of denominations, religious traditions and leaders. It found that more than two-thirds of the offenders were married to someone else at the time of the advance. Hmm.

I kept wondering whether these women who had fallen victims to these leaders left the church eventually, whether they had some sort of counselling to heal them emotionally, or whether the culprits were punished in any way by society or the law. May we all “shine our eyes” and not fall prey to some of these cunning leaders.  I’m off to see my gynaecologist.


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