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Athenkosi Hashe
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#MENARETRASH leads patriarchy discourse

17 May 2017, 10:21

Over the past few months we’ve seen the #MenAreTrash hashtag taking centre stage in the fight against patriarchy deeply entrenched in the society’s systems and structures which are traditional in their nature and as a result the biggest endorsers of patriarchy. Society has for years silently endorsed the structural exclusion of females from various activities either social, political and in general activities which have been male dominated in the past.

The society, through its traditions and cultures, have for years excluded females from participating in most of societies activities because of their gender which doesn’t  determine their performance in the field. For instance females cannot hold traditional seats in most traditional royal councils because culture and tradition which are structures themselves forbid women from holding these positions and dictates the way in which women should act but fails to do the same to their male counterparts and this is part of the problem. For years society saw no problem with these structural exclusions’ and biases towards females until a time when women started asserting themselves into these environments and started questioning the way things are done and the reasoning behind the exclusion of a particular grouping of humans from systems because of an aspect that does not affect their conscience and nor does it affect the way they reach resolutions. The mind of a human has the same qualities regardless of the gender grouping they fall in.

Females then realised the flaws with the system and how it is biased against their efforts. They realised how they are always on the receiving end when it comes to violation of individual rights. They realised how the system will forever favour their male counterparts even if when they have less potential then females will ever have. They started realising how exclusionary the system is and how structures are used to keep them in check where they don’t question anything.

The dominance of men and their silence when it comes to advocating for equality within society is what pushed females to act and try to find means to open up discussions which will help alert males on the role they play in the perpetuation of patriarchy. The #MenAreTrash movement is not only about those males who actively oppress women but each and every man who benefits from the system by virtue of being male.

This includes males who watch as their fellow brothers actively oppress women or pose a danger to their existence. This includes the guy who laughs when women are referred to as bitches for having strong personalities. It also includes females who are intimidated by males daily for refusing to be their partners. It also includes society portraying females as whores for having different sexual partners but praises males for doing the same.

Patriarchy is deemed an act disgusting when it is done by a female and socially correct when it is done by a man. These are the systems which need dismantling but in order to dismantle, we need to have discourse around the issues which men fail to address and understand when it comes to patriarchy.

#MenAreTrash is a campaign which is initiated to usher in these conversations. It is meant to create awareness on the issues society takes for granted which perpetuate patriarchy to what it is today. We need to understand that in order to change a situation we need to discuss it first, the only way to initiate these discussion is through an emotive channel which will challenge people to actively address their issues and help in creating awareness to the dangers of patriarchy as a system of oppression and #MenAreTrash helps to ease into the conversation.

It also then helps males realise how patriarchal they are when they protect their masculinity everytime the #MenAreTrash discussions take place. It helps them address why they become defensive about the topic and why the topic needs to happen as a way of creating awareness and open conversations about such issues.

#MenAreTrash is a discussion which needs to happen as a tool of alerting society of the radical dangers of patriarchy and how problematic they are to the well-being of the community as a whole.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.


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