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The Laziness of “Not All Men”

The Laziness of “Not All Men”

We can’t dissociate ourselves from the shame of being idealised as perpetrators by women by retorting “not all men” each time women revolt against sexual and gender based violence.

We’re not being honest about the systemic hatred for women indoctrinated upon us by our cultures, media, religions and political class – stiffly perpetuated by egocentric patriarchal worldviews.

“Not all men” is a dilapidated defence mechanism meant to absolve ourselves from the scourge of sexual and gender based violence largely sustained by men our kind. Men in the Americas. Men in India. Men in Africa. Men in Australia. We’re the raining terror, flooding misfortune and bodily harm upon women’s rights and dignity.

Anytime we reduce a woman’s harm or death caused by her partner or rapist or assailant by shouting “not all men”, we’re being hypocritical by insinuating we are not part of the problem. Yet our silence automatically would suggest that we are complicit to these heinous vices.

How many women kill women on this earth?
How many women kill men on this earth for refusing their sexual advances?
What are the leading causes of men’s suicide and murder of men and who, according to numbers, perpetuates them?

Women have been holding space for us. They put aside their needs to cater to our insecurities yet they can’t even feel safe with us when we are at our healthiest. Always on the look out for signs of danger even in their homes.

Heck, men in the DRC to Libya to Northern Uganda have been atrociously raped by male army soldiers who meant to humiliate them before their families.

So this has nothing to do with sex but everything to do with power.

Of course many men are raped, harmed, and battered by their female spouses and girlfriends and other women. But if we truly care about them, we must be intentional about opening specific forums and kamukunjis to discuss the realities of these happenings, dissecting the possible causes and thinking of solutions. We cannot bring this up to silence and shame women for speaking up against violence meted upon one of them as an equalizer. It is escapist and murderous.

Do we see ourselves outside the lenses of violence? This is where the struggle is. We believe that a man is synonymous to dominance and taking up space. So anyone who attempts to challenge this, and worse of they be a woman, is severely punished. We shall not point at the aggressor but shame the victim even in their death.

Even in their death, guys. Like someone has been killed but we’re happier to spit on their graves than ask why their killer had to kill them regardless of the circumstances they met. That is sick!

Onyango Otieno

Onyango Otieno is a cultural designer ardent in maximizing the power of storytelling for healing and connection. Onyango believes in the potent spirit of humanity collectively creating safe spaces for interaction, development, business and movement, for a more cohesive world.

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