On 17th of July 2023, the Nigerian social media world was abuzz with the murder of a woman named Austa. What drew most people to the story was the peculiarity and I must say audacity surrounding the case.
Murdered by her boyfriend who was identified as Killaboi and who claimed to be crypto and forex trader, lots of women including me were enraged at the response of Killaboi to the murder.
For one, unlike other murder cases, it was Killaboi the murderer who took to his social media pages to announce that he had murdered his girlfriend and was regretting it. In a series of stories on Instagram, he went into a well scripted lament talking about how he was blaming himself for the murder and was nearing the point of killing himself. He also spoke on Twitter and was engaging the public in what can best be described as public emotional blackmail.
In all this, it is important to note that he killed her and waited more than two days before announcing her death with no recourse as to how her family must have felt. It is also important to note that the general consensus was that she must have triggered him, she must have provoked him and that she definitely deserved it because she was not dating a broke man.
Far more than the above, that incident cemented what I already know. It is that men who may never see each other in the physical world are ever willing to defend, commiserate and show empathy for the rapey and violent actions of men they encounter on the internet.
I clearly remember men in Killaboi’s comment section pleading with him to not give up on himself and to rebuild his life because “nobody is a saint. Some men outrightly blamed the woman he killed and mockingly asked the late Austa if she did not see that he called himself a “killaboi” before she partnered with him.
But why do men support each other’s bad behaviour? Why is the reality of the “bro code” one that is all about covering up a man’s bad behaviour as a cheat, woman beater, rapist and murderer? Why do even “good” men quietly encourage other men’s audacity and ability to maltreat women by not reporting and even coming to bail out their friends who beat their wives?
Is it because all men are potential harm bringers to women who look forward to being supported when they assert dominance over women? Do men support each other’s bad behaviour because they are depositing in what can only be described as a uselessness bank? A bank in which the more deposits of codding and support are placed by a man for other men, the higher his own chances at cashing out should he need a withdrawal of male support?
Speaking with Cynthia, a writer, she explains that it all boils down to how men are morally corrupt and despise women.
In her words: “Because men are generally assholes? They claim to be the superior, logical gender, but are deeply morally corrupt (which I’d blame society for).
You must have noticed a pattern if you’ve been paying attention: we often see this situation of men supporting men or in many cases, covering up for them when it’s a conversation involving women. This goes to show you how much they despise women.
Basically, my point is that men’s support for one another stems from misogyny. It is the one thing that binds them together.”
Cynthia went on to say: “On how women can better react to it: while I’d love for women to also support fellow women’s rights and wrongs, I think we owe each other a responsibility to call out our wrongs. It is the only way we can grow as a group. It is the only way we can be better. We must always hold each other accountable for our actions. When a child does something wrong and you don’t correct them, they think it’s the right thing and they do it again.”
For Vivian, a CV and research writer, she says that it is because men also want to be supported when they do wrong.
To quote her: “I think men support each other because 1- they want to be supported when they do evil, 2- They do the exact same thing. I think women should also adopt class solidarity. Speak up for women, fight for women, help women, open doors for women, train women, hire women. Show them how to make money, emancipate them. Just like men do for each other.”
When asked for her opinion, Elohor, an editor and tutor says it is as simple as men seeing themselves in the accused.
In her words: “Men support other men because they see themselves in them. Telling them to call out these men makes them look too critically on the values they hold dear and they’d rather not.”
The truth is that so long as we live in a sexist world, men will not hold each other accountable. It is therefore important for every woman to have a “sis code”. A code that is built upon the protection, elevation and upliftment of women and their interests.
Only then can true progress and survival be achieved for women.
Angel Nduka-Nwosu is a writer, journalist and editor. She moonlights occasionally as a podcaster on As Angel Was Sayin’. Catch her on all socials @asangelwassayin.