Men Are Trash: the movement

2016-12-05 15:09

Given how the title isn’t exactly inviting to men, if you’re a man you’re probably reading this article because the title rubbed you off the wrong way.

You're probably reading this to find something to counter attack my argument, maybe criticise me and lament to your friends about the nerve of this young girl or okay, you could just be curious.

Nothing like a good bunch of stereotypical assumptions to break the ice.

I’d like you to brace yourselves and read on. Oh and please, at any offensive statement, feel free to explode behind your screen and maybe, as usual, smash a wall or according to statistics, a woman, I don’t know.

I want to start by saying MEN ARE TRASH – I used caps lock to seem extra intimidating because you know, I’m a woman ( joke). 

All right, now that all are aboard, let’s begin. If you have a social media account, then you’ve certainly been acquainted with the #MenAreTrash trend and if you haven’t then I’d like to officially introduce you to it.

Men Are Trash is a movement. That’s right, a movement. Men Are Trash is an anti-patriarchal movement and let’s just be clear that it has nothing to do with the fact that men are trashy love interests/ partners and everything to do with the oppressive systems that are imposed on *womxn that men nurture and even actively participate in. 

We know that there are “good men”, we understand that not ALL men are trashy bigots. That’s not the point of the movement. In fact, “Not all men” misses the point every time. It quietens us down, it’s an attempt to shut us up and it has to stop.

The “not all [insert problem]” argument is not constructive, it doesn’t bring forth any substance to the debate and it certainly doesn’t bring forth any solutions to the problems *womxn are systematically faced with.

Is it not relevant that the majority of your species is raping, abusing, killing, disenfranchising, undermining, patronising, policing, pirating, mansplaining and widely victimising *womxn?

Must we just pack up and go home, forget this is happening because “not all men”? So what are *womxn to do? Nurse our wounds, overcome your systematic oppression and also have enough energy to try to figure out who’s trash and who’s not? We’d have to dedicate an awful lot of time to doing that because you don’t come with labels or perhaps written “trash” on your foreheads, you come into our spaces as people we can trust, as people who are in authority, in position, in power and so, we’d expect you to be ‘safe’ but 90% of the time, you’re trash to us.

If you had a sack of potatoes, 8/10 of them are rotten, would you just let it sit there because “not all potatoes are rotten”? How would you describe it to someone? Say you’re too disgusted to open the sack; would you not just say “THE potatoes are rotten”? (hence THE men are trash) Or would you magically think of the exact ratio of spoilt potatoes to good ones – having not opened the sack? Didn’t think so.

The worst part of “not all men” is that it will be every trashy man’s favourite line to gain access and trust to *womxn. So in addition to trying to survive and thrive, *womxn have to stay wary of every man they come across.

And what about snakes? Snakes are dangerous but “not all snakes are venomous” so… are we going to encourage kids to find out the difference if they ever come across a snake? And until men themselves can distinguish between the two without help from google or textbooks then don’t “not all men” MEN ARE TRASH because NOT ALL SNAKES. 

The “not all” argument is so weak that even the way we use our words tears it right apart, let’s look at words... take our racist poster child Penny Sparrow. Not all her words were hateful, for instance she used words like “the, I, have, Durban beach” then of course she had a few bad words like “black monkeys” …but according to the “not all” logic Penny is not racist because not all of her words were hateful. Her good and bad words are completely isolated events then right? Just like good and bad men are completely isolated individuals, so let’s all just pack up and go home. (I’m black so according to Penny home is a tree).

Listen we’re not saying ALL men are trash, we’re saying *womxn are being victimised by men to the point where it is necessary to point it out and hope that if we put you all into one group, you can actually bring change among yourselves because you are not mutually exclusive to each other. The actions of the majority of you men are not isolated from the actions of the minority of you men.  

And quite frankly, if all you can take away from the Men Are Trash movement is that you personally are not trash, then believe me, you are part of the problem.

Please just think about it.

*womxn instead of women, is used to promote inclusivity of cis- and transgender, queer, pansexual, asexual and all other human identities

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