Gender violence

The Khumbul’ekhaya phenomenon as symbolic suicide

By Thirusha Naidu and Andiswa Mankayi One day Mrs Lolo left. It was not a special or a different day. Now it became the day that Mrs Lolo left, perhaps forever. If you met Mrs Lolo on the path to the taxi stop that day you would not have guessed that it would be 30…

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Transforming higher education: UCT students’ visions for the future

By Josie Cornell Vicky* had not thought much about her blackness, or what it meant. This changed rapidly upon her arrival at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as a first-year student where, for the first time, Vicky felt black. This “feeling of blackness” for Vicky and for other black students like her, particularly those…

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Of black pain, animal rights and the politics of the belly

By Shose Kessi It is interesting how bodily and affective experiences are often weaved out of what is deemed “rational” theorising of current events and political talk. How can my mind operate separately from the rest of my being? Where does the separation occur? At the eyes? The nose? The mouth? The belly? The waist?…

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Anger, ‘outrage’ and the internet

Quite often, when I log on to Twitter, I’ll see comments like the following: “What are we angry about today? Did I miss today’s Twitter outrage? I don’t know what we’re supposed to be angry about this week, but I’m outraged just in case.” It happens especially after incidents like Bic’s sexist Women’s Day ad…

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20 000 women, for nothing?

Twenty thousand women marched in 1956 and changed the world. We celebrate them this month. They are certainly worthy. **** Some time ago, I went for an interview. When asked by the panel why I wanted to leave the job I was in at the time, I responded that I was tired of the institutional…

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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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