South Africa hates women – are you fine with that?

This morning I’m sitting with a heavy heart.

The past years months weeks have been full of news that would make even the unobservant reader realise that South Africa is not a country for women. On paper we are equal. Yet, in the day to day, we are living with the constant threat that we will become the victim of violence if we have not already become one.

I don’t believe we’re hearing more about this just because it’s women’s month, and if women’s month is just an opportunity for everyone to remind us of how truly traumatic and tiring it is to be a woman in this country then I’d really like us to forget about women’s month altogether.

As a society at large, South Africa is fine with women’s suffering.

In the past 24 hours, three stories that would have other countries starting commissions of enquiry and plugging resources into social crime prevention will simply disappear by the end of the week amidst the many other stories of violence against women. I don’t want these stories to disappear.

One Рalmost half of Khayelitsha school learners have experienced sexual violence and girls were more likely than boys to report abuse. Two Рa young woman who reported her rape to Rhodes University committed suicide before returning to campus for further discussions following her report of the rape on July 30th. The alleged rapist was only suspended this morning according to a press release sent by the university. Three Рpolice charge protestors raising awareness about violence against women because they demanded that the President of the country they live survive in listen to them and their demands.

To be born a girl in this country and make it to your old age unharmed is a statistical improbability. The definition of female might as well be ‘afraid.’

Are you fine with this? I can’t be.

So what are we going to do about it?

 

 

 

 

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Feminism Is to be realeased in February 2018

Hugely exciting news! A collection of feminist essays that I worked on and edited last year will be released this February, published by Kwela Books.

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The collection was an absolute dream to work on, with submissions from 31 feminists living in South Africa. I worked with the incredible all-women team at Kwela to get the book out there, and the lovely Helen Moffett to get the essays into tip-top shape. This is a collection that will blow you away for its clarity of thought and writing and its contemporary relevance. It explores themes as wide-ranging as motherhood, joy, feminist inclusions and inclusions, language, equality, climate change, rage, and feminist inspiration.

I started editing this collection in March 2018 at the Vermont Studio Centre residency, giving me some much-needed space to focus. I must thank everyone who supported my residency in France where I did a huge amount of work on this collection, including all the individual donors in my crowdfunding campaign, and the French Consulate in Cape Town. Without this financial support for my writing, collections like this wouldn’t be possible.

The book will be released late February 2018 and will be launched on 13 March 2018 at the Book Lounge in Cape Town, with launches in KZN and Gauteng to follow later in March. In the meantime, you can contact your favourite good bookstore in South Africa to pre-order. An e-book version will be available too!