Disclaimer: 1) This post is triggering, be warned. 2) Before you let your male ego get in the way and rant about how you are not trash, please make sure you understand what the trending #MenAreTrash is really about. I don’t have time for you negativity. I know not all men are trash. 3) To my journalist friends, I wish you all the best when covering these horrific stories. Having worked with some of you for a short while I learnt what kind of effect these stories can have on a person. I take my hat off to you!
Today’s post is something a little more unconventional for me. I am filled with hatred, sadness, and utter disgust. While my other posts are relaxed and filled with humour and something to laugh about, today’s post is nothing like that. Today’s post is serious, and deliberately intended to make you feel uncomfortable. It will show you why I like animals more than I like people.
I am angry.
I can endure a lot. I have a sense of humour that can be really dark at times, and I know how to laugh and have a good time. I can take a lot of pain and darkness, and I am not afraid of much. But what absolutely enraged me and fuelled my fire to write this post today, was a meme that I saw over the weekend promoting RAPE culture. A meme suggesting that women get RAPED because they do not cover up their bodies. And someone on my friend list had the nerve to share this shit. (For the record, this person has been removed from my friend list on Facebook. If you share ANYTHING even remotely promoting rape culture, or implying that a woman getting raped is her own fault or anything offensive like that and I see it, I will remove you. No questions asked.)
Being in South Korea for nearly 3 months now has awakened me to so much. Firstly, it has shown me how much I love my own country and how much I truly value it. And secondly, it has made me appreciate feeling safe, because I have never felt safe in South Africa. It can be 22:00 at night in Korea and it will be safe for me to walk woman alone from the bus station to my apartment. But in South Africa, I cannot dare to walk to the shop around the corner from my house that time of the night because I have to fear what is lurking in the night. Who is going to attack me, rape me and possibly kill me for absolutely no reason?
The news in South Africa is filled with the senseless rapes and murder of women and children. And it doesn’t stop there. Bodies are burnt, they are tortured, and their genitals are mutilated. It’s not enough for these men to force themselves on women. They also have to torture their victims because raping and taking them to the brink of death is not torture enough.
Women and children are being innocently and senselessly killed. On Sunday, Mother’s Day, one mother from Elsiesrivier had to go identify the body of her 3-year-old Courtney Pieters that went missing. THREE YEARS OLD. A couple of days before that, Karabo Mokoena’s (22) body burnt beyond recognition was found. Not too long ago, 19-year-old Lakita Moore’s body was found stabbed 98 times, her genitals mutilated. And what about Rene Roman, the 13-year-old girl who went missing and was found murdered, her body hidden in a house just a short distance from her own home? And Stacha Arends? The 11-year-old girl found raped and murdered? And the women who are forced to stay in abusive relationships because they fear for their lives? The women who have to endure hours of physical, mental and emotional abuse every day and they appear to have no other option than to live with it or be killed. What about them? This list goes on, and on, and on and there are countless examples.
But we live in a society where it is taken a little too literally that a woman should “submit” to a man. We live in a society where when a man doesn’t get his way, it is okay to hit a woman. We live in a society, where when a boy touches your vagina and a girl never asked for it, SHE is the slut. We live in a society where girls have to be ashamed to admit that they like sex, because it is inappropriate, but it is okay for boys to brag to their friends about who their latest lay was. What it was like, what positions he put her in, and whether she was “good”. We live in a society where if a man sleeps around he is a hero and should be praised. But if a woman does it, she is a whore. No, man-whore, that is not how it works. We live in a society of double standards, where men proudly say on Facebook how much they like a natural woman, but when he sees her with no make-up on, he shames her. We live in a society where if a woman gets attacked in public, people will stand idly by and do nothing. Instead, they will spend time taking pictures and videos on their phones so that they can post it on Facebook. WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE MEMES PROMOTING RAPE CULTURE ARE OKAY. We live in a society where somehow, when a woman gets raped, she gets blamed. “She should’ve covered up”/ “What was she doing there in the first place?” / “She probably led him on and when she didn’t want to give him what he wanted, he took it”.
HE TOOK IT. Who the fuck gave him the right?
Men, when you manipulate a woman into staying with you, you are abusing her. When you swear at her, you are abusing her. When you shout/scream at her, you are abusing her. When you tell her “if you don’t sleep with me, I am leaving you”, you are abusing her. When you are a random guy that she doesn’t know and you touch her inappropriately, you are abusing her. When you give unsolicited negative comments about her weight or appearance, you are abusing her. When you are having sex with her without her consent, you are abusing her. When you think her “no” means “yes”, you are abusing her. And when you hit her, and leave her on the floor to pick up the pieces of her life that has fallen apart, or rape her and walk away, leaving her lying there naked and vulnerable, like the only thing left for her to do is to die, you have abused her to the point of no return.
Men, we are tired. We are tired of having to explain why we do not want to speak to you when you approach us as complete strangers. We are tired of being cat called, and when we do not give you the time of day, get called a slut or a whore. We are tired of being accused that we think we are better than everyone else because we choose not to speak to you. We are tired of walking in fear when we are outside. We are tired of being your ego boost. We are tired of your male privilege. We are tired of you taking away our young girls and women. We are tired of feeling broken.
Men, you want to go on rants about how you are not trash and how this trending #MenAreTrash is inappropriate. Go for it, have your rant, but show us then that you are better. DO better. It is time to throw out the trash."Time to throw out the trash",