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#MenAreTrash

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On 29 April, the burnt body of Karabo Mokoena was found a day after she had been reported missing, in the veld in Lyndhurst. #RipKarabo: A Twitter storm was ignited soon after Karabo’s body was found after it was declared that her boyfriend was the main suspect in the case. In addition the hashtag #MenAreTrash has also been trending on Twitter. The phrase, ‘Men are trash’ has offended some but others have pointed out that those offended by the statement, are the problem. So, what is meant by this?

#MenAreTrash #menaretrash #MenAreTrash Men are trash
#RipKarabo

Statistically, a woman is killed in South Africa every 8 hours, 50% were murdered by their intimate partner. This makes South Africa’s femicide (female genocide) rate five times higher than the global average. The #MenAreTrash movement highlights the dangers women face, not only in unfamiliar places but also at the hands of their loved ones. Being murdered by an intimate partner and loved one shows that domestic violence against women is still rife in the world – and it does happen all around the world. The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women killed by their current or ex-male partners during that time was 11,766. In perspective, 11,766 is nearly double the amount of lives lost in war circumstances. 

The reason why men are fighting the #MenAreTrash generalization is because no man has ever had the opportunity to enter into the experience of being a woman. The response that, ‘Not all of us are trash,’ is irrelevant. #MenAreTrash is a movement, not a statement. It doesn’t mean that you in your personal capacity are trash, it means that men as an ‘organization’, ‘group’ or ‘collective’ are trash. It is a hard pill to swallow, to accept that you are a part of the problem whether you are abusing a woman or not. No one likes accepting the blame when you can justify that you are in fact ‘innocent’. This hashtag brings about the awareness that even if you are a man who has never abused a woman, you also need to ensure that your fellow men follows the same example. Through silence and complacence you become participants. 

So, that is what #MenAreTrash means. 

By: Kriszti Bottyan

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