#WomensDay: Twitter red with rage over gender-based violence guide (Video)
Opinion / 10 August 2018, 07:00am / Louis Neethling
The perpetrators of violence against women and their victims definitely don’t need a guide to tell them that the colour of blood is red. And a victim beaten black and blue knows it's not her fault for feeling off-colour. If she survives.
Twitter users, among others, were flummoxed by the message, "which is so far removed from reality", Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women Bathabile Dlamini seemed to be sending when her department’s initiative was unveiled by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the 2018 National #WomensDay event in Mbekweni, Paarl, on Thursday. A Gender Based Violence Robot, a colour-coded guide to healthy relationships, will not make a dent in the never-ending tsunami of violence perpetrated against women and children in the country.
In reading out the guide, to laughter, Ramaphosa had to point out that there was an important omission from the guide for healthy "green" relationships. "
And now I want to add, there is give and take. But moreimportantly,
they didn’t write there is love. The most important part."
It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. The facts speak for themselves: a woman is murdered every four hours in South Africa and at least half of these women die at the hands of their intimate partners.
Aside from love, what Twitter in essence thought was missing "in this insult to women" was common sense in launching the initiative.
Basically, Green relationships are healthy; Orange, he is controlling, jealous and undermines you; Red, and you’d better get out now, he might kill you.
This is what Twitter had to say about Dlamini effectively trying to apply a (colour-coded) plaster to an issue that finds itself in the intensive-care unit.
"Those robots will neither help the victims nor scare the perpetrators! Swift and stern action will! Yekani ukudlala!" said @spokesmash.
“Badakiwe Dlamini the last evil woman to be concerned in children and women abuse because she was at the forefront supporting the imbalanced Manana during his court appearance,” said @lindamasango8.
"I vomited in my mouth seeing this crap. What goes through your mind thinking that this will help? Women and kids are facing scum that you cannot even class as animals. Are you so far removed from the rot happening in SA," said @wisebutwily.
"What special powers does this noticeboard have to warrant a whole budget to bring the king and his army to unveil? asking for my female friends," said @sklbree.
"Badakiwe Dlamini the once prominent defender of the most dangerous women abusers in SA Manana and Zuma must hide and keep quiet because she pretends to be against women's abuse where else she is the opposite," said @lindamasango8.
If you didn't watch the video of the launch of the robot, this is what Ramaphosa said in introducing it:
“That is a robot. Everybody knows what a robot stands for. Green means no violence, healthy relationship. There is mutual respect for self and choices you make. No one controls the other, there is honesty and respect. There is support and affirmation.
"There is acceptance, there is empathy and kindness. There is thoughtful and forgivingness (sic). There is appreciation, validation. It allows for individuality, there is good communication. There is understanding, there is negotiation. And now I want to add there is give and take. But more importantly, they didn’t write there is love. The most important part.
"Orange: React, let no one destroy you. Tries to bring you down and control you and the choices that you make, your friends, your money, the places you go to, your mobile, the clothes you wear, your appearance, your activities, your private mails and messages, hurtful jokes, blackmailing, lying, deceiving, ignoring, cold treatment, jealousy, blaming, discrediting, ridiculing, offending, humiliating in public, intimidating, threatening, controlling, prohibiting, destroying your personal items and groping. That is orange.
"Red: You need professional help. Threatening with objects or weapons, death threats, forced sexual relations, sexual abuse, rape, violation, mutilation, femicide, murder.
"That is the robot we are launching today.
The Gender-based Violence Robot launched by the Department of Women, underpinned, initiated and supported by our government. This is what we are launching countrywide."