Tag Archives: feminism

I am a feminist

There, I said it. In public. My friends – one in particular – have been trying to get me to recognise it for a while. Why has it taken me so long? I guess it’s because I’ve never identified with the fierceness and passion with which some women speak on women’s issues. Friends like C,…

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How not to write about African women and sex

By Gcobani Qambela This weekend I read a New York Times (NYT) article that is guilty of all traditional, white, western feminist mishaps when it comes to writing about African women and their sexuality. The article titled “Talking About Sex in Mali” is bereft of any holistic overview of the lives African women and is…

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The sacred art of listening

To spend time in silence deep in nature far from other people is to know that everything is listening. There is the profound sense that the world around you is deeply attentive, and by listening to that, you honour the presence of everything. The bruises in bark, stone, leaves, dust, the flicker of a tiny…

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Frogs and queens: Crossdressing, spirituality and Feminism (II)

“The moral failing most common to men is brutishness.” So says “Jill” the wife of a crossdresser. “Jill” writes this in the context of having learned – with limitations – to accept her husband’s crossdressing behaviour as outlined in an appendix to Bert & Lori: The autobiography of a crossdresser, written by Robert J Rowe…

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On not just walking past

It’s Sunday. I go to a mall to get some art supplies. It’s an ordinary mall, outdated even, with strange linoleum flooring and an assortment of second-hand stores and haberdasheries. It’s the type of mall your gran goes to for wool, or other assorted items needed when growing older. So imagine my surprise when I…

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On sexuality and freedom

“It is not enough to inquire into how women might become more fully represented in language and politics. Feminist critique ought also to understand how the category of ‘women’, the subject of feminism, is produced and restrained by the very structures of power through which emancipation is sought.” Judith Butler: Gender Trouble. At first read,…

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The problem with independent women

Many women who identify as feminist know that August is the one month they’re always asked how the feminist movement is transforming patriarchy. This year has been no different. Among the inquiries I received, a student journalist asked me to answer in 80 words whether I thought the feminist movement had succeeded in achieving equality…

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What does it mean to be a feminist in Women’s Month?

Many people spend a lot of their time making straw-women arguments about what it means to be feminist. Feminists, they assume, are all unshaven, definitely don’t wear make-up or do their hair, and perhaps are a bit overweight. Feminists, they think, are all militant and anti-men. Feminists do not have a sense of humour, and…

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My bruising encounter with the PC brigade

Every now and again, as a columnist for the SA Jewish Report, I drop a proverbial brick in a hornet’s nest and end up diving for cover. Thus it was a couple of weeks ago, when a column I wrote poking fun at a newly established Jewish women’s lobby group generated far less amusement and…

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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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