This is a letter from me to all men, including your boy children. So please pass this on to men in your lives.
Dear men, I know that as humans you care about your fellow beings. So, it is with compassion that today I write to you about women.
You see, without your change in heart, knowledge, and behavior, women in this country will continue to be molested, raped, violated, abused, and killed.
I am sure that you are mostly aware of the negative harmful impact that men have on women. Ask them and they will tell you that they do not intend to
harm women, that they love “their” woman/women. They will become defensive, justify, and deny that their actions cause harm.
I get it – as men in South Africa you continue to be raised in a patriarchal system that creates toxic masculinity: as men, you feel entitled to power,
pleasure, deference from women. And you live in a socio-cultural system that expects you to perform both in the boardroom and the bedroom. Tough act. I
urge you to question these terrible social norms as they do harm to you and in turn to women.
Men are raised witnessing abuse perpetrated on their mother/sisters. And too many men are victims of abuse of all kinds. Men who have suffered from
childhood abuse is angry, unable to control their emotions and act out in small and large ways, against women.
GUIDE TO BECOMING A CONSCIOUS MAN
1. Notice your own emotions. Notice the sensations they bring up in your
body. If you struggle to do this, please consult a therapist. This is your
first step to feeling in control and being able to be in control in relation
to your partner.
2. Know the difference between “coercion” and “consent”. Would your
partner/stick any of these boxes: If YES, learn more about “consent”
– Make you feel like you owe them — ex. Because you’re in a relationship, because
you’ve had sex before because they spent money on you or bought you a gift, because you go home with them
– Give you compliments that sound extreme or insincere as an attempt to get you
to agree to something
– Badger you, yell at you or hold you down
– Give you drugs and alcohol to loosen up your inhibitions
– Play on the fact that you’re in a relationship, saying things such as: “Sex is the
way to prove your love for me” or “If I don’t get sex from you I’ll get it
– React negatively (with sadness, anger or resentment) if you say no or don’t
immediately agree to something
– Continue to pressure you after you say no
– Make you feel threatened or afraid of what might happen if you say no
– Try to normalize their sexual expectations: ex. “I need it, I’m a guy.”
3. Confront the inappropriate behavior of your male
colleagues/friends/family members. Do not be a bystander. For
example, when he insults his wife regarding her appearance/ role as a mother/worker/daughter, speak up!
4. Understand “Sexual Harassment” and ensure that women in your company have policies that protect them, simultaneously educating your
workers about sexual harassment.
5. Be aware of “microaggression” against women:
– Think about how you touch and speak to women
– Do not assume that women are not as smart as men: reward them equally
– Don’t tell women how to behave/dress/ speak
– Don’t place women into traditional roles
– Don’t control women – they are not your property
Feel free to reach out to me via WhatsApp. Anonymity is guaranteed. Let me know where your anxieties, fears, and worries sit with you. Tell me what is
soothing for you. And what you need in this time of radical uncertainty.
060 890 1062
Feel free to book a teletherapy Zoom session with me right here…
For more information please contact my PA Shantel: firstname.lastname@example.org