Hon. Kuol Manyang Juuk & the New Breed of Sexist Young Men

BY: Kuir ë Garang (Author, Poet), ALBERTA, Canada, DEC/03/2014, SSN;

If you don’t know who is who in a crowd then generalize them in good faith and you’ll soon know who is who. Bad advice but it works! So I’ll lump up the majority of South Sudanese young men as sexist unless they distinguish themselves otherwise.

I know each and every society has its normative and traditional parameters used by its people. It’s obviously remarkable that every society considers its cultural tenets central to its way of life, and to some extent, free of error.

This is of course a fallacy for any given human social construct is always fraught with mistakes. However, societies that face criticisms given the inhumanity of some of their cultural practices take refuge in cultural relativism. And this has led to resistance to change by some cultures.

Luckily, the world has grown to a point in which unacceptable human practices are getting challenged as revolutionized means of communication have opened up closed societies in ways never seen before. Societies are no longer closed and therefore can’t oppress some members of their societies without such injustice being heard.

Sexists, Racists, Dictators, embezzlers, religious bigots… are exposed and bashed on regular basis.

This doesn’t mean injustice and harmful cultural and social practices aren’t taking place. They still take place in the cover of darkness. Sexist, enslavers, racists, immoral capitalists, war-mongers, rapists…still exist. What’s comforting is that the above perpetrators know the contemporary societies don’t approve of their practices.

The famed James Dewey Watson, the Noble Prize winning co-discover of DNA double helix, fell from grace for his racist remarks and was shunned by the scientific community; and the American beloved comedian, Bill Cosby, is now falling from grace for the way he treated women.

Among the sad practices that still haunt us today is men’s attitude toward women. This is an attitude that exist in almost all human societies. Even seemingly progressive societies like western countries still have a lot to do when it comes to women rights.

Women are still paid less than men, they face domestic violence, have hard times when they vie for elected offices, have difficulty moving up corporate ladders… etc. However, western societies have done relatively better than other societies.

Even young, educated men in some societies such as South Sudan still think stereotyping women is acceptable because “it’s part of our culture.” These young men think talking about rights of women is a ‘western’ concept. What a pathetic state of mind!

Women rights are human rights applicable to all societies. When did it become a western idea that women shouldn’t be compared to cowardly men? Women in the west didn’t always have the same rights they have now so calling respect for women a western concept is to miss the point.

Everyone human society progresses not retrogress and some norms of 100 years ago aren’t even mentionable now. The word ‘Negro’ was an acceptable reference to African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s but mentioning it now is almost an anathema. About 200 years ago Africans were sold like sheep.

Societies change. And it’s the acceptable change that’s welcome.

And it’s bizarre for an educated man to think that saying a cowardly man is a women isn’t insulting to women. It might have been okay for African men to insult their women 50–100 years ago but to say it’s cultural to use analogies that denigrate women now is a scary state of mind.

The recent remarks by South Sudan’s defense minister, Kuol Manyang, comparing cowardly men with women can be understood or excused in the context of the society he grew up in. It shouldn’t be condoned, however. It has no place in the current society Kuol lives in.

And what is even appalling is how educated, young South Sudanese believe such sexist, inflammatory remarks are ‘not a problem.’

We all know the context in which Kuol uttered the statement but it’s really mindless to say that we can condone such a statement because it was uttered by Kuol Manyang, a government official.

We can say Kuol only wanted to raise the morale of his soldiers and scare other ‘men’ to join the army. But did Kuol Manyang have to make fun of women to make a point?

With such an attitude, I believe girls and women in South Sudan should sharpen their spears because the upcoming breed of young leaders is full of mindless, robotic sexists, who wouldn’t hesitate to endorse sexism in the name of culture and Afrocenticity.

This makes me wonder how such a breed of leaders would be able to take issues like rape and women rights seriously. Is it the support of leaders that has completely blinded some of our able-minded young men and that they’d change if the issue of support ceases to be a problem? Or is this the actual state of affairs in South Sudan?

To respect women is not to simply love or marry them or to say they are good mothers and sisters. Respecting women is to guarantee their rightful place in any society. So we have a bunch of young men who believe that women are simply weak and cowardly.

How do you look your wife or girlfriend in the eye and believe mocking analogies are okay? Why do we get angry when Europeans or Euro-Americans make fun of us? Why do we call ‘white’ people racists when they use analogies such as ‘Africans are monkeys’ or Africans are inferior?

And some ‘white’ people have been raised and cultured to believe Africans and people of African descent aren’t even human beings! They actually believe this to be true. Should we condone this attitude towards us because it’s part of some ‘white’ people cultural upbringing?

It’s up to young girls and women to know that the coming generation of leaders has among them sexists of the unpalatable breed. They’ll marry you but be ready to put you under the bus!

And unless young girls and women become vigilant to safeguard their rightful place as boys’ equals and challenge archaic-minded and sexist people, they’ll have themselves to blame.

And prominent leaders and heroes of our liberation struggle like Kuol Manyang Juuk should be the frontrunners in the fight for girls’ rights. The use of analogies that denigrate women in our contemporary society is unforgiveable.

Hon. Kuol has women colleagues in the government and the use of such analogies not only disrespects them, it also sends a wrong message to boys about how they should treat girls and women; and that expressions that compare women with disgraced men is okay.

Kuol needs to apologize to women to set a good example for young men and boys.

Kuir ë Garang (Author, Poet)
www.kuirthiy.info
http://thenilepress.com
587-892-1243

10 Comments

  1. Elijah Samuel says:

    Kuir,
    Be brave and be strong! You are right to condemn Kuol Manyang but you came timid, you put all young boys together to lessen his sin! This is how difficult not is to blame one own people, it comes through the pain you are going through trying to rebuke one you call a hero while to many South Sudanese he is the father of the current ruthlessness of the Kiir government, he is not a hero but a murderer who now is not only sexist but inciting violence against Women!!!!

  2. AGUMUT says:

    I had read only the headline because i have no interest in that article because afraid that Juuk will follow Garang’s footstep by walking from DOOR to DOOR to play one after the other and that should not be repeat again.There is no called minority in the South.

  3. SABON says:

    kual manag is a DINKA so he can say anything and he can do anything…they will soon go

  4. dau Kongor says:

    You are all pointless indeed with your comments, whoever want to castigates what Kuol Manyang said is up to him or her but he didn’t mean what you want to expose but it can not affect him whether you are pretending to be good people who knows women rights. women were killed and cut off their private parts, the pregnant women were also killed and tear up their stomach and slaughter the baby who is in the womb in Doleib by the rebel soldiers but you did not comment on that. so which one is hurting? and this is what Kuol want to avoid. Pliz think BIG B4 COMMENTS.

  5. dau Kongor says:

    Kuir e Garang, take care for your writings, you can not just write and starts accusing somebody out of blue for nothing, Kuol Manyang and all of whoever you are wishing a bad luck in this Government of our Almighty Republic of South Sudan, are all innonces in the eyes of South Sudanese, even God knows that they were been hated simply because of their good hearts, for forgiving people for their crimes against innonce citizens of this nation but they will never regret for their good faith that they had shown since then. Noted i have no single person in the government that i am defending, even a cleaner but the fact shoud be told i have to praise the government regardless of all these, you can not just emerged from nowhere and start accusing your own government for no reason, my advice for your individual interest and opinion, everything goes with the ages, times and commitments, how come for you to interfere within the non of your business, this is the bad image and attitude expose to generalised the youth of South Sudan are not respecting their ages, positions and times, it’s not about the Masters, Degrees, Diplomas and the Certificates that we have obtained that will blinded and misled us, so let’s speak the truth and the truth will sety us free instead of thinking that way,if you continue commenting like that, then you will continue confusing and misleding the low minded people, so let the buck stop here.

  6. False Millionaire says:

    Mr Kuir:

    You are a very daring guy brushing in a most unexpected ground.Me I love my mother so much n in my adult’s live,I could never imagine one day if I could have ever survived without her care.Father ofcourse gave the seed n therefore deserves no less love.The context of who is more or less important among them is absurd.They are equal.That’s where the honorable made a mistake in believing it was a relegation from the place of manhood that he spoke of coward soldiers taking the place of women.

    But there is a need for root change of things so that the view of women being second to men becomes irrelevant one good time for all.The payment of bride dowery should be stopped.Men n women should choose to marry themselves out of mutual feeling of love but not becouse of wealth that is paid by men to women’s families.It’s becouse of this dowery payment that puts women in the place of commercial objects therefore falsely viewed as second to men in our society.

  7. Kondokoro says:

    K Manyang was equating pipol like Elhaj paul and those who are fueling war in south sudan with out going to fight themselves

  8. BILL KUCH says:

    Kuir Garang,
    You can say that women should be equal with men because you living in the western world. Well, you will never be equal for they don’t fight in war. Your nonsense comments associates with rebels wishes and we all know that. Keep writing!!!

  9. Angeth Bior says:

    Brother Kuir Garang, do not misinterpret Kuol Manyang’s message and twist it into where it not supposed to be. I understand why Kuol said this. In our culture women are not sent to war, and you supposed to understand that. His message does not mean that women are nothing. Kuol is a man who cares more about humanity and so restrict to the rules than most of the people during the war. When Kuol was a zonal commander in 1980s, he gave more protection to the civilians than any other commanders we had experienced. When Kuol arrived in 1980s as a commander in charge of the SPLA in our region, raping and looting stopped. So brother, when you get a message like this, try to analyze the situation correctly in order people cannot take you as an unethical writer.

  10. Ayuen simon says:

    please guyz be wise and grown up people of tomorrow most especially mr writer kuir, mr kuir all of us have undrrstood fully what you and your commentaries are upto but it won’t work for you simply because mr defence minister did not disrespect women he was just trying to fortified some of his soldiers most especially those who have not been on fortline before, as a matter of fact it’s these wome your are advocating for he is trying protect, well somewhere in your untidy message you have cited some good examples of western women, fyi it is not every thing that come from west is good take for example western culture came with gay, prositution and so on, women in south sudan have been given every right they deseved like right to education, talk in the public, chose who to marry and many more and you and your conspirators are here to turn them against us…

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