The disturbing viral video of a man harassing a woman in front of small children inside a Spur should have made every man mad as hell and utterly ashamed. In a country that is plagued by domestic violence and has one of the highest sexual violence rates in the world, this was just another instance of a powerful man trying to assert dominance over a woman by way of aggression and intimidation.
The whole interaction is such a complex issue to break down and requires multiple layers of nuance to get to the core of the issue but one thing is for sure and that is that toxic masculinity hung in the air like a pungent stench. The scene of that man verbally abusing and physically lifting the table all the while with cries of pandemonium and a verbal offensive from the mother ringing in the background must have burnt a disturbing image in the minds of so many.
How many women must have gone through something similar in their private homes, workplaces and in public? This is an issue that cannot simply be ignored and must be thoroughly interrogated especially in a country with as dark a past as ours. Feminists have been educating us for years about the dangers of toxic masculinity and often they must have felt as if they have been preaching to the converted as the patriarchy just won't be defeated.
How much longer must women be the ones to point out the massive problems men have with their masculinity and in a society that is overwhelmingly patriarchal? This cannot go on any longer. How many more women need to suffer at the hands of brutal merciless men before we say enough is enough? Men all over need to take a long hard look in the mirror and interrogate this toxicity that lays dormant within us all. Men need to edify themselves about the dangers and confront it head on when they see it being perpetuated in society.
How can we be effective feminist allies if we cannot even realise a problem that is so systemic it goes unnoticed by the overwhelming majority of us? No longer can we allow this to continue. We must strive for an equal and just society and it starts by admitting we have a problem and that we need to deal with it and deal with it now.
No woman should ever have to go through such an ordeal and have to deal with the psychological and often physical effects of such an interaction. We must be better as men and we have the ability to be better so long as we're willing to approach this with nuance, openness and a willingness to get very honest about the issues. It will be uncomfortable to confront and at times you may question the validity of such an interrogation when you're such a stand-up guy but to destroy the patriarchy is of much greater importance.