21 September 2018
Why everyone needs to watch The People vs Patriarchy
Watch the news at any time of the day and the violence South African women are threatened with and subjected to on a daily basis will be evident. Whether it’s domestic violence, femicide or rape, the statistics are horrifying.
We’ve also seen a rise in the number of famous women who have come out to share their stories of abuse in the entertainment industry. The #MeToo campaign saw Hollywood heavyweights such as Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby being exposed for sexually assaulting young women – with some cases dating back to over 20 years.
And let’s not even talk about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of physical and sexual assault in the 1980s, with the accuser now forced to testify in front of the Senate for her allegations to have any weight.
The rise of the #MenAreTrash movement
These stories have led to the rise of the #MenAreTrash movement, which has caught a lot of attention all over the world. The hashtag even inspired South African director Lebogang Rasetshaba to create an eye-opening documentary titled The People vs Patriarchy, which is now streaming on Showmax.
In an interview with online publication Between 10and5, the director said that through the doccie, he hoped that people would interrogate and question things and participate in the dialogue.
“And in that sense, this film could help the dialogue. That’s the primary goal, to equip young minds with the tools to engage the dialogue,” he said.
Inspired by what young people are saying
The doccie, which first aired on MTV in 2017, sparked a big debate among young people.
Speaking about Viacom’s involvement, Monde Thwala explained during an interview on Morning Live: “We work with youth, we work with youth culture. We’re in the content space and obviously continue to try and find a voice for young people in terms of making sure that we can produce content that can resonate with young people.”
He added that patriarchy has been a culture that perpetuates in society. “It is an initiative that is inspired by what young people are saying and it was important for us as MTV to be there and take the dialogue even further beyond just closed quarters or intellectual debates. We wanted to make it as broad as possible [for] the man in the street and the boy child particularly … [to] shift that mindset.”
Real stories, different voices
What’s also interesting about the documentary is that it features stories from people from different walks of life, famous and not famous. In the doccie, actress Sibu Gcilisthana who’s famous for her role on drama series Society, speaks openly about how there are many Harvey Weinsteins in South Africa.
We also hear stories about how people see abuse in their homes and therefore accept it in their relationships.
One man, who’s labelled as an abuser, shares that he was taught that as a man, you don’t need to be soft all the time because a woman will manipulate you based on your weak points. You’ll also hear horrific stories about how some people have seen women being abused but decided to do nothing about it.
This thought-provoking documentary is a must-watch as it explores patriarchy from different angles. You can stream The People vs Patriarchy on Showmax right now.