spotlight

On always being ready ‘down there’, or, why Wilkinson Sword’s bikini trimmer ad makes me want to vom

The Wilkinson bikini trimmer ad is of the same ilk, where objectification is flimsily disguised as empowerment. Gloriously annoying, wholly and bafflingly contradictory, it sets out the idea that we should all be spontaneous about getting our minge out, with the proviso that this is only strictly possible if we put in the time to […]

Row over French MEP’s veil comments

A French member of the European parliament and former minister has created a storm in France by posting a picture of a veiled woman sitting on a beach and criticising it as an “attack on our culture”. Nadine Morano, a close ally of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, took a picture of the...

Petticoat protester’s long walk

“Nice legs, baby girl,” leered a man on the eve of Women’s Day. “Nice legs.” I looked far from sexy, wearing a tattered petticoat, with bruises painted on my face and body. We’d predicted the gawp factor, but then we’d wanted people to look. I would play it on the edge of...

Stories told with silken thread

At first glance, or from a distance, the intricate tapestries artist Billie Zangewa creates using silk could be mistaken for oil paintings. On closer inspection their unique beauty comes to light as her skilful cutting and thread work are revealed. Often set in the urban landscapes of Johannesburg,...

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Blogs

Kagure Mugo

What we need is ‘white, heterosexual, male CEO day’

Women’s Day, a time when we find new ways of brandishing the burdens of womanhood and showing the world the epic struggle that is being a female. It is also a day not safe from “religious holiday syndrome”. During Christmas or Easter a great number of people suddenly remember where...
Tracy Engelbrecht

I don’t need to be empowered

Apparently it was Women’s Day? To be honest, I hadn’t noticed. SSDD, as they say. I’m exhausted. By constant news of rape, murder and abuse. By the hordes of “But what about-ers” who always have a more important issue to discuss. By the gormless utterances of...
Reader Blog

Women’s rights hinge on women’s healthcare

By Courtenay Sprague In 1956, an increasingly systematic stripping of black South Africans’ freedom of movement, their equality and very dignity was unfolding across the country. On August 9 20 000 South African women converged at the Union Buildings to protest the pass laws. Placing themselves...
Mandy Collins

Talk to your children, dammit

My children go to a good school, and the kids who attend it are, for the most part, privileged. They live in big houses, and their parents drive posh cars. The kids own iPads and laptops and smartphones, and for them, that is normality. And on the top layer of privilege at the school are...
Cath Jenkin

Accolades and egos – are they worth it?

“I’m the best at everything”, he said to me. We were nine years old at the time. When I asked him why he had said this, he said he didn’t know but did say “everyone tells me I am”. Someone reading this is probably going to respond with a: “Oh, she’s just jealous.” Just to...