I’ve been a bit confused – #menAretrash

by Zuko Qusheka

A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend about feminism. I told her that I don’t understand certain parts of feminism, especially its ‘militant’ approach to dealing with the male factor. I ask a lot of questions lately, it’s intriguing to hear a well thought out opinion that isn’t overshadowed by more emotion than an Adele song.

But let me not digress. Although that conversation happened a while back, it kind of came back to me in the form of #MenAreTrash. The hashtag, which re-started with the gruesome murder of a young woman by her boyfriend, has been rather more divisive than it should be, well from my opinion. Don’t be mistaken, when I say restarted I mean the hashtag not the murder – seems South African men have a track record of being abusive and murdering women and children. I doubt stats lie. So, I’ve actually been avoiding this hashtag a lot, and trust me not because its ‘annoying’. I think I’ve been avoiding it because it’s a bit personal. Personal in the sense that I’ve had friends and family at the mercy of a man at one point in their lives. It’s quite terrifying to see a friend at the mercy of their boyfriend because he doesn’t want her to talk to other guys, or listen to a friend express her sadness at how she was abused when she was younger and it affects her interactions with men. Don’t even get me started on emotional abuse…

I write this article not to the women, but to the guys. I think we must accept that an ignorant approach to issues plaguing women is by far the last thing we should be doing, I don’t have the answers to what should be done, nor am I putting myself on a pedestal because I’m writing an article. We’re all guilty, whether we like this or not we just have never been put in our places, well this generation of women is tired. They really shouldn’t be living in fear of a gender that throws tantrums when a lady refuses to go home with her – go home mjita. Issues don’t need to be at your doorstep for you to act. I don’t want to list stats about the crimes against women; we all know and can think about a female who’s been abused in some sort of way. That’s the only stat that’s relevant to me – 100% of men know of a female who’s been abused in some form of way. It’s never too late to start having conversations about such things guys, it’s as easy as checking your boy.  As Christians and just as humans, we have the basic duty to speak up when we notice injustice. If I can change the mind of at least one guy reading this about the dangers of thinking ‘this doesn’t affect everyone’ or says ‘Not all of us’ then this article has served its purpose for me. Contrary to popular belief, guys do have such conversations but it’s never given attention for long enough. Well not as much as football or who deserves to be in the top 5 best rapper list. I just hope we can start having these conversations without grandstanding; you don’t have to walk up to a female and tell her that you know you’re trash. Trust me, she knows. She knows so well she can give you a dissertation. So what next, Zuko? I’m personally hoping to use whatever platforms I have to try and help make a change through dialogue with young men (this being one of the very few to have a frank conversation not just with young men/older men, but also with ladies too). As much as I personally think we as guys can’t lead such dialogues, the least we can do is assist wherever we can.

Speaking of dissertations let me be a diligent student and continue with schoolwork. I hope we can do better guys, I’m learning as much as everyone else.


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