I am deeply upset at how positive social messages are being turned into self-seeking and twisted activities. The people who came before us lived in a world where they couldn’t enjoy fundamental privileges and discrimination was at a level that inhibited freedom and growth but they spoke out and fought just so future generations would not have to go through what they did. Only for all their work to be taken for granted by extremely entitled youth and a section of people who don’t really understand nor value these opportunities.
Let me get to specifics. The other day I was going through my Twitter feed, looking to laugh a little or judge a lot, when I came across the hashtag #MenAreTrash. At first, my inner basic snapped her fingers and screamed “Yaaaaaas honey. Tell them.” This judgment based on the approximately the 3 – 4 men I have really known in my life. Out of the maybe 4 billion male population in the world, my 4 men seemed pretty inconsequential but who cares ?? Your reality is only as big as your world, right ? So I followed the thread , ready to re-tweet swiftly. My fellow feminists had awakened all kinds of emotions in me and creative juices were flowing, about to drop some ‘wisdomous’ tweets to encourage my sisters in the fight against the injustices men commit against us. The fact that I had just seen the story about the 22 year old South-African socialite who was murdered and thrown out by the boyfriend just fueled my agenda to join the movement. However, the further I went down the thread, the sillier I felt. The hashtag was just filled with young women venting, berating and out right cussing at men. Not citing any tangible reason but taking the opportunity to lament after a string of heart breaks and rejection from their male interests. And so many of their sentiments were being validated by other women who had been scarred and never got a chance to rise above. All singing the song of the broken in unison.
I wondered if this was the point of this hashtag. At first glance it seemed like a support group but after extensive research and thorough investigation, I found out that it was started to speak out against gender based violence, abuse and undermining on women. The movement really condemned the oppressive patriarchal system that most men nurture and actively participate in. A genuine war cry among soldiers had been reduced to a mere ‘ committee of bitter women ‘. No wonder the message was not being passed. Who would listen to a girl claiming to be ‘fighting the good fight’ while basing it on a boy who broke her heart at 19. What do we (both girls and guys) know about love, responsibility and commitment at 19 ?? I for sure broke a heart at that age and if the hashtag #WomenAreTrash were to trend, I might just find myself at the mercy of a bitter ex-boyfriend.
What I am trying to say is, ‘feminism’ is not an excuse to insult and belittle the male population and the important roles they play in the society. It’s a movement meant to advocate for the equality of all sexes on all fronts. Women are tired of the rape, abuse, undermining, patronizing, discrimination etc and that’s why we don’t care if it’s ‘not all men’ that are trash, we will not abandon the cause just because 3 out of 10 are reformed. It’s meant to abolish traditional gender roles and societal expectations that have conditioned so many of us. It’s meant to tell children that it’s okay for men to be sensitive and women to be strong. Equal pay and fair distribution of resources regardless of what is between your legs. Education for all and allowing women to choose their own path without double-standards or reproach. To the simplest form : A woman can be allowed to chose her career over kids and white picket fences without feeling guilty.
Don’t get it twisted. ‘Men are trash’ was not created to allow women to beat men – emotionally or physically. ‘Feminism’ is not a movement of bitter women looking to get revenge on love gone wrong. ‘Plus size’ movement was not created to encourage unhealthy lifestyles. It is not a pass for women not to care about their health. ‘No slut shaming’ movement was started to kill male double-standards about women’s sexuality not to encourage irresponsibility and unfaithfulness. ‘Be real’ was not meant to bring up a generation of cold, rude, anti-social people but to encourage everyone to celebrate and embrace their uniqueness and those of others. ‘Black lives matter’ was not to say that white lives don’t matter or brown lives are insignificant but to fight against racial profiling, injustices and discrimination.
With great freedom comes great responsibility. These affirmative actions are there to celebrate uniqueness without demeaning any one. Stop twisting their purpose to push your selfish agenda.