#Menaretrash is back at the forefront. The case of Karabo (the beautiful woman who went missing and was found to be killed and burnt beyond recognition by her boyfriend) has basically triggered most of the nation’s women. Women are sharing their own stories on social media and you can’t scroll past a smoothie recipe without being reminded of this trash status.
So what is my feelings about it? well it’s complicated and it’s not. See I’m not the type to hijack other people’s feelings. Like when I see #Blacklivesmatter, I understand the context and don’t ever go, well actually #Alllivesmatter (because it goes without saying) Like when people say #SavetheRhino I don’t get all emotional about the plight of the penguin, because like many people out there I can separate my feelings on different subjects.
The #Menaretrash thing got me thinking though, see I’m a daughter, wife and mother…I don’t like the thought of being the daughter,wife or mother of trash. I don’t believe I am though.
My dad is one of the most caring selfless people out there, he volunteers at schools, when I was young he organised day trips for people who have not had the opportunity to see the beach. See my dad treats my mom, his sisters and his daughters as equals and then some. He is not trash, BUT shortly after he met my mom for the first time he saved her from being raped and attacked by other men, so actually #menaretrash
My husband is amazing, he joined the homicide team to give people answers to the murders that have become common place. As a peer trainer, he has given many a counselling session to young women about how they can make a difference and treats me like a queen. He is not trash, however he is haunted by pictures of women who die at the hands of their loved ones. He has to come home and beat a punching bag because he had to restrain himself from strangling an unrepentant abuser,so maybe #menaretrash
These men who make me reluctant to say #menaretrash, check in on me constantly. They hand me pepper spray and teach me self-defense because out here things are real. Even if I don’t LIKE the sentiment I GET the sentiment. I have been treated like property, I have had people force themselves on me, I walk past men at a fast pace as I clutch a tool in my bag. I HATE the sentiment, but I GET the sentiment.
I don’t hate it for hurt feelings, I hate it because of the truth it carries and for the men out there who are legit not trash but also don’t really know how to carry themselves at the moment. A little girl walked up to my husband in a supermarket the other day and he almost passed out (think of Monsters Inc. and how afraid they were of kids)…he was just so afraid of the kid’s parents getting the wrong idea he practically, shooed her away.
As a mom I worry, I don’t want any woman to ever look at my son with fear, with trepidation, I don’t want her to clutch her pepper spray or wake up in tears because he did something unthinkable.
So how do we keep our sons from trash status? How do we make sure we raise gentlemen? And most of all how do we raise men who try to make a difference to the status quo.
Good role models? explaining the realities of life? We need to stop the cycle…the question that plays over in my mind is HOW? You might be as blessed as I am to know real gentlemen, but as tough as it is for me to admit we have a heck of a long way to go…