Similar to the nun’s laundries in Ireland, where ‘fallen women’ were housed, put to work in the laundries and their babies given up for adoption, this story shows just what acts can be justified simply because of the patriarchal restrictions society can place on women. It’s not restricted to religious culture, third world countries or the past. Slut-shaming is full steam on social media today – alive, kicking and international.
As many of you will be aware, last week the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on “protection of the family”. Throughout the negotiations, Egypt and the other lead sponsors persistently rejected proposals to recognise the simple reality that various forms of the family exist.
Street harassment is your name, my gentleman. And I’ve no respect for you, just anger. Anger that kills my freedom. Freedom that waited at the end of a long walk. Don’t ruin it with just a small jump.
Athambile Masola looks at how headscarves are often a hidden part of bed time rituals, but can also become a celebrated (and fashionable) part of daily life.
Fat – a new poem by acclaimed poet, Genna Gardini
Rumbi Gorgens talks about Lily Allen’s new music video, body modification, and the pressures on women to act out and perform a particular type of sexuality.
Tammy Sutherns lists several reasons why we shouldn’t label a female hunter as a whore
Athambile Masola explores the various forms of resistance that black women can perform or embody, starting with the African-American women and leading to her own high school.
Thorne Godinho tackles the usefulness (or not) of moral outrage.
After almost a year of no movement, the TCB has suddenly reappeared on the agenda of the National Council of Provinces’ select committee for security and constitutional development. The Bill is to be discussed clause by clause on Tuesday 15 October after the process stalled in November 2012.
Lizl Morden gives a range of examples of how sexist the South African advertising world remains, and celebrates a few ads that are getting it right.
A letter to Parliamentarians asking them to do their jobs, and stop policing the activities of women in Parliament under the guise of respect. The piece is written in three languages, because using English limits the articulation of feminism in indigenous languages.
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.”