I woke up to a beautiful bright morning.
And, if I was the type to start pulling my hair, I would be doing so now.
But, why start screaming of the things that I cannot change? They are many, and so is my wish list, new every morning that. So, the power is gone, when I have only one battery, and a ton of work. OK, the internet is almost, but not quiet, down.
Not quiet, because some things work. And so am I. Not realy into grabbing the beauty of the day by the horns. But, I am at least able to write a poem, and to write a few things.
Was this article that I stumbled across. From the Mail and Guardian of South Africa. Changing the language of Prejudice. A deeply thoughtful article, of the challenges of logical thought, when the leaders, our leaders, are determined to play to the illogic of un-thought. When they are determined to roll back the course of time, return to the depth of dark ages, for some perceived political good. And, by sheer weight of their charisma, they carry the people with them.
Yeah, that is what my poem is about. But, that is not ready for the world to see. Instead, I will sing the praises of this thought.
South Africa has been referred to as the global capital of rape. More recently we've become the international headliner for "corrective rape", which refers to the rape of a lesbian purportedly as a means of "correcting" her sexual orientation or gender identity.
I cannot think that any rapist seriously holds the "belief" that a violent attack will change a person's sexuality. The term subtly reinforces this myth and diverts attention from the fact that sexuality and gender cannot be "corrected". This misconceived "explanation" disguises vicious homophobia and misogyny. The disproportionate media focus on the images of the broken bodies of lesbians doesn't take us any closer to the actual reasons for these crimes.
"Corrective rape" should be understood and responded to within the broader context of rampant violence against women and the concomitant normalisation of rape. It occurs in a social system that prescribes heterosexuality as the only acceptable form of sexuality. Lesbians are raped because they choose not to assume the prescribed feminine stereotype.
Such rapes are part of the scheme that punishes women whose skirts are "too short" (recall the woman assaulted at Johannesburg's Noord Street taxi rank) or who wear pants (a woman's house was burned down in KwaZulu-Natal). The common denominator is that people who dare operate outside of the terms and conditions of patriarchy are disciplined.
Indeed. I love the way that whole mess is explained, in other that the usual 'only LGBT narrow lense.
Rape is made permissible by sexist and homophobic discourses. To dismantle these master narratives that prejudice women and stigmatise lesbian, gay and transgender people means confronting both the language and the messengers. From the homophobic or misogynist dinner-table joke to the sexual "banter" of our political leaders, the language that underpins gender oppression needs to be resisted. Language and action are mutually reinforcing.
Eradicating the language of prejudice requires that we actively attach new social meanings to sex, sexuality and gender. Advancing the constitutional values of equality, dignity and protection of diversity is key to this process. These inspire a common language of humanity which is compelling because it is antithetical to apartheid discrimination. If we collectively and consciously give social currency to these values we will develop a shared ethic of social inclusion.
But the opposite has been happening -- racial and gender intolerance has become the lingua franca of leading politicians. Progressive post-apartheid legislation and jurisprudence that uphold the rights of women and sexual minorities are repudiated in the dominant political discourse.
The article continues, examining the current rape of the South African constitution, by those who believe it should be rolled back, made, not the stellar document protecting the rights of ALL South Africans, including the most despised, to one that protects SOME South Africans.... excluding, of course, the lower tier citizens.
It is a powerful piece, that article. And, even when I cannot get online to post, I will still praise it, off line!
There is when she points out to what is actually happening on the ground, which makes me shudder, the realities of todays South Africa
At home, offences related to gender oppression appear to have no impact on people's rise to political power. Apart from the obvious examples of President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema, the ANC Youth League leader, homophobic hate speech gets rewarded with ambassadorial status, as Jon Qwelane's promotion demonstrates.
and, the resounding conclusion.
As veteran politician Kader Asmal recently argued about racism, "The answer to such crude and vulgar chauvinism isn't the Equality Court, important as it is, but a public opinion that will drive out from public life those who perpetuate such exclusionary views, incompatible with the spirit of the Constitution." This applies equally to chauvinism of a sexual and gendered nature.
An environment that enables sexual violence germinates in sexist and homophobic jokes and hate speech, and finds full form in raping those who don't conform. The sooner we join these dots, the quicker we will face up to our complicity and that of our leaders in gender violence.
Yes, Melanie Judge. Beautifully articulated.
And, thanks for making my day beautiful. Even when there are so many obvious constraints to my enjoyment of the same.