Few days ago, my flatmate and a good friend of mine Thendo said something to me that really left me disappointed and angry at myself for being a man in our society. Thendo normally takes a bath before she sleeps every night.
Bathrooms at our flat are outside of our living space and since it was around 10 in the evening, I asked Thendo why is she not taking her regular bath and these are the words she uttered to me, ‘ I do not feel safe to take a bath after 10 o’clock here, I do not want to be raped.’
This statement really broke my heart and left me with so many questions about the safety of women in our society.
If women, who stay in a 24-hour security guarded complex, still do not feel safe to be free in their space, then this really requires us as men to look in the mirror and ask ourselves some tough questions.
This questions should be at the heart of men who claim not to be trash, us men who says who are not abusers of women and children.
What are we doing to make sure women feel safe at all times and don’t have the urge to look back in fear of any sort of violation?
It’s all good to say we are not ‘trash’, but do our actions reciprocate our stance?
Fighting our male privilege should be our daily exercise and that requires us to treat and create secure spaces for women to feel free.
Baf’wethu women will not feel safe for as long as we still undress them with our eyes, objectify their bodies and call them derogatory names that seek to undermine their existence.
I am not trying to sound like a holy cow, but we really need to stop this predatory attitude of ours.
If we need our sisters, mothers and daughters to feel safe in our surroundings, then the language we use among ourselves when speaking about women should change.
A good man is one who acknowledges his flaws and commits to correct them and I am that man, are you?
Sir Terry Pratchett once said: “The female mind is certainly devious one, my Lord.”
Vetinari looked at his secretary in surprise.
“Well of course it is, it has to deal with the male one.”