In the past month, I have made it my business to talk about the murders of young women, albeit amid considerable opprobrium from those who think that I have become “too feminist” and biased as I seem to have conveniently ignored the fact that young men get killed too.
Others, mostly parents of young daughters my age, have challenged me to do better beyond my alleged armchair feminism and tackle the real issues at hand.
So I have taken up the challenge today. I have to warn you: this is not going to be sweet.
First and foremost, I need us to bring ourselves to face some hard facts. Some difficult truths about the deaths of these young women.
The first harsh reality we have to come face-to-face with is that the sponsor culture has caught up with the young women of my generation in an unprecedented, never-seen-before fashion.
There are no local studies yet on the ramifications of transactional intimacy, but anecdotal evidence — such as the recent deaths — demonstrates a painful truth. It never ends well for the young woman.
Last week, the papers splashed faces of young women who have died in the hands of cruel people but, if we were being honest, if we were to put our emotions aside and look at this logically and truthfully, some glaring, stubborn facts refuse to die along with these women.
A fraction – not all – of these women who died recently had a common denominator – they were involved with dangerous, powerful men, most of whom do not flinch at the thought of murder.
Of course, these women did not deserve to die nor did they deserve the torture some of them went through.
My point is, it is as futile as it is hypocritical for us to collectively condemn the deaths of these women and leave it at that.
We need to elevate our thinking and make this anger work for us. If we want young women to stop showing up dead in thickets, morgues and in overflowing bathtubs, we need to face the difficult truths about the situations surrounding these deaths and tackle them head first.
Which brings me to the second harsh reality; we are too hypocritical for our own good.
We need to stop being so naive when our daughters, sisters, female friends, cousins and nieces show up one day with flashy, unexplainable lifestyles.
Parents, especially, need to interrogate the source of newly acquired wealth among their daughters and sons.
Stop looking the other way when your daughter shows up with the latest iPhone, a flashy car, flashy clothes or when she suddenly begins to buy you expensive gifts.
You know your daughter’s financial capabilities, you have been alive long enough to know that honest wealth takes time, and when she shows up with stuff she clearly cannot afford, it is your responsibility to question the source of that money.
Some of your daughters are living large, paying hefty rents and driving cars yet they do not have jobs to speak of, and you are not funding that lifestyle.
Where do you think that money is coming from? Manna from heaven?
And to young women reading this, you need to rethink your life choices.
It is understandable we are the first generation living in the age of social media. The pressure to impress is immense.
LIFE OR DEATH
Dating has never been more difficult; when you are not grappling with a young and flashy man who might send you to remand for a few nights, you are dealing with a perverted old man throwing money at you.
But you have to make a decision. It is either life or death. You have to learn how to live within your means. I cannot stress this enough.
You have to understand the importance of paying your bills. You must bring yourself to the realisation that good things take time.
You have to learn that patience pays. You must choose hard work over easy money. You must put in the hours, study hard and qualify for those top jobs.