Tammy Sutherns explores the work of Adrienne Rich, poet and activist finding that she inspires further writing.
Indira Govender assesses the March 2013 Playboy editorial about gender based violence and finds it wanting.
Thorne Godinho discusses the problems with the Brothers For Life circumcision campaign and argues that in fact it promotes unsafe sexual behaviour amongst men. “Men shouldn’t have to define their identities in accordance with the status quo. Neither should they have to fall prey to bureaucratic bullying which reinforces the prescriptions about identity and gender that further underpin gender violence and inequality. In the context of a diverse South Africa, this campaign fails to look beyond the heterosexual norm, by creating a brotherhood in which only relationships between men and woman are legitimate. Unfortunately, this campaign is too deeply rooted in the values of yesterday to be able to influence any kind of radical or positive change.”
Athambile Masola describes the representation of black women in magazines. “The lack of positive representations of black women in popular culture doesn’t mean black women are not beautiful, but we still have a long way to go in convincing the world, and particularly black women too, that black is beautiful.”
The Oxford University Student Union’s Women’s Campaign recently took photos of students on the Oxford University campus holding up sign boards which demonstrated why the particular student thought that they needed feminism. Claire Martens highlights some of her favourite responses.
Thandiwe Mlauli talks about women’s relationships with their bodies, and explains concepts such as nudism and naturism.
Lizl Morden discusses the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert and two incidents that made her realise sexism is alive and well everywhere in SA – “Boobs, women’s bodies in general and my body in particular are not here for anyone’s entertainment or to be displayed in return for favours.”
Lisa van Soelen responds to a piece on victim blaming: “We don’t really need to open a discussion about ways women can minimize their risk of stranger rape; we’ve grown up hearing, at home and from friends, of ways to stay safer. Moreover, women have a good dose of common sense about our well-being; we don’t actively look for danger.”
Discussions about rape and rapists often seem to end up in the declaration that rapists are monsters. They are evil beasts who prey on women and children. Often they are spoken about as sub-human, or not human at all, they are animals.
Mike Baillie disagrees
Athambile Masola discusses how uncomfortable she is with the negative stereotypes of women in the music industry. For her, sexism is not only about the big issues of rape and violence against women, but also about the every day experiences of sexism.