Writing about feminism is always tricky. Especially when you are a man like me, you are expected to look at feminism as a no go to subject and somewhat one reserved only for our female counterparts to touch, write about, decipher, decode and add on, which defies the purpose in my opinion. Feminism in my estimation should be a tool to teach the man about the struggles that our sisters have to go through on a daily basis in this pro man world thus we sympathise and work together as a society on figuring ways to diminish these horrible gender biases. I try to talk to my female friends and colleagues about what feminism is and what it means to them. I have however found varied answers for this but for the most part I untangled a shared parallel in the responses and that is, a great number of my female friends just generally believe that men are just generally trash. None of this of course was said in a lot of words. The bases for these preposterous indictments fluctuate from female to female though which forced me to presume that these denunciations are merely deduced from personal experiences. I stand to be corrected.

Another thing that I picked up when talking to females about the subject was that there are different kinds of feminisms. I did not know this. I thought feminism would have been that one thing that all women from all spheres finally agreed upon, obviously I was wrong. A very smart journalist and colleague of mine whom I am fortunate to call a friend, and who also happens to be a woman, told me this. She told me “there is the Beyoncé kind of feminism, where a woman’s liberation is depended on the man”, which in my understanding is not the right kind because in her words “that type of feminism is not the one!” She told me that there is a more revered kind of feminism, like the Nigerian author and women rights activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s one which will not yield to the made-up ascendency of a man at all costs. It is complicating I know. I went to a job interview not so long ago, and one of the panellists who was female, asked me what I thought about feminism. I was taken aback, it was the first time that I was bluntly confronted with this question. I did not know how to react; I was skating on thin ice with each word I uttered and I am not ashamed in admitting that I trembled a tad bit. I realise that this topic is one that is supposedly supposed to not be within the barricades of male locker room talk or any space for that matter but when confronted with it in the most random of ways, like a job interview, you are expected to now on the spot riddle a favourable unpractised response and that is rather unfair in my opinion.

Feminists have made it taboo for men to even come out and support the cause. Even calling it a cause might be considered misogyny by some feminists, I do not know, but my not knowing should not be reason to persecute me and throw me inside the shade of the holey umbrella of “men are trash”. Why can’t I as a man openly concede that I am not trash and still be able to sympathise with women and the prejudices that gave rise to feminism. I for one am a man who wholeheartedly admits that gender inequalities are rife and I avail myself to learning about these wrongs. Women are subjected to abuse; they are raped, kidnapped and trafficked, they are hooked on drugs and forced into a life of prostitution by men. Surely feminists understand my frustrations of being put on the same banner with such a quality of man. I myself happen to find such conduct trash and I happen to be surrounded by many men like myself. What about that type of man? Does he not get any credit? Is asking for credit for not being trash make me trash? Remember this is written by a man who perceptibly is not well versed on the subject. I am certain that Chimamanda herself certainly does not believe that all men are trash.

I believe that there is a specific kind of man that is indeed trash and I believe that there is a special place  for him in hell and on the same breathe believe that his should be a rain coat so he is covered in those colours alone. I am also not saying that the ‘men are trash’ movement was a result of feminism gone wrong; I am almost certain that it trended because of the not-so-sudden spree of female killings by their partners and the increase in the trafficking of women and children in the country in the last few months but I also do believe that it was in those proportions it were on social media and all media alike because of the rise of feminists and feminism in the country in the last few years. Now, what caused this rise would be the question in the mind of any curious person like me. What was it that caused this sudden increase in this so-called women movement? One might look at a few facts; it is no secret that South Africa as a country has been shown to be abusing towards its women. We are the world’s rape capital which means that our women are more prone to being raped than any other woman in the world and violent crimes against women in this country have been steadily increasing year after year since the nineties. I do not believe that men are trash… I don’t. And I also do not believe that our sisters believe that all of us are trash too but let’s face it guys. Men in this country have been trash for a long time now and it hurts me to say this to the non-trash men like myself but it looks like we in the minority fellas, and you know what they say about a democracy, the majority rules. So here we go, “men are trash”