Tag Archive | "Men"

Why Men Hate Women


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll remember how serial bad boy radio jock Gareth Cliff got the whole country riled up with his observation that “22 year old girls do nothing but lie on their backs with their legs open!”

Pic from Women24

Gareth Cliff

The comment followed from an interview with 22 year old AIDS activist Angela Larken, who started working with charities from the age of 19. When taken in context, the comment isn’t too terrible – if you’re completely soul-less – and, considering it’s Gareth Cliff we’re talking about, the comment is almost PC.

It’s no secret that Cliff is a misogynist – he clearly hates women – but compared to some of the comments I’ve read online and heard casually uttered by acquaintances, Cliff positively adores women.

I remember the first time I read ‘The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court’ by Mmatshilo Motsei about the Jacob Zuma rape trail and how people just demonised the alleged victim. She went from being a rape victim to being this gold-digging, psycho witch who had ask for it and deserved what she got.

This response shocked me because for the first time, I realised that this was what real sexism is. Sexism sometimes wears a clown mask, but no matter how funny the joke about the midget and the receptionist, the truth is that the male of the species has a real hate-love-hate relationship with women.

I once dated this guy, we’ll call him X (see what I did there?) and we were at that stage in our relationship where everything is cute to no one but the people in the relationship.

X would put his friends on speaker when he was with me and I thought it was the most adorable thing ever (don’t judge me, I was young), until the day he told one of his friends about me and the friend replied, “Okay, she’s smart. But is she pretty?”

Pretty women sell things, be it fried chicken, skin lightening cream or cars, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem starts when women are seen as nothing beyond background decoration for men, even powerful women whose looks have absolutely nothing to do with their job description.

An online comment thread about some of our female politicians had this to say Read the full story

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Girl Fight: Why Females Can’t Stand Each Other


First, let me qualify that statement: this article is not referring to women but to girls. And, to quote a friend, “Girls hate each other and women compete with each other.” This is a very fine distinction at the best of times but it’s an important distinction nonetheless.

Right, now that that’s been said, back to my girl-hating girls.

A while ago, I was with a mixed group of friends (girls and boys) when we were joined by a second – equally mixed group. The guys immediately started chatting to each other about all kinds of things, from soccer to the best car wash to who had the best gadgets. They argued, laughed and generally behaved like boys.

The girls, on the other hand, simply refused to so much as look at each other, and when they did, the tension grew until it was – as they say – thick enough to cut with a blunt knife. One could almost feel the judgements and the unspoken comments in the air between the two groups of females.

This uncomfortable situation naturally got me thinking about why girls don’t get along.

After exhaustive research and a lot of denial from my female friends, I was close to giving up when the answer – strangely enough – came from a guy. His theory is that females can’t stand each other because they don’t have a healthy outlet for their natural competitive instincts.

Historically, society has expected us to be good and polite and sweet. A lady doesn’t fight in the street or speak loudly, and if you weren’t a ‘lady’ you were, by default, a ‘straatmate’. And believe me when I tell you, no one wants to be a straatmate!

So we are expected to be nice but then we are thrust into competition with other girls. From who’s the prettiest baby in the hospital to who had the best-looking boyfriend in high school; a girl’s life is an endless gladiator blood sport and the one who can smile the widest while wishing you’d drop dead is the winner!

Guys are encouraged to Read the full story

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The Cheating Game: Why Men Lie and Women Lie Better


A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine asked why, when women cheat, they feel the need to confess everything to their boyfriends.

This, for obvious reasons, got me thinking. Not about cheating itself, but about the various ways cheating manifests in relationships. One thing women seem to accept as inevitable is the fact that their men will cheat on them at some point.

We have even gone so far as to categorise the different ways our boyfriends, partners and husbands cheat. For example, Pam could draw the line at him not coming home all weekend, while Nthabi doesn’t mind as long as he doesn’t impregnate his side-chick.

Women, where is your pride? Don’t you believe you deserve better than this? Why do we accept such treatment?

As a black woman living in a village, a kasi or a suburb, we have all heard our elders say things like: “Monna ke selepe wa adimisanwa,” and “Basadi ba feta banna ka palo.”

Loosely, this translates to: “a man is an axe, anyone can use him” and “women outnumber men.” Our mothers, aunts, grandmothers repeat these words and, through repetition, make them self-fulfilling prophecies.

This licentiousness not only normalises the behaviour, it makes cheating positively mandatory. It’s become as much a part of our culture that if a man who doesn’t cheat is somehow less of a man.

The truth is Read the full story

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Gender Roles


Recently I have gone through a life-altering experience. I have welcomed a new being into my life. During a conversation with a couple of friends we mentioned our childhoods and the ways in which we were raised. I remember my childhood years quite vividly and very fondly, they were amongst the happiest times in my existence. As I recounted my memories to my friends they were utterly aghast at the role my father played in my upbringing. I was equally shocked by their response and disbelief in the reversal of gender roles.

To paint you, reader, a picture of my childhood, I grew up in a kasi during the eighties. It was a time where children played those old school games in the streets until they were red with dust. A period where a mere fifty cents could buy all the snacks your little heart could dream of.  Yes, in my home the roles based on gender were contrary to those held by tradition.

My mother worked at the local hospital; she owned and drove a vehicle. My father also owned his vehicle but he had taken an early retirement package from his workplace which meant that he was home, most o the time. My father, as an African man, I believe, was quite ahead of his time. I have fantastic memories of him getting me ready for a day at the day care. I recall him teaching me the Freedom Charter of 1955, and teaching me how to tell time. We would sit together having coffee, I felt all so grown up. To me he was a positive male role model; I do not know how he felt about those times, and the role he played. Culturally, an African man who would play a pivotal role in raising a child in the manner that my father did would be viewed as an emasculated man.

Traditionally, women are the ones expected to rear the children, while the men are away from the homestead. Whilst the men are away, the women are the ones shaping the kind of person the child will become when they are adults. Raising children is one of life’s important and challenging tasks, as that person will have a part in shaping the future.  When the men are away from home, they are missing out on quality time with their child; quality time which they could use to fill the void and to create a balance in the life and the outlook of the child.

On my personal journey, I will be raising a boy child. He will grow up without an emphasis on gender work division, or any gender specific roles. I will do this in the hopes to shape a man who will have respect for gender equality in all aspects of life.

Opposing that cultural and traditional belief, men, particularly African men, should be encouraged to play a more participatory role in raising their offspring, in that way, they imprint a personal stamp on the future adult.

 

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It’s a Man’s World!


 


I walk through the mall confident in my skin. Strutting in my heels and unafraid of being black in 2011. Proud to be an African I see men stare at me. Car keys in my right hand and purse with hard earned money in my left. Sure and glad to be alive, I see them examine me. My wealth, success and fortune are written all over me. Long working hours mixed with no weekends, it’s who I am. I symbolise dedication combined with passion. They gaze and look away rolling their eyes at me. I hear their thoughts as they think: “As rich as she may be, she had to lay with a he in order to be all you see.”

 

Blessings,

Poppy “Pops” Vilakazi

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