Enough is Enough.
Our country has had the most heartbreaking Women’s Month. Our crime, rape and femicide statistics have climbed to horrendous heights, and we need to speak up. We need to take a stand. We need to make a noise. We need to protest. And we need our government to take action.
It is sad that it even had to get to this – get so bad that we have had to voice so many controversial opinions, hashtags that even women don’t agree with and highlight the death of so many beautiful women. Uyinene, Jesse, Leighandrie, Janika, Meghan, Siam, Courtney, Hannah… and the thousands that we don’t even know their names – I am so sorry that we couldn’t protect you, our country and our men have failed you.
As a woman and mom of three girls, I am scared. I am scared for me, for my daughters, for my mum, my sisters, my friends. For our safety, for our future and for our lives.
Am I next?
Are they next?
I don’t normally divulge in politics or crime, or speak up about negativity. But change needs to happen, and awareness needs to be made. Bloggers and influencers are always so willing to share their great experiences or products but their voice is even louder and more important when we need change. Women are being raped and murdered, children kidnapped and molested. Every day. And at the hands of sick, violent, sexual and aggressive men. Men that walk our streets, serve our communities, interact with our children, and are in our families.
So many women and men have questioned the #menaretrash movement but answer these questions with truth and honesty:
- Do you know a man who has ogled a beautiful woman walking down the street? #menaretrash
- Do you know a man who has shared “funny” videos on a boys WhatsApp chat group? #menaretrash
- Do you know a boy who has mentioned his “hot teacher” at lunch break? #menaretrash
- Do you know a man who slid into your DM’s with suggestive messages? #menaretrash
- Do you know a man who has flirted with you, bought you drinks and not left you alone in a nite club? #menaretrash
- Do you know a man who has looked you up and down in the gym? #menaretrash
- Do you know a man who has cat-called or wolf-whistled when you walk past them? #menaretrash
- Do you know a friends brother or cousin who has “tried their luck” with you or a friend? #menaretrash
- Do you know a girl whose drink has been spiked? #menaretrash
- Do you know a friend whose stepdad, uncle or friends father has touched them inappropriately? #menaretrash
- Do you know a friend who was in an emotionally or verbally abusive relationship when at school or university? #menaretrash
I can answer YES to every single one of those questions. And all these men that were perpetrators were brothers, fathers, neighbours, family friends, Christians, teachers, co-workers or high school boyfriends. Boys and men that were ‘respected’ in society, in their workplace or in their families. Boys and men that didn’t look like your typical criminals, were of a certain race or cultural background – they were and are just men.
And in the same breath, so many women have questioned the #metoo movement and thought that they weren’t victims, yet they could answer many of these question with a resounding YES too:
- Have you ever cancelled a run on the promenade in the early morning light because you were scared? #metoo
- Have you ever been groped by a stranger in a nite club? #metoo
- Have you ever had a group of builders wolf whistle at you? #metoo
- Have you ever felt awkward when a man sat down next to you on public transport? #metoo
- Have you ever had a guy not take no for an answer? #metoo
- Have you ever been too scared to get into a taxi or Uber alone? #metoo
- Have you ever had a brothers friend or family member touch you inappropriately? #metoo
- Have you ever had a boyfriend or spouse keep going when you said no during intimacy? #metoo
- Have you ever had a husband, brother or guy friend get involved in disgusting memes and videos on a group chat? #metoo
- Have you ever had a boss or co-worker sexually harass you in the workplace? #metoo
- Have you ever had a male teacher linger too close on a school tour? #metoo
- Have you ever had your drink spiked in a nite club? #metoo
- Have you ever had a boyfriend grip your arm too tight or call you bad names? #metoo
Again, I can answer YES to all of the above. And I haven’t even been raped, kidnapped, molested, or murdered. Yet.
All of the above happens every day in our beautiful country, but also all over the world. So many South Africans are considering emigrating and leaving our beautiful country and everyone has the right to their opinions and decisions, our crime statistics are some of the highest in the world but the grass is also not always greener. When considering our options to emigrate, having lived abroad and travelled across the world – I have similar worries for most countries. I fear for my life when getting on the tube/subway or visiting European landmarks and sights and the fight against terrorism. I fear for my children growing up being affected by drugs and the drug dealers in Australia. I fear for my daughter being another #metoo statistic on a university campus across the world and I fear for my children going to school or visiting our local store and being gunned down by some mad man in America.
Our country is in a state of emergency. We live in a very broken world.
And we need to help make the change.
Join a March tomorrow in protest. Wear black and mourn all the beautiful angels who have entered Heaven too early. Sign a petition. Share the posts and articles and videos on social media. Use your voice. And encourage the men in your life to speak up too.
Enough is enough.