A history of violence and dispossession has bred a toxic masculinity.
Hitting global headlines, the gruesome details of her death sparked international rage on twitter under the hashtag #Menaretrash for the past weekend. The movement started by the people of South Africa is an uproar against the recent killings of women by men close to them.
A list of a collection of murders that have happened in the recent months has made its way on social media making the serial killings in South Africa, a globally glaring matter. With most of the women having been allegedly killed and burnt by their boyfriend’s, the situation begs the question, is this show of muscular superiority the beginning of a national crisis?
In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
In her book dubbed Rape: A South African Nightmare, Professor Pumla Dineo states that notion that rape in South Africa is a specifically post-apartheid problem is inaccurate. “It is natural that rape statistics would rise after 1994,” she writes, “because black women felt more comfortable to come forward. Police stations under apartheid had previously been deeply unfriendly places.”
Pumla blames the female fear factor as one of the major reasons why gender violence is still strife in South Africa. Still, she believes that the attacks on children indicate that the violence is not all about sex.
She dates it back to before South African colonialism defining it as a core part of the British rule, “Under apartheid, no white men were hanged for rape and the only black men who were hanged for rape were convicted of raping white women. A history of violence and dispossession has bred a toxic masculinity at both ends of the political spectrum.”
While the death of Karabo might find justice in court, millions of girls are being beaten and killed by the men in their lives and these stories go unheard. The situation in South Africa is a clear reminder of gender inequality and just how real it is even within the modern society.