In the wake of the sexual assault allegations, both locally and internationally, I forced myself to sit back and think of the realities that women face on a day to day basis. I had to force myself to accept that the biggest danger that women face in today’s society is men.
Now, before I continue, let us get something clear; this post is not intended to accuse anyone of anything nor is it intended to establish, assume or suggest anyone’s guilt or innocence. Now that we have got that out of the way, let us continue.
Two weeks ago, I logged into Twitter for my daily dose of news, jokes, gossip and trends. I came across a hashtag and the comment that came with that tag was rather unsettling. I cannot recall at this moment what it was, but it made a big enough impact that I decided to try and follow the thread. What I found was rather shocking, sad and left me bewildered. Then I got to thinking, what is it that makes us as men feel entitled to a woman’s body? Why do we feel that it is okay to do as we please when it comes to women?
I recently had a chat with one of my close male friends and he had this to say:
“What do we, as guys, gain from sharing naked pictures of girls? What is the motive? Majority of us men see women as objects and we act blind to that fact. The worst part is that we do not correct one another. We sit and we laugh about it. Now imagine you as a father knowing that your daughter’s pictures are being posted in some WhatsApp group.”
“The sad reality is that females do not do the same. I am yet to see females who have groups of naked guys, talking about chowing the guys. Posting guys small d*cks etc.”
“I would rather we stand against such behaviour and we start building each other.”
I have to say, I agree with him 100%. We, as men, need to start calling each other out and correcting the behaviours of our fellow man. Some behaviours may even seem harmless, but things like guilt tripping someone for not wanting to drink or forcing them to take shots that they do not want to take. Men and women should be able to coexist without the pressure of doing something that either is uncomfortable with in hopes of fitting in or avoiding being “uncool”.
You do not have to suffocate the oxygen out of someone’s lungs to kill them.
You just humiliate and beat them down, leave them laying on the floor weeping.
Inconsolable, incoherent, shaking & screaming as if they were an infant
This is the cold reality of this world of sin that we fight every day to stay alive in
We perpetuate improper and animalistic behaviours that could ruin another,
Life not the same as before, cannot sleep looking for a rock to crawl under.
Turn to the elders for advice, but all they say “bekezela mntanam”
You look in their eyes, they sympathise, but they do not know what you put up with
They do not understand that after the savage beating with the coat hanger, he is the one,
The one that wipes the blood out of your eye and justifies his heinous crime.
He is the one that runs you a warm bath and takes care of you, telling you that it will get better.
Because you have nowhere else to go you believe him and it just never gets better.
No one understands, no one knows that you live with a killer, a spiritual assassin
All of this said, this post was supposed to be about strength, unity, healing and a story of a phoenix rising from the ashes. I have witnessed such a rise. Amidst the pain, the suffering, the hurt, the betrayal and the abuse, this woman has risen through it all and decided to use her experiences to try and help others cope. This is her story: