Stop violence against women

March 08, 2017

Look here nuh, today is International Women's Day, and violence against women and girls is rampant. So I'm just going to repeat some ideas I've shared elsewhere on 10 things we men can do to help stop violence against women.

1. Acknowledge our privileges. Accept that we enjoy numerous privileges that women don't.

2. Recognise the harmful messages in some movies, music videos and the media generally that devalue our sisters by flooding us with pornographic, commoditised representations of female sexuality. These portrayals encourage young males to see women as objects to be violated and discarded.

3. Listen to ourselves and others around us and examine the words we use to describe and relate to women. Check the lyrics we sing and dance to. Imagine some-one relating to your mother like that. Does it still sound acceptable?

4. Act right and talk up against wrong. Practise courtesy and compassion. Teach young men, by example, to love and respect women and girls. Challenge your brethren when he displays sexist attitudes.

5. Resist 'negative norms'. We may grow up learning that 'a so di ting set', but we don't have to accept what our conscience knows is wrong. Defy the idea that it's normal or manly to hit a woman. Some men never ever raise a hand against another man unless it's in self-defence, but as dem woman slip, she get a box! Why some man only have strength fi woman?

6. Accept that sexual pleasure (like love and respect) is to be earned not demanded. Don't behave like we have a God-given right to sexual pleasure, and it's women's duty to provide it. Sexual rights are integral to human rights.

7. Recognise rape for the horror that it is. Stop seeing rape and sexual harassment as 'no big ting'. Don't trivialise it or blame the victims. Stop 'big up' abusers and rapists!

8. Respect women's rights to independence and advancement. As women acquire advanced academic qualification, become financially independent and start moving up in the workplace, don't perpetuate crap bout them 'disempowering or marginalising us'. Don't try restoring some warped sense of control by resorting to violence.

9. If you do it, seek help! If you hit a woman once, you're likely to do it again. If you resort to violence in your relationships with women, get professional help.

10. Keep informed. Get involved, and recognise that violence against women is a major problem.

Yeah man and man, mek we dweet!



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