Columns 24.5.2018 08:15 am

Men need to man up and hold woman abusers to account

Image for illustrative purposes only. Mpumalanga News

Image for illustrative purposes only. Mpumalanga News

Men need to be proactive and become involved in the fight against abuse because, if not, they will bury their daughters.

Wololo is the only way to sum up the Babes Wodumo saga.

I am choosing to stand only on the side of what is right and acceptable. In my newfound feminism, I refuse to reiterate the “men are trash” slogan. I cannot believe in this because I have an older brother I want to believe is not trash, and I’m raising a boy to be a man I pray will walk in my brother’s footsteps. I have to believe that not all men are trash …

Let me not play judge and jury until allegations are proven to be true beyond a shadow of doubt. But allow me to speak about emotional abusers – that sort of abuse that cannot be seen, that cannot be displayed as evidence, that dangerous abuse that leaves no physical mark but has one questioning their sanity …

This gateway to physical abuse – and all other forms of abuse – is a narcissistic kind of love. It is self-serving and removes power from two people in the relationship. Only one wields influence – a domineering influence.

It is the type of abuse that the noisy audience can never see, therefore we believe it to never exist.

Draped in a stench of patriarchy – let’s not interfere in what happens between a couple – is how abuse gains traction. There is no undue influence when a victim speaks out. Women are sent to slaughterhouses daily by the men they have been in relationships with. How can we sit in silence? It can never be condoned.

As a society, we need to peel away the unhealthy and dangerous traits of abuse.

This is not a woman problem but a problem that lies with the men of society, of our generation. The men who once were boys who played with us on jungle gyms now beat us both emotionally and physically. They maim and kill us. What calibre of men have we raised?

It is the obligation of men to man up, roll up their sleeves and hold their peers to account. Have conversations far deeper than chit-chats over a beer or two.

Men need to stop sitting on the sidelines, looking on as women are butchered. Men need to be proactive and involved because if not, they, too, will bury their daughters. Will it only matter then?

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo.

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