When one of the Country’s funniest souls broke his silence about being abused by his girlfriend days ago, there was no ounce of humour in his confession.
Seth Gor came out to clear his name months after his ex-lover, Shiko Phyna, publicly accused him of physical abuse following a disagreement. Opening up in lengthy posts on his social media pages, Seth explained that he had tried to break up with Shiko, and an argument ensued on the day of the incident. Contrary to earlier reports, Seth explains that he never laid a finger on Shiko, stating that she was the one who attacked him and hurt her finger in the process.
I applaud and admire Seth for speaking out. It must have taken nerves and strength to admit spousal abuse which is a taboo and as harmful to a man’s social worth as admitting to impotence.
A former colleague at one of the local Media stations was trolled silly few months ago when his jilted ex-girlfriend accused him of being abusive. He had to involve a lawyer and threaten her with a lawsuit for defamation. When Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula was assaulted by his wife, he became a subject of ridicule and memes to this day.
Sadly, cases of abuse against men do not stir ire and angst, rather it passes for nothing but good gossip especially if it involves prominent personalities. Even our local media do not report such stories with much ado whenever a man is caught on the wrong end of a spouse’s rage.
Every time a man accuses his wife of being beaten up, he would not get an iota of empathy or sympathy even from his own menfolk. It is the very men who will be throwing contemptuous snide and reminding him that he needs to go wash the leprosy of weakness like King Naaman and rise up to be an authentic African Bloke who does not cry, and who is only spanked by a woman during sex.
According to chapter whatever of ‘The Real African Man’ bible, it reads: “Frown upon a man who is assaulted by a thing that came from his ribs. Look upon them with disdain.” Some verse down there muses, “What kind of man lets a woman beat him? A woman cannot assault her man without his indulgence.”
What a painful time to be a man when the society has fallen prey to the victim mentality and manipulation of modern women and with the negative connotations of stupid, one-sided campaigns like ‘believe women’ choking the entire Nation with its stench?
Haven’t heard of that movement? Well, it is another myopic and misandrist movement that champions for a woman to be believed any and every time she makes claim of being abused by a man, physically, emotionally or sexually- and let evidence and facts be SECONDARY.
Consequently, women have exploited this to maliciously twist circumstances and scenarios because hey, believe women, right?
It is a culture that is abused and misused and which thrives in a hyper-masculine society like ours that believe men who suffer from violence at home as weak. The ilk that is not believed, is shamed and branded as examples of men who are simply “not man enough.”
But Aoko, women should be believed because statistics show they are the major victims of domestic violence or spousal abuse. Oh really? Sit down, let me feed you some facts. Figures from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey in 2016 showed that men living in Nairobi and other major urban areas are at a higher risk of suffering domestic abuse than their counterparts in rural Kenya. Sixty per cent of men in Western and Nairobi was undergoing a form of spousal violence or abuse, while 56 per cent of men in Nyanza were at risk and/or already suffering domestic violence.
Some 48 per cent and 43 per cent of men in the Eastern and Central regions, respectively, reported domestic abuse and violence. In the same year, a secondary study report on violence against men, “Gender-Based Violence in Kenya”, that was conducted by the National Crime and Research Centre (NCRC) in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Machakos, Nakuru, Kiambu, Meru, Samburu, Nyeri, Vihiga, Kisii, Busia, and Migori counties, showed that the likelihood of men to suffer domestic violence was 48.6 per cent.
Family therapists and psychologists suggest that men suffer from emotional abuse more than physical abuse.
These figures are not negligible. They should be alarming and worrying just as female figures do! If we allow this to continue, it will be recipe for chaos because men will be forced to fight back for their ‘manhood.’ If he will not be believed when he refuses to retaliate and will be mocked for refusing to be baited into hitting a woman, then they will be forced to remind women of their place and we all know how.
The domestic violence discourse in our country fundamentally paints women as victims and men as aggressors. Granted, women are four times more likely to suffer spousal abuse. But this has seen the rising stats in cases of male abuse rubbished; men have been left invisible, with nowhere to turn.
Men are not second class victims. Victims are victims. Domestic violence knows no gender, economic status, social standing, culture, race or religion. It is foolhardy to address domestic violence through the female prism only. That undermines the real struggles of abused men. As we teach our men to respect women, let us also remind them to speak out and recognize when they are being abused by women.
Guys, do not be a silent victim, entrapped by pride. Be like Gor- speak out!
Facebook: Aoko Otieno
DISCLAIMER: VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THE WRITER’S. THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT VIEWS OF VIUSASA.