An open letter to all men… Kill temptation, not the woman

Windhoek – Magdalena Stoffels, Namibia’s latest victim of the increasing brutal crimes committed against women, woke up one fateful morning with hopes and aspirations for the day as she set on her usual path to school. She had travelled the same path for the last four years or so, and that morning was just going to be another chapter in her young life. As it turned out, it was going to be another chapter – her last.  The 17 year-old Windhoek school girl, described by her peers as jovial person and an academic performer, met a horrific death – she was raped along a dry river bed and her throat slit. Within a few hours, a life that was just about to take-off was lost, never to return.  The gruesome murder, as is the norm of late, attracted sporadic reactions from human rights groups, student population and ordinary citizens – among them mothers fearing the same for their own daughters. This outpouring of sympathy and patriotism will continue for some time, condolences to the bereaved family will keep flowing for a few more days, but in a month or so, the papers will stop following the story, the bereaved mother’s name will be forgotten and life will go on as usual.  Christianity teaches its followers to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – a direct contrast of events that has left the nation not only reeling in shock, but also angry, bitter and confused by it all. The fact that Christianity is by far the largest practised denomination with more than 90 percent of the total ’church going’ population in Namibia, adds to the already quadratic equation.  To think that a man , known traditionally to be the main provider and protector in family circles, would hurt a defenceless woman whom he is supposed to support and love is just beyond reason. People will claim that the attacker is psychologically disadvantaged because he never had a father figure in his life to teach him right from wrong, or he simply lost his temper. Utter nonsense! If that were the case, many of us would be criminals.  It’s probably acceptable  – if one is to argue along those lines – to twist a woman’s arm if you lose your temper. But how do you twist her arm, strangle her by the neck until she dies, run to the nearest hardware shop for a rope, tie her up, rape her, cut up her lifeless body in pieces, and cook them? Is that temper, insanity or just pure ignorance? And to think that such a person, whom I would not even offer water to if he were starving,  would end up in prison where he would sponge on my tax money, as he lies on his backside all day, adds to the pain of losing a loved one.  If luck is on his side, he will be pardoned after a few years for ‘good behaviour’ and wander along the same streets where the deceased’s family lives as if to open the scars of losing their beloved family member. Mind you, they even have fancy names for prison like ‘correctional facility’. What in heaven’s name do they correct in there if the man comes out halfway through his sentence on pardon?  Fellow brothers, let’s kill the temper and spare the woman. They are supposed to be by our side, just as they were taken from our ribs to share a life with us, and not under our feet to be trampled upon or more literally – murdered. It’s simple; it starts with the first clap across her cheeks but sadly end in a gruesome murder if not controlled. Forget about that nonsense of male ego, and how she ought to worship the ground you walk on – its so medieval! Society has changed, brother – so should you. Remember, we are all affected – as a father, brother or son.  They say men have nothing much between the ears, please don’t prove them right – killing is not the answer.  

August 2010
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