Have you ever heard of the term ‘androcide’? It is the systematic hate crime of killing men. You didn’t know it and neither did I until I wrote this piece.

  • PublishedJanuary 17, 2024

Have you ever heard of the term ‘androcide’? It is the systematic hate crime of killing men. You didn’t know it and neither did I until I wrote this piece. It is a conversation we are not having because men are their greatest foes. They murder one another during genocide and war over the most mundane things. It must be nice to go to war over ideology and people listen. When women do it, it is ‘activism’ or ‘noise’. But make no mistake, a war is raging in this country. This war is femicide.

In the past week, news bulletins have reported 4 cases of women killed by their lovers. From Starlet Wahu, the Machakos University student found dead in her boyfriend’s house, to 20-year-old Rita Waeni who was found decapitated and dismembered at Roysambu. These deaths have sparked debate and amidst all that is being said, there is always that one idiot who begins a blame game and shifts focus from the importance of the debate. The focus is no longer on an individual who was murdered. Instead, it is on why she was at an Airbnb, why she was having sex on the first date, and why she was acting so ‘cheap’.

Years ago, the narrative was that women are raped because of how they dress. That the choice of dressing is provocative and they ‘got what they were asking for’. Mutula Kilonzo, God rest his soul, was a voice in the desert who understood that women are not objects to be desired. MyDressMyChoice. Today, the narrative is that women are being killed because of who they are with and where. That somehow sex is a quantifier for their value. Is it not a fact that you can have sex on the first date and things work out great or you can wait and the relationship be damned and vice versa? The idea that ‘giving it up’ makes you cheap and needy is utter rubbish. The modern-day woman is empowered enough to know that she is a sexual being just like a man.

Two years ago, a prominent former radio host came under fire for making insensitive remarks while live on Radio. He alluded to the fact that 22-year-old Eunice who was pushed from the 12th floor of a building in Nairobi’s CBD for refusing her date’s sexual advances and sustained life-changing injuries was her fault. The fact that she will never walk again would have been prevented if she had been ‘hard to get’. Is this what we’ve become as humans? Netizens were of this same school of thought when news broke of Wahu’s murder. That for having sex she deserved to die, in a gruesome manner. That her lifestyle justified the nail in her coffin at her family’s home in Ruai. The calls for awareness and hypervigilance are as useless as the misogynistic rape culture we deign to propagate because no amount of awareness can make a killer rethink the mission of murder.

In closing, we do not live in a vacuum. Sex work exists because there is a ready audience and it has for decades. There is a willing buyer and a willing seller. We need to understand that the death of a sex worker is not an ‘I told you so’ or ‘gotcha’ moment. Because really, who are their customers? Is it not men? Are we so far gone that we have normalized misogyny, rape culture, and viewing women as disposables who are responsible for their murder? Has the world gone inverse? Because last time I checked gender roles and heteronormative roles dictate that men are natural protectors. Yet, we are fighting a war instigated and perpetuated by men. Not all. But enough for us all to be scared.

A male classmate said to me that had Wahu ‘charged’ less, she would probably still be alive. Is it a gotcha moment because she wouldn’t go for a guy like you? In case you missed my point, hear me. Like a compass needle that points North, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Educate your son so I don’t bury my daughter.

Written By
Mitchelle Kabucho