Gender violence

Department of Women should support, not criticise women

Today a tweet was sent by the Department of Women. The question it asked was: ‘What should be done with women who press charges then later withdraw them?’ This very short blog post will unpack why that language is problematic, and does not, as the department later suggested, promote debate. It also provides some answers…

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Stick to just selling the shoes, Marie Claire

Men in heels illicit two emotions, either absolute jealousy at how amazing their legs look or comic relief. Very rarely will men in a pair of patents ever make you stop and think, “You know what, gender-based violence is the worst.” Not often will it make someone think, “As a man, do I engage in…

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Gardening, religion and the magic of sex

I shove my filthy hands into the soil and claw out roots and weeds, savouring the mess. A waft of mulch, half-dead weeds, decomposed worms and God knows what sweetens the air. Soon this muddle will be in order: scooped out flowerbeds surrounded by clipped squares of lawn which I will lay down on this…

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South Africa and other orphaning nations (Jani Allan Part II)

Even now, a quarter of a century later, here in Auckland, New Zealand, I have mentioned to other South Africans Jani Allan’s newly released memoir Jani Confidential and they respond, “so what was she doing with that idiot ET (Eugene Terre’Blanche)?” “For God’s sake,” I reply, “give the woman a break”. As Jani Allan says…

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Jani Allan: Abuse and disgrace (Part I)

“My mother instilled in me from an early age that sex was the inevitable result of a man getting the better of you.” This is one of the many chuckle-worthy lines in “has been” famous South African columnist Jani Allan’s memoir, Jani Confidential. The book has glittering heaps of these verbal gems, which alone make…

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‘It’s time to talk about what’s next’

By Monica Davies If you’ve followed the fight against climate change, in the last year especially, you’ll have noticed voices starting to be raised about things outside climate change — “without racial [or gender or food or economic] justice, there is no climate justice” is the most common one, and it’s entirely true. The problems…

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Fantasies of binaries: Why are we so uncomfortable with difference?

By Pierre Brouard By Sunday May 17 I would have participated in a panel discussion on LGBTI migrants and asylum seekers at an Idahot event organised by the Alliance Francaise in Sunnyside, Pretoria. Idahot is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and is intended to celebrate sexual and gender diversity. This celebratory spin…

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Xenophobia and violence: A call for psychological expertise

In recent months, the country has experienced gruesome incidents of xenophobia-related violence. Some South Africans attacked, injured and killed a number of non-nationals and South Africans. Businesses belonging to non-nationals were looted and burned. People were driven out of their homes and had to spend time in refugee tent camps. The scenes reported in the…

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Four years later, Noxolo Nogwaza’s killers are still free

By Tracy Doig Four years ago today, 24-year-old Noxolo Nogwaza was raped and murdered in KwaThema, Ekurhuleni. The young mother of two was on her way home after a night out with friends. Since Noxolo’s brutal murder, attacks on people because of their gender presentation or perceived sexual orientation are still too tragically common, especially…

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SA government’s response to xenophobia a farce

By Prof Kopano Ratele In the midst of the xenophobic violence that has erupted in South Africa, absurdity has once again begun to overrun the country. The images and reports in the media scenes have been horrific, reminding us of eight years ago when our society witnessed gruesome violence against foreigners. But the expressions of…

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