Like repressive governments before it, Abiy’s administration seeks to control the narrative by controlling that most democratic of news-dissemination tools: social media
By Rebecca Helman I remember the first time I gave a talk to a group of strangers about that fact that I had been raped. The shame of it felt like a weight, trying to crush me into the floor as I attempted to stand up tall and look unblinkingly out into the room. In […]
Is the time for South Africa to have the difficult discussion about rape finally here? Is it now time to do our utmost to provide protection and care for survivors and those vulnerable? The release of a list of 11 male students accused of sexual assault at Rhodes University, and subsequent protests by students, could […]
In 2008, proud racist David Bullard was fired from the Sunday Times for a column wherein he denigrated black South Africans. In seems that, after the failure of his many legal matters against the Sunday Times and its owning company Avusa, Bullard found a new hobby. And that hobby is harassing and bullying rape survivors – and I get the special honour of being his target of choice.
Last week’s Constitutional Court ruling decriminalising consensual sexual relationships between teens was met with moralising outrage across the country. Sensationalist media fanned the flames of indignation by failing to contextualise the law’s effect on teen sexual relations – including rape.
Under the impugned sections 15 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act (SOA) teenage rape survivors, especially girls, run the risk of being criminally charged for being raped.
Early last week, the newspapers reported the discovery of another dead and mutilated lesbian body. Yet another poor, black, landless, queer body with a vagina has been killed and the story, we’re told, is because she was gay. As the routine letters of condemnation from state, public and political officials came in their multitudes, and […]
The recent fiasco with the Sexual Offences Act should serve as an alert about continuing problems dating from before the act’s adoption in 2007 and that have still not received parliament’s attention. The Western Cape High Court in May upheld a finding that meant the courts could not pass sentences for 29 crimes for which […]
By Zuki Mqolomba Debates on adult prostitution have been raging on in South Africa’s public and legal domains since the 1990s. Debates surfaced in 2007 when Labour Court judge Halton Cheadle ruled on the “Kylie” vs Michelle van Zyl case. The debates spiraled once again in light of the foregone 2010 Fifa World Cup, with […]
I grew up in a village outside Polokwane in Limpopo. At school and in the community we would always hear older boys talking about lepanta. As a young boy, I knew lepanta to be a Sotho word for “belt”. I soon learnt that it was coined by boys in the street corners to mean “when […]
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 […]
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Q: How many sizes do penises come in? A: Five — “small”, “medium”, “large”, “extra-large”, and “does that come in white?” African men have been the subject of European myth-making since the very earliest days of contact between the two continents. One of the hardiest and most enduring […]
I’m terrible. I make blonde jokes. I pass bitchy remarks about other women behind their backs. I make fun of myself and my female failings. I refer to “chickies” and “bokkies” and bunnyboilers are one of my favourite topics of discussion. Technically, I can be a terrible misogynist, though my baleful attitude applies equally to […]