We keep having these waves of social media outrage regarding femicide and gender based violence, as if this phenomenon comes and goes based on how much it is trending…
Yet, women deal with the fear of being next on a daily basis, we can never take a break from it. Spreading awareness about the prevalence of woman abuse is important, so we should certainly use every opportunity to speak up! This includes these waves of social media outrage. We should speak loud enough to silence the “not all men” back-seaters.
It is counterproductive and tiring to be arguing with men who expect us to applaud them for doing the bare minimum for our plight, all the while not knowing which men we can actually trust. There is this narrative that keeps resurfacing, always at loggerheads with women crying out for help. This narrative that says “real men don’t rape women”, or “these aren’t men but animals”. This narrative has to stop!
The men who commit these acts are men, and therefore must be called men – because that is what they are. We cannot afford to separate them from society and label them “other”, as if we didn’t grow up with them. They are our friends and colleagues, brothers and uncles. They are people we know and trust. They don’t grow up alone in caves or separate from society. As a woman, I cannot tell who is an abuser or who is not. When walking alone at night I fear ALL men equally.
There was once a guy who was so sweet to me, he used to walk me to work every morning so I would be safe. As it turned out, the same man sexually harassed a friend of mine. Abusive men are good at being good people, they are only the devil to their victims. Which is why it is important to believe women who cry out for help. Knowing someone as a good guy should not be enough to exempt them from being an abuser.
Calling them animals, makes them something other than human, yet they are human. Just like you and me. Men should realise that we don’t fear animals as much as we fear actual men. It is men who beat, rape and kill women.
I hope this truth gets so uncomfortable that the men who don’t want these crimes associated with all men, actually stand up and do something. Call your friends out, you know them. Believe victims. Make it a terrible world for abusers to live. Be an ally, but don’t steal the spotlight. Our voices are weary from all the screaming, but we need to be heard. So hear us out, at least.
Yours in inspiration,