The increased cases of violence against women and girls in South Africa have become a national issue with some survivors now forced to believe that SA men are nothing but trash hence the #MenAreTrash campaign.
South African women stormed the social media to join the #MenAreTrash campaign as they take their turn to narrate their experience of violent abuse by the men.
But while a great number of South Africans condemn the growing acts, a few others blamed the women for playing a major role in the rise of sexual abuse.
According to the few, South African women need to turn to themselves and conduct a real “moral regeneration” by correcting those behaviours that tend to attract violent sexual attacks on them. These acts, according to them include Improper dressing; high intake of alcoholic drinks like izibotho emaTavern; having multiple sex partners, among many others.
However, a researcher working on gender-based violence matters, condemned the women’s use of social media as a platform to address the situation, saying this may not be a good idea as social media is not necessarily the best forum for the discussion.
“Twitter and Facebook, unfortunately, aren’t really the best places to have that discussion. That would be my concern, that it’s not really able to move forward in a way that is constructive.
Hundreds of men heading the #NotInMyName march in response to the #MenAreTrash campaign, pleaded with women and children to forgive them as they’ve admitted that they failed them.
“On behalf of all men in South Africa, whether they agree with me or not, we apologise… We failed you, all of us, and from now I won’t be debating. We are a country that loves debating, analysing without looking at solutions. Time of people to rise up, we have failed you.
“We will become better men for you, our sons will become better sons for you. We are going all over South Africa, we are talking to your boy child, it has to stop and it stops now, we have been quiet for too long but we admit we failed you,” said Siyabulela Jentile, #NotInMyName March co-organizer.
— African Child (@ZikhonaTshona) May 20, 2017
Meanwhile, the eNCA reported Wits University researcher, Lisa Vetten as saying that the flip side could be that men who are violent already tend to have a negative attitude towards women,
“So these sort of hashtags only tend to reinforce that particular feeling and may have the potential to be used as an excuse, oh well women are so x-y and z, so if I hurt them that’s fine because we’re actually the victims here,” said Lisa Vetten.
While some call for the return of death penalty for offenders despite the fact that only about six percent of rape cases are successfully prosecuted, researchers working in the gender-based violence area say that bringing back the death penalty is not the answer.
The South African police Service (SAPS), however, called for the establishment of a harsher judgement for the those who perpetrate in all forms of violent acts against women and young girls.
The police service plans to hold a meeting with the justice department to ensure more stringent laws are made to help end gender violence in South Africa.