We Need #WhatsNext, Not Am I Next?

Dear South Africa

Rise Up 
This is a cry from your daughters, your sisters, your nieces, your cousins and your loved ones. I wish I could never hear a woman fear and ask #AmINext. I wish I didn’t feel that way too. I wish I didn’t constantly look over my shoulder or purposefully dress in a certain manner because I’m entering a male dominated area. I wish our government would fight to protect us.

As our social media feeds, radio stations and news channels cover the tragedies that have occurred in the last month I feel moved to speak out about change. I am done with silence.
This isn’t a new occurrence or an incident that just happened over the weekend. These are events that we as women constantly are faced with. It’s the uncomfortable feeling of sexual stares and catcalling. It’s the constant precautions of hands over drinks and walking to bathrooms in groups. It’smy dad’s voice in my head “message me once you get there”

I am not asking #AmINext, because though the fear shakes me to my bones and deeply sickens me, I have a deeper question on my heart.

What Is Next?

I want our government to be held responsible and I want accountability. We need more than males going to prison only to be let out on bail. We need more than males who simply just get away with it. I am asking what precautions, what laws and what systems will be put in place to protect the women and children of our country. Telling her to dress a certain way or carry pepper spray is not a precaution that will stop this violence. What are the repercussions to these disgusting acts against women? To our leaders what is next? What will you do yo end this femicide?

The people of South Africa want justice, and we as women are tired of continuously living in fear of what may happen to us if we are not cautious. Every women has a story, it might not be murder or rape but at some point we have all felt unsafe and uncomfortable in our country. There are areas that I simply hate going to because I’m ogled as if I’m a walking meat market. No human being should have to feel like that, to feel degraded. 

I ask again What Is Next?

We deserve better, from men around us and our government. We need to start somewhere to change perceptions and start conversations. This needs to be taught in households, in schools and in communities. 
A women is not your property 
As a woman in South Africa most of us take all the precautions. We are wary and anxious and angry. 

We need change

 A mentality change 

A cultural change 

A behavioral change 

What is Next for this change, how will you let the women and children of this country feel safe?

If we want to see a difference we need to start with male thinking. A woman does not owe you anything and you are not entitled to her based on her choice of clothing or anything, period. She doesn’t owe you anything for a sleezy comment that you think is flattering. Men, you are not entitled to a woman. Women are human beings and we are entitled to respect. It’s simple. 
South Africa needs a respect shift. Women are not objects that are simply desired. They have lives, loved ones and a purpose that is far greater than feeding a male’s power struggle and “needs” 

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This is not about women being more careful. I’m done with that. This is bigger than that. My whole life I’ve been taught to be careful and cautious. 
We need to teach men to be better. We need to uplift generations of men to do better. Men who call out and don’t tolerate their chauvinist friends. More men who are respectful and who treat women like human beings. 
This is not about careful living this is about better upbringing. I don’t believe all men are trash but the respectful decent men out there have a duty. They have a duty to be examples and to teach males around them. 

We need to do better as a nation we need more accountable men and a more accountable government. Every single one of us has a basic human right to safety but most women don’t feel safe in our country. 
We have to do better, this is not a suggestion this is a movement, a state of emergency. 

The women and children of our nation need us 
We need to take back the safety of South Africa 

Rise up South Africa 
What Is Next? 

We need our voices to be heard, Sign the Petition

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