Being tired of the hashtags is a drive and motivation. It might not seem like it to the person standing outside of the protest and sitting at home sipping on a cold beer, but to us, the sweat and losing of voices is definitely the drive.
Having to constantly think about what route to take when leaving my house and or which taxi looks less likely to have people that will kidnap me, is nerve-wracking and often it is the breed of anxiety.
Thus, when women take to the streets to protest, it is often more than just a hashtag that drives us.
Why should the safety of the Namibian woman be in the hands of the next Namibian man? Why must the well-being and arrival of a Namibian woman leaving her house be counted as a blessing when she returns when for a man, this is not even up for debate? Why must the life of a Namibian woman be up for gamble? Should the Namibian woman forever be up in arms fighting for her freedom? These are the questions to ponder on when asking yourself why the protests are important.
This is merely because we have exhausted the narratives around the liberation of women. We seem to have exhausted the ideas on stripping men of their fragile masculinity and exposing them to ideas and scenarios where the Namibian woman exists in safer spaces with men. We have also tried, yet to no avail to bring in the education of young men on why entitlement and molesting, together with the exercising of patriarchy on women has to be done away with because it is not the guide to being a ‘real man’. We have exhausted the narratives on why policing women and their choices are the number one way of not being a ‘real man’, yet, here we are.
What one witnesses through the country’s mass protests and strikes, with millions of women taking to the streets, participating both in the streets and online is a diffuse set of singularities that produce a common life; it is a kind of social flesh that organizes itself into a new social body.
The mobilization movements staged by women all around the country could thus reflect one such interpretation of a multitude of feminisms, oscillating between local experiences and global narratives of collective and individual forms of resistance.
Women are tired and if petitions and written literature is not what you will look at in order to understand our pain, we will scream at the top of our lungs, we will stomp our feet and we will look every policymaker and person in charge of making the world a better place for women to act.
We will not back down with our fights, we will speak up until someone hears our cries and maybe, just maybe, creates safe spaces where we do not have to cohabitate with fear of being killed.
• Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper.