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Posts tagged ‘Women’

Violence Against Women: UWC and South Africa, where does it end?

This is an article I wrote for the CPS (Campus Protection Services) newsletter at UWC.

 

On the 26th of February 2013, the University held an event in response to the recent spate of violence against women in South Africa. The event was held in the main hall and was well-attended by both students and staff. This event highlighted the seriousness of these crimes.

However, the news statistics read by student volunteer Chanell Oliphant, as well as the opinion of many, contradicted the timing of this event. While lauded for their efforts, many have questioned why so many institutions are acting now. There were loud gasps from the audience when Oliphant read these statistics. Some of these include the number of unreported rapes, with only 1 in 20 being reported to police, with 147 women raped on a daily basis in South Africa. Does it end with a gasp, or will there be action from this shock?

After the event, audience members were asked to sign a pledge board with their ideas as to how to stop the violence against women in this country. But how many of them would go home and enact these pledges? One of the many problems with the issue of violence against women is the mistaken idea of power being lost by the individual, which then leads to shame. What others do in their individual lives is, of course, their business. However, the familiar case of only acting up when it hits too close to home has played out all too often in this country, and still not enough being done on a regular basis to change it. While the event hosted by the University, and even condemnation by President Jacob Zuma, was appreciated, it was too late for Anene Booysen and other persons who were victims to these crimes.

A bleak picture was painted when a staff member told me about how she witnessed a male student acting abusively towards his girlfriend on a Sunday morning on campus. The male student, when reacting violently to opposition from the staff member, threatened others too. This student is apparently well-known by other students and even security, which was called to the scene. The excuse given for not handling this case is that it was a “lover’s quarrel.” Protocol, it seems, is not clear in this case.

One of the many problems with violence against women is the number of unreported cases. It could be asked, where exactly is it safe? And whose job is it to keep others safe? Blaming the victim has become a popular theme which has been used by some, and not spoken out against enough by others. In speaking to students about this issue, an interesting case came up. On Friday, March 1st 2013, a student was accosted by a taxi driver at the Modderdam Road exit to get into his taxi. She chose to wait, and when she was grabbed by the driver and protested to be left alone, was slapped by him. A fight ensued and four other drivers approached. Two female students approached to intervene and that’s when the scuffle ended.

With this issue, it could be argued that the jurisdiction of campus security ends when a student leaves the gates of the University. But with a number of cases of abuse, both physical and sexual reported at an alarming rate, it’s safe to ask, where exactly is it safe?

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Vagina vs The World (Aluta a labia)

I started this post as a typical male versus female topic.  Yes, it is still relevant and always will be a hot button topic. Then I read Whiplash by Tracey Farren (2008, Modjaji Books). Wow.

The novel describes the life of a prostitute in Muizenberg. The setting of a crumbling seaside community provides the backdrop for the gritty, emotional story. Now, as a student who is engaged with issues regarding gender and sexuality, my mind got racing. I won’t give anything away, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who MUST read this novel (boys AND girls). I got a deeper appreciation for the opposition between the sexes.

The problem between us and them is that there are only two. The age old “Us and Them.” Even effeminate men and masculine women are not given scope to deviate, or else.  Women are the inferior sex and men are the strong ones. The hunters who must protect the weak child bearers.   Bullshit, right? Nothing I’m saying is exactly revolutionary, right? Well here comes the turn: women ask for it.

I hear jeers and boos and I’m sure that people will just shut down when they hear something like this. Before this gets controversial, let me make it clear that this is a black/white thing, or in this case, male/female.  I absolutely hate it when people say that things are too oppositional and then ignore the grey nuances. But come on, sometimes things are divided by a line and one must take a stand. And this is a blog; I only have this much space before I bore you. How are we ever going to get to the root if we don’t provoke?

My issue:

This was spurned by the novel in which many of the women are predictably treated terribly, but specifically a part where a health care practitioner holds back a valuable piece of information for the sake of the ego of a colleague. She then proceeds to do the procedure behind his back, leaving him to claim the credit, and her as the woman in the background. To me, she would be superior, no questions asked.

Why the hell are women still acting submissively to men? This is something I ask women often when they act independently and say that they do NOT need a man and start snapping their fingers and working their neck muscles if you even but suggest it.

“Then why did you take his surname?” I ask.” Uhm… Uh… well, that’s different. Marriage is a different issue” I often get as a response.

Then my other favourite, from these same women, who work hard in the workplace yet often say that they “need a man, for, you know…” (And this is the part where you use your imagination).

Then I ask why they don’t just masturbate and cut out the middle man altogether (so much for that imagination) and suddenly I’m Satan him-/herself for even allowing those words to leave my filthy misogynist mouth.

I am not a defender of females, nor am I betrayer of men or even a hater of feminists. Although I can see how easy it is to confuse me with all of the above, I’m just so sick of the status quo. Has this one issue not been around long enough for us to have a shift in thinking?

Bottom line: nothing will ever change if women keep bowing to men.

 

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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