Letters | Feminism 101: Fred Khumalo, consider finding healing for your anti-woman perspectives

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Fred Khumalo
Fred Khumalo


When Fred Khumalo sits down to write, he unzips himself and asks his genitals for a point of view. Don’t believe me? Check this.

READ: Close-Up | Dubai or not Dubai: An open letter to Khanyi Mbau

He once wrote an opinion piece about how one could bridge the divide between the DA and the ANC.

Brainstorming, he peered down at his member and thought about the DA women leadership. Helen Zille? Ugh no, she’s a gogo. Lindiwe Mazibuko? Oooh, yes.

His opinion piece stated all the ways Mazibuko could “revive” Jacob Zuma in the bedroom which would then lead to a surge in energy in Zuma’s leadership and force a connection between the DA and ANC.

READFred Khumalo’s ‘Could Lindiwe be JZ’s last hurrah?’: Harmless or sexist?

What have I just done here? It’s clear that I have reduced Khumalo’s entire being to his appearance and genitalia. That’s not acceptable behaviour. Do I have some sort of problem with this man? And if I do, regardless of the merits of my issues with Khumalo, why am I playing the man and not the ball?

This is discrimination! It’s also misogynistic, a term often used to describe discrimination displayed against women based on their sex.

The point I am making is that, any source of entertainment that my two opening paragraphs may have, is overshadowed by my uncomfortable insistence in referencing Khumalo’s appearance and his genitals.

It’s creepy, isn’t it? As well as childish, not to mention unprofessional. And crosses the line with regard to acceptable conduct.

In fact, who the hell do I think am to write and publish something like that? Maybe I think I’m funny but somebody in my life should have corrected that misperception years ago.

This is what stands out in Khumalo’s opinion piece. He describes Mbau’s fat lips and her cleavage, talks about how he was distracted by them when he met her at an interview.

Khumalo is in the habit of writing these kinds of opinion pieces. Creepy, overly-familiar, misogynistic takes on women. Entirely unprovoked as well.

Khanyi Mbau was just minding her own business, flying business class from Dubai to South Africa, seemingly abandoning her partner.

READ: Khanyi hurt me and left me high and dry in Dubai – boyfriend

Khumalo wrote about it. I also watched this story and made a point to read the social media posts about it. I wondered if Mbau’s recent release of a new song was linked to the publicity she received from the Dubai incident and I silently applauded her for fantastic marketing, if it were the case (which I have no way of verifying).

I imagine Khumalo thought he did a good thing because he describes Mbau’s behaviour as anti-feminist. By this I mean, she acts as if she’s oblivious to the tenants of feminism, as if she’s beyond perhaps the gate-keeping practices of feminism, the “faux wokeness” that is de jour.

He seems to applaud Mbau’s rebel spirit, the uniqueness with which she expresses herself. I don’t know how Khumalo’s genitals explained feminist theory to him last time they discussed it because I wasn’t there.

But while there are differences in the expression of feminism between Africa, South Africa, versus the Western perspectives, what the various tenets have in common is the aim to uplift women and empower them beyond what culture, capitalism and political correctness teaches. It says women are equal to men in terms of intellect, abilities and potential.

Feminism supports any expression of femaleness that uplifts and empowers. Whether a woman decides against wearing trousers or has sex with men for money.

Sex work is work and conservatism is as acceptable as liberalism. We have a Constitution that states this. So, praising Mbau for being different to what you regard feminism to be, is ignorant.

South Africa has some of the highest incidences of violence against women and girls. Women are murdered, raped and abused with impunity. The Covid-19 lockdowns have increased domestic violence with women and children as the targets.

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole recently admitted to the police having damaged hundreds of rape kits which probably means that many accused rapists will be let off. The cops could not be trusted to keep rape kits safe!

READ: Cele again cites alcohol as a driving force behind serious crime

Khumalo’s opinion about women and his (perhaps unconscious equation of their value to their appearance) aids dismissive attitudes to women held in our society.

While he is not an abuser, he is squarely in the anti-women camp when he thinks with his genitals, writes about it and has the power to publish it.

Khumalo, use your power, access and position for good. And consider finding healing for your anti-woman perspectives, even if you think you don’t have it. Especially if you think you are not anti-women.

Jacqueline Rainers is a freelance writer, documentary film maker, TV personality and teacher


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