Are you really a woman?
In my reality, yes.
Why? Is it a threat to you if I say I am, and I’m not? Is it a threat if I am not and I say I am? What about the binary of male / female is so critical and so threatening to the survival of homo sapiens that people can’t simply be who they are?
But no, the binary, societal conditioning, call it what you will, demands we be a what before a who. A shared consensus is a happy consensus, an oblivious consensus. No questioning if it is good for me, it’s safer in the crowd.
Everybody must fit into a socially defined mould that no-one knows who defined? It’s ridiculous and after 45 years on this planet, I refuse to pander to all societal norms.
Please. I’m so over proving anything to anyone except myself, so no.
What are your thoughts on Women’s Day in South Africa?
It’s a joke. I expand on this below.
Where were you during the struggle?
In school and to my shame, oblivious to the world around me. Hopefully, my work now will one day constitute an apology for the harm we’ve done to others and ourselves.
What are the most important issues facing us in 2013?
I believe femicide by intimate partners is one of our biggest issues. Sure, there is corruption, and ham-fisted politicking, but the genocide being perpetrated against women is terrifying.
Sparse attention was accorded to a recent report by the South African Medical Research Council regarding intimate femicide. Perhaps it was too inconvenient?
Good news, gals. The report concluded women were murdered by their intimate partners every eight hours during 2009, instead of every six hours as was the case in 1999. Celebrations are in order because femicide has increased, despite all the Women’s Day pontification. The leading cause of death for women in 2009 was at the hands of their intimate partner.
We are doing well.
This gives new meaning to the cliché love hurts… In a nutshell, the report concluded police work was sloppy, half-hearted, and damn near pointless.
Police continue to perpetrate second stage abuse on victims and lip service reverberates through the nation but no real change has happened. Male police officers still undress you with their eyes before they speak to you, they still hit on you, and it’s not unheard of for male cops to phone female victims of crime and hit on them again!
We are second class citizens in practical law. And if you’re a lesbian, then forget about service, whatever happened to you. You probably deserved it. In June a poll by TrustLaw, a legal news service of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, found that South Africa was the fourth worst place in the world to be female.
Simply, as a woman, South Africa is a dangerous place to live and your lover will probably kill you. It seems as if the entire patriarchal machine is there to grind women into grey paste that can be washed away so they don’t bother anyone. Sure, women are highly valued in our society.
As target practice, definitely. As an equal? Hardly.
What is your job/business/role and does your gender make a difference to it?
I am a reporter/attempted photographer. I believe being womyn does allow me to empathise and connect with people.
The million dollar question – what makes a woman?
It’s in the way she moves…kidding.
Seriously, until we stop being our worst enemy, extend our natural empathy to each other, accept instead of judge, and fight for each other instead of with each other, there will never be one thing that makes a woman a woman.