Yes, I am upset!

19 November 2019 | Columns

Ester Kamati

“Why are black women so angry?” some may ask, as if we don’t have the right to be.

I am still amused by the fact that Namibian males expects us to just be really comfortable around them, and typically go about our business.

When tragedies and killing sprees happen in Namibia, we have a tendency of sitting back and waiting for it to ‘blow over’.

News shakes the world for just a few days and sadly, thereafter, people are expected to just be okay and ‘get over it’, which should not be the case.

It leaves a lifetime of scars and holes in the way we co-exist, but also in the way we trust.

The killing of a woman I have never met has a greater impact than people would expect.

Just because we have never encountered the person does not mean that we are at ease with somebody just deciding to blow out her candle, because they feel like they have the ‘authority’ to do so.

I think it is high time that men are reminded or told for the first time that they do not have the ‘authority’ to decide when somebody gets to take their last breath. You do not have the right to decide or dictate what a person’s dress code implies. And most importantly, it is not your place to put a price on somebody’s daughter.

I refuse to simply let these outrageous acts go unchallenged, and lastly, I refuse to be one that keeps quiet and watches my sisters lose their freedom to perpetrators they once called babe, friend, uncle etc. Yes, I am upset! I hate the fact that everybody expects us to be okay with seeing headlines of how another women died at the hands of someone who is supposed to protect her. And people in this day and age will want to call us dramatic for not wanting to get into a cab where there are three men. I can’t get over how my short skirt is blamed for the inappropriate mannerisms of males, and I am unable to understand how my long legs and my shorts are silently “asking for it”, and how this drowns out screaming “no” several times.

I’d rather be dramatic than let another female feel alone in a country where women exceed the male population, or at least the last time I checked. Before we even get to the entitlement of a man who gets into a relationship to control somebody’s daughter, the fact that a man can lay their hands on the woman who gave them life, and ultimately take away their last breath, is beyond sad. It is never a mother’s intention to raise a man who doesn’t know how to treat a woman and it kills you inside to see that a person you once carried in your womb is the same person that robs somebody of their life, their freedom and their future.

I don’t think we realise the magnitude of these issues and it’s about time we shift the blame from women for ‘provoking’ men and analyse that a crime was committed and somebody was violated.

At this point, let us not even shift the focus from the fact that this is a human - a living, breathing and thinking being, just like the perpetrator. A human, not just a woman, because when you say woman, there is a level of inferiority attached; somehow they are not seen as somebody’s daughter, sister, aunt and mother.

Yes, they are human beings in their own right, who exist independently of their counterparts. Maybe when we realise this, we will then realise the value that each individual has.

Lastly, let’s talk about masculinity. This is not something that needs to be proven through enforcing your strength on other people. Nobody ever asked men to prove their ‘manliness’, and much less not through treating women like they don’t matter.

That said, let us stop making women feel unsafe by cat-calling them, among other acts, and let us grasp that women don’t owe you their numbers; they are not compelled to talk to you and they don’t owe you anything.

On that note, for those who always want to defend and go against what is being discussed, this is not the platform for backlash. The discussion about men and their insecurities, or whatever other excuses we are making for them, is not up for debate in this column.

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