4th Runner-Up of CR Writing Competition 2020| The onus of society, particularly men in dismantling and de-normalizing gender-based violence by Bassie Moima

Gender-based violence is a result of gender inequality and the demand for power projected against the least masculine, mostly including women, children, transgender, and homosexuals. The tragedies borne by this pandemic include and are not limited to femicides, sex slavery, molestation, verbal or physical abuse, and human trafficking.

Eliminating this terrible disease goes beyond as it demands comprehension from its roots, which may be conceived by certain indigenous cultures, psychological warfare, and above all else brutality at its worst. Looking into the influence by native cultures: in most cultures especially within black race, its believed “Lebitla la mosadi ke bogadi” (a woman’s grave is at her husband’s home) which in good narrative encourages married women to value their marriage and disregards divorce whilst on the other hand projects the opinion that despite the torture and pain your marriage comes with, you stay and endure to your grave. This including being abused in any possible way by your spouse,  in society it’s believed to be a shame and failure to be a divorcee or to return home from a marriage. Just as much as the society empowers men into being predators in such manner, a man’s own view of a woman says a lot.  

Most men see women as possessions or objects that they can own and control however way they feel, this may be in a way of using money or materialistic things and/or masculinity against them. In certain cases, it could be from the way a boy child is raised, in most cases children raised in violent homes prove to amass such brutality and it results to be a norm and that’s all they know and therefore implement it in their own lives.  Just as much as a child’s upbringing, especially a boy child, plays a vital role in this phenomenon the influence from their surroundings and society outside their own homes plays a part, including their psychological state. 

To ultimately de-normalize this entire tragedy includes destroying it from the core of its roots. Just as it’s believed that “It takes a village to raise a child”, it takes a non-judgmental, non-biased, and open-minded society that acknowledges the practice of gender equality and equity raise a sane child and ultimately a gender-based violence-free society. Until people stop teaching women how to dress to avoid being raped and start teaching men that no means no, men will still find excuses in being brutal. Until our own male gender stops wearing a tough face and shows support to one another, allowing other men to be human by de-normalizing the idea that a man feels no pain and that a man who cries or shows emotions is weak until men call out they’re fellow males from maniac behaviour and teaching they’re son’s that there’s no humanity in violence until we acknowledge and support those with psychological disease and stop shaming them there’s no better elimination of gender-based violence. 

Until society acknowledges that we all are human, unique, and different as we are. Until we acknowledge that we all have our preference in sexuality and there’s no crime in that, until we come to understanding and respecting one another, gender-free and bias-free. Until we become one race and one gender, a human race, and a human-gender. That masculinity doesn’t mean superiority and feminism inferiority, we stand no chance at dismantling gender-based violence. Until we eliminate the mentality and arrogance at being superior, until a man looks at a woman without abhorrence and ego, without lust and feeling threatened, until he looks at a woman and sees another human species worthy of life and dignity, this phenomenon remains unaltered. 


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