A Twitter thread of men bragging about mistreating women is the last thing we thought we would see in the heightened awareness and activism around gender-based violence in the country and internationally.

A simple tweet, “Gents what's the worst thing you've done to a lady?” by @CalvinDuncan17 sparked a string of men sharing horrific stories of how they have treated women badly, followed by a string of congratulations from the rest. 

“You're a King”, “My Man!”, “Leadership” are some of the congratulatory comments respond with after each story.

One user wrote: “Didn't give her a lift on purpose & it was raining hard (sic).

Another user wrote: “Convinced her to stay at the party when her friends were leaving (11PM). Took her to the crib then I told her I’m going to drink water. Locked the door & went back to the party Came back around 4am (sic)”. Comments in response to this one, included multiple laughing emoticons.

There is no question that these are accounts of men who have put women’s lives and emotional wellbeing in serious danger.

Statistics SA’s Crime against Women in South Africa survey shows that greater percentages women were victims of theft of personal property, sexual offence and fraud in the past year than in previous years.

It's horrifying to see the jokes and encouragement on the rest of the thread as too few Twitter users raised any concern about the injustices against women.

One of the few women who did participate in this thread called for a different thread inviting women to relay their experiences of how they have been treated by men. We can all imagine how disturbing those accounts would be.

I shared the thread with my colleagues to hear their thoughts. This is what they had to say:

I am honestly appalled by this. I grew up around guys, so I know that sometimes they talk about women and their relationships in silly ways, but this is pretty disgusting. They are basically just dancing and celebrating their contributions to the abuse and torment of women and it’s all dandy for them. Men really are scum.
Personally, I was both disgusted and sad that men were so ready to speak about all the terrible things they’d done to women without a hint of shame. What was worse was how other men cheered them on and encouraged this heinous behaviour. The men who were ready and willing to openly speak without a hint of regret are our sons, brothers, fathers, cousins and nephews yet they behave as if they were not born to a woman. The level of disrespect and disregard they have for women is enough to make me sick. And it clearly outlines the problems we face as women, not only in SA but globally because this is the way men think is right to treat us. This is our worth to them.
This thread must be exposed and those men must be charged with women abuse. As a man it is shameful and disgusting. I was having this chat with my class and we realised that women needed to be supported and educated on their standing and worth in society. As a father to a girl this is constantly my fear. This stigma that women need a man must be broken

What are your thoughts on this Twitter thread? Tell us your thoughts here

If you bumped into any men you know whose thoughts shocked you or are looking to start a conversation around the topic of gender-based violence with someone, here are five important reads to share.

1. A real sense of what women have gone and continue to go through, shared directly with our president: What we've learned from the Gender-based Violence and Femicide Summit

2. Imagine having to teach young girls self defence? 11-year-old girls are being taught feminist self-defence as part of sexual and gender-based violence awareness

3. Crime stats: Gauteng has the highest number of reported rape cases in SA. Read more about which other cities come in second and third place

4. How tavern owners are taking ownership: #HeforShe Taverns is encouraging men to actively join the conversation around gender-based violence

5. Mistreatment and abuse are no joke: "You burned my food" - and more horrifying reasons men give their partners to justify domestic violence

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.