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Columns 18.5.2017 06:59 am

Girls always at risk from broken men

Picture: Letaba Herald.

Picture: Letaba Herald.

At the rate things are going, the girl child in South Africa will always be at risk.

The recent spate of gender-based violence makes it clear that this country is in crisis. What sort of men are being churned out?

If you’re a social media “shareholder” like me, then you spent much of last week sharing and liking posts that added a voice to the search of Karabo Mokoena, Mpho Nyoni, Popi Qwabe, Bongeka Phungula and Annah Ramabulana, to name just a handful.

The number of young women who disappear not only sends chills up the spine, it also ups fear and anger. The girl child is far from safe.

At the rate things are going, the girl child in South Africa will always be at risk.

I feel the domineering male figure that is gaining traction in South Africa is a hindrance to the growth of the country as a whole. We should admit that on the whole, we have a problem and that problem wears pants.

We attribute the failures and shortcomings of the boy child on the absence of a father figure, either emotionally or physically.

The argument being that if a real man was present in the household, then a role model would exist to guide one in the right direction.

Too many men are raised by single women who have to wing it because of abusive fathers. The truth is, society has made and accepted too many excuses for the weaknesses and failures of men.

The rapist never had a role model, the abusive spouse is only emulating his father, the philandering husband is only but continuing a cycle he witnessed growing up.

We need to stop excusing bad behaviour, from the onset.

If it is unacceptable for one gender, it is wrong for the other.

The first mistake many make is to be willing to accept barbaric behaviour because “the male child has too many problems because they lack a male role model”. For starters, it is not normal that fathers are no longer present.

As a society, we should not be willing to accept the unacceptable and we should stop excusing the inexcusable.

Once we can do that, we can remedy the situation that gains traction from our silence because ultimately, the girl child is the collateral damage of the broken man that society is producing on a large scale.

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo

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