Sushi girl is just trying to make a living

2010-11-06 13:33

For the past few days, I have been watching with interest as the debate escalated over Kenny Kunene’s “vulgar consumption” at his 40th birthday party and, most recently, feminist groups getting their knickers in a knot over the “sushi girl”.

Frankly, I struggle to understand what the fuss is all about.

I particularly found one part of Cosatu spokesperson Zingiswa Losi’s statement interesting.

After her condemnation “in the strongest manner possible”, she goes on to say: “These half-naked women are treated like sex ­objects – little more than party ­accessories – to decorate the room and ­provide some lewd enjoyment to the invited men.”

As someone who was present at that infamous party when it all happened, I’m still struggling to see how feminism entered into this.

I’m dead sure this was not the first time I have seen people used as platters or “to decorate the room”, so to speak.

In fact, I saw a human platter at the Durban July when the marquee of our national broadcaster had some women lying there with food all over them. And that was in the middle of winter!

I have also attended a “women’s day” party, where the women-only guests drank their tequila shooters off male models’ half-naked bodies. Did they feel exploited and objectified?

Not a single woman cared or even raised an eyebrow. And yes, the models also provided some “lewd entertainment” for the female guests.

To return to the issue of the “willing victim” at Kunene’s party, I distinctly remember seeing her display.

My first reaction wasn’t anger or even pity, as might be expected by the feminist front.

I actually rolled my eyes. Yes, I rolled my eyes in a “not again” manner because the idea of using bodies to ­display something is getting tiresome?– that is for someone who has been to many events that use body art as part of the entertainment.

I suppose one could say I have been desensitised, but I’m pretty sure that there are things that I would know were just wrong if I were to see them happen at an event.

I wouldn’t consider myself a staunch feminist but I do firmly ­believe in women’s empowerment.

I also believe in our right to choose, including what we want to do with our own bodies.

The model is an adult and has agreed to take on the job as a sushi board. Who are we to cast aspersions on her decision?

Surely people have passed the age of judging people’s chosen paths?– like sex workers and call girls.

What makes this model so different? Is it because she was lying half-naked in front of a group of wealthy men? So what?

There were many other women there too.

Some were dancing on the bar, while the other scantily dressed women who were guests, “decorated the room”.

At the end of the day, these models were trying to make a living.

Those ­women are not victims. A job is just a job. When someone says they feel ­iolated, that’s when people can come to defend the weak.

I know I would feel insulted if ­anybody told me how bad I should feel about my own choices.

I was raised to be morally upright and principled without being judgmental. I know right from wrong and I most certainly know when I have made a bad decision.

If ever that model decides that her sushi-board decision was wrong, I hope it will be according to her own standards and principles, not other people’s.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.