We can make a difference by advocating for safer communities
“What would you do if there were no men on earth for 24 hours?”
This was a question that was being shared on social media recently.
The responses were shocking, sad and eye-opening.
Lots of women commented, saying things like:
I would go out walking after dark;
I wouldn’t feel scared to be alone in public;
I wouldn’t be afraid to use my cellphone in the street;
I would wear whatever I want, and not care if I looked like I was asking to be raped.
Even men joined in the debate, saying they would feel safer if there were no other men in the streets.
So, in other words, the world would be a safer place for 24 hours without men.
It’s true. There’s no question.
Yes, all women are not angels, there are female criminals, some who are capable of the same evil as men.
And, yes, all men are not trash. There are loads of good guys out there, law-abiding people.
But by and large, the perpetrators of almost all of the violent crime in South Africa – and in other countries – are male.
Murder, armed robbery, assault and hijackings – guilty.
But especially gender-based violence and sex crimes – rape, sexual abuse and harassment, and child molestation.
Fellow South African men, acknowledge this, own it.
The sad truth is that we males are responsible for making this country an unsafe place.
It’s bad, it’s pathetic.
What’s even more pathetic is that we have a national campaign where men are encouraged not to be violent towards women and children for 16 days.
Yes, we have to be asked.
And even then, men ignore the call.
This week, which marked the start of the 16 days, we reported on horrific crimes against women and children, committed by men.
In Manenberg, 75-year-old ouma Ruwayda Omar was stabbed to death in her home.
In Bonteheuwel, a man was arrested for allegedly shooting and wounding his wife and son.
Crossroads man Anam Tsholoba appeared in court for allegedly drugging and raping his ex-girlfriend, and then sharing a video of the attack.
Bonteheuwel mother Lauren Dryden was robbed and killed for her cellphone on her way home from work, and Fernando Isaacs was arrested for it.
Shocking stories, but to be fair, this is pretty much a normal week for the Daily Voice.
The violence is endemic.
It seems like a futile cause trying to change this behaviour and stem the tide of violence by men against women and children in this country. It isn’t.
If you, as a father or brother, start by changing your ways, you can make your family home a better place.
If enough families commit to this change, we can make a difference in our communities.
Let’s do it, manne. Not for 16 days, but for 365 days.