It was a day to celebrate the girl child, but instead a number of people in South Africa began tweeting with the hash tag saying Women Are Trash.
After a number of tweets talking of gender equality and opportunities for women, Twitter user Kholisa Skweyiya, with the handle @TweetGuru said: I want a man who can cook. I want a man who has money. I want a man who can work out. That time you’re fat and doing nothing #WomenAreTrash.
A number of individuals who took to Twitter that morning expressed surprise at the hash tag. “Did we have misogamy for breakfast?” questioned @konkemax. Kon Karapanagiotidis, the founder of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, a group based out of Australia tweeted, “Women call out patriarchy/privilege. Men respond with making #WomenAreTrash trend. Men need to subvert their privilege, amplify.”
Interestingly, the trend began when social media executive Sadie Torquato argued that men are trash because of the way they treat women. Citing the way women are treated in South Africa and the rest of the continent, Torquato said she rested her case.
However, her desire to bring attention to existing inequality between the sexes in South Africa, ruffled a few Tweeter’s virtual feathers. Skweyiya from Cape Town, who responded using a counter tag #WomenAreTrash.
Although he received a lot of flak for his statements, Skweyiya told the BBC that he recognises that Torquato’s thread highlights how some women are controlled by men. He told us that “abuse on boys” doesn’t receive equal focus, and often goes unreported due to worry that victims may not be seen as “masculine” if they report it.