Recently there’s been a lot of hype and fire around the slogan ‘Men are Trash’. Different people feel different ways about the phrase and I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion however absurd it may be. Personally, I opted to hold out on the comment section however the rape that occured recently has provoked me to speak out now and I believe that this is a better platform for me to fully articulate my views.
I’m not an expert on men, I mean I have read ‘ Think like a man’ by Steve Harvey but I do not think that really counts. I am also a single woman, wait … before someone rushes to accuse me for basing the judgement of all men on the earth on the a few men I’ve come across. Calm down! I do not intend to use the phrase ‘men are trash’ in a romantic sense on this post and even when I do in real life I am not stating it as a fact that All men are trash.
I may not be an expert but I believe that I am in a position to speak on the matter. Here’s why
- I have done my research in matters relating to sexual violence primarily in Kenya. I shared this research on two occasions; at a Tedx talk
and through facilitating a Gen 50 conference that focused on highlighting sexual abuse and domestic violence.
2. I have studied Gender, Sexuality and Law at University level and my essay project was focused on the Kenyan Sexual Offences Act 2006 and I got a decent mark on the paper. ( We thank God)
Therefore I think I have standing to speak regarding sexual violence.
The Truth is that people have being saying that men are trash for longer than just the month it is trending, and have been using it relation to romance. However the #menaretrash recently blew down south as a cry for help from women who were tired of experiencing emotional and physical abuse.
Other than some radical and often white feminists who carry extreme negative views about men, no one is out here trying to kill all men, so yall need to calm down. It is important to note that there are different forms of feminists i.e. liberal, radical. I believe that most women and men sharing the hashtag are aware that not all men are trash. However they recognise that indeed there are challenges faced by women, members of the LGBTQ, children and even other men at the hands of men. For everyone who is quick to state that women are trash please feel free to start your own campaign.
Recently, a woman was raped near my university and even prior to that I have heard of numerouse cases of sexual abuse that have gone unreported! We live in a patriarchal society and we must all accept that women are still oppressed especially in regards to sex. Let us not pretend like rape is not a real ting that happens only to people we do not know. 1 out of every 3 women will be sexually abused before they turn 16.
Is a real ting in Kenya male political aspirants tell women that everyone wants to rape them because they are beautiful. Other incidents too have blown up where women are stripped in public areas and rape audios have been spread.
So maybe you may not agree with the hashtag but think about it for a moment. What’s worse being accused of being a rapist or actually being a rapist? Don’t get me wrong I have strong negative opinions about women who lie about rape experiences. But at the same time I think that rapists are even more horrible people. I think it’s high time we spent more effort protecting victims than we do the accused person.
Personally, when I say men are trash I do not mean that all the men on this earth are trash. But the truth is there a many men out there doing trash things and they need to be called out for it. Whether or not, I agree with social media activism as the most ideal measure to address abuse issues particularly in Africa is debatable. However, I’m unwilling to accept being termed as an angry bitter woman for engaging with the hashtag.
You are entitled to feel how you feel about the phrase but when you speak on it don’t isolate it from the actual purpose of the trend that is to speak out against physical and emotional abuse. Otherwise we loose sight on what actually matters that is those affected by rape. I must say however, it has been heartwarming to see so many men stand up for the cause even in the lit comment section.
Until next time, Au revoir mes amis!