La 1ages conference of the series of lectures on "Gender and Sexuality", organized by The Muntu Institute, was held at the Salomon Tandem Muna Foundation on Friday 7 September 2018 on the theme " Internet and sexuality in Cameroon : between male dominance and sexual inequality "with the participation of several researchers, students and other Cameroonians interested in the theme of the day. At the end of this intellectual meeting, LeBledParle.com went to meet Dr. Larissa Kojoué for a review of the conference.
LeBledParle: Congratulations on sharing this research. What is your feeling after your conference?
Dr. Larissa Kojoué : I am pleased to have been able to participate in this exchange which was very stimulating with a listening audience and a lot of interactions.
In a global way, what can we learn from this communication?
Dr. Larissa Kojoué : Three things: the sexuality of women does not stop at reproduction, sexual pleasure is not the prerogative of men and the object of sexual desire is not fixed or fixed. What we can remember from my communication is that in the experience of sexuality, men and women are not equal and the internet does not change much, if anything in this asymmetry. For a fulfilling sexual experience for men, women and sexual and gender minorities, sexual and emotional education is necessary. This education must begin by deconstructing gender stereotypes that crystallize certain discriminatory practices against women, for example.
During the discussions, after your presentation, some participants have stuck you the label of feminist who throws food at men. What do you answer to these?
Dr. Larissa Kojoué My research is not feminist, it is transdisciplinary, it is based on a sociology of sexuality, on an analysis of public policies and on the transformations of social, political and economic relations in the digital age. . Feminist, I am undeniably. But "feminist who throws food at men" absolutely not. To be feminist is not to hate men or to blame them for all the ills of women. My approach is feminist in the sense that it is part of a relationship of equality. It is not a matter of accusing men or denouncing the fact that they have a more fulfilling sexuality than women. It is a question of describing and denouncing a system of social, political, religious, economic organization, etc. which unfairly places women in a situation of systematic inferiority, which is also reflected in the level of sexual experience. So there is no hesitation in having to assume my status as a feminist, because it is a question of taking a stand against inequalities. I would add that it is cowardice to note inequalities or injustices and not to denounce them.
At the conference, there was a massive presence of women coming to attend your conference. Some of them plan to be researchers like you. What effect did you feel? What would you say to these budding researchers who want to be like you?
Dr. Larissa Kojoué : It's flattering to know and it's nice. However, I did not arrive. I am like these women, I thirst for knowledge and knowledge. I enjoy learning, attending appointments like the Muntu Institute and making my voice heard, no matter how modest. A lady I admire a lot, Fatou Sow once told me that as a woman, we should not be afraid to speak for us. If we do not give content to our speeches, we will be slaves of the speeches of others. These women who came to the 7 Muntu Institute are in their place as they will be wherever they choose to be. I would tell them to take inspiration from local models like Sita Bela, Delphine Zanga, Marie-Louise Otabela Eteki, Léonora Miano, Justine Guiffo or Stella Nana-Fabu, and so on. The limits begin in our heads it will first be necessary to deconstruct them and not be afraid to project as far as our envy will carry us.
You advocated at the end of the presentation of your theme a sexual education uninhibited. What is it concretely?
Dr. Larissa Kojoué : First of all, do not be offended when you hear about sex. Many Cameroonians have rather epidermal reactions when talking about sex education. In my presentation I emphasized that this is an ongoing process that does not stop at naming the genitals and how they work. Of course, depending on the age and the context, the message should be adapted but it is a question of dramatizing sexuality. Sometimes to talk about sex we say "the things of satan". It's revealing. My position is that it is not the things of satan, nor shame. Of course there will always be some embarrassment because we talk about intimacy, but we can talk about it in a very positive way, so that we learn to know and respect his body and the body of the other, so that we are able to make informed, healthy and reasonable choices for ourselves and for others. If it is very difficult to do so, rather than stalling and imposing prescriptions, there are associations and centers that can answer questions and pass on just knowledge. Pornography has no educational content. 88% has violent content with women, and it is often actors. This is mainly what nourishes the sexual imagination of millions of Cameroonians of all ages and all sexes. This sexual socialization carries serious consequences for health and STI risks. Through fair information and rid of the weight of tradition or religion, there is a good chance of achieving a more beneficent, egalitarian and fulfilling environment for everyone.
This is your first The Muntu Institute (TMI). Are you satisfied? In what types of projects do you think you can collaborate with this organization for the future? -
Dr. Larissa Kojoué : I met some members of the team. I knew some for several years, but remotely. The dynamics of the team interests me and I intend to get involved more actively. I see myself very well in Gender Studies. I may be wrong, but this kind of initiative is virtually non-existent, yet it is not the resource that is missing.
LeBledParle: One last word?
Dr. Larissa Kojoué : Thanks again to the Muntu Institute. We have a long road in front of us. The trip is just beginning.
Interview by Chancelin WABO
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