To sushi or not to sushi: Edna Molewa says...

2011-02-05 17:51

Why did the ANC Women’s League take issue with Kenny Kunene serving sushi on women’s ­bodies?
We took issue not with Kunene but with the principle. We are fighting for the principle. How he uses his money is his business, but it should not be on the backs of women. He has apologised and we’ve publicly ­accepted his apology. We took issue with him on the basis that we believe that there is a thin line between rights and choices.

How does this constitute “an attack on the bodily integrity and dignity of all women ”?
It’s objectification. This is the only way that poor women – not poor in the sense of not having anything, but those who might not be as strong as others, see it – as a mechanism to make money.

Some have argued that the models who ­participated in the act did so of their own free will. If these women don’t feel oppressed by it, should they not be allowed to exercise their right to do so?
That’s where the ANCWL comes in: the big issue. A woman’s body is not a plate, it’s not to be used in front of people like that, or paraded in public. There is a thin line between a right and a choice. We all know taking drugs has a negative impact on the body, if people take them by choice, should we say this is their choice?
What did the ANCWL say to Kunene to get him to change his mind?
We were going to have a friendly brotherly discussion, but even before we did that he apologised in the media. We have not engaged him and we no longer think it’s necessary. We’re glad that as a good South African he has opted to do the right thing.

You took issue with Kunene, yet the ANC ­routinely hires the singer Chomee and her dancers – all scantily clad in costumes designed in ANC colours for political events. Is this not sexist and offensive to women, too?

Chomee has not performed half naked. The miniskirts that Chomee and her dancers wear are no different to the skirts that cultural dancers wear.

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