Black feminists don’t suck dick! Hate-speech hacktivism: A phenomenological analysis of #menaretrash grassroots cyber social-movement against heteropatriarchy

Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Gender Studies and Sexuality

Year: 2022



Black feminists don’t suck dick! Hate-speech hacktivism: A phenomenological analysis of #menaretrash grassroots cyber social-movement against heteropatriarchy

Rofhiwa Felicia Mukhudwana



Black feminism theorizing as a sight of multidisciplinary research is associated with the third wave of feminism against the notion of the common oppression of all women (Few 2007). Proponents of black feminism have criticized western feminism as racist and exceedingly nursing of the bruised wounds of white middle class women while ignoring the bloody gashes of women of colour (Collins, 2000). The primary purpose of black feminism was to rebuff the assumption in scholarship, feminism, activism, liberation, and in society that ‘all women are white and all blacks are male. In the chapter, Men, comrades in the struggle, Bell Hooks (1984) discusses the role of black men in the black feminist agenda wherein she argues that the time has come for active feminism to develop strategies for the inclusion of men in the struggle against sexism. Feminism defined as a movement to end sexism needs both women and men to work hand in hand. On the contrary, by even remotely defining the purpose of feminism as obliterating the stature of men and gaining social equality with men already retreats men into the defensive or retaliates them into an offensive. The #MenAreTrash global cyber movement, that started in South Africa following the femicide of Karabo Mokwena (and many others), was misunderstood as connoting feminism as an attack on (black)men. I frame this dissident attack as ‘hate-speech’ hactivism. Hectivism refers to the use of computers and any other IT system and network to debate and sustain a political issue, promote free speech and support human rights”.  This hectivism was a success in gaining and keeping the momentum about femicides in South Africa and gross (black) women abuse. However, the language was not pretty and the emotion was not discreet. Some men reacted against the blanketing of men on the notion of #NotAllMen, or #NotinMyName and the counter-attack WomenAreTrash. Another theme of the #MenAreTrash was with some women using the ‘space’ as a personal diary for venting their ill experiences with men, and naming and shaming. These personal narrated data demonstrative of storytelling provide a huge data for an explorative phenomenological study in understanding the 4th wave of feminism as everyday political dissent, a feminism of normal people, away from the theorized learned diplomatic feminism as written in literature.  The agency of the movement demonstrates the dissenting voices of the marginalized, using hate-speech performance as a form of counter-attack (Mukhudwana, 2018). The chapter ensues from Karam’s (2017) call that “the field (political communication) need to incorporate transnational organisations, grassroots organisations (pressure groups), non-state actors, and active – citizenry. This is the contribution of the chapter to the subject of political communication as decolonizing and performance.

keywords: Feminism, Menaretrach, Hacktivism, South Africa.