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‘Good’ girls, sex and Gareth Cliff

The Independent Online reported today that Gareth Cliff has been reported to the BCCSA for sexist comments while interviewing Angela Larkan, a young female philanthropist.

To begin the interview, Cliff praised her for starting her work at 22, saying it was unusual because most 22-year-olds “do nothing but lie on their backs with their legs open”. I was listening to the interview at the time, and remember thinking that this was a rather unnecessary, sexist and irrelevant thing to say and something that would make me feel really uncomfortable if I were being interviewed. Larkan managed a brief hesitation before she politely answered him.

According to IOL, the reason that he was reported was because Tex Collins who reported him said:

“He sends out the message that every young girl is nothing but a prostitute and a whore.”

To which Gareth Cliff responded on his blog this morning

“I accept that some sensitive people may have felt the comment offensive, but who (unless they were described by it) would consider themselves so described if there were no truth to the insult?”, and

“The reason I had Angela on my show is because she is precisely the opposite of the kind of girl I am alleged to have offended.”

There are a number of things that are being said here:

* Women are represented as whores by a statement like Cliff’s, and this is wrong (Collins)
* Only sensitive people are offended by sexist comments, if they do not apply to them (Cliff)
* It is acceptable to make sexist comments about “whores”, but not about “good” girls like Angela Larkan (Cliff)

Let’s unpack those.

Message 1: It is wrong to represent women as whores.
Collins thinks that it is wrong to describe women as whores, but the articles don’t go into details on why he felt this way.

Perhaps it was because reducing women to their sexuality is something that denies them alternative ontologies. The power of a label like “whore” is that it says that the woman is nothing more than a vagina on legs, and it ignores her various life achievements.

Second, it might be disagreeable to represent women as “whores” because we are widely uncomfortable with sex work, or women having lots of sex, and with women as sexual beings at all. Society portrays men as predators, and women as passive recipients of sex so calling a woman a whore is saying that she is against society’s acceptable sex roles.

Message 2: Only sensitive people are offended by sexist comments, if they do not apply to them.
Cliff says that he doesn’t understand why someone would be offended, unless the comment applied to them. This is simply a really weak response.

Of course Cliff can understand why what he said was offensive even if he isn’t a 22-year-old sex-crazed woman, in the same way he can understand that what Darren Scott said was offensive even though he’s not black. Labelling those offended as “sensitive” is part of challenging their ontological resistance. It denies that people could be offended unless they themselves were whores.

So if I’m offended, then I’m a whore, in which case he doesn’t hold my opinion worthy enough of his consideration. It’s a clever trick of language which allows him to avoid considering what he has really said. It’s the same bad tactic that you find in many male arguments which undermine women’s rights (like labelling them hysterical).

Anti-female comments affect all women, regardless of their sexual voracity. They either reduce women to sex-organs, or label women who are not sexual “good girls”. This simply creates a message that some women are acceptable, whereas others are not.

Message 3: It’s acceptable to be sexist to whores, but not to “good girls” like Larkan
Cliff’s message here is particularly powerful. He believes the only people he could have offended are women who pursue sex, who he deems to have no right to be offended precisely because they pursue sex, and that his comment could not have affected Larkan’s ability to do the interview because “she is precisely the opposite of the kind of girl I am alleged to have offended”. This is an even more complex statement to make because it says three things:

* He wouldn’t have had a woman on his show that did enjoy lying on her back with her legs open.
* Women who pursue sex achieve nothing.
* Larkan achieved something, so she can’t be someone who is sexual.

This makes it seem as though being a woman and being sexual or wanting to have sex has a negative effect on the chances that you will make positive change in the world. It also says that if you have achieved something as inspiring as Larkan has, then there was obviously no time for you to be having sex.

What Cliff is saying is that it’s OK to be sexist to the “bad” girls who are sexual, but not OK to this girl he interviewed. That sets up standards for acceptable femininity that are completely out of line with the world I want to see. Women’s sexuality is their business, and has no influence on whether they make positive change in the world. You can have sex with who you want as much as you want and still make a difference — this is not for Cliff to decide.

His comments were offensive and I think the report was completely justified. His defence of his comments shows how ingrained his sexism is — if it were a comment that were racist he would understand that racism is offensive to everyone in a democracy based on equality. The same goes for sexism — when you undermine the rights of half the population, the entire population has a right to be offended.

Author

  • Jennifer is a feminist, activist and advocate for women's rights. She has a Masters in Politics from Rhodes University, and a Masters in Creative Writing from UCT. In 2010 she started a women's writing project called 'My First Time'. It focuses on women's stories of significant first time experiences. Buy the book on the site http://myfirsttimesa.com or via Modjaji Books. Jen's first novel, The Peculiars, came out in February 2016 and is published by Penguin. Get it in good book stores, and on Takealot.com

58 Comments

  1. Herman Herman 12 September 2011

    OR we could focus on real issues, the protection of information bill, what a coward out president is or is not depending on the outcome of the ANCYL disiplinary hearing. or you could focus on an international issue but no its yet another public slap in the face for a radio presenter, why do we waste out time and bandwidith on unnecesary wastes of time like writing and reading this? are we really that insecure that we have to break down those in the public eye? what is really wrong with this country?

  2. Ingrid Ingrid 12 September 2011

    This is excellent, it encapsulate my anger at his remarks perfectly! I would say boycott him but I turned of 5FM a long time ago.

  3. Sbudah Sbudah 12 September 2011

    This post misinterprets the entire debate by oversimplifying it in a wrong way and out of context – 3 times.

    I side with Gareth on this because I understand his justification; not only that but I immediately understood it as he made it. Most young people (not necessarily girls) couldn’t be bothered to do things for others at that age except focus on instant gratifying acts such as sex, booze and partying. “Most” does not mean “all” – that exception is clear in that sentence.

    Let’s not twist Gareth’s words and make them sound as if he attacked all women. His statement applies to a majority and I support him. I hope BCCSA finds in his favour.

  4. Mike Green Mike Green 12 September 2011

    Spot on about Cliff’s sexism being ingrained… but get ready for the ‘over-reaction’ comments…

  5. Bradley Bradley 12 September 2011

    Good article. Such a pity that Cliff won’t ever read it.

    If he did and actually thought about some of the things that his grandstanding shock tactics say about his own mindset and attitudes, he might even learn something.

  6. Larry Lachman Larry Lachman 12 September 2011

    I heard Gareth Cliff this morning making another comment on an unrelated issue. He said ” opinions are like arseholes, everone has one.”

    I dont mean to negate Jennifers comments, or even enter the debate on the right or wrong of Gareths comments, but Jennifer’s attempt to judge Gareth is skewed towards her particular bent, and therefore just an elaborate opinion.

    Lets wait for the BCCSA to pass judgement.

  7. faarooqm faarooqm 12 September 2011

    Excellent unpacking the issue and the inherent misogyny, JT. Thank you!

    Prejudice dressed up as lamb is still just that – dressed up prejudice!

  8. Isabella VD Westhuizen Isabella VD Westhuizen 12 September 2011

    Jennifer we can agree on this Gareth Cliff is an idiot.

  9. Roland Cox Roland Cox 12 September 2011

    What an excellent article. And I fully agree – this kind of response does show exactly how ingrained our prejudices are. GC can be very careless and he often displays the usual blind spots that prejudiced people have. His rationalisation is unfortunate as it points to a possible inability to self correct. Eish!
    These are the most dangerous kind of half-informed, ‘reasonably’ intelligent people, especially as broadcatsers. And the fact that he speaks to a young(ish) audience of particular sociographic mix is all the more depressing for our emergent nation.

  10. Liz Biggs Liz Biggs 12 September 2011

    I’m offended on behalf of all 22 year old women who aren’t Angela Larkin and who have been defined en masse as primarily sexual objects. And when that definition comes from a man, it seems to speak more about his view of women than the reality of these young women who, common sense would tell us, behave just as differently in their sexuality as they do in other aspects of their lives. It was a stupid, smug, superior and sexist comment.

  11. Rick Rick 12 September 2011

    Gareth is a Shock-Jock (and a toss in my opinion) and says many things to obtain a reaction, equally however the whole politically correct thing gets very tiresome. Not every statement needs to be dissected and analysed. In life there are many many throw away lines and verbal barbs. If each and every comment that was in bad taste were reported then the BCCSA would have a mountain to climb
    Cliff would no doubt be entitled to report me for calling him a toss, we have differing opinions, neither of which is necessarily correct. I don’t agree but perhaps in his opinion and experience most 22 year girls do behave as described, the statement has the same veracity as some woman saying “Men are pigs” or “men can’t multitask”.
    Lets reserve important organizations like BCCSA for important issues in stead of create ogres out of idiots.

  12. Oh MyWord Oh MyWord 12 September 2011

    Could not have said better myself…GC is a twit

  13. Deon Deon 12 September 2011

    Oh please!

    I was listening to the conversation the day Cliff made this supposedly “controversial” statement and I must say, I’m truly dumbfounded that this irrelevant tongue-in-cheek moment has now once again been taken this far by some people listening to his morning show audience (if this shocks you, then turn the radio to Jacaranda, and for heaven’s sake PLEASE don’t ever come near 99% of good stand up comedy, you’ll end up on the wrong side of the emergency room).

    It just shows a pure lack of rationality when you take into account the improvised fashion in which the statement was made, not to mention that the moment when I heard “most 22-year-olds” the “legs wide open” part didn’t even make me consciously realize at that point that it was gender based at all. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Oh yes, and the mild shock factor did actually make the statement sound quite funny and relevant in a contrasting kind of way.

    The problem is I wouldn’t even know where to begin if I were to try and disagree with the statements you’ve made here, mostly because I’m not even going to try since I simply cannot take what happened seriously…
    This reminds me of those people who frequently try to persuade others how truly non-racist they are by constantly seeing race (and potential racial prejudice) in everything, it almost always ends up sounding patronizing.

    I can’t help but think that the “feminist” cause would be much better off if they lightnened the…

  14. Paul Morris Paul Morris 12 September 2011

    Well said. Sounds like Cliff really doesn’t get it. An SA male affliction (though not exclusively).

  15. James Grey James Grey 12 September 2011

    @ Herman – You’re a fool. 1) The content of the article is pretty clear from the headline so if you don’t want to read about radio personalities don’t read articles that have their names in the headlines.

    2) More importantly, this article isn’t really even about ‘slapping a radio presenter’, its about the fundamental way that society is structured in terms of gender, and how the power relations in our society are produced and reproduced (including through mechanisms as seemingly innocuous as language). The fact that this particular occurrence of a much wider phenomenon came from a man whose only discernible talents are pushing the play button and speaking non-stop without choking on his own tongue is neither here nor there – its an opportunity to interrogate these sorts of odious beliefs (and their subsequent rationalizations/justifications), and they are incredibly widespread. As much of a surprise as that may be to you, some people think that sort of thing is quite important, but if you don’t then don’t read the article.

  16. Shane Shane 12 September 2011

    We all have something to say. Even Gareth. He is expected to push boundaries that the rest of us – unrecorded – may do in jest over the coffee machine everyday. I agree sometimes he crosses the boundary (actually quite often), but you are advocating something much more stifling here. Julius get’s away with similarly offensive comments in the name of politics…They are both “rock stars” in their own rights…and pretty much should be allowed their space…we can all just laugh or balk and just get on with it.

  17. Myth Os Myth Os 12 September 2011

    Now, tell me, these protesting at sexism, are they the same crowd who joined the slutwalk brigade?

    I rest my case…

  18. Reasonable Reasonable 12 September 2011

    Reminds me of that advert Charlize Theron did all those years ago about rape and the men in South Africa. A lot of men took offense because it basically made them out to be either rapists or simply not interested in the plight of raped women. However, there were men who brushed it off because it did not apply to them.

    Sometimes people make too much fuss about things that don’t even apply to them. Reporting GC to the BCCSA is a bit of overkill. Aren’t there bigger issues that need to be dealt with?

  19. Cloud Cloud 12 September 2011

    Gareth who?

  20. Donald Paul Donald Paul 12 September 2011

    If he had said most 22-year-old boys “do nothing but lie on their backs with a hard on” would that also be sexist?

  21. citoyen citoyen 12 September 2011

    Excellent article Jennifer.

    Half SA’s population is women. Sexisim, mysogyny and rape are big problems here. We now have a sexist judge (mogoeng) who has implied in judgement that women were asking for sexual trouble because they were ‘provoking’ men.

    Now we have Gareth Cliff, a radio DJ, talking like this.

    Would there be an outcry if a woman DJ interviewing a young guy, said to him: “Wow, I’m impressed with what you’ve achieved. Most guys your age are too busy running around shoving your d*cks into anything that moves.”

    or

    if a white DJ said to a young black person “wow, i’m impressed, most blacks are too busy running around jolling to achieve anything” etc. etc.

  22. Maurice Maurice 12 September 2011

    We remain an overly sexist society in which gender stereotyping (especially of women) is far too prevalent. Advertising plays a large role in this. The tongue-in-cheek KFC ads are a case in point. So are the Black Label ads which project a macho image of men and all those ads that talk about ‘moms’ when dealing with household products, toiletries and margarine.
    Perhaps these things wouldn’t matter so much if we didn’t have such a high incidence of rape and other forms of abuse of women, if we didn’t have men wiping out their families as a result of some form of failure in their lives, if we didn’t have a continued and very common view that men are ‘the head of the family’. Where are these tendencies coming from, what is reinforcing and legitimising them?
    I have a 17 year old daughter who complains regularly about being harrassed by men. Must I ignore it as I am expected to ignore offensive comments by sexist men (and women)?
    No, people, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. It cannot be ignored in the face of ‘more important issues such as the Freedom of Information Act’. Back in the struggle days, some men would argue that feminism was not an issue – it had to wait for the end of apartheid (some of the same men would persuade women to have sex with them as part of their ‘revolutionary duty’). This is why, even though we have such a powerful and progressive constitution, sexism is still so pervasive. The struggle definitely continues …..

  23. Liezl Liezl 12 September 2011

    I am so sick of this kind of debate. The constant pussyfooting around issues of race and sex is discriminatory in itself – if there was no issue with gender, no comments would be made regarding gender sensitivity. I wish people would get over themselves and remember that people are people and speak unrehearsed, not every single word that a man says has sexist intent and not every word a white/black person says has racist intent. Sometimes its just based on anger, sarcasm, humour, EMOTION. But everyone wants sensationalism, don’t they?
    FFS.

  24. SDee SDee 12 September 2011

    Nice unpicking of iwords that too often get taken for granted or written off as harmless jest,

    Please sign and share this petition to voice your anger at Cliff’s comments. Misogyny is NOT ACCEPTABLE! Especially by prominient and influential public figures!

    http://www.change.org/petitions/5fms-gareth-cliff-is-sexist

  25. Tersia Tersia 12 September 2011

    I don’t think Gareth’s statement warrant this amount of thought. You make a very academic argument for an offensive and foul mouthed person, who should know better.

    It is a clear indication of his experience and the company he associates with. There is a saying: Birds of a feather flock together. This type of comment comes from people who are losing popularity. They have to stoop this low to get attention. Like a naughty, attention starved child who would rather be scolded than not be noticed.

    The statement is rude and vulgar. It does not matter what he implies. It was said in plain English and can only have one meaning – a very chilling state of affairs when people have not respect for each other.

  26. Larry Lachman Larry Lachman 12 September 2011

    If Gareth Cliff and Angela Larkan’s roles were reversed, and Angela had commented about most young 22 year old men being skirt chasing sex hungry fornicators, instead of being hard working philanthropists, she would be quite correct, nobody would complain, and Jennifer would have nothing to write about.

  27. David Le Page David Le Page 13 September 2011

    Good analysis of a bullying and sexist comment, Jennifer.

    I wonder if Cliff has any sisters, if that comment reflects his analysis of how they live, and if he would welcome their being confronted with such comments on air.

    The fact that so many commenters seem ready to endorse it or let it slide shows we are a society that gives little importance to each other’s dignity, that we take contempt and prejudice completely for granted.

    I wonder who advertises on his show, which companies are content to make money off the back of this sort of content? Perhaps they should be given the News of the World treatment – and encouraged to withdraw.

  28. Simon Lomberg Simon Lomberg 13 September 2011

    The author stuck to arguing the issue on gender and sexism terms, only tangentially mentioning possible racial analogies. Judging by some of the reactions here, she should have spelled this out a little more. If the interviewee had been black and Cliff had made a similarly stereotypical statement, one would expect ALL people, black or not, to be offended. Cliff’s last statement implies that ‘sensitivity’ to insults to others is contemptible.

    It’s noticeable that the objections to the article are all from males.

    @ Sbudah, I suspect you’re very young, physically or emotionally. However, that doesn’t excuse your saying, in your second last sentence, that you believe a public attack on “a majority” of women is justified.

    @ Rick, you conflate objections to blatant public sexism with tedious political correctness. Thiis is facile in the extreme: sexism is as big a problem in South Africa as racism. Take just a moment to reflect on that statement. Shock jocks are so 1980s, but if they still have any place in SA, a clever one would find ways of shocking without feeding into a pernicious mindset. This is hardl;y the first time he’s he’s said sexually offensive things. (cont.)

  29. Simon Lomberg Simon Lomberg 13 September 2011

    @ Rick and @ Deon, these are not ‘throwaway’ or spur of the moment lines. 90% of broadcast ad libs are rehearsed (this is part of a broadcaster’s training); 9% may be thought up during the programme, but will be weighed, balanced and polished before being spoken. This leaves about 1% of actual spur of the moment comment. Given Cliff’s track record, it’s highly unlikely that this latest was off the cuff at all.

    @Larry Lachman, you may want to unpack the implications of your remark about the author’s “bent”. Argument by innuendo is (a) cowardly and (b) not really an argument at all, if you stop to think about it. In this case, the author argues logically and dispassionately; the conclusions she reaches are QED, not simpoly opinion. The only place I take issue with her is when she refers to Cliff using “clever tricks of language”. They are, in fact, not clever but cheap, unoriginal and often to be found used by barroom philosophers just before closing time.

    @Myth Os, profound non sequitur, bru! I’m in awe.

  30. TanyaO TanyaO 13 September 2011

    1. To the Womens’ Rights Activists : FACT – 22 year olds, male AND female, in GENERAL, don’t care much about anything important and life-changing, only themselves. This is also how I interpreted G’s statement. Not as a sexist statement, but as a fact stated and described (maybe overly) fascetiously, because G could have used another example and still have implied the abovementioned fact.
    2. To all South Africans : If you don’t want to hear comments like this, don’t listen to G’s show. Haven’t you heard the sound clip on 5fm, “This is who we are”? Tune in to Jacaranda, you might find it’s more your cup of tea. (Do they ever talk about sex…? Do YOU…?!) I NEVER listen to 5fm unless the presenter is Gareth or Fresh, because it bores me to insanity. There’s something for everyone out there; don’t be so judgmental of other peoples’ taste and preferences.
    3. To G-haters : in people who don’t know anything about 5fm and GC, you’ve just created a sense of curiosity to find out what the ruckus is all about, and to G-followers you’ve given the opportunity to just shake our heads at you and continue living our HAPPY lives, because we’ve got better things to do than diss the Jacaranda broadcasters for being extremely boring. Looking at this objectively, you have a problem with G, not with his statement. Don’t make your problem our problem. And read “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”.
    4. To the writer of this article : You don’t like men very much, do you?

  31. Gaina Gaina 13 September 2011

    GC s comment was offensive sexist and stupid.

  32. Paddy II Paddy II 13 September 2011

    Great piece, Jen.

    The commentators here who say we should just lighten up about these things, such as Deon, below, are merely opting for ignorance. Given the opportunity to analyse and look a little deeper, they choose ignorance instead. One asks oneself, “What are they doing on Thought Leader?”

  33. Len Len 13 September 2011

    The trouble with South Africans is that they attribute intelligence to celebrities. Darren Scott was a very good rugby presenter, I never really understood with why Gareth Cliff was a celebrity (but each to their own), but the fact is, neither of them are intellectually gifted. As Judge Lamont said yesterday, there is no place in South Africa for this any of this kind of speech. Darren Scott took it on the chin – I somehow suspect that Gareth Cliff will try and be a hero. Apologise, you idiot – you must realise that there is a whole flock of fools that follow you (as can be seen from the comments above) – you will make it right or wrong with them.

  34. The General The General 13 September 2011

    If I was giving a lecture on a Straw Man argument, this article would be all I needed. Needless to say, the arguments the Collins makes could just as easily be defeated by the same logic.

    1) “He sends out the message that every young girl is nothing but a prostitute and a whore.”- But he never used the words whore or prostitute? This is a reflection of prejudices held by those opposing him. They see women who regularly engage in sexual acts as whores and prostitutes, not him- needless to say he never explicitly refered to women.

    Your “presenting women as whores” argument has nothing do do with what Cliff said, it is an entirely separate matter on why women should not be labelled as “whores”, a self defeating argument since only you and Collins had actually used the label.

    2) Agree with you on message two, minus the Straw Man. You introduce an argument based on classification Cliff never made, refute that, and then make it appear as if you’ve refuted what he siad.

    3) On message 3, Again you misrepresent Cliff’s statement with you own prejudices. His statement was, “do nothing but…”. If you did nothing else but that, even you would agree that your chances of achieving anythig are quite low.

    Most of Cliff’s statements are meant to be offensive, and that was the intention in this case, but you cannot reduce the entire women agenda to “we should be free to do nothing but lie on our backs and open our legs”. See the Straw Man in that last statement?

  35. laurence laurence 13 September 2011

    the argument that gareth makes, ‘that only if the shoe fits, should they wear it’ (therefore no offence intended) – does this mean that if the shoe fits he is vindicated? (therefore, also…. no offence intended) surely that’s a perversion and play on words to avoid the guilt of soliciting attention at any cost?

    the fact that people are offended, tells us that someone or something is wrong. justice normally looks at the motive for an intention first.

  36. Tsholo Tsholo 13 September 2011

    He was completely out of line. He is a jerk period now I am more worried about the men who agree with him.

  37. eema eema 13 September 2011

    i sympathise with Angela Larkan because all her good work is now shadowed with unnecesary negative publicity. All of this undermines her directly and then the cause she stands for and finally the millions of women who, sexually active or no, have been offended. It could easily have been avoided if GC had responded appropriately.

  38. Emily Emily 13 September 2011

    Fantastic article – fair and substantiated. Does anyone know if Cliff has bothered to apologise?

  39. Deon Deon 13 September 2011

    “The commentators here who say we should just lighten up about these things, such as Deon, below, are merely opting for ignorance”

    Paddy, there’s ignorance, and then there’s 966+ word irrelevant diatribes about a redundant and fleeting statement made on a radio show who’s listeners should know better in the first place.
    So what now, let’s conveniently ignore the massive amount of praise GC showered that girl with, and focus on the little joke he made, a joke which many here have pointed out, wouldn’t even have made a blip on the radar screen if directed towards men..? (which it was, too, if you understood the context of the joke in the first place)

    It seems that most people here support this ridiculous complaint have really missed the point or are just looking for some stupid reason to be bitter. If there’s one thing about feminists that I’ve realized over the years it’s that their desperate attempts to take little things like this so seriously from their over sensitive pedestals causes more harm than good. There’s tons of other valid issues regarding gender stereotypes we could rather be focusing on. You’ve got the wrong audience here.

    Please see TanyaO’s comment.
    I’m glad here’s a least one female here who doesn’t fall into this trap. Come on girls, if you really think that GC opened up some kind of deeper truth about the average 5FM male listener’s attitude towards women, you’re either taking yourself way too seriously, or you’re being too…

  40. A. Sevillano A. Sevillano 13 September 2011

    Message 4: Gareth is a sucessfull shock jock and probably making a good living from it. He’s probably laughing his head of at the sucessfully ‘shocked’ human watchsprings responding to the article. Another day’s work done. I wonder who are the next planned ‘shocked’ and with what he will shock them with.

  41. MLH MLH 13 September 2011

    Wow! Jennifer, you’re one person with a job for life. Some men will never change…

  42. Deon Deon 13 September 2011

    “Given the opportunity to analyse and look a little deeper, they choose ignorance instead. One asks oneself, “What are they doing on Thought Leader?”

    Thank you for condescending attitude while completely missing the obvious point that I’m one of the few men where this massive self constructed straw-man argument above had absolutely no relevance to my interpretation the moment I heard the joke.

    See, this is what I’m talking about. Any negative gender stereotypes I might walk away with from this debacle won’t have anything to do with GC’s comment, but at the self righteous and conceited bunch of people who, for whatever reason, feel the need to be so offended by this that they’re actually willing to put someone else’s career on the line. What a bitter bunch.

    And also, being against this complaint doesn’t automatically mean I’m a GC supporter, quite the contrary, what it implies is that some people take GC so serious that any fleeting statement he makes has some deeper, philosophical meaning attached to their own paradigm that immediately needs to be probed to death. I’m a big boy, I can think for myself, thankyouverymuch.
    I just don’t take the man that seriously, neither do any of my friends, what we do take seriously is some people who’s sense of humor is so lacking, that they can’t smell hypocrisy if it hits them in the groin, legs wide open.

  43. No need to fight this funny male! No need to fight this funny male! 13 September 2011

    I must say that your points seem to be illogically tied to the statements made by Cliff and Tex. It seems that you had an argument to make and point to prove and this situation fit your bill perfectly. You are spoon feeding your readers with your opinion and not unpacking this scenario at all.

    Gareth Cliff did not earn his prized morning slot and title of Shock Jock by playing it safe. And sure there will always be comments that seemed to miss the mark a bit or come out sounding a bit more offensive than it did in his mind but Gareth is controversial about everything, his comments are always off beat and layered with sarcasm. Can we please get over the cliche ‘what kind of role are you?’ argument and just concede that he is what he is because people find him entertaining and his sense of humour rich, Being a feminist and proud of it does not give you licence to disregard humour and entertainment value when it suits you. Stop ‘taking’ offense. Seriously, there are bigger battles to fight.

  44. Robyn Robyn 13 September 2011

    Strange how all of you commenting on this probably make up 90% of the politically apathetic population in South Africa. Grow up, and concentrate your energy on something a little more worth your time (ie the deterioration of our economy/government) .
    Letting what Gareth has said get to you shows just how weak your character is. Clearly you have NO self confidence/worth, that one mans comment would prompt a whole lot of self doubt and rage. Sad, really.
    By letting his comment infuriate you , you put power behind his words. When in actual fact , if left alone, and taken from where they came from, have no actual power at all.

  45. Philip Cole Philip Cole 13 September 2011

    Gareth Cliff is an overgrown schoolboy with the opinions to match. Does anyone serious listen to a word he says?

  46. Mark Oppenheimer Mark Oppenheimer 13 September 2011

    For the statement to be sexist it has to unfairly discriminate against women and by implication bear some kind of sting. Firstly, there ought to be no sting in saying that a particular group of people are frequently sexually active, since there is nothing wrong with having sex. The statement does not exclude the claim that most 22 year old men also spend a lot of time having sex. It may be claimed that the real sting takes the form of the innuendo that most 22 year old women are focused on their own desires as opposed to the needs of other. However, it is not clear that one has moral duty to engage in philanthropy. It is praiseworthy to do so, but it may not be wrong to refrain from doing so. The statement appears to be a dramatic way of pointing out that Ms Larkan should be praised for going beyond the call of duty.

  47. Deon Deon 13 September 2011

    In summary:
    At best this article is a view of a statement made, taken out of its relevant context, then blown up beyond recognition with an inordinate amount of straw men arguments (see The General’s brilliant comment) only to be deconstructed again with the same old feminist thought framework rhetoric most of us can probably recite by heart.

    In summary, regarding the complaint against GC:
    I get it, some people are offended, and if that’s the way they feel then so be it.
    But more shocking to me than people’s right to be offended is this dangerous tendency to go on a witch hunt when someone offends our “poor little fragile self-image”. Shame. Hopefully nothing will come of this, but if by the off-chance it does cause severe consequences for GC then I’ll be perfectly justified when start to imply that the average South African obviously has no idea what to do with his/her freedom.

  48. chantelle chantelle 13 September 2011

    I am a woman, and I certainly don’t know what most 22 year old women in this country do. I only know what I did at age 22. If Gareth Cliff can say that most 22 year old women only lie on their backs with their legs open, he can only be talking from experience. That means he must have been between the legs of most 22 years old women. What does that make him?

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