Gender violence

Masculinity and violence against women

During this period of encouraging the “proper” ethical behaviour towards women and children on the part of men, I have listened to a number of discussions on this topic on my car radio while driving, and I have not heard a single reference to Susan Faludi’s exemplary work in this field. Maybe it is because…

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Sexual orientation discrimination is never just that

In the late nineties, Prof Francisco Valdes from the California Western School of Law, set out to address what he saw as a dangerous loophole in American anti-discrimination law. The loophole existed in the context of sexual discrimination laws. At the time, discrimination on the grounds of sex and gender was outlawed, but, as a…

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Tim Noakes vs Dr Ferdinantus Booyens – the curious machinations of the Health Professions Council of South Africa

It’s astonishing how much effort the Health Professions Council of SA has put into pursuing Tim Noakes, even to the extent of announcing a victory before judgment is handed down. They’re not usually that dedicated though. Take a look at the bizarre case of Dr Ferdinantus Booyens, who dominated the front page of Durban’s newspapers…

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Goodbye Sis’ Khwezi – though we continue to fail you

Khwezi has died, and we will learn a lot more of her now, than we would have when she was alive and forced into exile, only to return to oblivion until her death. I wish to preface my note on the following grounds: (1) I cannot possibly imagine what Sis’ Fezekile might have experienced that…

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Rape: When the personal becomes political

By Rebecca Helman Rape is both personal and political. It is a deeply personal violation committed by one person against another. But it is also a symptom of a social context in which inequality, disempowerment and violence continue to shape the daily experiences of millions. Within this context it becomes almost impossible to separate the…

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Jon Qwelane – apologise and pay up!

A homophobic columnist is still avoiding responsibility, eight years on. The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) – a friend of the court in this matter – is shocked and dismayed at the outcome of last week’s court hearing at which Jon Qwelane was granted an indefinite postponement in a hate speech case concerning an…

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Raising hair, crowning glory: A poem to thank Pretoria Girls High

By Thirusha Naidu Raising Hair, Crowning Glory Thank you Pretoria Girls High You have introduced us To future heroes. Yesterday, asleep In the soft arms of their mothers Now roused. Coldly, by bleached fingers, from childhood sleep. Dragged by the hair, Protesting, into womanhood . Thank you Pretoria Girls High By your Amazing Grace Africa’s…

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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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