“We do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or because of a surge of human compassion. It is a basic necessity for the triumph of the revolution. Women hold up the other half of the sky”. – Thomas Sankara
To my brothers, elders, youngers of all shades, colour and creed.
At some point we have to come to the realisation that we have a collective responsibility towards the way that we treat women both within and without our sphere of influence.
Globally the world is shaped in our favour. Systems, be they religious, political, economic, educational or social are shaped and dominated by male thinking. The official word is patriarchy.
As a result of this many woman are treated as property.
In the extreme cases we are talking of rape, child marriage, FGM and a whole raft of other offences.
In other cases this manifests as sexism in our language at work, our consumption of media, on the street and within our communities.
I understand it is not as black and white as it seems but I think we need to collectively check ourselves and see why we approach our women in such a way that doesn’t honour ourselves. To check our language that only honours those women close to us but labels and treats those outside that sphere as other. Less worthy.
The recent case of the young man in America who went on a rampage because he felt spurned is extreme in its outcome but commonplace in the perception that some men think women are entitled to them. To acquiesce to their manhood and expectations of how a woman should be around them. Regardless of orientation.
There is no entitlement. Women are human. No less than men.
Collectively we need to think about how we perceive women as equals.
In teaching our sons how to honour and respect women should be a rite of passage.
This takes nothing from religious or traditional rights that many men (and women) still hold dear to.
This is about taking a step back and realising that men are never entitled to speak to or treat women as nothing less than a fellow human. Ever.
Maybe, just maybe if we grasp that, and yes it is a massive overhaul of the psyche, we could make progress as a species.
We live in hope. But hope is not a strategy.
We must do better.