Abuse is worse than feminism
I know that a lot of people, when they hear the word ‘feminism’, they think this is a concept that applies only to bra-burning women who have an irrational hatred for men.
Heck, even some women cringe at this seemingly abrasive word.
People need to get over what they have heard and do some investigation. Sometimes we want to take the most accessible fact, and then run whichever way with it. It is like watching a documentary about Africa and thinking all of us are malnourished and that we make hammocks under moving giraffes for transport and shelter.
What people need to understand is that feminism is not only for women, but for everyone. And it is not a movement, nor a religion. It does not condemn all men, nor is it the same as ‘femininity’. All feminism does is aim to ensure equal opportunity for all. When it comes to a lot of the gender-based issues (if not all of them), it is impossible to imagine how anyone could try to solve these issues without it.
Over time, Namibia has become the country where many gender-based crimes have occurred. We are a small country, but almost weekly, stories of female oppression, crimes of passion or rape have become more and more frequent as the country’s timeline lengthens. The statistics are overwhelming.
With crimes of passion, it is always a similar story. A man and a woman have an altercation or disagreement about something, usually a breakup and when the man does not get his way, he either shoots, strangles or stabs the woman.
What I find interesting is how, more often than not, the man ends up killing himself too. As if to say her death was the trigger that made him realise that she was just has human as he is.
I have a friend who refuses to own or even hold an umbrella ‘because it’s not manly’. Honestly, I thought that was one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. I do not understand it. I mean, I would, if men were born water resistant. Maybe, during puberty class, boys were taught that they were extraterrestrial and since then, they have been pressured to live up to these non-existent abilities. Maybe, because of this, they really do think that their skin does not get wet.
I also remember the uproar about the possible ban on mini skirts, and girls being jailed for wearing clothes that were too revealing. And I remember hearing the story about a girl in Johannesburg who ‘deserved’ to have her clothes ripped apart for looking ‘too sleazy’. But I am quite sure that burka bearing women in Saudi Arabia are getting raped too.
Instead, it is “you should not have been wearing that” or “how much did she have to drink”? Instead, book store shelves are stocked with “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”.
I always wonder what it is that makes people think it is okay to follow through with their evil thoughts. What happened to them that what they do is considered normal. How are people’s frame of thinking so angled that one demographic usually turns out to be the more dangerous polar opposite of the other?
I understand that men and women are biologically different. I just do not understand how we are made to forget that we were placed here to breathe the same air, freely.
Honestly, all feminism is here to do is place erroneous patriarchal norms in check. It recognises that a lot of women suffering is at the hands of men, but that men are not exempt from the various forms of oppression placed upon them. Having a man discuss his frustrations with the pressures placed upon him is not despicable, but rape is. Being open to feminist dialogue is not a hindrance to anyone, but violence is. Observing the impact of male oppression on women and a community is not harmful, but murder is.