First of all, I am a male. I have 2 daughters, sisters, a mother, female friends and a girlfriend. If I feel the need to always protect them, what will stop me from applying the same mentality across all women? What gives me the right to harm other women and protect the ones closest to me? Of course you would not understand why men are trash when you continue to overlook what women and children go through on a daily basis.
The #MenAreTrash tag is embedded with deep pain, fear and disgust. I don’t expect everyone to understand this, because it seems as though we’re constantly waiting for something to happen to our loved ones in order for us to see the world and society for what it really is. There is no empathy in this world; we no longer seem to care. It pains me, because, we are not implementing the humanity we preach day in, day out; it pains me because we have mothers, sisters and daughters, but we still overlook all the social ills that are harmful to them and get offended by a hashtag that is raising quite critical issues. We have a crisis.
This brings me to the “why men are trash” point. We have missed the point of the hashtag, this has got nothing to do with us being cheaters and all, because in all honesty women cheat too, but that is beside the point. We have to look deeper into the roots of the problem, when and how “men are trash” existed and why we continue disregarding what we are doing wrong instead of changing our ways. For the mere fact that we condone certain utterances and acts among our friends make us trash. You honestly don’t have to be an abuser or rapist to be trash, but at some point, you ignored the fact that your friend would loosely call a woman a “bitch”. That is where the trash we are starts, by not showing one another (as men) the way. The male species is like “the blind leading the blind” situation; we are always sceptical to call out our friends for doing wrong things to preserve a friendship that is based on trash talking women all day.
The minute “Men are trash” pops up, we get touched and become defensive. What is it that we are defending so much? Our egos? Manhood? What is so important that we cannot defend and protect our women? Especially us as black men, we always feel the need to play victim when we are clearly the root of almost all problems.
The “Not all men are trash” brigade makes things even worse when they think that they’re putting out the fire, because what does that portray? You are defending your little ego to continue being ignorant and that is worrying. To put “men are trash” into perspective, look at the number of girls/women going missing, being raped and abused. Even boys being molested. In most of these cases, it’s “man on woman.” Yes there are cases where women are implicated in these sorts of crimes, we cannot overlook that, but we are now focusing on men and their ways.
This is not a feminist movement, but an issue in which we should all be coming up with solutions to the problem at hand, but how do we even reach a stage of coming up with solutions when we still deal with apologists and people who think that they are being attacked on the “Men are trash” topic. This is not an attack on men, but an alert that we need to look deeper into this and change our ways and how we choose our battles. We cannot continue as men to protect our trashy ways and disregard everything else in the world as if we have no female relatives and loved ones.
Ask yourself this, how would you feel if your sister was abused? Raped? Murdered? It won’t be nice, right? Now, why impose such on other women out there? Just not so long ago, we dragged and attacked white people who came out saying “Not all whites are racist” and during the Sandra Bland issue, we attacked them for saying “All lives matter” when we were chanting “Black lives matter”. Why change the tune now and say “Not all men are trash” when people are saying “Men are trash”? If you believe that you are not trash, good for you, let us who believe that men are trash for so many reasons and that we can change for the better continue to fight this struggle and support our women. I personally feel accountable for things that go wrong because of men. Reason being, these things start very small in discussions among friends as jokes, but at that point we do not look into the seriousness of what our jokes may lead to.
The issues that instigate “Men are trash” are among other things: rape, domestic abuse, women going missing, violent attacks on the LGBTI+ community and foreign nationals. Women do not even feel safe in their own homes, especially around men and we honestly think that is normal? How twisted are we? Men are called trash for the above reasons and it has nothing to do with our egos, but we choose to disregard that, missing the point of it all and making everything about individualism when we can easily ask ourselves what went wrong and how can we rectify it. We cannot keep telling women to be safe and vigilant like they invite bad things to happen to them all the time. Why can’t we tell men to stop making women feel unsafe and protect them? How selfish are we?
I have dated people who were sexually assaulted in my life; I even have a female friend who went through the same tragic event. It was very difficult for me to comfort them when they disclosed it to me, because as a man, I felt that it is my fault, even though I was not there. It is my duty is to protect them from such incidents and do everything in my power to prevent such incidents to even happen, but I cannot do all of that on my own. Rape starts with us and we are the only ones that can stop it. But how do we stop rape when we are offended by a hashtag that is meant to highlight these issues so that we can have an understanding of the ills and solve them. We continuously make women feel as if it’s their fault that they are raped. We always talk about how they dress. Has it ever crossed your mind that 3 months old babies are getting raped too? Is it an outfit issue? Does the diaper give you such a hard on that you can feel the urge to insert your penis into the vagina of a 3 months old baby? We are sick. Men are sick.
And then we are bothered by people’s sexualities too. Yes there are women that are homophobic, but that is not the point. How many times were women involved in the attacks on gays and lesbians? How many women raped gays? Who are implicated in “corrective rape”? Men, right? Then you want to defend such acts? I am not saying you condone rape, but by overlooking the roots of “men are trash” clearly says that you don’t care and also that you are not even bothered by the reasons, all you care about is your stupid ego and petty little party with your friends.
I am not for or against feminists; I am not for or against men’s petty parties. I am an individual, sober minded enough to tackle issues as they come, whether they speak for men, women or humans in general. I know what is right and wrong. I choose my battles according to what I see as a priority and its critical stance. I advocate for my people and I will continue to do so. During Flabba’s murder, I was not quiet, during Reeva’s murder, I was not quiet. We are humans, we are trash. But we must stop deviating from a topic by comparing it with another. If we are talking about how women are trash for dumping babies, let’s stick to that topic and find solutions to the problem rather than comparing it to how trash men are. If men are being called out for rape and abuse, let’s also focus on that specific issue and find solutions, because when we talk about “men are trash”, there is a reason at that particular moment and clapping back with “But women are also trash” is pure childish and not seeking to admit to an existing problem and finding solutions to it.
The day we admit that we have bigger issues imbedded in the “men are trash” tag and understanding that we are not attacked as men, is the day we can all reason and be able to form our booze sessions around discussing how we can change the society we live in.
In all honesty, things did not have to reach a stage where women have to equip themselves with alarm devices as if they’re property that needs security measures against criminals; a stage where women feel obliged to buy tasers, stun guns and pepper sprays.
In your right state of mind as a human being, do you honestly think this is the way to live? In fear? Is it healthy? Certainly not. How do you go on to defend a hashtag, but failing to protect women? We have failed our women and children, and we are excelling at failing them continuously, but we claim to love them. We are failures. We are trash. Until our women and children are safe, I am trash and you are trash. You can fight it all you want. Men are trash. And the one that will go on to say “Speak for yourself” is the king of all trashes. Inkunzi ye trash.
As things are, I fear for the daughters I am raising, I don’t want them to grow in a sick society. I fear for all the other women out there. Change starts with me. Change starts with admitting that we have a problem, men are the problem. Only then we can work on solutions as a collective and not point fingers on who is trashier than who.