On 27th March 2022, the video of a lady clumsily grabbing Ruger by his manhood while he was performing was posted on Twitter, and as expected it inspired outrage.
For many people, they saw it as more of an indictment on the part of the lady who couldn’t rein in her desires, than the outrageous sexual abuse it constituted.
Some even went as far as blaming Ruger’s lyrics and mannerisms for the act. His music is sprinkled with sexual innuendos that provoke lewd desires and lust. I mean, how can he sing a song like ‘Snapchat’ and expect that his females fans who have some fancy imaginations they will like to execute? These are some of opinions the sexual assault has inspired from observers.
Others commended Ruger, who angrily walked out for exerting high-level self-control, especially as some other artist might have bashed the abuser’s head in.
The lack of an unequivocal condemnation of such an act suggested that a female fan is not necessarily held to the same standard as a male fan. And that she is under no obligation whatsoever, to rise above her carnal instincts.
With such social posturing, it was only a matter of time before another lady would try her luck with Ruger and it didn’t even take long. Barely two months later, another female fan forced a kiss on Ruger. And how has the public reacted to this? You guessed right – if it’s Ruger, it’s okay.
In light of his recent abuse, the Headies 2022 nominee has received several pieces of advice that will help prevent future abuse. Some of the advice is: “Don’t perform too close to the audience.” “Reduce your sexual content.” “Take off the bloody eye patch so you can see clearly.”
As far as his music goes, there’s no denying that Ruger’s music holds a significant appeal to women. Likewise, his eye patch, pink hair, and demeanor give him a flaming albeit subtle sex appeal. However, these are part of his art, personality, and branding. And should by no means constitute an invitation to treat by sexually abusive fans.
Society needs to hold female fans to a higher standard irrespective of how socially tolerable their abusive conduct appears to be. If it’s wrong, then it’s wrong.
As long as it will constitute an unforgivable act of sexual assault if male fans should hurl their boxers at a female artist then it shouldn’t be okay for female fans to fling their bras at male artists.
It would be inconceivable for a male fan irrespective of his sobriety or the state of his faculties to attempt to grab a female artist by her butt or boobs. Should a male fan suffer from brain freeze and grab a female Afrobeats star’s butt or boobs, he’s most likely to be thoroughly descended on by other male fans around him before the bouncers will finish the job.
However, a female fan can grab Ruger by his crotches and the reactions of other fans are amusement and slight disgust. A female fan can force a kiss on Ruger and all the bouncers can do is quickly snatch him and escort him to safety.
I’m not advocating that extreme measures be used on fans who cross the decency line. I’m only saying female fans are more likely to get away with sexually abusive behaviors than their male counterparts.
Whether they are hurling their bras, engaging in a desperate penis-grabbing endeavor, or forcing an opportunistic kiss, they tend to walk away without any repercussions or general indictment. If at all anything, it’s their pride that suffers if their identity becomes public.
If you like to know how society’s reaction to sexually abusive events is shaped by gender, then considered how Wizkid was berated when he allowed himself to get carried away and thought it was a good idea to lift Tems on stage. Now ask yourself if the public reaction will be the same if the roles were reversed.
But on the flipside, female adulation is quite key to superstardom, when you’re an attractive young man, who makes music that’s targeted at women. In a twisted way, that’s meant to be understood and not endorsed, this will lead to some notoriety and popularity for Ruger.
While it’s the same for female equivalents of Ruger, his case is more peculiar due to his gender. Society aims to take out masculinity from men, while it simultaneously assumes that men have a higher threshold.