By Amandla Karungi
#MenAreTrash has been a trending hashtag on Twitter in the past few days. Are they? Or are they not? What sparked this conversation?
Last week circulating on Facebook was a picture of a South African girl who was reported missing from her University. A few days later, I saw on my Trending Topics on twitter, #RIPKarabo. According to the news, the girl was called Karabo Mokoena and her father had called off the search of his daughter after her body was found, burned and her boyfriend is being charged with murder.
In July 2015, nineteen-year old Ugandan girl Desire Mirembe’s body was found in a plantation, beheaded. She had also been raped. The chief suspect, her boyfriend. When he was arrested, I watched him on television, searching for signs of a murderer or at least the signs of a devastated man who had just lost the girl he was in a relationship with. He was as calm as a Buddhist priest who had just attended a yoga workshop.
In 2014, the Oscar Pistorius trial and story exposed a tumultuous relationship between himself, a para-olympic star, and model Reeva Steenkamp. A relationship which ended in her death by multiple gunshots from a man whom was revealed to be highly insecure, emotionally abusive and unstable. Once, after a night out where he had been acting out of jealous possessiveness of “his belonging”, the couple got into a fight after which, it is recounted, Oscar Pistorius began to play the song “Bitch don’t kill my vibe.” Though trivial part of their story to some, it remained heavy to me.
Are men trash?
Trash – waste material, refuse, garbage.
#Trash. Too inadequate of a word to convey an avalanche of emotions carried within us when we see girls like us, tortured and brutally killed. While social media has brought attention to the issue of violence against women, the short-lived angry outburst trend only lasts for a while. After that, it is back to our normal lives, back to more incidents of women getting beaten and killed and whose life stories will probably go unheard.
#WomenAreOurPossessions If they act in a way we don’t like, if they try to get smart with us, we whip them into shape. We kill them.
Are men trash?
Or are they emotionally immature people who cannot handle defeat, cannot handle being challenged? When they are hurt, they destroy. When they are scared, they shoot. When they are challenged, they beat. Are angry men little toddlers who beat the floor when they fall down? Are men trash?
Who gave men the right to possess us, the right to abuse us, the right to beat us down, the right to choose for us? Have we inherited a world in which women are just chattels, ever loving supporters of the dreams of men?
I see women who always put a disclaimer on their posts saying, I’m not a feminist but… AND Much as I’m not a feminist…
Chimamanda Adichie, in We should all be feminists says, “Some people ask, Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are believer in human rights…?, [T]hat would be dishonest…It would be a way of pretending that gender doesn’t target women.”
Being a feminist does not implicate hatred of men or unwillingness to cater to our men. Why do we walk on egg shells over matters that are important to us? Are men big babies in pantsuits who should be cuddled and breast fed eight times a day… or else?
Why is it acceptable for a rapist to say, “She made me do it. She was too attractively dressed.” If a shiny toy is on display in a shop and a baby picks it up, plays with it and puts it in its pocket, should we blame the toy or teach the child not to steal?
Women are so ashamed to stand up for themselves and other women, yet men are not ashamed to stand up for their friends. It’s called the GUY CODE.
A young woman a few weeks ago, told me that she does not believe that women should be leaders as we are too emotional and have too many hormones and would therefore misuse the mantle of leadership. Yes, we don’t believe in feminism, because it displaces the rightful God-given position of men.
“As far as I recall, The Holocaust, World War I, World War II had men at the forefront,” I disputed.
“If women had been the Presidents at the time, I am completely sure that there would have been a World War III by now,” she responded.
“What about Angela Merkel?” I said.
“Angela Merkel isn’t really a President.”
Women are on twitter saying men are trash. That word is just good enough for the attention that social media peddles. It does not rightly and fully describe, the egotistic, entitled little toddlers that some men are.
Men are great. Men are strong. Men are powerful. Men have done great things, BUT many of them need to work on self-love and self-acceptance, proper emotional processing and appropriate reactions to difficult situations.
And women, you anti-feminists, when your daughters are sweeping, you tell your little son to raise his feet onto the table while he watches his cartoons because he will be heir some day. When he grows up he will proudly announce: “The only woman I respect in my life is my mother.” He forgets that his mother was a wife to somebody and a daughter of someone else. Mothers are not plants which come out of the soil with wombs attached. Mothers are women first.
Why is it that men would rather have someone bow down to them instead of acknowledging their challenges and shortcomings, stand taller and work to get better?
When you need someone to kneel down for you so that you can feel a little taller, you have a problem. No ego pampering, no glass case will ever keep you from shattering when nudged. Address your fear of nothingness before you attempt to subdue, beat, or kill another human being.
Women, stand up for yourself and for other women. Do not be afraid to be pro-woman. Stop being part of the systematic creation of monsters. We can be our own worst enemies sometimes.