By Ila Ananya
The funeral service for Karabo Mokoena in South Africa was held on Friday, after she was found murdered in a park in Lyndhurst. Her boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe had beaten her to death before burning her, and her family, however, hadn’t known what had happened to her — they had first reported her as missing on April 28th.
A new hashtag doing the rounds in South Africa has been #MenAreTrash, which started as a response to a spate of crimes against women, including Mokoena’s brutal murder. It started with women telling terrifying stories about abuse, both by men they were with, and by strangers. There was Alexandra Buki Deen who shared a thread of tweets about how she was kidnapped by a man who threatened to rape and kill her if she “did anything stupid”, followed by how she jumped out of his car, injured herself badly, and then had to get up and run.
But remember #NotAllMen? It made a comeback this time too, as more and more women began telling their horrifying stories. Like before, the response to abuse by men was that surely not all men were abusers, how can all men be trash? Few women have responded to these allegations that men have made on Twitter, clarifying that not all men is obvious, that it is a statement made in anger at everything women have had to experience. Few other men have supported it, even tweeting that by saying not all men are trash, they are proving men are trash.
It’s true that men need to be involved in conversations about violence against women. But as we’ve said before, why is it that men find it hard to show support without believing they need to defend themselves first? What about just keeping quiet and listening?