We must do more to protect our women

The #MyDressMyChoice protest in Nairobi, 17th November 2014
The #MyDressMyChoice protest in Nairobi, 17th November 2014

Today we went out on the ‪#‎MyDressMyChoice‬ protest which was against violence towards women. Women have often been stripped off their clothes in public by monsters claiming to be men. These attacks have become more prevalent recently and something needed to be done. A group called the Kilimani Mums organized the protest and did a fantastic job. Over 500 people, both male and female, came out to fight for their rights and to stop this gross abuse.

As we were on the streets, a group of about 30 visibly drunk hooligans came yelling about rape and religion and how women should cover up because the men have “feelings”. They hurled abuse at us men who were there in support and called us shoga and other names. It was distressing to see how much hate they held in their hearts and the venom that was spewing from their mouths. I could imagine the fear that a woman who was confronted by idiots like these would feel all alone. We formed a human chain and slowly pushed them back so that they couldn’t start anything with any of the protesters. They then made noise from the sides but we stopped paying attention.

Now here’s the thing. Serial killers start off by killing small animals and then eventually progressing to bigger killings. The same logic can be applied here. These men strip women in public and get away with it and eventually this shows them that they can do more and get away with it. And that is how rapists are born. If we stand to the sides and let this happen then we will be propagating a rape culture. Imagine this happens to your mothers or sisters or daughters. Imagine how you’d feel then. So why not fight when it happens to someone else who is part of the same human family that we all belong to?

This battle has a lot of side aspects to it. Politicians will want to get involved and Sonko has already said that he’ll give a reward of 100,000 for the capture of the people who stripped that lady. This is a ruse that he often uses to gain public favor. Even the Women’s Representative, who had not said anything about all this for a long time, is now trying to engage the public because she’s under pressure. Fuck that. We don’t need politics. The other factor is religion. The attackers say that it’s against the word of god to wear “indecent” clothing. Bullshit. As if god was concerned about the fashion of mankind. Only the devil wears Prada.

One thing that stood out for me once again was the lack of Kenyan Indians in the protest. It has become such a common thing for the brown African to ignore the plight of the black African. Women’s rights are something that should transcend the boundaries of race, religion, sexuality, tribe and all the other compartmentalization. It is something we must fight for in solidarity. There were no Kenyan Indian women, no Kenyan Indian men. We live in this country together so why don’t we stand up for it together? Today it was a black woman on the street, tomorrow it’ll be a brown lady in her home. Think about it. Then stop thinking about it and do something about it.

I’m not trying to derail the conversation. It’s just something that irks me. My opinion. I’ve constantly tried to involve brown people but the failure to do so is beginning to weigh me down. It’s important to show the government that issues like this and other effect us all despite skin colour. That there is not a segregated community that is benefiting from some kind of security, financial or otherwise. Let’s just be people, together.

I am just trying to raise points that directly effect the situation at hand. The main issue is that women are consistently being victimized and abused at the hands of rabid psychos who are protected by a patriarchal society. And we must do things to protect the mothers of the future generations of Kenya.

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