I was in a room filled with three men and two women. Three men were so oblivious to their privilege that they felt that they could argue why men are not trash. The argument went back and forth as they argued hook, line and sinker as to why men are not trash. Statements such as not all men flew in the air.
Let’s go back to base, shall we? Men are trash is a hashtag that originated off Twitter, its real origins are not known, as there has not been one singular person who has been credited to have created the hashtag. When one says men are trash, it is both a hashtag and a movement, one created for awareness as to how men continuously do vile and harmful things to women. It seeks to highlight just how unsafe women are in society. This as a result of events and articles that go on end with a man being the perpetrator each time. Time after time, we read newspaper articles about incidences where men continue to vilify, rape and kill women. The conversation goes deeper than trying to cower from highlighting that some men are rapists, murders and rape apologists. When we try to water down the reality of the harmful nature of women, it detracts from a much-needed conversation and unhinges a conversation that highlights that women and children remain unsafe in their day to day lives.
Let me run you through some cases (information retrieved from @TinaKy):
Magdalena Stoffels was a Dawid Bezuidenhout High School Learner, she was raped and killed on her way to school. She was found with her throat slit and to date, no arrest has been made. Alina Kahehongo, aged 24 was gunned down by her lover. This after several death threats from him and after she had reported him to the Namibian Police. Cheryl Ujaha, aged 9 was found dead and dumped in bushes. To date, no arrest has been made.
Helao Gideon, aged 23 was stabbed and had her throat slit with a pocketknife by her ex-boyfriend.
Sarah Mwilina, was shot by her subordinate due to his employment contract not being renewed.
Constancia Christaans, aged 26 was shot by her ex-lover due to a jealousy rage.
Karabo Mokoena, aged 22 was assaulted and doused with acid and set alight by her ex-boyfriend.
Not all men – When a conversation about men perpetrators of violence is ignited and there is a voice that wants to highlight that not all men are perpetrators, at that moment when having to choose whether to stand with women or stand against them. You have chosen the latter, because as opposed to standing with women and understanding what they face on the daily and looking at the statistics, you have chosen to look at a minority of men who are not perpetrators and chosen to defend them as opposed to understanding the gross harmful environment women live in as a result of men who are entitled to the bodies of women and children. In that moment, you have chosen to side with men even though women are the ones who have to constantly fear for their lives when walking home at night, when women have to worry about their drinks being spiked, when women have to worry about waking up to a stranger raping them, when children have to worry about whether they will be abducted as they walk home from school, as they play in the playground and as they go about their daily lives.
Women need to be more cautious – If the conversation was about women being cautious and ensuring they are not walking around at night and should be dressed more appropriately, how then do you explain a child being raped, murdered and mutilated as she walks home from school, in broad daylight and dressed “appropriately” in school attire. How do you explain an infant being raped? How do you explain a woman fully clothed, being raped in broad daylight as she went to go collect her mail from the POST OFFICE?.
Men are not trash – well, statistics show that 8 out of 10 cases reported of violence are with a male perpetrator. If we are to highlight the two remaining cases in that out of ten, we then mean to say that the other eight are insignificant in comparison to the two. When you say not ALL men are trash, you are saying that we should focus our energy on the two men who are not violent and forget to create awareness about the eight who are. You as a man have the responsibility to teach yourself about the violent nature of men and violent environment women must live in on a daily.
If even after reading this, you are still on the defence, wanting to rebut why NOT all men are trash, you sir… are the problem.
*Mavis Braga Elias is a Civil Engineer by qualification and a Marketing Officer by profession. A philanthropist of heart and founder of the EM Love Foundation. She won the Vivid Philanthropist award in 2015 and the Queens Leaders Awards 2018. Find her on Twitter -@mavisbraga
Instagram - @maviselias, Website – mavisbraga.com
2019-09-04 07:43:56 19 days ago