ABUSE is a very loaded term, yet I find some women resort very easily to this claim when we seek to engage them as equals. McWhorter (2000:7) defines victimology in drawing a distinction between a constructive approach to victimhood thus calling attention to it as opposed to claiming victimhood ‘where it barely if at all exists’.
The GENDER debate cannot be a debate of women ONLY, in which men are reduced to mere bystanders, the object of hatred and the subject of accusation. However when we engage this aspect, we are often finding ourselves accused when some of the fairer sex refuse to separate subject from emotions.
I recently had an engagement with someone who calls herself a “political journalist” – that is how she defines herself. The subject I introduced was the need for TRANSFORMATION of the DA in the interest of the national agenda.
This ‘claimed – famous’ journalist refused to engage the topic at hand, regardless to the fact that she is very vocal on a failed ANC in this era. She rather wanted to appease me with her credentials as a biographer of Mandela etc. I requested of her “please stop the Mandela story neither -him, nor you or your ”struggle credentials’ are the topic of our engagement, but the DA in need of transformation not of a black face but ideology”. I asked her to stick to the topic at hand and leave the side- shows of name dropping etc.
She responded “I know more than you”, without ever giving content to this know more. She went further and asserts you are “arrogant”, without again giving content to this claim. She finally said to me “you are a small man”, again as in the instances before no content for this was provided. Thus leaving me to assume whatever she could have meant.
I therefore responded in the end you are “a small bitter-woman”, my content is borne out by my conclusion she has issues with, people challenging her, she has challenges with someone saying to her you use Mandela (the convenient sjambok of all blacks ) to give yourself a sense of importance and finally she has issues with males.
Soon as I responded to her last statement on being a small man – she invoked THE FACEBOOK authority on me, warning me they are reading all the comments, they will see who the abuser is. I had to hear for the first time in my life a woman accuse me of being an abuser all this in claim of VICTIMHOOD OF ABUSE.
I refused to let her get away with this cheap trick, and kept on treating her as an equal in saying to her you have still not dealt with the subject now you call me abusive.
I cannot imagine what would have happened if I was the one saying these things to her, I would have been defined as chauvinist – but it is all right for her to say that and on top of this claim being a victim of abuse. I have the full record of the engagement.
This incident made me again realise how many men are easily accused of ABUSE only because men don’t allow woman to get their way in a debate of equals.
How does a debate of two equals end up in claims of victimhood of abuse? It happens when we allow women to assume the debate on gender is theirs alone. This happens when we abdicate our joint responsibility to remind our women, it’s not an- us- and-them debate, but our debate.
- Are we not to keep women accountable in an equal non- racial South Africa?
- Can we not challenge them to engage free from a claim of victimhood?
- Or should we see women as victims and therefore not capable to debate a topic outside the scope of that paradigm.
We dare not be subjected to this victimology when we building a society of equals and defend the rights of that equality.
HOW MANY MEN HAVE NOT BEEN ACCUSED OF THIS IN A DISCUSSION OF EQUALS??