For The People

Letter from the Editor – To all men

In this last week alone, we have heard of over five incidents of women losing their lives at the brutal hands of men.

Some were primary school kids; some were collecting packages at the post office. Some were in their homes; some were in their gardens. All of them were raped, and now, all of them are dead.

I’m going to be blunt about this, because quite frankly, we cannot be beating around the bush any longer. I never imagined a life, where merely waking up, and understanding that by virtue of being a woman, going about my daily activities, which include trivial things like getting in my car and driving to work, is in this day and age, as dangerous as walking down a dark alley at the dead of night in Hillbrow. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, sorry, yes gentlemen, sorry, yes men, that is only a glimpse into the harsh realities that we face every-single-day.

See, we have literally got a national crisis on our hands right now. The war on women and children’s bodies is exactly that, a war. Here’s the major point though, the people who actually have the ability to stop it and to reduce the fatalities that we hear about on the news every day, every couple of hours in fact, are you guys. As men, as perpetrators, as the people that have waged war, it is not us, the victims who have the majority influence or power to make this stop, it’s you.

You cannot tell us you don’t see the headlines, you cannot tell us you don’t know the stories, you know them just as well as we do. But, what are you doing about it? Please don’t think that you need to be part of the police force or even the local security watch in your community to contribute to ending this pandemic. It starts with small steps, like calling out your friends, your brothers, your uncles, your sons and your colleagues when you know they are part of the problem. It starts by not shutting up when you know your fellow “bro” is a rapist, or a women abuser (physically, emotionally, psychologically), when you declare that what your gender is doing is rubbish. We have been speaking out for ages, and granted, many of us don’t, for fear of being further victimised and painstakingly hurt. But right now, we’re talking about you, and we are calling on you to fight this fight with us, because here is the reality; we need you just as much as you need us. As beings, we were created to live together, to cohabitate, male and female alike, all types of males and all types of females. Here is another reality you need to hear though, you are dismally failing us.

You are allowing this to happen, you are allowing us to be brutally tortured, physically torn apart and slaughtered, literally, like animals in a butchery.

You know how powerful the perpetrators are? Let me remind you of something, as a man that is not a perpetrator, you are equally as powerful, and as a man that has been a perpetrator, you are even more powerful. You have the power to actually make a difference, you have the power to stand up and fight with us, because heaven knows, we can’t do this alone.

Chief Editor of Social TV, Viwe Tyolwana, has highlighted a contrasting viewpoint to the #AmINext campaign and it’s one that completely and necessarily shifts the paradigm – #AmINext? No I am not next. Here’s a better version of the question we should be asking, #AreYouNext? Are you going to be the next man to add to our horrendous statistics, or are you going to the next man to work towards ending the statistics?

Don’t be the guy who only wakes up when it is YOUR infant baby, YOUR 90-year-old grandmother, or YOUR sister that has made the headlines. Wake up now, right now and just choose to do the right thing, that’s it.

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