Culture, Reality
Black Slutwalk

We Are Not Road Signs

by Lindokuhle Nkosi / Illustration by Trevor Paul / 06.02.2012

On the 17th of February 2008, Nwabisa Nqcukana was attacked by a large group of men whilst making her way through Noord Taxi Rank in a mini-skirt. They stripped her of her clothing, tore her underwear and began to indecently assault her: groping her breasts, pouring beer over her head, sticking their filthy fingers into her vagina.

Two weeks later, Redi Tlhabi and assault victim, Nwabisa Ngcukana led hundreds bare-thighed women on a protest walk through the now notorious taxi rank. Skirts and shorts hems high above their knees, placards waving wildly above their heads.

“We are not road signs. You will respect us.”

The taxi drivers and rank hawkers responded with their own brand of mild amusement and derision; pulling down their pants, flashing their asses and swinging their Neanderthal cocks. It humoured them, these woman who think they have control of their bodies. Who don’t view a naked leg as an invitation to have sex. “If you are wearing a miniskirt, you give the impression you want to be raped,” commented taxi driver Thulani Nhapo. “You respect yourself when you wear a longer skirt. We respect women who respect themselves.”

The crowd at the Mini-skirt March was mostly female, and largely black. The issues, which at the face of them should appeal to most, if not all women, were subjected to some internal intellectual distillation process, and separated as a poverty issue, a black issue, a taxi rank issue.

Fast forward to mid-year, 2011. Women are gathering en mass worldwide in a campaign sparked by a comment made a policeman while addressing campus safety, “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.” In Cape Town, four years after the Mini-skirt March and in stark contrast to it, the Slutwalkers occupied the Sea Point Promenade. Now a mainly white crowd, with the ocean as backdrop. No taunting taxi drivers and hawkers, no male genitalia imposing its dominance. Now happy (crappy), posed statues instead of overflowing rubbish bins, rodents and rapists. Slutwalk, riding on the current of an international campaign; drew more attention and controversy, and ignited more debate.

2011 was South Africa’s year for borrowed relevance. First, Slutwalk then the Occupy movement. Imported with their foreign roots intact, the organisers identified in them unifying global causes, causes common to all South Africans without looking within the country for stimulation or nuance. And so while the campaigns drew more media attention than 2008’s Mini-skirt March, they were possibly less reflective of South Africa as a whole. I could insert a couple of harrowing rape statistics here, tell my own personalised story of sexual assault ( to like, add credibility, y’know), but what really stands out to me here, is the inability of South Africans to recognise issues that are common to them, regardless of race and class; but rather find some kind of shifting middle-class comfort and familiarity with international campaigns. The thing is, rape doesn’t discriminate; but for some reason, the majority of the middle-class relates better with to woman and sex issues abroad, than the ones that happen in their own country everyday.

Stuart MacDonald, one the SlutwalkCT organisers is quoted as saying “ the movement stems from the notions of western bourgeois morality; and the universalisation of these sort of ‘middle class values’ is often looked at with suspicion in countries that were once colonised.” So although the right to not be raped should be inclusionary of all woman, it is still seen as a “middle class value”. Where does this leave the rural or township woman, who statistically is at a greater risk of falling victim to rape and abuse? In order for her to be safe, or feel safe, does she need to embrace “western bourgeois morality” as readily as our middle class does? And how does this middle-class view the poorer woman? Is she poor first, and female second? Is this why we find it easier to identify with our foreign counterparts?

In South Africa, even crime is subject to taxonomy. When murder occurs, we are quick to attempt to classify it. White genocide, black-on-black violence, poverty related. The same thing is done with rape. Fiona Snyckers claims in an M&G article that women “experience gender violence and discrimination differently according to whether they are rich or poor; and whether they are black or white.” South Africa is seen as largely patriarchal society, and a lot of it stems from traditional and cultural practices (read black), and so when a black woman is harassed at a taxi rank, it ticks all the relevant boxes (poor, black, disenfranchised) and becomes a little okay – if only through its distance from us and its prevalence.

On the 30th of December 2011, two girls walked out of a shop at Noord Taxi Rank, and were met by a group of sixty to seventy howling, leering men. They chanted songs as they groped the girls and attempted to strip them. Armed with sexist slurs and camera phones, they followed the girls who ran into another store to buy leggings. Eventually, after half an hour of humiliation, they were rescued by the Metro police. Since then, many people have come out to “condemn” the attacks. The girls have pressed charges, but to date (even after identifying some of the men on CCTV footage), no arrests have been made. No marches, no mass indignation, no protest action. Have we resigned them to their fate? In our silence, have we decided that although we could march for Slutwalk, the taxi rank is a step too far? Who needs to be raped in South Africa and where, before it becomes a national problem?

*Illustration © Trevor Paul.

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RESPONSES (32)
  1. kak mal van Rygerdal says:

    There’s something a bit self-righteous and culturally strident abou this piece, and not in a good way. Middle class and white people get criticized because they protest against the same ills that concern the author, but not in the way that is preferred. If things are not contextualised in exactly the way that you like, does this make the gestures of others less valuable, less sincere, less meaningful?

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  2. Michelle Solomon says:

    This is an excellent and nuanced piece.

    That being said, I would like to point out that each of the Slutwalks in South Africa have taken on different causes and nuances, so I find it pertinent to draw a distinction between them.

    Where Slutwalk Cape Town and Johannsburg happened in urban city centres, Slutwalk Grahamstown (of which I am one of two spokespersons) purposefully marched from the university campus and into the township. We held the main part of our walk – t he speaking and public engagement section- on the property of a township creche, where we spoke to not only a large group of middle-class students, but also children from the township. The kids had been playing on the jungle gyms until we got there, and some left the playground and listened to the Slutwalk speakers. We hoped to get more buy-in from the social movements and specifically women’s movements in the area, but we didn’t quite get it right the first time. We know where we went wrong and are hoping for more success this year.

    In addition, we also made every effort to embed our concerns for the protest not only in terms of the international movement, but also Africa, South Africa and Grahamstown-based incidents of violence against women. These included incidents in Nigeria and Libya, as well as the scary use of rape myths by Mogoeng in his some of his judgements. http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/michellesolomon/2011/10/25/our-sexual-expression-is-our-choice/

    I would also like to add that I think the neglect of the recent Noord street incident was more a result of infighting between the bigger Slutwalks than purposeful negligence. But this in itself is quite damning and worrying.

    Also, the Silent Protest happens annually in Grahamstown, and does not seek to discriminate between who can be raped and what is considered rape. The main message there is solidarity, and last year it was probably the biggest single anti-rape protest in the country with roughly 1700 participants.

    So, while there are undeniably some problems with the “middle-classness” of the some of the protests in this sector, there are also other groups that are aware and have made some attempts to navigate the “middle-class values” critique. I feel it worthwhile to mention them, too.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I think the views in this piece are ridiculously racist and it makes me angry that people are still so jealous of ‘white’ people. What happened at the taxi ranks is inhumane and barbaric and those men shoould be shot in my opinion. But white people are racist because they protested the same issue but geographically in different places and years later is frankly immature, bitter and meliscious in its reasoning.

    There is plenty of crimes that don’t get airtime and advertised in South Africa! So who is to blame! All the people who are raping and commiting inhumane barbaric crimes worse then animals are to blame? The goverment? The police service? Or white people protesting against an injust barbaric act on the beachfront?

    Get a grip and stop pointing fingers you bitter, jealous racist author!

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  4. lindokushle says:

    @ Michelle Solomon, thank you for your comment. Thank you for realise that although class and race issues in South Africa are inextricably involved, commenting on a class issue does not make one racist. Thank you for marching to townships and speaking on behalf of people who might not ordinarily have that voice.

    @kak mal van Rygerdal I think you misunderstand the piece. It’s not a matter of a “preffered” manner as you siggested, but a mateer of the “most effective” manner. What good does it do to participate in a campaign, when the people its is aimed at are not involved or aware of it.

    @ Anonymous are you insinuating that I’m jealous of rape? This is a little confusing.

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  5. Lambchop says:

    This is a great piece. Thank you.

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  6. kak mal van Rygerdal says:

    There is a danger of inverted or convoluted racism implicit in what Lindokushle is insinuating here. Firstly, the assertion that “South Africa is seen as largely patriarchal society, and a lot of it stems from traditional and cultural practices (read black)” clearly suggests that rape and sexual assualt in this country are racially polarised phenomena.
    Now, if you want to, this could also be read as something of an ironic remark to illustrate a perception of white attitudes and their cultural/racial bias. If that were the case, then any white protestors who ventured into a taxi rank or a township to get closer to the perceived perpetrators of these atrocities for purposes of being “most effective” in their actions could easily be condemned for racist behavior. The fact that they have not, choosing more neutral public spaces, now lays them open to the criticism of not having the guts and resolve to properly and “effectively” engage with the root of the problem.
    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

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  7. Moer says:

    @anonymous – if you’re going to insist on having a ridiculous opinion at least learn to spell and write correctly in English. Its “malicious”. Also you could stand to better your grammar: “There is plenty of crimes that don’t get airtime and advertised in South Africa!” There ARE plenty of fucking retarded points of view out there and your poor writing skill really doesn’t inspire me to take yours seriously.

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  8. Moi says:

    I think Slutwalk is bullshit for a whole lotta reasons. I also think that there is pretty much zero substance in this piece.

    It’s a shame. because the premise is good. Clearly the author likes broad thesis statements, but doesn’t, for whatever reason, follow through.

    It does the argument a disservice – for all who want to make it, including myself.

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  9. Moi says:

    Here’s an American piece that is much more interesting, even if it doesn’t speak directly of SA:

    http://www.peopleofcolororganize.com/activism/slutwalk-whiteness-privilege-sex-trafficking-women-color/

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  10. lindokushle says:

    “South Africa is seen as largely patriarchal society, and a lot of it stems from traditional and cultural practices (read black)” clearly suggests that rape and sexual assualt in this country are racially polarised phenomena.” I think you struggle with issues of variation and graduattion. It is not all (I’m hoping you’ll understand that this is a metaphor here), black and white. There are some S. African cultural practises that contribute to the abuse of woman ie: ukuthwala, where a man may rape a woman to claim her as his wife. There are instances where men sexually assualy women, and paint it as a cultural write. To paraphrase Jacob Zuma: a zulu man does not dent a woman sex when she is clearly begging for it. So yes, there is cultural and traditional element to it that can not be ignored. So are all cases of rape attributable to this mentality. No. Hence “largely” and ” a lot of it”

    “clearly suggests that rape and sexual assualt in this country are racially polarised phenomena.” Well here you’ve managed to sum up exactly what I’m NOT saying. Rape does not discriminate, I said that in the piece; it should only make sense that the campaigns do not discriminate as well. How does pushing for more reflective and inclusive campaigning equal racism?

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  11. kak mal van Rygerdal says:

    @Lindokushle. In what way are these campaigns discriminating? Just because they don’t aggressively focus on areas that you think are important does not mean that they disregard them. It is also impossible to read this piece without the heavily slanted illustration that Mahala has chosen to accompany it. If some protests are predominantly supported by white people, does this automatically mean that they only care about the welfare of whites?

    Please stop insinuating that I am struggling to comprehend your message. Perhaps it is equally likely that you have not expressed yourself clearly and unambiguously, or that there are latent attitudes which give rise to contradictions in your piece that require further scrutiny.

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  12. Sarah Dee says:

    You know, Lindokooo-shle (your tone is racially patronising even in your handle), the tradition of feminist movement in this country has been driven largely by black women working in their communities. Lilian Ngoyi and Albertina Sisulu are probably SA’s most prominent fighters for the rights of women, and are looked up to by pretty much all gender activists, including the white ones, in this country. Today, many of the major movements towards gender justice are led by strong black women. The assertion that no one cares about black women’s plight because there were “No marches, no mass indignation, no protest action.” is suspect, and possibly dangerous. The truth is that its really hard to get people to care about gender justice at all. In my experience doing activism work, there is no room for racism. It’s hard enough already. It’s a constant and enormous struggle. Even in the midst of the most racist era in our national history, women knew this – which is why we had the multiracial Federation of South African Women.

    On the other hand, any good feminist of the 2000s knows that universalisation is problematic. Slutwalk is not the same as Occupy, which protests a systematised global economy of injustice, and is global by default, this is about gender, which is far more slippery, nuanced and localised. It’s not fighting a system, its fighting idiosyncratic sets of hard-to-grasp social values, changing ideas. Changing culture.

    The truth is that gender violence may be a universal issue, but just as you criticise the importing of movements because of their lack of sensitivity to local particularities, surely you can see that their is specificity even on the level of particular communities? Slutwalk works in a community that identifies more with a westernised globalised sense of gendered problems, because that is increasingly what defines the discourses in the communities of the white middle class. Masculinites and femininities are constructed differently than they are in the varied and many poorer communities in SA. Of course its irrelevant to the experience of the black South African who depends on public transport, rather than drives around their mommy’s Kia. Just as the relationship between poverty and violence against women is less of a reality to a wealthy white woman who deals with gender discrimination in different ways.

    The difficulties of black women in this country are for the most part, although there are some universals, particular to their communities. The cultural values that have to be shifted are different. The ways in which those values are reproduced are different. My experiences working with gender issues on campus in Durban made this very clear to me. I realised that as a white woman of privilege, there were many things I could do to help, but also very many things that would be difficult/wrong for me to try and do, because the discourses that define my subjectivity make it hard for me to be appropriately sensitive and understanding. For example, I found it particularly difficult dealing with issues of lesbianism amongst many Zulu men, for whom, on a very general scale, homosexuality is something difficult to come to terms with. I was in a shitty position to change their perspectives, because we weren’t speaking the same language – and I don’t mean just English vs. Zulu. There was a whole range of incompatibilities in world views. It’s EXTREMELY complicated, precarious and sometimes frustrating. for a white woman to confront black cultural discourses and demand change. Surely you can see that? You criticise universalism, but then also criticise white women for not fighting for black women (who are very, very good at fighting for themselves). It’s unclear what you’re really trying to say, except that, broadly, white people kinda suck.

    Personally, I have a lot of problems with Slutwalk, but highlighting imagined racism over gender issues is the same problem gender activists have been dealing with for eons, and also one of the subtle ways in which the women’s rights have been continuously overlooked. Sexism always takes a back seat to racism. Because we live in a world of men. Men fighting men. In 1956, 20 000 women of all races marched together to demand their rights, while the men were divided and detested each other. In that way, your perspective is distinctly anti-feminist. People working within their own communities is not wrong or racist – it’s the most effective way to bring about change.

    Can;t we just talk about the oppression of women by men for once? Without us being distracted by a really tenuous claim that white women are somehow oppressing black women, by doing what so many wonderful and inspiring black women are doing in this country, working against gender violence in their own communities? Surely you can the patriarchal hegemony your own words are working to achieve?

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  13. Janice says:

    Sarah,are you having your period?

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  14. Izzy Tizz says:

    If Jan-ice really is a woman, then her comment really is proof that women can be just as much sexist, narrow-minded enemies of feminism and gender equality as men. Both boys and girls can be arseholes.

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  15. Onan the ambidextrous says:

    Which boys’ boarding school do you attend, Janice?

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  16. lindokushle says:

    @ Sarah Dee I must admit that it took a few attempts before I could actually read your comment. True to the nature of your engagement on the Mahala comment threads, you decided that condescension was the best way to get your point across. You also defaulted to your hackneyed arguing stance of assuming that you know me (and why my handle is Lindokushle) on an intimate, or omniscient level.

    You do realise that the reason Lillian Ngoyi and Albertina Sisulu worked withing their communities because they were legally forbidden to do otherwise. There were real physical barriers to any other kind of intergration, but even with these barriers in place they managed to reach out to other communities.

    It is unfortunate however that to this day, when one comments on middle-class vs working class issues-it will always mean white vs black. The element of race will always rear its head when we attempt to unpack the issues of the disenfranchised because the stereotypical image of the most disenfranchised woman is that a rural black woman. This however does not mean that we should ignore the matter bigger than race itself,as you put it, racism takes a back seat. it about women speaking for ALL women.Perhaps engaging them as women first, and poor second, would better equip you to relate them. Also,you should note that I included myself in the group of people who are failing the poor woman. Despite white you think my handle implies, I am black. This does not make me an expert on the black woman, in the same manner that you being a “good feminist” fails you in this regard.

    And yes black women are capable of fighting for themselves (I rolled my eyes as I typed that) but is it not about fighting TOGETHER instead of fighting FOR?

    The reason that you’re finding it difficult to ascertain whether or not I’m trying to say that white women suck is simple. It’s because I’m not saying that even though you are trying very hard to read it into the piece. With your comment, you are further entrnching the territorial nature of feminist movements. Yes, women from diff backgrounds encounter diff problems, but fundamentally, the issues are the same. That is what we should be clinging to, what units the S.African woman, even if it is rape), and not what divides them (class , colour)

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  17. Tyrion Lannister says:

    Sarah Dee vs. Lindokoo-shle. I wanna see this fight go down in a vat of oil.

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  18. cnut says:

    I’d prefer goose-fat Tyrion…

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  19. Sarah Dawson says:

    Of course I dont know you, Lindo-cooshli. I just know what you wrote. And I think it was a very mediocre bit of journalism. I’ve already said why.

    If you write something as shaky and self-contradictory as this, it can work to your advantage. When someone disagrees, you flop over to whichever confused point counters that criticism, despite the fact that it is in obvious contrast with other things you said.

    That’s enough from me. Have a nice day, everyone.

    Cheers.

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  20. muneer says:

    Sarah, just one thing before you go. Why did you parody the author’s name twice (as Lindokooo-shle and then Lindo-cooshli) and say her handle was patroninsing? I don’t understand that. Writing her name like that both times seems a little insensitive to me. Or maybe i’m misinterpreting.

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  21. Thato Tsotetsi says:

    I must say that the mahala comment boards are getting quite tedious, if it isn’t know it all journo’s criticising (from a point of authority) the other’s opinion, its misinformed individuals with misplaced racial gripes that keep everything bordering on perceived racial views put forth (supposedly) by the writer.

    Sometimes, most times actually, its okay to just read a piece for what it is and debate the issues at hand and not try and assume the writer’s point of view from being a position of colour, class or economic sphere. Artists (writers) are self obsessed fucks with an opinion on everything!

    P.S I actually liked it Lindo.

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  22. Thato Tsotetsi says:

    I must say that the mahala comment boards are getting quite tedious, if it isn’t know it all journo’s criticising (from a point of authority) the other’s opinion, its misinformed individuals with misplaced racial gripes that keep everything bordering on perceived racial views put forth (supposedly) by the writer.

    Sometimes, most times actually, its okay to just read a piece for what it is and debate the issues at hand and not try and assume the writer’s point of view from being a position of colour, class or economic sphere. Artists (writers) are self obsessed fucks with an opinion on everything!

    P.S I actually liked it Lindo.

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  23. Sarah Dee says:

    Muneer, it’s just that I have trouble with pronouncing non-English names.

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  24. Sarah Dee says:

    That tricky “hl”.

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  25. Andy says:

    Must be terrible that white middle-class sluts actually went out and did something for a serious cause such as rape, even if they did something as stupid as a “slutwalk” instead of sitting behind a PC and bitching about it.

    Maybe the author of this piece can rustle together some black lesbian friends and go do a march in the townships at the taverns and shebeens against corrective rape, seeing that it is a culturial phenomenon. That way, she can report on it gonzo style and she won’t have the kak backdrop of the ocean reminding her that she, as a black diamond are better than others.

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  26. cnut says:

    Will the real PC-overtly-left-GenX-white-apologist Andy please stand-up!

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  27. urk says:

    i’d like to quote the walls of woodstock police station holding cells when i say: “almal se ma se poes”

    “what really stands out to me here, is the inability of South Africans to recognise issues that are common to them, regardless of race and class”

    spot on.

    what i do wonder, is where the fuck do you find 60 men that are willing, nay, keen on being such total utter fucking assholes, devoid of compassion and humanity? is there anyone with a notion of where to start to change the hearts and minds of men? is that not a debate worth applying the collective intelligence to?

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  28. Anna says:

    I can’t make up my mind about this piece but I do know that it’s the Noord Street taxi rank and not the Noord taxi rank, which makes me kinda embarrassed for the white writer of it. I also know that a girl can be made to feel mighty nervous at the Cape Town taxi rank after dark, even if she’s in hijaab.

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  29. wwwiT says:

    Anna you are a racist

    Sis

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  30. kwanzaa krew says:

    It’s actually the MTN Taxi Rank, known to most (black) commuters as Noord, as opposed to Bree. No mention of streets. So..umm..Anna, how milky is your complexion?

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  31. simmi says:

    Lindokushle, your analysis is sharp, articulate and relevant. The reply from Sarah Dawson, who seems to position herself as a ‘good white feminist’ is at its most a laughable, badly written exposure of her own racism and inability to understand concepts of solidarity, nor the politics of place…I wonder if Dawson has even begun understand the politics of apartheids colonisation, and if she fathoms that we live in AFRICA, and not in Europe…and that the world is not defined by what is ‘Non-English’. In my experience if Black people refuse to use English, it is used as a political strategy to challenge the hegemony of imperial and colonial power. Generally, in my day to day existence, (I myself as a black person and) I hear other black people making an enormous effort to pronounce names, especially if in a foreign tongue.

    I was surprised at the stupidity of Dawson, when she as a white woman mocks your name, and exposes a white-apartheid-madam-mentality on a public forum and then goes on to proclaim (when challenged by Muneer) that she has a problem pronouncing non-english names. The way we speak, write and articulate ourselves reveals the paradigms we are shaped by, or which we choose to support and benefit from. We must bear in mind the mass psychosis of white supremacy and its subtext: its images, articulation, manner of speech and even that which is forbidden or denied enunciation, is a representation and performance of power.
    Maybe Dawson has a problem understanding that she is meant to WRITE and maybe she simply is not bright enough to think so far as to copy and paste your name, since it is too difficult for her to remember the spelling.

    It is particularly disturbing that Dawson uses terms such as ‘good feminist’. I believe any conscious feminist would refuse to describe themselves as ‘good feminist’ along with the way we discarded being patronised as ‘good girls’. Even if one had to accept this irrational reductive value system, may I ask who is determining the standards of what a ‘good feminist’ is? Understanding the power of hegemonic patriarchy in language would never allow any conscious person, let alone a feminist call anyone a ‘good feminist’.

    Though, if we have to employ Dawson’s rationale, one has to admit that Dawson is very ‘good’ at some things, such as being a ‘good white feminist’, when she makes patronising statements that “black women are very very good at fighting their own battles”. When I read that sentence I felt nauseated by Dawson’s lilywhite arrogance and smugness. But I recovered when I read your response (Lindokushle), when you highlighted what Dawson seems to trivialise and dismiss about black women and the punishment of isolation, house arrest, and other apartheid laws that prevented black people from freedom of movement, unless their movement served white privilege.

    Dawson seems to march along making bogus statements which are inherently racist, naïve and arrogant such as this one:
    “The truth is that its really hard to get people to care about gender justice at all. In my experience doing activism work, there is no room for racism.”
    If this was really true, then I wonder why Biko felt compelled to leave the South African student movement NUSAS and create a South African blacks only student movement. Maybe it was because they encountered white liberals (which here include white feminists) who condescendingly mock, silence, patronise and arrogantly believe it is their prerogative as white women to lead discussions of racism. Dawson’s shallow response is evident of her ignorance, that she has no idea of the political discourse, neither does she have a clue about what is happening within the feminist discourse right here in South Africa. Dawson should read some work by Sharlene Khan about the art world, affirmative action and white women, called ‘Doing It for Daddy’. Five years later Khan responded to the reaction her critique caused here: http://www.artthrob.co.za/Reviews/But-Whats-All-Dis-Here-Talking-About.aspx

    In November I had a joint paper co-authored with an academic from Berlin/St Dominique presented in London at a conference called Rethinking Global Feminism, based on our own experiences as black academics and artist/curators, our solidarity, and of how white feminist and the discourse of white feminism seem to appropriate and position themselves as narrators of black experience.
    The reason why I am bringing this up, is that not much has changed since Steve Biko left NUSAS, and that is an experience that you Lindokushle and I, amongst many black women/people share.

    I think it is brave that you even bother to publish a paper which cuts through white liberal bullshit here on a very white liberal forum… because you must by now be familiar with the kind of sloppy, unimaginative, racist replies of silencing and marginalising that you inevitably will receive.
    The topic of this paper is soo goddamn hyper relevant that it slots right into a request from a feminist journal calling for research papers on the dichotomy between north/south feminist discourses and the challenges these face, called ‘Leaving the Camp – Gender Analysis Across Real and Perceived Divides Conference The closing date for abstracts is still open.’

    Actually, Dawson has done you a great favour by giving you all the data you need to write a paper on the racial chasms within feminist discourse locally and globally.
    The vague comments from Dawson such as: If you write something as shaky and self-contradictory as this, it can work to your advantage. When someone disagrees, you flop over to whichever confused point counters that criticism, despite the fact that it is in obvious contrast with other things you said” is nothing more than a biased and poorly presented opinion, which she does not and cannot substantiate. Dawson’s claims are unfounded and her aggressive undermining of your work is evidence of her insecurity and her fear of no longer leading anything but a possible resurrection of Apartheids return.

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  32. baby jane says:

    What I find distressing here is the typically South African tendencies….its so bloody sad…. here are real hard issues that need to be adressed and people with such energy and passion and down they go, falling prey to what can only be described as bickering…..rolling around on the floor in a self debasing manner…… black and white accusing one another of the same old tired tired flaws….. seeing the other as an unassailably unfair selfish person… .. we are looking in the mirror when we do this…we are alike in our selfishness, in that and in many other things, so deeply related …….
    but considering the reality of this country, its time white people stopped wagging their fingers, and left the others to examine themselves and the state of the nation without help, and keeping loud voices to a minimum and its time they gave over some of their wealth, and we need to get together to negotiate how this can be done with least possible trauma, and to the greatest effect, and this can’t be done while our hearts are not in the place of solving this problem together…. whether we like together or not,…what other way is there …are we going to find social justice as a nation apart and each shouting out their own righteousness from their corner ? refusal to co-operate with each other or to take any criticism ….NATION please grow up, people are dying, being brutalized and children are missing out on fulfilling their true potential while you throw mud at each other

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