||ABUSE TRIGGER WARNING ||
We are coming out of Women’s Month in South Africa and entering a new season of Twitter being flooded with RIP trends for the women of this country. This, however, is nothing new to the women of South Africa, this is our everyday.
The story of a missing UCT student flooded my newsfeed last week. Uyinene Mrwetyana’s final act on this earth was fighting for her life while being raped and then bludgeoned with a scale in a Post Office at 14:00 in the afternoon. That is not a typo, Uyinene went to collect a parcel from the post office in the afternoon when she was attacked, violated and killed by a man who thought he had the right to lay hands on her.
If you are not outraged by this yet, I can list the names of women who didn’t make it through the weekend at the hands of men. If you need something closer to home, statistics indicate that a woman is murdered every 4-hours in South Africa.
The lady behind you at the Woolworths could be going home to an abusive partner. The little girl in your child’s class might have an uncle who fiddles with her. This blogger could have her own story of surviving abuse at the hands of a man. You could too.
#NotAllMen is trending again. That’s what men cry when they’re called trash online because it’s worse to be called trash than to be dead.
Not all men are willing to stand up to the misogyny that makes it okay to joke about knocking the teeth out of your girlfriend.
Not all men are prepared to defend the girl who is being taken advantage of by the much bigger guy at the bar.
Not all men are going to tell their family member to stop beating his wife.
Not all men are afraid to leave the house because it may be the last time they see their family.
Not all men are willing to stop your rape jokes.
Not all men are prepared to drop your boys will be boys narrative.
Not all men are going to stop victim-blaming.
Not all men stand up against the insistence that women are weak, emotional and irrational playthings.
Not all men are going to change our societal norms that dictate how a wife/girlfriend behaves to please a man.
Not all men are going to break their silence.
We are treated like the scum of the earth dressed up to satisfy the patriarchy’s idea of a good woman. We are just toys for men who believe that a woman’s body is theirs for the taking. We are Uyinene Mrwetyana being beaten to death in a Post Office next door to a police station at 14:00 in the afternoon.
We are tired of wondering if we are next. I am tired of wondering am I next? We are tired of sacrificing our queens to men who barely deserve to exist.