Tag Archives: sexuality

How to challenge your whiteness…

I am a white South African man, and when I wrote about the problems of white masculinity I faced a barrage of abusive tweets, threats and even a phone call to one of my work colleagues to complain about my writing. Ironically, all of this proved the argument I was making. More importantly: it proved…

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Now for the 21st century round of South African sex panic

Twenty years into democracy and the battles to capture and define South African identities are at fever pitch. Race seems to have a new lease on life and, unexpectedly, so does sexuality. Some say that South Africa’s future is black, in the sense that state power will never be in the hands of a white-defined…

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What is a lesbian?

“What is lesbian now?” I begin explaining “queer theory” to my grandmother and the diffusion of human rights and international instruments that hold states accountable. These terms and phrases mean nothing to her. I try to tell her about Michel Foucault and she asks if he is my husband. Suddenly all those hours spent in…

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Vagina politics

I found my daughter fiddling with her vagina in the bathtub. The said vagina will here forth be referred to as a pony, it is far too cute to be burdened with the responsibilities that come with having a vagina. She was in the bath and suspiciously quiet, bath time is always her opportunity to…

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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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Teenage pregnancy a crime?

Ever heard of the “30cm rule”? This unwritten rule is popular in many co-ed high schools and it stipulates that a boy and a girl should not be closer than 30cm of each other. That means no hugging, kissing and gevoefeling while under the watchful eye of teachers. The students I teach have also been…

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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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O is for Orgasm

Since it is the holiday season and because so many people have assured me that I am “shrill”, “aggressive”, “in need of a good fuck”, et al &ndash none of which I accept, by the way – I thought I would give those who feel victimised by the matter of white privilege and racism a…

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Uganda and the science on homosexuality

The Speaker of Uganda’s parliament insists the Anti-Homosexuality Bill from 2009 be passed before 2013 arrives. With the apparent goal of protecting society from sexual deviance, the ill-informed targeting of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) people illustrates the old saying that politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing the…

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Don’t kiss me, I’m 16

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…

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