An Open Letter to men in South Africa
Doing nothing, and saying nothing results in you being complicit in the oppression and violence against women
For the last few days, South Africa, and the world at large has been informed about the atrocities that have been happening to womxn throughout the country. Our beautiful nation has experienced and undergone so much and we have now reached another crisis point.
Womxn are constantly fearing for their lives. They constantly have to look over their shoulder, and constantly have to worry about the men that they associate themselves with. Womxn can’t even be close friends with most men.
Most men, unfortunately, are trash, and are dangerous. They take advantage of womxn, whether drunk or sober. They do not take any responsibility for their actions. They do not hold other men accountable.
It is getting extremely tiring. When the phrase #MenAreTrash is said, it is a message to all men out there that you are failing. You are complicit with what is happening to womxn in our country.
It is time that we speak up. It is time that men stop watching from afar, and allowing womxn to become emotionally exhausted from constantly having to explain themselves, their experiences, and the call for a safer South Africa.
It is time for us to rise up. Men, I speak to you, you are failing womxn in this country. You have failed and you continue to fail. If you do not rise up, if you do not go onto the ground whether it is to go lobby with people in government, whether it is to join the protests, whether to start changing conversations with fellow men, your inaction means everything. It is simply to start somewhere.
I am not asking you to change the world. I am asking you to start making a difference in your social circles, amongst people, because if we continue allowing rape ‘jokes’ to happen, if we continue allowing fellow men to rate womxn, to catcall, to continue degrading womxn based on their looks, who they are, or based on their sexual orientation, sex or gender, then you are as guilty as an offender.
I know that may sound extremely radical, perhaps hurtful and outrageous to some, but it is true. These simple steps along the path to violence and hatred against womxn can lead to violations of womxn’s rights, and consequently result in violent attempts on womxn’s lives.
Men, it should not be that womxn have to carry pepper spray and rape whilsts. It is up to us to make a difference, or else, we will continue heading down a path that will lead to more blood and trauma on men’s hands.
It is up to you.