#MenAreTrash revisited

#MenAreTrash revisited

Some more thoughts on the #MenAreTrash hashtag i visited over here.

Clearly #MenAreTrash has got people talking, which again is a good start, and hopefully people are looking deeper than just what feels like an offensive tag to some. So here are some follow up thoughts i wrote on FB:

Here’s a thought [not mine] – if we men are more upset by a #MenAreTrash hashtag than we are about the crimes committed against women in this country, then THAT just might be the point.

Dejavu back to painting burning at UCT and people being outraged by that but okay that thousands of people’s sanitation is a bucket in the room that they sleep or a potential death walk to a communal toilet hundreds of meters away from their place of residence…

Whether or not #MenAreTrash is a valid tag or not, the fact that we aren’t going absolutely nuts about the levels of rape [estimates from 1 every 26 seconds to 1 every 36 seconds] in this country says a lot.

And while even doing a little bit of research on the stats and feeling completely helpless in terms of ‘What can i do to make a difference?’ well i guess it starts with a #NotOnOurWatch mentality…

For example, anytime anyone jokes about rape on social media or Twitter they will be interrupted by me letting them know it’s not okay… one of the stipulations on my Hashtagging game is no comments against marriage [there is certainly enough of that] and no Bill Cosby type references as just one way of addressing that whole area and we refuse [as a team of 15/20 of us from more than 6 different countries] to like/forward anything that relates to rape/sexual violence or anything about that whether meant as a joke of not.

It’s about saying something when someone makes a comment at a braai or a joke. It’s about doing some research on Rape Culture and educating yourself a little about that, that for example when someone is raped, we don’t instantly go to “Victim shouldn’t have been wearing X” and rather start with “Perpetrator shouldn’t rape!”

We are part of a culture that has made joking about sexual violence both acceptable and encouraged and that is one way we can make a difference and actually shut things down from the get go.

So before you get overly offended by a hashtag, make sure this evil offends you a heck of a lot more.

My friend Kerzia added this comment:

Awesome!!! I totes agree and love this #notonourwatch !!!!

If I could add a few more examples that unconsciously demerit/downgrade women:

For a woman you do that well (I often respond with compared to who?)

You throw/run/kick like a girl.

Women can’t be in positions of power because they are too emotional

It’s a man’s job

These are a few examples how often in general convo we put women in last place before they even begin and put men in a position of power of women instead of next to men as equals.

And then Sello added this:

So we had a discussion at our young adults meeting at church. Just on what the hash tag is actually saying to men and the role men should play in dealing with our trashy behaviour.

We strongly condemned the counter #NotAllMenAreTrash and asked the ladies for a perspective on their experiences relating to men and how it affects them now.

Twas an eye opening experience for guys that have abused ladies and for ladies who had been abused and stayed in the relationship.

This feels like such an important conversation to add to the race conversations we’ve been having [South Africa and rest of world] and i hope we will continue to dig deeper instead of being scared or angered off by a confusing/emotion-causing way that this conversation was started/framed.

Just as tbV and i are becoming more aware of the spaces we find ourselves in, in terms of whiteness and diversity, so we need to all become more aware of the voices and treatement of women in our spaces – in conversations/treatment/jokes etc. Let’s be listening harder, learning more and stepping in.

[For part I on #MenAreTrash, click here]

By | 2017-05-14T08:13:31+00:00 May 14th, 2017|things to wrestle with, thorts of other people|7 Comments

About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.


  1. Ruth May 15, 2017 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I think this is a huge generalization. Men could counter by saying same about women. Your blog seems overly against white men or is this men are trash thing also aimed at black men? I notice you not getting too many comments on this blog, 0,0,2,3,1,1 etc… If you had to make it more positive and uplifting it might help. Otherwise you seem to be like an emo guy who wears black clothes and moves about all day. Let’s see some uplifting energetic stuff, not this eternal moping and complaining. Everyone is just getting on with life, so people don’t want to hear all this nonsense which seems quite fake just to draw attention to what, and then to do what? It just seems like mumbling moaning about random race and gender issues with no real solutions. Yes we all have black friends and go to dinners just like you with them. Even they think this type of post is divisive and negative. So please just take the advice and be more with the times, and upbeat. I’ll bet you’ve never even dated outside your race. Let’s hear about what you are doing to help, besides just posting this stuff. When will you open your house to a black guy to come live in the spare room? Or even sleep on the couch. Until you do that you sound like a hypocrite.

    • brettfish May 15, 2017 at 9:23 am - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Ruth. Your comments show you clearly have no idea who i am and probably have not been reading much on my blog as i give positive ideas all the time – this blog is focused on challenging people to live better and doesn’t pick on any particular group or person – i am a white male so if i was all about white male bashing it would have to start with me – and my hair is bright blue by the way so worst emo ever!

      It’s also not about the comments although i would love to have more engagement on here for sure, but the engagement tends to happen where the posts gets shared on Facebook and so people are engaging and listening and learning and growing and you would do good to do the same. If something is not for you that’s great, move on to the next one. But if it is then stand in front of the mirror and as where you can maybe change.

      Not sure who the “we all” is that you are referring to when you talk about having black friends and going to dinners but i can tell you that is not true of a lot of white people in Cape Town particularly and so the call to move outside of your homogenised groups and really deeply know people will continue.

      I lived in a township for 18 months and would have no problem opening my house to a black guy or family – we don’t have a spare room at the moment but that’s a no brainer. You’re really just making guesses at me so to attach labels to those guesses seems like a bit of a stretch. Rather look inside yourself and see where change needs to happen and work on that.

      All the best
      Emo Fish

  2. Anthony May 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    If we are in the top 3 percent, then thats like you being in your house with 33 beggars outside asking you to share. So why are you not inviting them in? If we had to take everyone’s assets + money and divide it equally among 7 billion people, we’d each be living in a half a single garage type space, sharing most likely with other people. You would not afford takeout, coffee or even the luxury of cars or travel.


    My question is:

    Would you Mr, give up your coffee, your nice life in your apartment//house… so that everyone can share equally. Or even just those around you like beggars. Why are you not sharing as you preach? Why not invite them in? Why nbot give up luxuries like travel, coffee and so on? Or is it just easier to say, this must fall or that is a trash, or check your privilege or this must go and other convenient topics as the poster above implies?

    So lets hear why you hold tightly onto your own luxuries and not sharing til it hurts?

    • brettfish May 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Anthony.

      I find your question is flawed though because it contains a lot of assumption about my nice life in my apartment/house and what i do or don’t do with my money…i would happily sit across a coffee from you and chat about our income and assets and what we do with our money to make a difference to [1] an individual [2] a family and [3] an organisation on a regular basis plus getting involved in some other areas as and when they come up, but only if you will commit to doing the same.

      If the changes i am calling people towards are good changes, they should first and foremost be good whether or not i am living them. But for me to be calling for them i definitely do need to be living them myself because otherwise that would make me a hypocrit. But for you to decide they are not worth living out, you would need to base that not on everything i do, but on whether or not they are good calls to make. In and of themselves. And then my counsel would be for you to look at your situation and make decisions based on there. i don’t think it helps for everyone to poverty themselves so that others can be out of poverty for an afternoon. i very much do think it is important that all of us are looking at the choices we are making in terms of where and how we live and what we choose to spend money on and not. It’s certainly not always easy because one person’s coffee is another person’s flat white is another person’s Koffeehuis and so i don’t know that we will find an agreeable list of “this is okay that’s not okay” but start by looking at yourself and be able to live with your decisions and then move from there.

      A good question is would you be able to share your budget [how you spend your money] with a group of friends and colleagues and strangers – Val and i would have no issue doing that i don’t think.

      The point is that the more people that are walking and working towards those who have been othered – in whatever ways – the more difference will be made which is why on the one hand we live out a difference, or try to, but on the other hand we talk/write about it to hopefully challenge others to do the same.

  3. Anthony May 15, 2017 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I don’t think I’d want to share my budget with other people. If I’m working hard and earning more, why would I want to contribute more than others do and then let them decide where this money should go. Do you do that? What are the advantages if you are earning more. I can understand if you’re all scraping by, but if you earn a decent salary then why would you?

    Regarding have people move into your house, it wouldn’t be temporary, it would help them as long as they’re living there. So I’m not sure why you don’t allow someone of colour to live in your house… ? Sorry, but you do seem to be promoting this but not really doing it yourself. Cafe Latte, Mocha Java… or some family buying a cheap dinner… I suppose you tell yourself its okay to have that coffee, just like others tell themselves its okay to drive that R8. So its relative really is it not?

    Nobody is really being challenged at all! People just get a bit irritated as you are not doing any of these sacrifices.

    • brettfish May 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      Well, there you have it Anthony, proving my point. You aren’t interested in being a part of change but you want to try and poke fingers at others who are trying to make a difference. Call me when you are ready to look in the mirror as well…

  4. […] #MenAreTrash revisited […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: