Tag Archives: feminism

An open letter to my students: Cat-calling women is not okay

By Kerry Frizelle While I was lecturing, a female student arrived late*. As she made her way to a seat, another student cat-called her (a whistle).  The female student was already conspicuous because she was late and the cat-call drew the entire class’s attention to her.  It took me a while to process what was…

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Why women suffer in our society

I have written about the position of women in our patriarchal society from various perspectives on this site several times before – in the context of guns and violence against them, on a fundamental level on the link between patriarchy, writing and images, on why one should respect women for their extraordinary qualities, and on…

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For black women, marriage is not a happily ever after

By Refiloe Makama On the 19th of May 2018 the world watched the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. With over 29 million people watching, the wedding was filled with every detail that marks a ‘true fairy-tale‘. Right here at home, every Sunday on the popular channel Mzanzi…

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The allure of Louisa Punt-Fouché’s poetry

Poetry is alluring. Who is there so insensitive among us that evocative poetic phrases would not move us? Yes, I know – there are indeed such people, but I believe that even they, when given the opportunity to learn from a gifted teacher, would develop a modicum of receptivity to poetry. Blake’s “He who binds…

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Researching and re-imagining the “Fag Hag”

By Zipho Dolamo We’ve all heard the term “fag hag” – generally defined as a heterosexual woman who primarily associates and maintains friendships with gay men. Bruce Rodgers is one of the authors accredited for coining the concept in his 1972 book The Queen’s Vernacular: A Gay Lexicon. Rodgers(1972, p.78) defines a fag hag as:…

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The Place of Sara Baartman at UCT

The label “Hottentot Venus” continues to haunt our memory of Sara Baartman. This moniker, used in Jean Reaux’s posters to advertise the exhibit of Sara, may have been repudiated by renowned scholars such as Pumla Dineo Gqola, Zine Magubane, Yvette Abrahams, Patricia Hill Collins, Sander Gilman among others, but it has persisted as the lens…

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Women are patriarchal – and this needs to end

Dr Shahieda Jansen and Neziswa Titi Women are patriarchal. We know this from various sources and interpersonal engagements where we had been corrected by women to “remember our place” or understand that when a man violates a woman she should accept that is how men are. But what about women who work against other women’s…

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What’s in a woman’s [sur]name?

Last year I visited the bank to do some admin and I was informed that my surname on their system differed to that which was in my ID. I was enraged. It was a few months after my partner and I had gotten married. We had gone to the Randburg Home Affairs office and with…

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Approaching women’s month: The misconception about the politically connected women

As we creep towards August the question of women’s empowerment will come to the fore the same way young people become the flavour of the month during June. These conversations will be recycled versions of the conversations that have been happening for many decades in South Africa and will mostly resemble the conversation between Sakina…

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Rape, the South African nightmare

By the time I was in matric three of my friends had told me they had been raped. Not by strangers in some dark alley the way I imagined rape happened. They were raped by people who were in their inner circle: friends, acquaintances. When I was in Grade 11 someone I knew was gang…

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