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Sex dolls ban: Is it human rights violation?

AN example of a sex doll.

KAPALA CHISUNKA, Lusaka
IT IS a hot sunny Monday morning and there is a heated debate among passengers on a local minibus, mostly men. The topic: Sex dolls.

One of the vocal male debaters is visibly offended by reports that the Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance Godfridah Sumaili has advised men to seek God’s strength to resist the temptation of sleeping with sex dolls because they are destructive and addictive.
A man in his mid-40s insists that owning a sex doll is better than being in a relationship with an actual woman because unlike a real woman, dolls have no moods and do not have issues with monthly menstrual periods.
“I would order a sex doll without hesitation if I had a chance because there are so many advantages of owning one, especially in this day of sexually transmitted infections. Firstly, I am assured of a disease-free relationship because a sex doll will not cheat on me. They are not materialistic and will forever remain faithful.
“I also do not have to worry about monthly periods and cramps coupled with irritability and mood swings that come with dating a normal woman,” he said.
He also added that the sex dolls will not give a timetable for when they want to be intimate.
“Government is now violating our privacy as citizens. No one should detect what I do in the privacy of my own house, let alone my bedroom. I should be allowed to import and possess a sex doll if I want without fear of being arrested.
“There are more serious issues to worry about in this country than those dolls,” he said.
Other men on the bus seemed to agree with him and added their voices to the debate by reasoning that the use of the dolls will also help stop the spread of HIV infection.
The women on the bus opted to remain silent and the debate raged on. Some of the men resorted to the local language.
“Bana mayo bacilamo ama excuses ayabula inshila lyonse pelyashi lilya. Nobunangani fulufulu (Women are full of excuses when it comes to being intimate and they are also lazy).
“So, let us who want to explore enjoy ourselves,” he said as his fellow men burst into laughter.
For him, the reasons dolls should be allowed is that women are not adventurous enough to try out new things.
He wonders how easy it would be for Government to arrest men using the dolls because they do it in the privacy of their homes and not in public.
“Does Government know the number of men and women or couples who use these things to enhance their relationship for it to threaten citizens with arrests? Why should they start policing us?” he asked.
Despite such men’s views on owning sex dolls, the law prohibits obscene materials, according to the police.
Police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo explained in a statement that such items are obscene material and that their importation, sale or possession is illegal in Zambia.
Mrs Katongo quoted section 177(1) of the Penal Code of the laws of Zambia, which provides that any person who makes, produces or has in his possession obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph films or any other object tending to corrupt morals, will be guilty of a misdemeanour and liable to imprisonment or to a fine.
But this has not stopped Zambians from buying such products over the years.
Some Zambians, however, seem unfazed by the law as they took to social media posting images of themselves with the life-like dolls daring the police to hunt them down.
Reverend Sumaili referred to Romans 1: 24-27: “Therefore, God also gave up to uncleanliness in the lusts of their hearts to disowner their bodies among themselves who exchange the truth of God for the lies; worship and say to the creature rather than the Creator, who is great for ever.”
She said the Bible guides people on the importance of not using unnatural things from what God created and how He created us.
“God created man and woman to come together, not an article replacing a man, or an article to replace a woman. That is totally unacceptable and unnatural. It’s an abomination before God,” she said.
Rev Sumaili points out that the Zambian Constitution also talks about values and human dignity.
“We are not animals. God created us in His image. The Bible says the body of the man belongs to the woman and the body of the woman belongs to the man. So, whenever the wife demands, the man should be available; whenever the husband demands, the woman should be available. That’s the way it was meant to be, not bringing in toys,” she said.
Rev Sumaili said it is disappointing that some individuals and organisations could openly defend uncultural and unholy practices such as the usage of sex toys and dolls in the media.
“Zambia is founded on Christian principles and values and would never give room to anyone planning to import, sell and promote sex toys and dolls as a normal business,” she said.
But Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) leader Sean Tembo said it is wrong for Rev Sumaili to impose her personal values on the rest of Zambians.
Mr Tembo said in a statement that salvation is an individual choice and must not be imposed by the State.
“As PeP, we would like to encourage any Zambians that wish to procure sex dolls to do so. If the government wishes to ban sex dolls, vibrators or indeed any other instruments, they must first amend the Republican Constitution,” he said.
Issues of sex dolls maybe relatively new in Zambia but the story about its creation first broke out in early 2016 in China about a life-size sex doll for randy men. The company invented the doll with all the features of a woman.
Over the years, there have been additions to enhance the performance of the doll reportedly to reduce dependency on women for intimacy.
But some women have expressed mixed feelings over the dolls with some describing its invention as immoral.
Chisha Chishala, a resident of Chelstone township describes the development as disgusting.
“I do not know whether it’s the times we are living in or Zambians have just become sex craze. Can we as a people just focus on things that will develop us not only as individuals but as a nation as well?
It is becoming exhausting for Ms Chishala, who says hardly a week passes without a sex video circulating on social media.
Another resident identified only as Annie said it is a personal decision and that people should be allowed to live their lives in peace.

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