No, men are not trash. However, many people, mostly women tend to quote this phrase. I’ve met women who let men get away with certain things because they strongly stand for this phase. I took the effort to find out why women feel like this? Because really, I wouldn’t want to be sitting next to trash in a taxi now do I?, so this, my lovely readers is why men are trash. It is a direct answer without any bias.

Men are trash because they act so, say so, and accept it as so. I sound mean don’t I? I sound like an angry womanist. I am not a womanist. But yeah I could be a little angry. I say so because I have looked at circumstances that have brought men down to being called trash and one main characteristics in this circumstances is that men accept this negativity. Whether it is to boost their ego, escape responsibility, pretend it’s what makes them a man whatever reason they accept this title. Men for example tend to accept that they are sexual predators. They even defend it. The stereotype is that to appear and affirm masculinity, a male person must be violent, untamely, aggressive and these are often characteristics influenced by society and culture and turned into a checklist for wether you are man enough or not. It is the stereotype that men are sexually weak and woman are not. Men are considered the sexually weak gender and therefore expect to be excused for various negative sexual behavior. They get away by playing the common card “you know men”. This has made many men comfortable that they can act sexually anywhere and get away with it or even get applauded by it because of the simple fact that they are men, being sexually aggressive creatures. Cat callers in the street are a huge example for this. Ask cat callers in the street why they do it and they answer it is a guy thing. You find a nicely dressed man catcalling because he thinks he should do it coz his a guy. So this disgusting, demeaning and foolish act is a guy thing. They call it a game and a hobby even when it clearly disrespects them and the women they do it to. Which is every woman really. This makes a statement to the women they do it to. It tells women that men are TRASH.

Men are trash because they say so. A man will say that he wouldn’t be able to resist harassing a woman because she is beautiful. I call it harassment because touching, gropping, grabbing any person without their consent is assault. They defend their crime by saying they are acting in their natural form as men. This is a view that has been extended to rape victims. They are blamed for the crime committed against them because of what they wear. A woman who has been raped faces a lot of criticism for what they are wearing and are often asked to describe what they where wearing. Even the leaders in the country have maliciously supported this notion publicly. Ntungamo district youth minister Ronald Kibuule, while addressing youth in Kajara county said that police should charge the victims of rape with inviting the crime. By saying this he portrayed men as sexual predators with a rape switch that turns on when women where a short skirt. It defends men to rape because the woman was wearing a short skirt. It says that men can not control themselves and that it’s in their nature to be predators. This shows the ignorance that this man bears, for he assumes rape is about how much a woman arouses a man whereas it’s about violence degrading and power. Many times I’ve had men promise violence to women if they refuse their responses or if they happen to feel small before a woman. However many men have stood with this minister in support of this odious ideology. This is the acceptance that am talking about, when you accept that you have a rapist nature in you due to the fact that you are male and at the sight of a short skirt, tight jeans then your rapist nature reveals itself. Men have accepted this and so has government and police and victims are blamed for the crime committed against them. Women are instead supposed to take measures to ensure men don’t rape. This means that daughters are not safe with their fathers, wives with their husbands, mothers with their sons. This is demeaning to the value of men as there is nothing glorious with being a sex predator whom every woman should be aware of. It reduces men’s status in the country and labels our brothers, sons, fathers as potential rapist that at the sight of my skin they can rape me and get away with it because they’ve done a natural male thing? This does just promote and increase rape and it demeans the respect of men in society. Men won’t be able to carry out their roles as fathers because they would be considered potential rapists to their daughters. Brothers potential rapists to their sisters. How disgusting is that? It is a shame that it is men themselves who want to be seen as such. It is men themselves who want to disgrace themselves. From protectors to potential rapists. That’s a very low status for the men we are taught to very much respect. How am I supposed to respect a man who could rape me anytime and say my clothing attracted him? How can a man easily lose his dignity due to clothing? How can a leader stand and uphold rapists and encourage men to rape? How can men think so little of their strength that they believe they have natural rape instincts? It is the most absurd thing, for is this how we want our sons to grow up? To grow up and think it’s okay to rape a woman because she’s wearing indecently. Does this say about the character of the woman or does it speak more about the vileness of the men in our community. Doesn’t this say that men are TRASH?

Among the various reasons men are trash is their view on marriage and parenting. Influenced by culture, many men do not participate in marriage and parenting unless they participating financially and sexually and still never do too well in both areasπŸ˜’. Many men in Uganda assume sex is created for their pleasure. That a woman is to give them sex and they to receive. They do not think that sex belongs to a woman as much as it does to a man. They even tend to get frightened when a woman is sexually empowered. In Uganda, have sex with a man, even your husband, without asking for money and he will think you are an easy pass. To them women don’t struggle with lust. This shows a male mentality that sex is passive to women. That maybe, I think, we women don’t crave itπŸ˜‚( IKR). Or not supposed to crave it which totally sucks because women have a whole area created just to feel pleasure I bet they see it but don’t know it. The belief is that to women, sex is about money and children. Men get shocked when they come to hear about female sex addiction, female masturbation or even just the whole female sexuality. They are ignorant about the capability of pleasure women can feel during sex. This is derived from our cultures where women where commonly expected to suppress their sexuality to level zeroπŸ˜’πŸ˜’ and men where supposed to literary glorify their sexuality to a foolish point. In many cultures, it’s the ssenga that taught girls about sex. They taught them wrong through out. They taught from a young age that their bodies where meant to satisfy men. They altered the physiology of little girls genitals just so as to satisfy future husbands. When time came to marry, brides where taught and given sexual tips on how to be perfect sex objects to their husbands. These tips where at most fake. I once heard a ssenga teach brides. She gave a sexual tip that a wife must not have one type of moaning sound during sexual intercourse. That she should have different ones and interchange them so that the man feels empowered.πŸ˜‚. She even made the sounds for the women to learn from. This was the fakest sex tip I’d ever heard. It portrayed men as very foolish creatures as it expected to make men feel and think that they very sexually aggressive creatures, but because the moans are fake, the woman isint feeling satisfied or loved she is simply making you think she is feeling very satisfied in most cases even pretend she’s feeling pain so that you can feel like a king. She is fooling you because the truth is you depending on false pretense to boost your ego. Women in Uganda apart from just sex, tend to suppress her abilities, her wealth, intelligence because these things frighten small men. When I was young I was asked which car I wanted to drive. I chose a Benz cross country because it was my fathers favorite car and I liked the big toys😜. The man who asked me this proceeded to tell me that I should opt for a smaller car, that he wrongly described as feminine saying that suitors would fear to approach me and that I would intimidate men if I had such a big car. I’ve known men who marry career focused women and deny them their right to work because they fear the success of their wives. They fear their wives having wealth and legacies. They fear just how much potential their wives may have. They want to be superior to their wives so they take away from her the tools that they think make her superior. I’ve seen Ugandan men not believe that a woman has made her money. A man once assured me in a taxi that there is no woman in Uganda who is rich by her own intelligence. That they either have to marry a rich man or sleep with one. Yet everyday I am surrounded by ambitious, determined money making women. There is a norm of men constantly putting down women’s effort. They think this norm makes them superior. But every empowered woman knows that a strong man don’t need to crash a strong woman. It is a thing for the weak men. Am saddened that in the country, even in government, we are faced by such weak men. Weak Men think it’s superior to suppress a woman. Women think men are TRASH for suppressing them.

When it comes to parenting I get saddened. Fathers, the role of leaders and mentors, has been reduced to a joke. One morning on my way to campus, I sat quietly listening to a radio presenter of Sanyu FM, who asks a question about whether people support family planing or not. The majority callers where men who claimed It is their right to have children as long as they have money. They defended their arguments with quotes from the Bible, Quran and African proverbs. They claimed they should have as many children as their pockets can allow. Question is can money raise children? Can money carry sleeping babies on its back, clean up children’s messes, raise them in a godly way, teach them good manners and make sure they’ve done their homework? Your money cannot do any of the above and yet that’s the role of parenting. Traditionally the person who does all of the above is a woman. Money can only sustain the children financially but it can’t raise them. Children do not see money in your pocket, they need to see love, care, consideration. They need to be taught life lessons. Sadly, this burden falls on the mothers, since fathers think their role is limited to money. This has really demeaned the role of being a father in a child’s life. Here you have many children who do not know the use of a father. These are many children becoming adults who resent their fathers. When I was a little girl in primary school, a teacher teasingly asked whom we loved most between a father and mother. All the children raised for mother. It is sad for the fathers role to be seen as so useless to children that they assume to love their mothers most. When asked why by our teacher, the children replied, mother bathes us, she cooks for us, she teaches us, she carries us, she prays for us, she plays with us. According to culture, most of these roles are regarded female roles and so regarded as weak. Men where raised to feel small to sit on a bench with his own child, to cook food for his children, to bathe his children and yet this is what the children see as loving acts. Sons need their fathers to teach them how to be good men and daughters need their fathers to teach them how to know good men. Fathers are mentors and teachers not simple minded rich sperm donors. Produce children you can raise not children you can sustain financially. A rich man rather have two children he has raised right than have twenty children who are riff ruffs. Being a father is much more than the money you have. It is foolish that Ugandan men want to impregnate every woman but they don’t know how to tie children on their backs while cooking food. They simply want the simple way out. Women understand this and that’s why more and more women opt for family planing because she knows the toil of raising the child will be on her. The man may give financial support but when a child misbehaves he will blame the mother totally ignoring the fact that he never raises his child because according to him it’s not his role. Even society blames the mother, not the parents as one. Men, who told you that your money is going to love your children? This is a shame, that men have so much wholeheartedly reduced being a father to TRASH.

These are just a few scenarios in life that make this statement stick. It’s sad, isint it that such many words could be a few scenarios. I hate saying men are trash, because they are not. They are wonderful creatures made by God. They are strong and wise and leaders. I feel like telling men to take up their rightful positions in society as fathers, leaders, protectors and Kings. Do not accept to be trash. How can you stand and let the world label you, you kings, as potential rapist? How can you accept such foul identity and yet you are Kings. Fathers. Lovers. You African men, are Kings ruling beside your Queens do not take a lesser form and let your Queens look down on you as trash. Take back your roles and fulfill them. Because you definitely are not TRASH.

Written by Abigail Magezi Ninsiima

The writer is a law student at Cavendish University.