‘Open up about abuse’

2018-07-19 06:00
Thandi Mazibuko and Amanda Koba will create a platform for young and old to engage this coming Saturday in Lwandle.

Thandi Mazibuko and Amanda Koba will create a platform for young and old to engage this coming Saturday in Lwandle.

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Two young women from Lwandle are creating a platform for young and old to engage on the #MenAreTrash phenomenon.

The two women, Amanda Koba and Thandi Mazibuko, say they want to keep up the conversation of how this hashtag came about and what it is intended to do.

An “intimate” discussion on the topic will take place this Saturday (28 July) at the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum, and is open to everyone.

Mazibuko and Koba say the idea to have this discussion came about as result of the recent 100 Men March.

The discussion is also intended to help those in abusive relationships to speak up.

“We believe words are very powerful,” says Mazibuko.

“Words are like seeds, you need to plant them to get the conversation going. Where does it come from, and why did a woman decide to say men are trash?”

She says there needs to be a platform to analyse and get clarity on what this all means, as people can easily be offended by the term they hear, that “men are trash”.

“People need to know the pressure some women face,” Mazibuko says. “They have been exposed to gender-based abuse, rape and been made to feel their bodies don’t belong to them.

“Some men feel a sense of entitlement over women’s bodies and that needs to come to an end.”

She says it is time men respected women and do some introspection.

The young activists say this is not in any way an attack on men, but rather a platform for them to change their perspectives, particularly on how they treat women.

“You need to know who you are and be brave,” says Koba.

“We are creating this platform so whoever may be going through the same can stand up and speak out. We want those that come here to leave with a sense that it is fine to speak up.”

Says Mazibuko: “Keeping things inside doesn’t necessarily help. But when you come here and relate as a man to these women, you will know your pursuit must be a little gentle, thoughtful and considerate in imposing yourself on other people’s territory.”

The two believe this session will create change and awaken people’s consciousness on the issue of abuse.

They urge young people to believe in, and stand up for themselves, and not rely on other people for their well-being.

The duo want to bring a generation of women to a point where they feel stronger – that they can walk the streets freely and without fear.

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