South Africa: GBV and #MenAreTrash - Men Should Be Seen and Not Heard


Manliness is in need of cleansing so it may be of use again. Men should feel rage, not at hashtags, but at the violence that hides in, and spills over on to, their identities.

The philosopher and activist Simone Weil famously defined force as "that x that turns anybody who is subjected to it into a thing". While this is both a striking and useful definition, it fails to capture the true horror, the paralysing intolerability of force or violence.

It would be preferable if the brutality that women in South Africa so frequently endure turned them into things. Things do not fear, do not feel pain, do not bleed or bruise, do not pray to live through force, do not face the prospect that there is no other side of violence and no "future me" (a me this evening, a me tomorrow morning, a me after this violent attack, this rape, this abduction). Things do not leave a legacy frozen in terror and are not forever remembered for being degraded, instead of for the singular event they were before force.

The true horror of force and violence is that the person who suffers physically and psychologically during the exercise...

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