Gender violence

A brave, brave little boy

When I was a little girl, the thing I was most afraid of, more than anything, was something bad happening to my mother. Once, I answered the phone and heard a voice I thought was my mother shrieking “He’s hurting me! He’s hurting me!” It turned out that it was not her, it was a…

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The Remember Khwezi protest has shone a spotlight on our society’s patriarchal nature

In the last chapter of The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court, author Mmatshilo Motsei starts her concluding remarks by quoting Sello wa Loate: [w]e need to re-evaluate our value system as a society. The highly competitive environment we have created and the resultant conflict and pressure on different sections of our society make post-apartheid black…

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Riding penis and the right not to be raped

Women’s month is here and a whole host of entities from TV shows to tires are about to slide into our lives like a greasy Tweep sliding into the DMs. As women we are about to be told a whole host of messages from ‘be a strong woman’ to ‘this is your month’ and suddenly…

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Raising girls; raising boys

When my elder daughter, now 17, decided in Grade 6 that she wanted to attend a school social, we had to have a long talk. She was just 11, but I had to teach her not to accept drinks that weren’t sealed, not to leave an open drink unattended, not to hand out her phone…

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Je suis Orlando, then je suis KwaThema

If indeed we are one with the victims of the Orlando shooting, then surely we ought to be one with the victims of various violations and victimisation in our own communities. Or not? Since Sunday I have tried to get a sense of what this attack was about. Was it about a terrorist act, or…

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From Columbine to Orlando: Why bother having children?

The most harrowing book I have read is the one I have just finished, the recently published memoir-journal, A Mother’s Reckoning, by Sue Klebold, parent of Dylan Klebold, one of the two teenage murder-suicide shooters of the Columbine school massacre in 1999. Though tragic, it is unfortunately not that uncommon for parents to deal with…

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Why Baleka Mbete is wrong on ‘rape not part of any culture’

Like many people, Baleka Mbete was shocked by Judge Mabel Jansen’s online comments about black people, and responded by saying that rape is not part of any culture. As a person in the forefront of South Africa’s leadership, her public statements ought to be taken seriously. However, here she is entirely wrong. Rape is part…

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We’re all born naked, everything else is (a) drag

By Pierre Brouard When Caitlyn Jenner recently visited the Academy for Young Writers, an LGBTI-friendly school in a working-class New York neighbourhood, she was expecting some flak. In particular, from two youngsters, living non-binary lives, who had been vocal in their criticisms of her. Caitlyn was privileged, they said, had made disparaging remarks about “men…

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Mabel Jansen’s comments pathologise an entire people

Mabel Jansen’s comments rightly caused outrage this week. Unfortunately there have been a few that have come out in her defence (lingering in the comment section of articles and social media) after Justice Minister Michael Masutha made the decision to suspend her. I was utterly shocked at her pathologisation of an entire people. As a…

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Nine ways to make our universities safer

By Esmeralda Sayagues Several South African universities have recently been rocked by student protests deploring the high incidence of campus rape and sexual violence. The students have demanded that universities implement fair procedures that yield justice for complainants and punishment for offenders. In order to address these issues it is useful to look at the…

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