Men: Stop yourselves from doing harm

By Derek Carelse

I have read the statistics, consulted psychologists, referenced sociological research – and still I cannot make sense of the deep senselessness of these violent behaviours.

And then a dear, dear friend of mine dies suddenly. Out of the blue. Totally unexpected.
And I sit with a horrible feeling that families of murdered and raped women must sit with too. Why. Why. Why.

How many Whys muted in a Vacuum.

So I address my letter to You amongst You who do evil to women and girls.

Men.

Who the hell do you think you are. This is not a question. We are done with questions. We want answers.

I write as a man. And I am the one asking the questions.

I want answers. From you. Who kill and rape for pleasure. Answer me.

But you won’t.
Because I am stronger than you and you only act against the weak who cannot answer.

And before you get frustrated and angry at me, and violent towards women and girls, here’s what you can do to stop yourself from doing harm.

Smack yourself.
Hit yourself.
Kick yourself.
Talk to your father, brother, sister, mother, uncle, friend, teacher, colleague, priest, dog.
Anyone. To the mirror.

Write.
Pick up a pen and pour your feelings out on paper. On your phone.
Record voice notes to yourself. Talk to yourself. Talk yourself out of it.
Write to your spiritual guide.
Confess.
Cry.
Scream.

Play the guitar, beat a drum. Paint. Draw. Dance. Dance for hours till you are exhausted.
Don’t tell me there is nothing you can do.

But leave the women and girls alone.
Do not touch.

Watch a movie. Watch a series.
Go for a walk. A three hour walk.
Jog.
Watch Man United. Yes, Man United.
Listen to music.
Phone Helpline.
Email The Journalist.
Lock yourself in a room.
Go for a long drive.
Jog again.

Watch sport on TV. Bafanabafana. The Bokke. Banyanabanyana. The Proteas.
Join a soccer club. A boxing gym. Walk on the beach. Swim in the sea.

Cook food. Do the dishes.
Polish your shoes. Again. And again. And Again.
Polish your shoes fifty times. Then start with another pair.

Observe birds in a tree. Look at the tops of trees. Look at clouds.
Immerse your face in a cold mountain stream.
Watch live comedy.

Do whatever you have to do to stop yourself. To STOP YOURSELF.

Read a book. Read another book.
Read a whole library.
Research your condition online. In YouTube. Wikipedia.
Analyse yourself. Realise who you truly are.

ASAP.

If not, “Papa wag vir jou daar bo”.

More stories in Issue 115

Contributors

Derek Carelse

Derek Carelse is an ex advertising art director and company marketing director who now devotes his time mentoring the Next Generation & helping startups and social enterprises to thrive.

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