I had an interesting conversation with my listeners the other day. DJ Fabulous and I host the drive time show called The Sunset Cruise Drive on a youth radio station in Durban, KZN. While producing the show we decided to facilitate dialogues that most people would rather avoid, that would zoom in on 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children Abuse which started on the 25th November.
The format of our show allows our listeners to interact with us via our social media platforms as well as our telephone line. We had been asking different questions regarding gender based violence for at least 10 days. On this particular afternoon the question of the day was, “Is it acceptable for mothers to keep quiet when they discover that their daughters are dating older men because the family benefits from the money that this older man gives to the young lady?”
Needless to say it was a very controversial topic and as a result we were flooded with calls and comments coming from all angles.
Our social media participants all echoed the same sentiments, stating that it was unacceptable for mothers not to intervene and set the daughters on the correct path. Our telephonic contributors agreed and highlighted that daughters need to be reprimanded by their mothers and that this sort of behaviour should never be condoned. One particular gentleman went as far as to say “… these born-frees are home wreckers!”. My job is to facilitate dialogues and to remain neutral, however, I couldn’t help but notice that we had no participants in our conversation that were female. We received no calls from imbokodo, no messages via WhatsApp, no comments on our Facebook Page and no SMS’s on our number.
Forgive my ignorance, but surely women need to participate to either clarify or state their position on such matters. After all is 16 days of activism not all about engaging on critical matters that confront social ills that may have a direct or indirect link to gender based violence and victimisation? Who will ask questions such as much as, yes indeed it is a mother’s responsibility to set her daughter in the right path, however, does the older man not know that taking advantage of a person much younger than him is unacceptable?
We are not on either side of the fence. Our stand as radio presenters is quite simple, we are against any and all forms of abuse. We simply wished to engage with all affected parties.
I have come to the conclusion that women need to take a bold stand. Women need to take up spaces. Women need to take advantage of platforms and express themselves. We can not have society where one gender is talking on another’s behalf. Aluta Continua. #16daysofactivismagaintstheabuseofwomennandchildren