Words of wisdom: The Hashtag Men Are Trash Question

Alone Pilusa.
Alone Pilusa.

Reading the details of how Karabo Mokoena was killed and burnt, made me ashamed to be a man and a South African citizen.
Our sisters, daughters, wives, mothers and aunties are so vulnerable and helpless under the watch of us men who are supposed to protect them. According to the gender and health unit at the Medical Research Council, one in every four women is
physically abused by her intimate partner. Every six hours, a woman is killed by her current or former intimate partner. These are some of the shocking statistics that illustrate the extent of violence against women in South Africa. In essence, when you
are a woman in South Africa, you are no longer sure whether you are falling in love or falling in death when it comes to romantic relationships. I had the conversation with one of my sisters, Keamogetswe Ngakane about this subject and she shared the following view: ‘Men love power, they enjoy dominance and are for the idea of indoctrination.
They mostly have a similar or, rather, the common idea that women have to be submissive and follow their ideals and principles that they (men) set as individuals.’ Her view is justified by the way some men abuse women.
When I first heard of the #menaretrash, my immediate reaction was defensive
and that not all men are trash, I took offence at the approach and counter-attacked with the fact that some women are involved in violence, killings and so forth. But, after some serious soul-searching and introspection, I saw the positive side of it. In
other words, women are pleading with us as men to play our part in reversing
the culture of rape and violence that is ever escalating in this country.
I want to urge all men in this country not to politicise and debate this genuine expression of pain by South African women. These women are crying out for help from all of us as men. It is an open truth that many men are not trash, rapists, killers or chauvinists who abuse women at all, but our silence frustrates and angers
women at the same time. The big question I’m posing to all men is, what are we doing to fight this satanism of abuse against women and children? We need to embark on a serious campaign with the same vigour that the political parties used to convince
voters to vote for them during the local government elections last year.

We need to convince the culprits to stop this nonsense of raping, killing, abusing and terrorising women in this country. We need many structures and movements with the sole vision
of realigning and fixing men in our communities, especially young men. To address the problems of our society and the world, we must honestly start with the male and the way he perceives himself. If men knew who they really are and their true reason
for being, their confusion, anger and destructive behaviour would be replaced
with purposefulness, confidence and building up a society.

Remember the saying, ‘Where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable’. Instead of
taking offence about #menaretrash we, as men, should assure these women that we will play our part to protect them. Every week, women are raped and assaulted right here in Merafong City. Don’t you think that such a sick culture could change the perceptions that women have about us?

I’m no longer offended by this hashtag after realising how much pain and uncertainty
women face at the hands of men on a daily basis. Irrespective of these challenges that women and children are confronted with, I’m optimistic and positive that, one day,
South Africa will be safer for women, in particular, to live peacefully and safely.
Love, Peace and happiness.

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