Kenyan men protest domestic violence

(Washington D.C. Feb 21, 2012 AVfM News) Yesterday the BBC reported that a men’s group in Kenya named Maendeleo Ya Wanaume (translation not available) announced an initiative to protest what is becoming a growing problem of female perpetrated domestic abuse in that country. The protest will entail a nation wide boycott of meals made by their wives and partners and is supposed to encourage men to eat away from home together and share their experiences with domestic abuse whether it be physical or emotional.

In Kenyan culture eating your wife’s meal is said to be a very important part of a mans expression of appreciation for his wife.

Last year, the group conducted its own survey of Central and Nairobi provinces and found that up to 460,000 men said they had been subjected to some sort of domestic abuse. The two provinces have a combined population of more than seven million people.

In addition to the BBC release local Kenyan television station, NTV Kenya, has broadcast a story about the protest and featured victims of extreme physical abuse. Explanations for the abuse perpetrated by wives included undocumented reports of widespread alcoholism by men and the fact that women were now earning more than men and as better earners were more resentful that they were taking up more financial responsibility.

Video below. Advisory: Graphic content




[publishers addendum: African media has already begun the shaming and ridicule. Macharia Gaitho of allafrica.com has issued this scathing condemnation of men who speak up against being abused. PE]

About Robert O'Hara

Bob O'Hara is the U.S. News Director for A Voice for Men. He is a men's rights activist living in the Washington, D. C. area who has done work with S.A.V.E. and is the host of a weekly radio show with news and analysis on men's and boys' issues.

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  • JGteMolder

    Some of the men were doused acid, or set on fire weren’t they? Another was cut with a wire.

    The most unbelieving thing: they blame the men for not working harder. “If only they worked harder, women wouldn’t need to put them in a hospital.”


    Imagine if that was given as a reason for men brutalizing women like that: “Yes, women should just work harder. They’re not earning enough, and men resent it.”

    Imagine that as a valid reason throughout history. The human species would have gone extinct ages ago!

    The only “people” and I used the term lightly, that responsible for the violence, are the women perpetrating it.

    • Ben

      You’re absolutely right. Excellent point. If women were being beaten, set on fire, and burned with acid for not working hard enough at their household chores in Kenya, how different would it look?

  • Rper1959

    Yep makes sense,(paraphrasing from the youtube vid) women are earning more than men, so they feel taken advantage of, men are drinking too much and not earning enough “to support their families”, and failing to take care of their wive’s “to enjoy their conjugal rights”. The solution is clearly for the women to beat the shit out of the men. So their you have it the patriarchy in action developing country style, lazy alcoholic males expecting their wives to support them.

  • Ben

    This week’s edition of our school newspaper, “The Reflector,” uses the usual catch -phrase, “Calling ALL MEN (emphasis theirs)” to walk a mile in her shoes. Walk A Mile in Her Shoes is only two weeks away. I guess since they want ALL MEN to participate (in all caps), they would intend that even Kenyan men who study here (I am not sure if we have any from Kenya) to participate too? This, I presume, would include all those men who came from that environment?

    They are going to hand a White Ribbon to the wrong person one day. I wish the same MSU students who handed me a white ribbon and asked me to walk in womens heels to pledge to end sexual and domestic violence against women would go to Kenya with their white ribbons. But then, evidently, they would be welcomed even there too. How disgusting.

    • http://www.artistryagainstmisandry.com Jade Michael

      I wonder what will happen when the men who do this don’t stumble and fall all over the place like they are expected to. In my Goth/Glam Rock days I was known to wear women’s high-heeled, thigh-high boots on stage. I would always get comments from women like “I could never do stuff like that in heels.” That “stuff” being the Chuck Berry duck walk from one end of the stage to the other, stage diving, loading heavy PA equipment in and out of clubs…all while in heels. I have no sympathy for women who complain over something as petty as fashion, let alone make political statements out of it. I’ll race any of those bitches in a pair of size 15 stilettos any day just to rub their faces in a failed attempt at emasculating men.

      (And yes, I just admitted all of that in public.) :)

      • Ben

        Well, the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is organized by Sexual Assault Services working under the authorization of the Office of Violence Against Women. It is clearly stated that it is about ending men’s sexual violence against women. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtCmM-qxIAA

        Take a look at the comment under the video, too.

  • Tawil

    Brilliant… this is the kind of material that will blow the world’s collective mind- it shows that DV by women is everywhere and that the far-flung patriarchal strongholds actually don’t exist.

    Whilst “westerners” (mostly UK, USA, Aus) are brainwashed to believe patriarchal domination of women exists in all non-English speaking countries, the magnitude of the problem remains diminished. Further, by not citing the existence of the problem globally we provide everyone with an excuse to dismiss the MRA message- ie. “We can’t focus too much on the problems of a few western males while women in almost all other nations are oppressed”. This is how our message is often rendered impotent. Imagine if we removed this problem simply by highlighting the same problems we western men face but in all countries?

    From the start AVfM was the first men’s forum to highlight global nature of the problem of feminism, chivalry, female privilege (etc)… and I hope it keeps capitalizing and expanding on this narrative. It’s the sort of material that stops people in thier tracks and forces them to review their working assumptions.

    When it comes to the continent of Africa the problem of female perpetrated domestic violence is very widespread- I have read similar accounts from South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. Here’s a small newspaper article from Zimbabwe, the supposed patriachal stronghold ruled by the ultimate patriachal oppressor Robert Mugabe FWIW: http://www.international-mens-day.com/attachments/Image/Zimbabwe_Newspaper_Article_2011.jpg

    • Fidel Johnson


      I live in South Africa…… and we are subjected to the same crap as elsewhere : “1 in 3 women live in fear, etc. etc.”.
      A few months ago I was watching breakfast TV, and some feminist thing was interviewed and spouted the usual garbage. The cool thing about this is that viewer are invited to text in comments.
      My second proudest moment was when I saw my comment refuting the feminists words scrolling along the bottom of the screen ( while she was still bullshitting live on TV ), and my proudest was the sight of comments a few minutes later agreeing with me.
      Attitudes are a’changing…..

      • Tawil

        Great to hear from South Africa, I wonder how many others from your continent are reading and contributing here? (lets hear from you). Its true attitudes are a’changing and in no small part because the MRM is joining together in global solidarity.

        I can imagine how satisfying it must have been to see your text published live, while the feminist was still talking. Absolutely priceless!

        • Tawil

          BTW, the South African government is a veritable sewage pipe of feminist excriment… it makes Australia or Sweden look like a patriarchal playground of joys.

          I’d love to see a carpet-bombing of articles covering the situation in SA and the African continent generally. Would be great if we could include a few thousand regulars from that part of the world.

          Followed on by Asia would then complete the MRA international circle.

          Most of Europe is in the bag (could do with a little more from the southern Germanic speaking cluster), as is USA, Australia and new Zealand, Scandanavia, and the United Kingdom. The net is closing and the fish are in it.

  • ZenCo.

    It really is the same everywhere – Isn’t it?

  • JFinn


  • http://funnyfaceking.tumblr.com funnyfaceking

    Kenya: No Hunger Strike for Us Battered Men – We Shall Suffer Our Shame in Silence

    I have always looked on bemused at the antics of one Nderitu Njoka, who speaks for some outfit he calls Maendeleo ya Wanaume.

    That is supposed to be the male counterpart, or answer if you please, to the oldest and biggest women’s movement in the country, the Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation.

    Apart from occasional statements on behalf of supposedly “oppressed” Kenyan men, Maendeleo ya Wanaume seems to have really struggled to catch attention over the past few years.

    Things can be particularly hard for any lobby group that is so difficult to find.

    More mockery: http://allafrica.com/stories/201202210204.html

  • http://funnyfaceking.tumblr.com funnyfaceking

    Kenya: Irony of Battered Men in Mungiki Backyard
    19 FEBRUARY 2012

    And more: http://allafrica.com/stories/201202201987.html

  • http://equalitythroughtruth.blogspot.com/ Jean Valjean

    This is off topic but I just saw this ad on Craigslist in the Women for Men category.

    Does this even exist? A man that has a past and has grown from it but has not been destroyed by a woman?
    I have met too many guys lately that have lost faith in the female gender.
    I’m a good girl, nice, sweet, attractive, honest and loyal. Why is it so hard to find the same thing in a guy?
    If you are interested in finding that someone and you don’t wear your baggage all over, message me back with a picture.
    I’m not interested in a player and not interested in games.
    Subject line: No Baggage.

    This is one of those near misses where you think a woman is finally getting it but then just falls back into shaming language.

    Still, I’m glad to see more and more men are waking up. Enough at least that this woman has noticed that men are tired of women’s bullshit and aren’t interested in a serious relationship.

    I think it’s funny that she said she is a “loyal” woman. I doubt she even knows the meaning of the word.

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com Dr. F

    Very interesting.

    When I read your post I thought about this:

    Q/ Does this even exist? A man that has a past and has grown from it but has not been destroyed by a woman?

    A/ No.

    Q/ I have met too many guys lately that have lost faith in the female gender.
    I’m a good girl, nice, sweet, attractive, honest and loyal. Why is it so hard to find the same thing in a guy?

    A/ One life to live here, and I’m genuinely regretful that although I am the same as you in these ways I have been burnt by women exploiting those very same qualities and will now unfortunately go it alone.

    Statement/ If you are interested in finding that someone and you don’t wear your baggage all over, message me back with a picture.

    Reply/ Nope. You lot blew it. Need another generation of women not affected by feminism to get me interested. Maybe my kids will have a different story when they grow up.

    Statement/ I’m not interested in a player and not interested in games.
    Subject line: No Baggage.

    Reply/ I’m not interested in a player and not interested in games.
    Subject line: No Way in hell.

  • keyster

    If there’s going to be a break-through to the mainstream it won’t be through the USA. The media here (and their corporate sponsors) has WAY too much control over what is said about feminist issues.

    Feminist media watchdog groups are ever vigilant here and press rooms around the country give them the bullhorn.

    Broaching a feminist issue in the USA in the negative, is akin to one big collective “You must be on your period today.” Every public figure knows this and consciously avoids the topic, unless it’s in outward support of Team Woman.

    • Tawil

      Keyster… I noticed this about the US situation re a seeming media ban on pro ‘men’s rights’ articles. Where are the articles highlighting the gender battle, or on men’s point of view? On the one hand you have such gutsy MRAs -among the most gutsy in the world (and in high numbers judging by the blogs) yet with an impenetrable media stronghold that refuses to rock the feminist boat. I’m inclined to agree that there exists almost unanimous support of “team women” in higher public life… I’m scratching my head to figure out why that is.

  • Cariocecus

    Have been reading this site for a few months, but now I felt like venting about a little something so I finally registered.
    And that little something is the language used by the media when portraying DV, when talking about females they use very sure, confident wording as if what they are saying is beyond questioning, stuff like: “All over the world women ARE battered by…”
    Now when they talk about males, the wording changes completely, it becomes “This man was ALLEGEDLY battered by…”, not only do they word it so that each case is an isolated case, hence it’s not a social “epidemic” (a word that the media loves so much) but they do their darn best to cast doubt into the reports.
    It pisses me off that for the media:
    “Women ARE battered.”
    “Men are ALLEGEDLY battered.”

    PS: I’m sorry if my English is not perfect, but it’s not my native language.

    • Paul Elam

      Your English is just fine. Welcome.

    • http://equalitythroughtruth.blogspot.com/ Jean Valjean

      Welcome Cariocecus! Don’t worry about your English. I’ve been speaking English all my life and it’s still not perfect.

  • Sean Gonzalez

    We are portrayed in both society and in the media as instigators, therefore we are incapable of being victims in anything. Women are portrayed as childlike DESPITE the feminist rhetoric of equality, and this is the societal norm pushed on us since time immemorial. Thus women are incapable of initiating and men are incapable of innocence as the standard stance in modern society. This is the hill we must deal with, nay, the mountain!

    This is why we can cite the numbers, pitch the facts, push the logical and rail, but we’re fighting against something absolute, boys and girls! Something so staunchly ignorant that we are ice-skating UP hill every fricking day! We’re dealign with the “Feelings” of women!

    You got statistics, pictures, movies, data, studies, logical progression, well guess what! Their ignorance is weighed in the SAME way but with MORE weight due to its origin than our facts.

    Asimov said it best, that we live in a culture of ignorance, we always have. And it has only grown worse as time goes by. It knows no political party or agenda, merely shoving itself into any crack it can and festering. Then spreading like a cancer until it chokes the life out of entire segments of life.

    Watch this video again, and think,”What will a feminist say?”

    The mind BOGGLES! Why? Because you have so many ignorant possibilities it makes the average MRA go,”Whoa! Sean! You know what pandora’s box you’re about to open?”

    Hell yes, I do! I’ve heard it! I’ve watched it and so have you! When presented with indelible facts, these mental midgets retreat to so many hiding holes like scared Prairie Dogs that each should have a name etched over it!

    From:They deserved it, they are men!
    To: Girl Power! You go girls!
    Or: That’s (fill in the country)m not here in the US!
    Further: I don’t believe this is real, WOMEN would never do that!

    I am sure you can help me play the Fembot MadLib if we kept this up!

    My point being, how in the name of God do we put this down? How do we get past this? Because the last one…the one I run into the least, but is the final inch of the shell cracking and they run preserve their ignorance.

    “I don’t think this is that common.”

    That is the LAST inch! When you have them almost netted and opening their perpetually 4 year old minds to a new concept:REALITY!

    How do we get them over that final…fucking…HUMP!?