[OPINION] Of spoofs, gaffes and the #MensConference
And so, the fictitious Men’s Conference has started. Social media has been abuzz for months building up to this so-called conference that was to start on Thursday.
This conference was started by South African men in attempts to avoid buying gifts for their significant others on Valentine’s Day, saying it was compulsory for all men to attend the spoof conference instead.
The conference also saw men posting Photo-shopped tickets to the event and an itinerary of the activities set to take place.
At one level, some thought this fictitious idea was great, that it gave men space to ventilate; men being men.
The imaginary conference also saw prominent figures, such as the likes of Fikile Mbalula and former President Jacob Zuma, participate.
Successful day at the conference gentlemen. I would have loved to stay longer but duty calls.— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) February 15, 2019
Iyabhubhudla inkezo! Uyizwile na?— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) February 14, 2019
Well, when the spoofs are done, we must out of revolutionary necessity, return to reason and ask: how did this biggest social media spoof of 2019 ride on patriarchy, misogyny and homophobia?
Now that is the debate we must have because both the meta-narrative and the sub-text of the spoof were nothing but sexist constructs and advances disguised as memes and trivia.
This #MensConference has made me aware of the power of social media. How I wish as men we could be this united and influence one another to just stop abusing women and to support our kids. If men can make such an imaginary conference go viral, imagine what would happen— King Etju (@NguLethu) February 15, 2019
Like occasional drunks, we are duty-bound to return to sobriety and confront these burdensome questions.
As is the case with racism, patriarchy thrives through trivia which makes oppression and prejudice lighthearted yet devastating in the same manner as crude structural bigotry which has defined human relations since the advent of slavery.
Busani Ngcaweni is co-editor of 'We are No Longer at Ease: The Struggle for #FeesMustFall' (Jacana Media)