I’ve been contemplating writing this post for a while now. Conjuring the courage to put thoughts into words without ruffling feathers. But this is much bigger than me. All I can say is, please read to understand and I hope at the end of this share, you may reconsider joining the #MenAreTrash movement, or carry on. Either way, let me write my thoughts.
When I first heard about the movement, I thought about the millions of women who have been tormented by men, now channelling thier voices through this hashtag. #MenAreTrash posts kept flooding my social media accounts by people sharing stories of rape, murder, abuse, heart break, domestic violence and the most painful stories you can imagine. But then a second thought crossed my mind – There is power in the spoken word. It does not matter if the words are spoken jokingly or seriously or in pain. What we say about ourselves, others and situations, eventually manifests. So it scared me to think of the millions of seeds of brokenness being planted by people stating that men are trash.
I had an elaborate WhatsApp chat with my sister @ElmaAkob to share my concerns, and here’s what she had to say.
“The Thing is, you don’t have the right to speak about it because you have been priviledged enough to have wonderful men in your life. You have no right to join in on the movement because it doesn’t affect you. If you are a great man then the hashtag is not for you. The hashtag was never to make people feel good or feel like helping, it was supposed to annoy men to cause outrage and to gain popularity because that is the only way women could get it through to them by calling them trash because we know how much men value their ego. It has done its purpose which is to create awareness. There are sooo many stories of girls and women coming out to face their abusers using this platform of #MenAreTrash. It has united abused women. So just because it has caused more harm than good in your eyes doesn’t mean it hasn’t in the other womens eyes. From a political perspective I stayed away from the men are trash movement because it doesn’t involve me. So I have no right to offer an opinion or biblical advise because that is not what angry people want to hear. You will come across as judgemental. We don’t know their struggles“
This was my angle in the chat.
“Labelling them that now is causing more harm than good. Reinforcing abuse will bring more abuse. From a biblical perspective and even just looking at history in general, what people where called, that’s what they became. I’m so grateful that I have had good men my life. And do not think for a second that I am being judgemental. I have no right to condemn how people express thier pain. But that does not change the fact that there is power in the spoken word. What you call people is what they’ll become. So even in times of hurt and deep grief, we should beware what we say because we could be calling our future into existence.
Look at South Africa for example, even after apartheid the blacks are still battling inferiority. That’s because it was spoken to them. It can be to raise awareness ( the movement), but it’s still calling them something. There are declaring what their male children/husband will become in the pain of sharing their reality. So I’m not preaching or quoting scripture. I’m simply saying, they are channeling pain into words that will become a reality. I’m not worthy of saying it to anyone who has been raped or whose mother has been beaten, But it is the truth. They are unintentionally sowing seeds of brokeness into the men in their lives and the ones yet to come.
Haven’t you heard of children who were abused when they were young. And make a vow that they will never have children? Suddenly they marry and find out they’re barren or their husband is impotent, then they wonder where they went wrong. Our words carry so much weight.”
Here are 3 examples of situations where words have brought about generational change.
1. Dark Skinned Girls
For the longest time, dark skin people never fully embraced being dark skin. Because society said “The lighter your skin, the prettier you are“. And so creaming lotions were pumped into Africa to make us fit what society said was beautiful – light skin. There was no such thing as melanin this or melanin that!
Everyone wanted that light skin glow! But through a massive wave of positive words affirming dark skinned girls, everyone’s eyes are suddenly opened. All of a sudden, #Melanin is beautiful. Infact the more melanin you have, the better 😂. That’s never how it used to be! But it’s because our generation SPOKE of our beauty and now we can SEE our beauty. How gorgeous is @nymatang and @msnyajuok? So stunning😭!
Special shout out to my beautiful dark skin beauty queen and friend Michelle Danso, Miss Ghana South Africa 2016 😘😻.
2. Natural Hair
Just like dark skin wasn’t appreciated, natural hair was very unpopular. Due to slavery/colonisation the love we had for our hair was replaced with hate. Our captors called our hair nappy, and would only employ us if we relaxed it and made it to look straight like theirs.
But our generation has realised that, hey, our hair is actually beautiful. The natural hair movement reversed the brain wash caused by what was spoken to our past generation. My favourite naturalists are Chizi Duru and Ijeoma Kola.
And here’s your girl, spotting some extremely shrunken hair 😂 – @JoanAkob
3. Black Inferiority
This is without doubt one of the biggest manifestations of the spoken word. After being colonised and enslaved, we were told we are less. We were treated as less. All we knew for generations was inferiority. Fathers told their children they were less and children told their children they were less.
And till today, black people all over the world still battle inferiority. You can walk into a room filled with different race groups and automatically, you’d think the black person is the inferior one.
4. God said it and it happened
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. Genesis 1:3. The rest of Genesis 1 is God speaking the world into existence. And because we are made in God’s image, our words can also create. For example, Adam called eve woman. And that’s how women are called till today. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
So, do you really want to say Men are trash?