To all the men of South Africa

I am not someone who publicly discuss news headlines, or even comment on them, because I gave up on society sometime ago, and now I just try to do the best I can do for the betterment of the people who interact with me on a daily basis, but in the light of recent events it feels wrong to stay quiet and not do anything. 

I am not going to play the blame game here because in trying times like this we are supposed to hold each other’s hand instead of pointing fingers at each other. 

But all the men in the society who feel attacked by current social media campaigns, I feel sorry for you and it sickens my heart to see that you are trying to defend a lost cause, and you are exactly the problem that is being addressed.  

Men are the sole cause of all gender based violence directed towards women. It’s not up for debate, it’s a fact, supported by numbers. Nobody goes around wanting to get harassed or violated. So please, for god’s sake, stop getting into the debate of how some campaigns are generalized or flawed, because women just want to be heard and treated like humans right now, and that’s all they want from you. 

Now that I have gotten that out of the way I want to address the male community of the world and talk about, how can you play your part in times like these. 

  1. Ask your female peers how they are doing. Every single one of them is scared and doesn’t know how to go about their day right now. So, before taking any big steps or going to protests/marches, drop them a message, talk to them, make sure they know that you’re there for them.
  2. Don’t let them leave the house alone. I know this is a very tough one to follow up on because we all have very different schedules and lives, but it’s all about putting effort into the cause. They need to feel secure, they do not deserve to go to public spaces and be scared. Just be around them to make them feel like they are in a safe environment.
  3. If they are out, check up on them. Message them, call them, make them share their live location. Do whatever you can, but check up on them on an hourly basis, or whatever time bracket they are comfortable with, so that even when they are alone, they can have peace of mind.

These are 3 small things that all of you need to do for the women around you, because before we start taking necessary steps for major social reforms, we need to make sure these strong women feel safe, and can talk about what’s going on, knowing that they are not alone and they have support from the men in their lives. Nobody deserves to live their life in fear. 

And now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the bigger problems. 

Silence, Ignorance & Tolerance. 

I am going to keep it short and simple.

Get your head out of your bums and next time you see someone harassing someone(ANYONE), SPEAK UP!

Next time you see a guy pushing himself on a girl, STOP HIM!

Next time your friend makes an inappropriate comment about someone, SHUT HIM UP!, and educate him. Tell him why it's wrong, use it as an opportunity to have a constructive debate. 

MEN are the problem and we(MEN) need to hold other MEN accountable. As simple as that. 

None of this is difficult. If you claim to have a heart and a soul, all of the aforementioned things are your RESPONSIBILITIES.

Lastly, I want to apologize to all the women out there, who have to deal with this everyday and receive no support. I am really sorry, and I hope in one way or the other I can play my part in creating a safer environment for you to live in.

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