Sometimes a movie like Diary of a Mad Black Woman inspires
such impassioned disparate views its hard to dismiss
as mere entertainment.
Go and see it! a friend urged, her face slightly
flushed. Shed been relating how a male she knew
had spurned the film, labelling it just man-bashing.
Which was odd to hear; as a few days before Id heard
that another man had wept in the cinema during the film.
Even more interesting is the fact that not only was the
movie directed by a man, Darren Grant, it was written
by a man, Tyler Perry, in adaptation of his stage play
by the same name.
I saw Diary of a Mad Black Woman and was intrigued to
realise that, besides two other characters, 35-year-old
Tyler Perry himself played the role of Madea, the central
characters grandmother, and the female
in the story who could most be described as absolutely
intolerant of men and all things male, once they fail
to come good.
What man, being aware of the fact that it was another
man who penned this plot, would seriously try to call
Men do not accuse other men of man-bashing; even when
those other men are oppressing men, even when those other
men are saying the vilest things about men of their own
race (a fairly common occurrence among certain fellahs
in Trinidad and Tobago), even when those other men are
hitting them repeatedly about the head with a blunt object.
No. Its only when women have something to say against
anything vile and reprehensible some men may do that there
are accusations of man-bashing. For who are we
fairer sex equals weaker sex to question,
challenge, combat what our so-called male betters
There is, I say, no such thing as man-bashing.
There is speaking out with the truth, or saying things
that are unjust. But bashing? Please! Mister, what do
you know about bashing?
Lets begin with the definition: bash: strike bluntly
or heavily; attack hard and violently; damage or break
by striking forcibly; collide with; a heavy blow. Pretty
So when you talk of man-bashing, baby, you are claiming
a very big, very bad thing. So is there real bashing?
Revealing factual data to help inform people of their
rights, recourses and resources is not bashing. Helping
people become more knowledgeable and about others, themselves
and issues in our society is not bashing.
Educating people so they can learn to make and have better
lives is not bashing.
Defending the rights of the downtrodden, speaking up against
iniquity, trying to create a level playing field for all
people regardless of sex, race, class, religion, is not
Speaking the truth is not bashing!
And anyone who says truth is subjective speaks with a
forked tongue. Opinion is subjective: like the opinion
that deems women fighting for better lives for all sorts
of people, but particularly women, man-bashers because
they know and speak the truth.
Listen, saying Men who want to rape women should
not rape women, is not bashing.
Saying, One in two women will be raped in her lifetime,
is not bashing.
Saying, All men are stinking, selfish, sex-driven
pigs without sensitivity, soul or sense (for all
its seeming accuracy sometimes), IS bashing.
Still, its laughable to label that latter statement
as bashing when we face daily reports of what real bashing
Whenever the loathsome or merely disrespectful aspects
of some mens actions and behaviour are highlighted,
its strange that many men hear themselves being
addressed along with said rotten apples.
Most men hear arguments posed against misconduct by those
specifically doing wrong and they take it quite personally.
They never stop to ask themselves why they take it so
I know why. Because men are allowedI dare say encouraged
to bash: be it a wall, a womans face, another man.
Theyre taught to be wildly in love with their ability
to be rough and tumble physically, verbally,
emotionally. Despite advances in subtlety and sensitivity
made by the male species, a tender man is still regarded
as not quite a man.
So bashing has become a way of life among men: more than
100 murders so far this year attests to that.
Boys are bred into a bash unto them as/before they
bash unto you bent; then we wonder why violence
among our nations male youth is abounding.
Until we are prepared to stop dismissing as man-bashing
any charges voiced against transgressions perpetrated
by too many men at too many levels of society, we will
never cultivate a culture comprised of men who accept
responsibility for their actions, and thereby possess
the self-respect needed to make them positively contributing
members of society.
Till then, real bashingfights, stabbings, muggings,
rapes, murders, kidnappingswill continue unrestrained.
The million man bash