Tag Archives: Rhodes university

No love at Rhodes University?

There’s a widely used quote by Martin Niemöller that I love: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for…

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Turning 50…and full of bubbles

It amazes me how we give meaning with structures that have no intrinsic meaning. Take the idea of reflecting on the significant events of a millennium or poignantly reflecting on your life around the time of a “fiftieth” birthday. One thousand or fifty … mere multiples of ten. Why not have similar reflections on 857…

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When I was a spy

If tomorrow belongs to the youth, yesterday must be ultimate egalitarianism. Yesterday belongs to everyone. While the future is vague, diaphanous, ethereal, the past is unambiguous, immutable and solid. We can all change the future. None can change the past. If, like me, you feel a little like a stranger in a strange land in…

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Palestinian solidarity and the responsibility of South African intellectuals

By Nina Butler “I wish you empowerment to resist; to fight for social and economic justice; to win your real freedom and equal rights.” These are the stirring words of Omar Barghouti in his open letter to “people of conscience in the West”. The prominent Palestinian human rights activist gave an indication of the poetic…

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Reclaiming the term ‘rape survivor’

There are times when silence is more eloquent and expressive than shouts of protest, or words spoken in the face of ignorance. The Silent Protest seeks to embody this silence in solidarity with rape survivors who, for whatever reason, are not able to speak out about the violence exerted on them and their bodies. The…

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Rape is not a slogan on a T-shirt

When I was a student at Rhodes University I belonged to the Women’s Movement, an organisation that was intended to advance the rights of women students on campus and generally spread the feminist agenda. We were supposed to campaign for things like improved security for women on campus, and to protest against dimwitted and archaic…

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When journalists silence rape survivors

This week Rhodes University student newspaper Activate published a story titled “Club Etiquette”. The story explains best party practice along the lines of ‘don’t wear heels’ and ‘respect your bartender’. Then there was this: “Don’t take advantage of the drunken person of your dreams. The next morning, when they wake up next to you wondering…

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