24/05/2017 03:57 SAST | Updated 24/05/2017 09:39 SAST

We Cannot Reduce Abuse To A Mere Hashtag

Abuse of any kind is a societal mission. We need to fight as a community and not just by telling others how nonsensical or trashy they are.

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It is was a sad day in South Africa when we took to fight gruesome, disgusting and selfish acts and reduced them to a mere hashtag that sounds cool and relevant. We live in a society that is plagued with patriarchal, misogynistic, sexist and abusive views and yes we have made it okay. When the President of this country was elected into office, we sat as if it was alright to elect someone who was accused of rape. We listened to politicians telling us how great and relevant this man was to lead our society into greater and greener pastures.

It was the then leader of the ANCYL Julius Malema who spew venom at Khwezi for telling us that our President raped her. We sat and closed our eyes and consciously slept on the matter. It was us who debated Zwelinzima Vavi's disgusting ways of sleeping with a married woman in exchange for a job.

It was still us who debated the Marius Fransman sexual harassment issue and did not want to believe the poor woman who said she was being abused by those in power. May we not forget our honourable, or rather not-so-honourable cabinet minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe who has asked a junior employee, Siyasanga Mbambani from the GCIS for "C.L.I.T".

I guess we should not deter because the Chief Justice told us that the word honourable has lost meaning. This is the very society in which when a young girl is being shoved around by a male counterpart in the streets of Atteridgeville, Soshanguve, Soweto, Pienaar, Kabokweni or Mdantsane; we watch and move along as if nothing is happening.

It is us who watch as though a movie is being screened right before our eyes when a woman is being beaten up or crying for help while a man is trying to tear her clothes apart because she is "provocatively sexy or dressed." Yes it us. We watch and say we do not want to help because we don't want to die for something we don't know about.

We do not call our friends out, who abuse and beat their wives up as if they were all plastic and no feelings. We watch on, on social media as they play happy families but are shattered inside. It is us who keep quiet in our political organisation branches as our male counterparts call women "programmes to be engaged at elective conferences " for sexual game. We sit and shut our eyes consciously.

What have we done to be crucified like this as a country? To be cursed with leadership that can not hear the cry of a weeping nation.

We therefore cannot blame men by saying #menaretrash and digress such a societal issue to men being trash or a hashtag that will trend and a march to the union building that will not bear fruit. These actions are almost for self gratification to say "we have done something, ak'fani." This will not assist the wounded soul and those who are left to deal with the treacherous mess. It a disgrace when a country reduces these acts or societal burdens by resorting to the use of a hashtag and blame one gender and not the other. Was it not our mother's who said bekezela ngane yam kuzolunga. Matriarchal isn't it?

During the JZ rape case it was the women who stood there "holding the knife at it's sharpest edge" saying "Zuma didn't rape Khwezi, he was raped." As horrendous as this picture is, not so long ago there were women flagging Pastor Tim Omotoso during his court case. Do these women want to throw trash at the opposite sex? The criticism is undue because we are all part of the problem. Abuse of any kind is a societal mission. We need to fight as a community not by telling others how nonsensical or trashy they are.

South Africa has a ministry of Women in the Presidency and we have yet to hear from mama Susan Shabangu, or will she come out when she has to MC an ANC event? The death of women and children isn't a crisis enough for her to be at the forefront? What is the role of her department?

We also have the office of young people in the presidency and we are yet to hear from them too. Why were they formed? There is a national crisis and the two offices are as quiet as church mice. The ANCYL is as quiet as the dead sea. I will not waste my time asking any of the leaders to say anything substantial because they have failed me as a young person in this country.

The President of the ANC Women's league was heard saying the most bizarre if not retarded of things at Karabo' s funeral. Our socio-economic state is not a joke and we should cease to make excuses for abuse or violence of any kind. What have we done to be crucified like this as a country? To be cursed with leadership that can not hear the cry of a weeping nation. A nation in distress.