I’m not saying men are not hit by women. True, it does happen but men tend to conform to a social agreement that they don’t cry. This could also be another case of patriarchy laying its hand firm on the men’s throat. And so the question should be emphasised, “Are men victims of patriarchy?”
For some reason, it looks like Gender-Based Violence where women are victims is on the rise. Women are beaten and killed by their “loved” ones almost on a regular basis. My personal opinion is that GBV has always been there and it was never reported or it was underreported. The rise of different platforms of media has brought this scourge to our attention as a society.
A few years ago I asked myself the reason why there are so many women empowerment programs yet the violence against them continues unabated. No matter how many insults we hurl at men or perpetrators of Gender-Based Violence, nothing seems to change. No matter how many marches we hold, no matter how much we call on the government to bring back the death penalty or harsher sentences, we are not getting the gains we are looking for.
An integrated approach will probably go a long way. Yes, the law taking its course is the right thing to do but it is not the only thing that must happen. The problem of GBV starts in the smallest unit of society, the family. Absent fathers are one of the biggest problems.
The likelihood is that the absent father does not know how to be present for his child because his father was never present in his life. Of course, I know there are exceptions. Yes, they remain that, exceptions. An absent father might be present physically and absent emotionally. A present father might be absent physically and present emotionally. So I advocate that while there is a good drive towards women empowerment, let the same happen to men.
It is assumed that patriarchy is empowerment. I argue that it is not. A system where those who support or benefit from the system must or have to oppress others for them to thrive is not sustainable. I do not need to go any further than that in my explanation. If men are empowered, why is Gender-Based Violence so much on the rise with the increase of women’s empowerment? If I am truly empowered, why do I have a problem with the empowerment of others around me?
Fathers who love their daughters will loathe seeing their daughters get married (or co-habit as partners) to weak men because that is a recipe for disaster. We need to consider empowering the boy child as well if we want a progressive society. A friend of mine has established a Foundation called BOYZ4US FOUNDATION. She is passionate about the empowerment of boys because she is a divorced mother of three boys. Please visit her website and see how you can help. It is for the good of all our children, both girls, and boys. Her website is www.boyz4usfoundation.co.za
I AM PEACE