Twitter and ez’ weyi!!

2014-05-28 09:48

There lots of unflattering words men use to describe women in the world. Hoes, bitch, slut, loose and the latest made popular on social networking site Twitter is “ezi’ weyi”. Now a direct translation to the queen’s language of the word is ‘these things’.

I don’t know where this word comes from or the ‘kind’ of woman the phrase is describing but I can guess it’s not meant a as compliment. Since it means things, it’s essentially reducing women to commodities that can be used and tossed aside after.

A description from a dictionary written by a popular ‘tweep’ defines ‘ezi’weyi’ as “a girl/woman with questionable behaviour’. To this day I am still trying to decipher the meaning of that loaded explanation.

I am sure a lot of those who are comfortable with using this word will quickly dismiss me as an over sensitive humourless weak man. You see on twitter and in the world in general the minute you start advocating for women empowerment you‘re immediately called a closet homosexual or a lesser man. The levels of homophobia of in that logic are another matter which needs attention.

A lot of ‘tweeps’ in social space might claim they’re using the word harmlessly, being conversational or sarcastic. But that does not mean it’s less sexist and less degrading to women by equating them to things just because they dare live outside conventional male expectations.

Mostly this phrase is used by men (and some women) with legions of followers whom strongly agree with and sometimes take it a step further by mostly replying with sexist infused comments.

Men get away with a lot. Be it cheating, physical abuse, emotional abuse, abandoning their responsibilities and many more. Somehow they’ re allowed that but the minute a woman starts trying to break the barriers of patriarchal and sexiest confinement, identifies as a feminist or embraces her sexuality she is immediately seen as anti-men and called one of ‘ez’ weyi’.

It’s sexism if you expect a woman to ‘behave’ in the right way considering you don’t hold men to the same standards. Ez’ weyi is not a term of endearment rather it is a way for men to justify their privilege by being subtly sexist.

And on twitter, the anointed ones, the ‘twelebs’ get away with mostly everything because their legion of followers are always there to cheer them on. The same men will always be offering advice to women on how ‘ladies can improve their behaviour’ but seldom offer men any about treating women as people.

You could argue that not all people are on twitter but the dissociation of what happens on social space does not mean it doesn’t happen in the real world.

Twitter is mostly occupied by digital personas and parody accounts (Hello minister Nene) and it’ s also a window to see social media is not immune to the deep rooted prejudices that are as prevalent in real life. It’s ironic that today these men will be telling you how much they love their mothers, sisters, wives and girlfriends.

Do they not take account that the women they call ‘ezi’ weyi’ are someone’s mother, sisters, girlfriend and wife.

Homophobia, sexism and racism are collectively major problems that need us all to get our heads together and fight against. And for that to happen we as men have to see women not as the lesser or fairer sex but as equals who have as much right to be whatever they choose just like anyone else…

You can catch me on twitter @BongaDlulane

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