Archive for May, 2009
Stay out of the fucking road. And please stay as far away from my scooter as you can. It is not funny when I have to yell at you. I get upset and it ruins my morning. But crashing into you could kill us both.
All I want is a bit of respect. All I want is that you respect yourself and use a pedestrian crossing. Or at least look to the left, then to the right, and then to the left again before you cross a road. Especially when there are cars, cyclists, scooter drivers and people on fucking superbikes. Those superbikes are far worse than my little Vuka Scuta.
So yeah. Let’s be friends and stay the fuck away from me.
Andre’s twitter status gave me a jolt early yesterday morning:
Gob-smacked at the lack of feminist reaction to the Women, Children and Disabled ministry. Where’re all the strong, vocal women that I know?
I replied that I have no idea what he’s referring to and asked for clarification, which he gave later during the day. So it seems that there are two new ministries: Economic development and Women, Youth, Children and People with Disability.Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya will head the latter department.
There is no outrage as yet. Few journalists have penned an opinion piece about this new ministry; I could only find one or two news articles. One major caveat, though: I only read online news. Andre wrote an entry about it on his Tumblr blog: OK, I’ll ask. And that’s all I can find on Google; the rest of the writing on the new ministry are press release fodder.
I concur with Andre: women do not need saving. We are not fragile creatures. And I’d wager that many people with disabilities feel the same — they also do not need saving. It feels as though the ANC is morphing into the NP with their God, Volk, Vaderland. Scary, no?
I’m concerned about the minister’s nursing qualifications and trade unionist background. Are such qualifications enough to be a Minister in our new parliament? I would’ve expected her to have a degree in Sociology, Gender Studies or some other related field.
It seems this ministry will only work towards equality for women, children and people with disabilities.
I do not like the ministry’s name nor do I like what it exemplifies. I’d prefer an inclusive name. Something that promotes equality for everyone, whether they are white men or black transgender people.
Yes, there does exist horrific sexism in South Africa. Yes, our youth need guidance. Yes, we could make life easier for people with disabilities. But many, many, many other groups are marginalised. And many, many, many individuals from differing groups need support. So how will such a patriarchal ministry help those people?
Some may now tell me that Denmark, Australia and New Zealand all have ministries that are similar to our newly created ministry. But that’s an appeal to popularity fallacy. Just because a few developed countries — and developing countries such as Kenya, Lesotho, Palestine and Afghanistan — have such ministries does not mean that we should follow their lead.
Is there anyone who thinks this ministry can be a benefit? I’d be grateful to hear learned opinions.
Update: Today’s The Times has an article and Colleen Lowe Morna’s audio clip response to the new ministry.
To be part of the gang may mean you have to endure — or participate in — sexist, vulgar language. You’ll find this everywhere: at the office, at the mall, online and even at home. The users aren’t always heterosexual males; women also use such language. People use this language to attack those people or ideas that they disagree with, and to attack those who scare them. I do not agree with such usage; in most cases it is used as a STFU tactic.
Why are women called bitches? Think about it. Successful women seem scary [to many]. Add self-confidence, good looks and self-reliance to that and you have the typical recipient of the Bitch label.
The problem is not that this language demeans women; the problem is that the user doesn’t realise this language use is offensive. Our culture has deemed it OK to call someone a douche bag but few know such things do exist and few know that there are women who use these devices. It’s become OK to use female and even male genitalia terms to describe unsavoury characters. How many times have you told someone to be a man and not be such a girl? What’s wrong with being a girl? And let’s not get into gender essentialism right now, please.
Do not tell me that you used the word faggot to mean a cigarette. What is wrong with insanity that people think it’s OK to call whoever does not agree with them crazy, insane or deluded?
An even bigger problem exists when we bring attention to the vulgar words. I’d hate my colleagues, friends, family members and acquaintances to think I’m a kill-joy. It’s difficult to know what to do when people make racist jokes or remarks. Yes, I’ll concede that these jokes may be funny. Sometimes. But they can’t ever be moral. And laughing at such jokes betray a great deal about us. Who decides who should make fun of whom? Is it not true that those with power [ are allowed to ]poke fun at those with little or no power? And as soon as those with no power protest against this treatment, they are branded as having no sense of humour.
Give me intelligent jokes any day. Let’s stop the offensive jokes.