Women: Save yourself or remain unsaved

2013-02-27 01:42

It is a shattering time for our nation. The continued wave of unfortunate violent crimes against women and children is receiving international coverage daily. I am offered no comfort at the extreme chagrin young people in particular feel in any effort to seek justice for those who have become victims of heinous crimes.

I use the term "victims" fully aware of it meaning and object to calling victims of such crimes as survivors. A friend highlighted how 'surviving' any ordeal downplays the violence experienced and in some way suggests effortless recovery, subsequently, shifting responsibility.

In retrospect, it has also been a particularly insightful time in South African politics and if you will continue to allow me to centre my catharsis (which may stem from a lifelong culture of hyper-masculinization) on just two public figures and a single women-based organization.

Exclusive of the 'neo-liberal' and 'white-capitalist' dynamics which are often the opening salvo to any description of Dr Mamphela Ramphele, I feel we should recognize how her success would be good for women in the cut-throat political arena.

Ramphele may (or may not) get my vote should she decide to run in the 2014 elections because of pseudo-messianic regard and the fact that that as it stands, Agang offers no compelling alternative direction for our country. The upside however is that the party political platform can still chop and change to appeal to the South African voter.

There has been much hope from colleagues that I will eventually bend to public opinion and accept the neo-liberalist argument but as a young black person living in an alluded democracy, I truly hope she'll provide leadership as only she knows how.

Of course the ANC Women's League are perfectly comfortable contesting any political voice that augments the voices of women where necessary today. The fallacy and evidence that they do not, only dates as far back as 1952 with the Defiance Campaign (which led to the formation of the Women's Charter) and allows some 'feminist' bravado and 1956 against pass laws, but they have remained in that decade as far as fighting vociferously for women is concerned. I know this for sure because they remind us once a year in August.

So I am not really surprised that more and more young people are disillusioned by the role they feign today, especially when credibility is crucial.

It is impressively patronizing to invite South Africans to stand against rape and gender based violence when they extended unparalleled support to President Jacob Zuma during his rape trial (Before he was acquitted). As if that was not enough, they made their position clearer when they nominated him for a second term after he appointed a highly conservative Chief Justice, who had previously reduced sentences of imprisonment in rape trials.

Personally, any anti-gender based violence campaign initiated by such groups is rendered moot and beyond the hypocrisy, lies the thickest disconnect from women's issues.

And though Minister Xingwana disagrees, race is irrelevant here (for now), but the legendary naivete that is rampant is evident in most political and societal bodies. "It is appalling and tragic" they often say, but forget to mention how a generous portion allocated to a department (whose annual budget is completely disproportionate to its purpose) is spent on furniture.

I am not trampling on efforts aimed at women, but I believe your Ramphele's, Xingwana's and ANC Womens League's of the world re-affirm a classic stereotype about black women in leadership, and as pioneers against the scourge of violence towards women.

My unsolicited advice to these women is simple and free! Instead of trying to fit an impossible ideal, make statements. Through actions and the voices will follow.

TO ANCWL: Women need to be recognized as agents responsible for themselves and sole owners of their bodies! This does not mean merely teaching women how to defend themselves against attackers, but teach men not to rape! A woman should be able to walk out of her home in nothing but fluorescent lights and not even fear the possibility of assault!

Seek the harshest punishment for perpetrators of violence against women through the judicial system. Start with the people you have placed into office. Bring forth leaders we can actually see as leaders! Angie is a ruse!

To Dr Ramphele: Do not be fazed by ineptness and machiavellian tactics! Most importantly keep talking to South Africans. You cannot be the chubby kid in Primary School standing at the top of the waterslide having second thoughts!

To Minister Xingwana: I am not misguided and you are not fragile. To imply otherwise is a disservice to the pair of us, but it would be real sweet of you to read up on Afriforum, domestic violence, gender-based violence, rape, ANC's stance on gun control, interculturalism, racism, fascism, calvinism, masochism, super passive buddhism and interior design on a budget!

As 'appalling and tragic' a reflection this is on the decay of our moral society, young people need to be part of the solution that is in dialogue regarding whatever future prospect this nation holds. Corruption, crime and the struggle for power threatens this very future and seeks to exert control of our constitution.

A Chinese proverb says: You don't have to be dead to talk about death. By that logic, I write this piece. I am not a feminist, racist nor am I a woman. I'm a South African looking forward...

Do Follow me on Twitter : @Thabo_SerokeY


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