A closer look at #Metoo from Africa

It’s March and the world gets to celebrate women. It’s 2021 and women of kinds of genders have come from far and have made it everywhere. We can not and should not overlook the pitfalls they face. For example, capitalism feminism produced the #Metoo movement on the internet. Me Too was a none-profit organization since 2006 but the hashtag gained traction in 2017. I believed in #MeToo because for the short time I spent in an office setting I noticed how widespread the sexual onslaught was. In fact, in Uganda, these actions were encouraged by ladies “the older ones” against the recruits and interns. But the movement feels like it was a scam to the ladies from the lowest levels of the social ladder.

The #MeToo movement blew up on social media as a movement for survivors of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment to share their stories. The biggest story was of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long abuse of women he worked with. The movement then took on the form of protecting women in workplaces.

Since the #MeToo movement took on an internet campaign it was an international matter thanks to globalization. In one of the movements, many failures are it didn’t move into Africa. Female workers on the continent are still terrorized with termination or legal action in the event they come up with complaints, many have even suffered panic attacks over continued harassment that goes unchecked by management. In Africa, sexual harassment is one of the biggest triggers and causes of mental health illnesses. Another issue that is not understood at all.

One may say that it was a western movement and African issues need African solutions but the biggest impact of the #MeToo Movement was and is to show Americans and people around the world how widespread sexual harassment, assault, and other misconduct really are. As more and more survivors spoke out, they learned they were not alone. So it was up to that group of celebrity women, who battled against sexual harassment in the workplace, like Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, and Shonda Rimes to show solidarity for the  #EndRapeCulture campaign in South Africa, #MyDressismyChoice protests in Kenya, both the #Nopiwouma and #Doyna in Senegal they left African ladies to be silenced by cultures of respectability through the whole continent.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the worst place to be a woman and girl in the universe, 6 in 10 ladies in that country have faced some form of sexual assault. The biggest advocate for the end of rape as a war weapon is from Hollywood Angelina Jolly and she has given the fight a global outlook. It would be a very big positive for the #Metoo movement to stand in solidarity with African movements. Of course, we can not overlook the support Mona Eltahawy has given to ladies like Dr. Stella Nyanzi on the matter of political rudeness. Mona is an African basically in exile because I don’t think she is still welcome to Egypt her home. #Metoo has not been able to replicate what the #BringBackOurGirls and Malala Yousafzai have been able to do in relation to Africa. Even Greta Thunberg in rhetoric supports those with whom she shares her aspiration with.

The #MeToo movement has not only let Africans down but they proved to be selective when Tara Reade accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when she worked in his office. When Reade publicly talked about her assault and included #metoo in her Twitter post, high-profile champions of the movement failed to declare support for her, one of the primary proponents of Me Too and great Biden supporter and fundraiser, actor Alyssa Milano, removed the #metoo from her Twitter biography then, she went on to reaffirm her support for Mr. Biden and claimed that Me Too was being “weaponized for political gain.” Most recently they have refused to say anything about the allegations that have come against the New York Governor.

Me Too cannot address these problems as it fundamentally fails to understand the causes of exploitation in society and subsequently only challenges abusers when it is in the interest of a few privileged people. society has a responsibility to all women, and by society men of all genders should be brought on board. Information is critical in every struggle and this one is no different. I was personally told by a workmate that asking her out to the movies was a form of harassment and that i could impact our office relationship going forward. I found myself in the wrong and many other men may act inappropriately unknowingly when it comes to things like what is deemed to be a compliment and what is flatting. The idea of radicalism that men are not part of the struggle and that men are trash for doing nothing won’t help. Most men simply keep away just because of the thin delicate information lines.

Logically we can agree that like many types of feminism #MeToo had structural issues that need to be addressed going forward. There must be serious and real structural changes to take apart the superiority of the ruling class. To avoid selective feminism, there would be international movements focused on promoting the lives of working women. We have to slow down on Twitter trends and spread real information to reach the poorest of people. There should be real workplace organizing and fighting for victims everywhere, not just those who can afford the legal fees.

it’s not true feminism is not African, we are the most progressive people, we embraced Christianity, took on very many aspects that changed our lives forever. We adopted everything that made sense for modernity and made society better and mainstream feminism that is collective is part of the package.

Special thank you to Amanda Marufu, your guidance, and mentorship has had a considerable impact on my thinking. One day I will make you proud.

happy women’s day to women of all genders

10 thoughts on “A closer look at #Metoo from Africa

  1. Thank you for sharing this ,there needs to be a voice for the #MeToo movement in Africa …..

    One would be appalled at how many women on a scale have experienced a sort of harassment .
    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This was such an eye opening piece to read as someone from the west. I think so much more needs to be done to truly eradicate sexual abuse, especially as it is so prominent in many parts of the world and I would love to read more from you.

    Liked by 2 people

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