Tag Archives: equality

Male feminist tears

Jay Naidoo’s recent article ‘I thought I was a feminist – until I heard their stories’ requires a response. Whilst Naidoo’s article starts out with considered space being given to the stories of the women who shared accounts of their abuse, and is positive in its reflections on what men can do to support women,…

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The power of dissent

At certain times in history, sometimes protracted events have occurred that demonstrated the power of dissent – that (as far as we know) uniquely human capacity to express strong disagreement with some or other aspect of the political, social or cultural status quo, whether this is done peacefully or, in some cases, violently, in a…

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Equality and intellectual emancipation

How does one achieve the intellectual emancipation of students, or, for that matter, of anyone, including yourself? The answer most people would probably give to this question, is that it is done through education and learning. To be sure, but what one learns from the French philosopher, Jacques Rancière, is that a great deal depends…

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Blood Brothers and socio-economic inequality

At the dramatic culmination of Willy Russell’s gripping musical, Blood Brothers (1983), one of the twins who were parted soon after birth, Mickey, expresses his resentment at his mother, Mrs Johnstone, for not having been the one (Eddie) who was given away to a rich, childless woman, exclaiming something like: “I could have been him!”…

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The ‘happiest’ nations in the world – what do they have in common?

Some of you probably know about the so-called “happiness index” that has been published on a regular basis for some time now. It lists the countries of the world on the basis of their ‘happiness’ and obviously, the index has a way of establishing such ‘happiness’ – a number of criteria, that is. This is…

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Are South Africans really all capitalists at heart?

The South African news cycle often is awash with nationalist rhetoric from the emerging and vocal opposition, raging against the African National Congress. These quasi-socialists hold out an image of an economically liberated Southern Africa, a picture of Mzansi at peace on the land – their land. The capitalists too have a vision for South…

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Where is the wealth Malema wants to redistribute?

In a conversation about South Africa’s socio-economic malaise with a thoughtful sociologist from abroad, he asked the burning question that is shaping South African politics: “where is the wealth?” We talk often in South Africa about wealth redistribution, black economic empowerment and socio-economic rights. Our constitution at the outset sketches a socially just society as…

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Thank you, Mr Trump!

Dear Donald Trump, Thank you! In the days following the election I have seen numerous articles highlighting the follies of your choices, the irresponsibility of your comments, the virulence of your campaigning and the divisiveness of your words. In spite of all this, I would like to take a moment and say thank you. Thank…

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Has the time for ‘talks about talks’ come in SA?

The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated “born free” South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want…

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Asinakuthula umhlab’ubolile: the poetry of Nontsizi Mgqwetho

Kaulirol’iqinga Siwavun’amazimba Hoha Mrs M. Maxeke Mti omde orara wakulo Deborah Bhikica emva kwabavumi Mrs M. Maxeke Ze nengcwaba lamagqwira Libe ndaweninye (Ho, Mrs M. Maxeke, Tall, bitter tree, Deborah’s sister, Give us advice On harvesting crops Glean in the wake of the reapers Mrs M. Maxeke So every witch Drops down dead) These are…

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