Blogger Malaka Grant and actress Lydia Forson, have taken Franklin Cudjoe, founding President of policy think tank IMANI to the cleaners, over his “overused and possibly smelly” comment he passed on Facebook in reference to a picture of two members of NPP Loyal Ladies, who posed with their backside to the camera.
Malaka Grant, in an article posted on her blog, Mindofmalaka.com, described Mr Cudjoe’s comment as “crass, obtuse, gross, sordid, and repulsive”, while Ms Forson, also in an article posted on her blog, Lydiaforson.com, described the IMANI boss as the “new face of perversion”.
Mr Cudjoe, first made the offensive comment after his friend on Facebook, Evron Hughes, had posted a picture on the social networking site and invited him to “quantify” it.
Mr Cudjoe, after a barrage of flak on the same platform, apologised for his comment, saying it was meant as a “joke”.
His apology has, however, not gone down well with Ms Grant, who described it as a “(non)apology”.
“What I find irritating is that Franklin Cudjoe and his ilk refuse to grasp [the] gravity of their sins and how their attitudes and words have far-reaching effects and consequences…” She said.
Ms Grant continued: “My ire is further enflamed when you consider that these men see other men – poor men, uneducated men, NDC foot soldiers – as the problem. The other guy is the threat and obstacle to female success in Ghana, not them! But you know what? When the truth always comes out in the wash, and the same fellows who were bellowing about the release of the Montie 3 – a group of men who notoriously threatened to rape a Supreme Court judge – have the unmitigated gall to pass disgusting comments about women every day. Just because those comments are not on the radio and rather made on the presumed safety of your personal Facebook page doesn’t make them any less insidious or appalling.
“A handful of people have had their say about what Evron Hughes and Franklin Cudjoe, two men who have jockeyed for political relevance using the reality that is the abysmal state of Ghana’s socio-political landscape to further that end, in lengthy published pieces online. Their offence is all the more repulsive because they have voluntarily and intentionally placed themselves in positions to judge the misdeeds of their political adversaries…and to profit from it. These are supposed to be men of some sort of elevated moral standard, men you expect to demonstrate a level of couth and consideration because of the sort of advocacy they profess to be all about. But what does it say when one guy posts an image of two women at an about-face posture asks another to “quantify” what he’s looking at? Are these women’s bodies tomatoes or other commodities to be sold on the stock exchange? How is this behaviour any different from the pimp selling women on an e-auction block, a horrible reality that countless women and girls who are trafficked for sex endure every day?
“[The fact] that Franklin Cudjoe could look at a picture of two faceless women and immediately determine what sexual and hygienic habits they employ speaks volumes about him. It speaks volumes about what sort of men Ghanaian society is propping up. Those who come to his aid and claim that we should all ‘move on’ are the fuel that keeps this forest fire burning,” she said.
For her part, actress Forson said Mr Cudjoe’s “apology says even more; because he basically laughed it all off like it was nothing. The apology or its attempt wasn’t because he’d been struck with common sense or remorse; it was to appease us the ‘uptight’ people who don’t have a funny bone and thus might have been offended by his comment because we didn’t get it. The others who did ‘get it’ were free to call up a few friends, grab a beer, and continue to laugh and share their own ‘overused and smelly’ stories.”
She continued: “Now in a perfect world, Franklin Cudjoe and his entire organisation would have been stripped of all privileges, publicly shunned by institutions associated with them, and he would have been demoted from his position. It doesn’t help that he carries himself as a man of honour, integrity and respect. So, how are people supposed to take anything from him and his institution seriously if as a leader he has absolutely no decorum and doesn’t take the same actions he demands from others when they go wrong? …This man ensures the ruling party and specifically the president doesn’t get ‘a day off’, so tell me: Why are you sending us mails and calling us for a ceasefire? What makes him so special that he must be ignored?
“Brands know not to associate themselves with anyone with a bad reputation because it’s a reflection on them. But here in Ghana, Franklin and his coons will mostly likely get a promotion and airtime to spew more rubbish. I hope these men apologise to the women in their lives because they have to carry the burden of their shameful act unfortunately. I, on the other hand, won’t be listening to anything this man and his associates have to say and hope he’s banned from speaking on anything unless he renders a proper apology and proves he’s indeed remorseful. But I hold my breath because in Ghana, rapists get airtime and chauvinists get parliamentary appointments. So I’m just going back to the ocean and hoping I don’t drown.”