Bob’s ‘love letter’ insulting

2013-08-25 14:00

Johnny Mash, Eersterust

It is quite charitable of ambassador Lindiwe Zulu to readily accept President Robert Mugabe’s apology for labelling her a “street woman”.

Mugabe, however, can’t get off that ­easy. By insulting Zulu in such a dismissive fashion, he also insulted, by default, every African woman. And he would do it without hesitation to ­Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, my mother or any other woman as he sees fit. His counterparts on the continent will brush it off as the “African way” of dealing with intelligent and educated women.

Actions like these harm our struggle for gender equity and are an affront to men like myself who constantly try to ­inculcate a deep and significant respect for women.

By declaring that he “loved” Zulu, as if she were an errant child who was being ­tolerated, Mugabe’s apology was trivial, frivolous and condescending. Frankly, with President Jacob Zuma’s attitude ­towards women, nobody was surprised that he did not take umbrage at the insult to Zulu. Had it been a man, his response would surely not have been as ­ingratiating.

How and when are we ever going to get to the point of teaching our children that a woman is a mother and a queen who should always be deserving of our respect? This while the Mugabes and Zumas continually break down our efforts.

We struggle with rape, so-called corrective rape, woman and child abuse, and a host of gender-bashing on a daily basis. This emanates from the attitudes of these patriarchs who feel entitled in their actions while women cower in petrified silence.

Where is the “wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo” clarion we so often hear?

I say sies to these men.

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