Sorry, Ms Amanpour

Ms Christiane Amanpour and Moesha Boduong

So much Ms Amanpour has done informing and educating men like me about the evils of war (caused by men’s bravado). Your courage and fortitude as a woman deep into the riskiest of the most hazardous journalism, war reporting, are admirable.

Many men journalists fear to tread that path.  Yet you’ve conquered it. That’s why missing the opportunity for you to interact with our graduate communication studies students in our motherland was a lost opportunity.

The regret is also because Peter Arnett had been around to talk his Iraq war reporting experience, including the flak he had to take from some in the US for not reporting the war ‘Americanly enough’ by saying the US war plan had ‘failed.’

Our students would have benefitted from your version forever. Best of all, it would have been role modelling for our female students, listening to you live in person about fair, accurate and truthful reporting.

All that apart, I sat lividly stunned as I watched and heard your lips say the words: ‘Your daughter will be proud of you’ to Ms Buduong. Proud of what; that a mother would sells herself to pay rent when she has a university certificate to do jobs in acting? So will daughter be encouraged to proudly follow mother to sell herself to pay rent?

I have read your reaction to the reaction of some of my compatriots to the Buduong sex-for-rent pronouncement. It is a disappointment for:  1) not discouraging the young woman demeaning herself, 2) encouraging her to stay a course we as humanity have been struggling to wean our girls and womenfolk off that their success in life ought not be inextricably tied to the coattails or aprons strings of men.

My granddaughters need protection from that Buduong advice. I want to be and I have tried, and I still want, to be a fierce defender, ardent supporter, and advocate of free speech and expression that is in tandem with opportunity for the woman to pursue economic independence and not harmfully depend on man for decent living.

I have battled the dress code blackmail, that crap of ‘she called for rape or harassment or stalking with her dressing.’ Like Jimmy Carter (Playboy interview), men look. That is animal instinct. However, they’re to use their brain to check a touch instinct a look may provoke. I believe that’s why sometime in the 1980s a Melbourne man was fined for peering too much at a woman’s breast in the street, a public space.

Nature’s situations of vulnerability have exploitation defence antidotes. So men are equipped to consciously check the subconscious appetite for a woman’s body.

For someone, who attended an all-girl high school (Accra Girls), I am shocked that within a situation where she had to compete with fellow girls to achieve, she would end up dependent on men for sustenance. I have taught in one, and chaired the board of another. I even married a product of one. The all-girl schooled should be better prepared to pursue economic independence than her co-ed ‘all difficult work is meant for boys to do’ counterpart. Our humankind is far better off with the ‘me first’ woman who seeks economic independence than a ‘me too’ who may harbour bitterness and seek some relief in punishing mankind. When a woman says ‘me,’ that most certainly includes her children. Unlike what you Ms Amanpour think, the Buduong reaction hasn’t been ‘to silence.’ It’s expressing shock and dismay that the so much effort of all-girl schooling doesn’t seem to have yielded the ‘seek ye first economic independence for yourself and your children’ results. It’s the frustration that the system has failed. Her sex for rent minimum effort for maximum comfort seems more greed, to live beyond her means, than simple decent acting earnings (meaningful effort for reasonable comfort).

Ms Buduong has apologised because she probably has recalled the teachings of her all-girl schooling.

Perhaps her mates called to sound her about betrayal of the ideals that were inculcated in them.

‘Sex and love’ is the woman’s vulnerability, the challenge of man’s rational or impulsive behaviour. Often, what you think is what you talk. Whenever you talk before you think, you’re likely to apologise for that talk. I once defended her for flaunting her assets. My point was that nature distinguishes between sight attraction and drawing current. The two senses each has its purpose. So if her looks embarrass you just don’t touch.

Ms Amanpour’s point is that we listen but not criticise the Buduong talk, let alone tell her: ‘Don’t you ever dare open your mouth.’

It’s about balancing societal values with individual liberty. Neither should take precedence.

Situations of society (the majority) oppressing the minority or licence for the individual to disrupt everyone and everything are both needless.


By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh