Guest Post – Adelle Onyango

I dedicate this to anyone who has ever been hurt in the name of masculinity.

I heard in a TED talk that these are the things that society define as what it means to be a man; Do not show fear or weakness; Demonstrate power and control especially over women; Aggression – Dominance; Protector; Do not be “like a woman”; Tough – Athletic – Strength – Courage; Make decisions – does not need help; and Views women as property/objects

It is because society tells us that women are objects, not subjects, that when society is presented with a case of male violence or sexual abuse, everyone looks at it from his point of view: “Oh, he must have been provoked to have done that,” “He was a nice man who just snapped,” “He must have been confused by her signals,” “Maybe he’s been falsely accused, how terrible to have to go to jail for that.” With every victim-blaming, rape/violence apologist comment, society reveals through whose eyes it looks, and the answer is invariably the man’s.

Rape is not about sex at all – it is all about objectification, power and control, and it is a crime of violence.

It is because society tells us that women are objects, not subjects, that even good men, when speaking out against violence against women, tell other men to imagine her as “somebody’s wife, somebody’s mother, somebody’s daughter, or somebody’s sister,” it never occurring to them that maybe, just maybe, a woman is also “somebody”. And even then isn’t it disappointing that this still doesn’t make a difference. That imagining how your sister, your mother, cousin or daughter would feel it hinders nothing, you still objectify and hurt, and value us by our ability to satisfy your lustful needs.

So Cyprian no, I will not pardon your ignorance, I will not forgive that YOU just like for the man who raped me this post is not about sex but is all about objectification, power and control. I will not forgive you for what your post did to me mentally and emotionally, for the hurt it caused my family; my husband, my sisters and my close friends all in the name of “pardon me for my ignorance”. I will not let you dim my light or my message. You have turned a powerful anti-rape message into one about YOUR sexual preferences. This is not about who will have sex with you or who you want to have sex with Cyprian, this is about the fact that in 2008 the Crime Scene Investigation Nairobi reported that there were 40,500 rape cases in Kenya and estimated that the actual figure was 3 times higher than this and that in 2010 it was reported 32% of girls experience in Kenya sexual violence before becoming adults – that is 3 in 10 women in Kenya.

You should not be forgiven for the example that you are setting for the next generation of men. I’m angry that every girl I know has a creepy sex story. So Cyprian please allow your mind to expand its definition of what a woman is. Being a woman is not about our bodies or being overdramatic or being soft or having emotions and changing our minds. We are not here for your vilification. And I acknowledge that men are raped too, and I am sorry, but men who have lived their whole lives as men haven’t been told and taught that they deserve to be raped, that their voices carry no weight and that their anger is invalid. So Cyprian I understand why you think that we deserve to be raped and sexually objectified, abused, that our voices carry no weight and that my anger and my causes are infinitely invalid. I hope this allows you to experience some sort of vulnerability, either mine or your own. For the men that support our causes and realize the bane of the womb, we say thank you, and continue to support us, love us and cherish us, as women for being women, appreciate our intellect, hear our voices and acknowledge our accomplishments for we will continue to spread the message, and keep hope alive that one day we will live in a rape free society.

I dedicate this to anyone who has ever been hurt in the name of masculinity.

Soon the day is coming where our femininity as women will be valued in itself and not in its relation to masculinity, it seems today is not that day but until then we keep up the work and keep doing dope things.

Adelle

Editor’s note – this post was originally published on Adelle’s Facebook page on October 22, 2017 following a disgusting, unnecessary, uneducated comment made by Cyprian “Toxic Masculinity” Nyakundi.

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