20th Mar2017

Wanderlust

by admin

Hi everyone,

We have another great edition this week with many stories from our talented team. Thabisile Miya discusses the nationwide students’ accommodation which has culminated in the rise of movements such as #Shackville and #SouthPointFeesSoRidiculous. Lindokuhle Kolanisi questions whether the post-apartheid political order could be more inclusive of gender and sexuality. Tsholanang Rapoo explains why she believes the recent feud between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj is not anti-feminist. Molebogeng Mokoka explores the continuous devaluation of the BA degree; is it really worth nothing? Veli Mnisi gives us an in-depth look into how thrift shopping has, culturally and economically, transformed itself. He also gives us an insider’s perspective of Braamfontein’s newest thrift shop- haunt, The Thrift Vintage Shop (T V Shop). We’re also featuring Sandiswa Tshabalala’s poem, titled Black Girl Magic. Finally, Charissa Govender gives us the ultimate traveller’s guide for exploring New York City.

Hope you enjoy what we have to offer. Have a wonderful Human Rights’ Day tomorrow.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Wanderlust

20th Mar2017

Chicken or Beef: Nicki and Remy

by admin

Does my womanhood take away my right not to like you?

Remy Ma Nicki Minaj

Following the flurry of commentary around this beef and how Remy was wrong for ‘slut shaming’ Nicki Minaj and vice versa, I am left with one question: Does the fact that I am a feminist strip me of my right not to like you because you are also a black woman? Yes, we are all women and yes, we need to uplift each other and reconstruct the patriarchy thrusted upon us. However, some things should be taken at face value. Nicki and Remy, have got nothing to do with me and my struggles as a black woman.

Remy’s personal and professional views on Nicki Minaj have nothing to do with women in general. The idea that all feminists, or all women for that matter, ought to get along is one that I find highly ironic considering that all of us know people, men and women, we don’t like. We might share the same values but if I don’t like your behaviour and I feel like you need to get checked, why not? This is hip hop; tracks and whatever is said on them ought to be viewed in that context. The patriarchy that we are trying to prevent is the patriarchy that you are perpetuating by not allowing these women to openly challenge, and destroy their direct line of competition. The release of ShEther, is a play on one of the most famous beefs in hip hop- between the New York giants, Nas and Jay-Z who later settled their difference after many fights, war of words, and the release of Ether by Nas. It is with this in mind, I feel people should listen to Nicki and Remy, the battle between two New York giants, going at it. In my opinion, their gender has no bearing in their lyricism. It is fun and it is what hip hop is all about.

I know some might be thinking that if this is a pure hip hop battle, why post it on social media, and why the release of intimate information by both parties.  Well in response to that I say that all is fair in Love and Hip Hop. It is a battle and it is not going to be pretty, something must get beaten, besides their make-up. Dirt was dug and mud was slung from both sides, some more than others, but that is the nature of the game. Only the best will survive: it is eat or be eaten, killed or be Nicki’d. For every punch that was thrown in ShEther, there was a comeback in No Frauds. Where Remy referred to Nicki’s surgery, Nicki did the same. When Remy came for Nicki’s brother, Nicki came for Remy’s children. It was blow for blow, grimy and ruthless on both sides and this brings me to my point; Remy does not like Nicki, Nicki doesn’t care, and the audience is entertained.

This is all that there is to it. To assume that empowering females in all spaces relinquishes my right not to like you is not only patriarchal but it’s a bit naive. As feminists, we are not in the position to judge every situation based on gender under the assumption that all females who believe in a free, equal and non-sexist world need to love and support each other at all times. It is in cases like these where I think that we should truly consider what feminism means not only as a movement but for all women; Black, White, Asian, Indian, Mexican, Latin, and all other shades of womanhood. If these two rappers weren’t female, would there be so much fuss about what was said and how they said it, and would we even be discussing how objectified and disrespected the females in their lives must be feeling. Equality and justice are not the same things and as feminists we need to ask ourselves as to whether we are fighting for equality or Justice? These are all important questions that we need to address however, in a hip hop battle, I find it more helpful to ask: Who won? Who came out on top? In this case, who was the better rapper?

 

13th Mar2017

Woman Empowerment

by admin

Empowered Woman

 

You are who you are. Their approval is not needed. They can take away everything but they will never be able to take away your original you. The above statements exemplify, for me, why we, as woman, ought to come together like imbumba and protect one another. Each individual must take a stand and stop speaking ill of other women and unnecessary jealousness. We all know that jealousy can occur, I also experience it at times, but I fight it like others who refuse to live with their pervasive jealous. We need to stand against betrayal because we tend to judge one another, knowing how hard it is to be a woman. Greet another woman today- a simple “hello” won’t cost you your life. Tell her she’s beautiful and not only that you will be uplifting her soul but you will also sleep with satisfaction knowing that you have made another woman smile today.

In this day and age, never depend on anyone but your parents. Ultimately, we cannot depend on men and whatever may be in their pocket because, despite the blessers or sugar daddies being able to give you what you want, you will also be forced to give one thing that a female values the most (particularly in traditional African culture). Imagine at this young age you are already infected with HIV/AIDS just because of money, is money really the roots of all evil? If it has the power to kill, infect, and make our young woman greedy?, or we as humans need to take control of the situation if things don’t work out and not rely on Blessers and Sugar Daddies as if it is the end of the world, I understand things happen but each and every one of us have the power to stop it from happening. My wish is to see no woman obtaining the guts to date, not to mention having a sexual relationship with a man old enough to be your father, what are we teaching the young? There’s a quote from Whims.me/AicX  that says that money only impresses lazy girls because when a woman works hard, a man with money becomes a bonus, not a ladder to social mobility. Young ladies, work hard now so that in the future when you enter an expensive shop you will be able to take that dress or those shoes that caught your attention and swipe your card without even looking at the price.

You are defined by what you wear, if you decide to wear that bum short, that crop top, long skirt… wear it with pride, walk the talk and if someone’s complains on how you wear and say they don’t like what you wearing, just smile and walk away because you didn’t wear that for them, you wore it for you and the only thing that matters is that you love what you are wearing and you are happy. Jenessa Michele said that when people see her, when other women see her, they may be judging her based on how much her clothes cost. If the cost of our clothing and where we buy them define our personal value, then that (in my humble opinion) is a major problem.

Seeing a pretty woman with expensive clothes can be intimidating because you will just think that she’s got it all. Instead of lowering your self-esteem and comparing your appearance to other women, you are only causing yourself heartbreak because everyone is beautiful in their own way and everyone was created by one person. It was not a mistake for you to walk these grounds and to be on this earth. Your mother carried you for nine months. She didn’t carry a useless child nor did she raise a weak woman. The fact that she gave birth to you (this young, beautiful, gorgeous you) shows how much potential she saw in you. It is now your turn to play your part and make your mother proud as she is your goddess on earth. Do not be ashamed if your mother is a drunkard and your father a garden boy. Take a stand and be brave enough to change the situation at home because in life it doesn’t matter where you come from but what matters is where you going.

I agree with Hillary Clinton when she says that she believes that the rights of women and girls are the unfinished business of the 21st century.  Statistically, women have always experienced (and continue to experience) more poverty than men. Slowly but surely, we will get to a point where everything is equal. This will only happen if we get together because, as the popular saying goes, when you strike a woman, you strike a rock. Emma Watson says that she will not stand down until she gets to see an equal number of female prime ministers, presidents and CEOs and more men feel that it is okay to express how they really feel about things and more fathers are present in their children’s lives. Personally, until I see us all not policing and oppressing each other and not ostracizing each other and when I live in a world where there isn’t a narrow understanding of masculinity and femininity, I will not stand down. I stand for my belief that it is right that women are paid the same as their male encounter pants. I believe that I have the right make decisions about my own body. I believe it is right that women be involved, on my behalf, in shaping the policies and decisions that will affect my life. Ultimately, I stand firm in my belief that ought to be offered the same respect as my male counterparts.

17th Oct2016

Goodbye for Now

by admin

goodbye

Hi everybody,

We have approached the end of this year’s edition of exPress imPress. It has been a great year sharing our team’s thoughts and ideas with you- our readers. Mamelodi Marakalala has written a piece on how women ought to follow their own paths and not succumb to societal expectations. The last few weeks have been tough, with the militarization of many South African universities in response to the #FeesMustFall2016 movement. Khwezi passed away, having not received the justice she deserved. As South Africans, we are in the midst of one of the most challenging periods in our country’s history. Our finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, is facing fraud charges and there is increasing proof of state resources being misused. This is enough to make us despondent. In some ways, it would be easier to leave South Africa before our country goes up in flames. However, this is our home. We are facing significant challenges but we cannot give up. Our country has so much potential and we, as South Africans, have the power to change the course of our country’s future.

 

Until next year,

Sandiswa and the 2016 exPress imPress team

17th Oct2016

Who are We As Women?

by admin

women_penelopelamps

I was with a friend of mine a while ago. I don’t recall how we got there, but we ended up discussing about women of all kinds: single mothers, housewives, wives who juggle work and raising children as well as taking care of their husbands, women who only have their work and no family to come home, etc., all categories of women. And I wondered; who has the perfect life? Who is the happiest amongst those women? Initially, I thought it was the woman with her work. Whether she has children and a husband or not does not matter. Because I want to be that woman. I want a successful career. I want that so much that I don’t care about marriage and raising other humans. If that does happen, then it would have happened (at the end of the day, it’s the Universe that does all the speaking) – but it is not top priority for me. Then, it hit me that no one has it more perfect and no one can be said to be happier than another. One woman wants that and the other woman will want another. We shouldn’t judge people’s lives based on the fact that it’s a life we never want for ourselves.

 

So, to answer my own question: we, as women, are who we want to be! The woman who is happy is a woman who has reached her full potential or is at least trying her level best to reach it. Yes, there are circumstances in our lives. The things that are so out of our control. But be strong, woman, and go for gold. Make plans A B and C, even D, so that you can look around you someday and see everything you’ve ever wanted: either you’re a housewife taking care of the household; a working wife who can manage diapers and a million rand international deal; just a mother raising children on her own, or a woman with only career prospects and nothing else in mind…just live the life you want to live. Live the life you need to be happy in life, without regarding society’s opinions and its place for us in the world. Our desires matter too, no matter how big or how small.

08th Aug2016

Mbokodo Leads

by admin

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow marks the 60th of the 1956 women’s  anti-pass laws march to the Union Buildings. 60 years…and still womxn face a lot of challenges in South Africa’s socio-politico-economic landscape. This week’s edition of the blog appreciates the challenges faced by womxn and, yet, how they serve as society’s backbone. Zwelidumile Zweli Ndungane writes on his decision to be a black male feminist. Mamelodi Marakalala discusses the stereotypes that oftentimes constrain womxn from reaching their full potential. Thabisile Miya celebrates womxn’s strength and makes a call for all of us to celebrate the womxn in our lives. I sincerely hope that this Women’s Month has been good on your side. It has certainly been eventful, with, the recent silent protest during Jacob Zuma’s speech at the official announcement of the results of the 2016 local elections. We still have a long way to go but, to paraphrase the late Dr. Maya Angelou, still we rise.

Have a great week.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2016

Remember Khwezi

08th Aug2016

Sentiments of a Poet

by admin

This is what a feminist looks like

Inverse racism

Personally, what worries me more than anything when I consider the discussions black people are proudly, fearlessly and fearlessly and outspokenly having these days is what I had called inverse racism?

Inverse racism is not reverse racism; it has nothing to do with the concept, so nobody should tie me on that. Inverse racism is when you end up hurting black people in some way with the original intent of helping them, or hurting whites. It is about preferring black weakness to white strength, simply because “it’s black”, as if those are the only two options.

The fact of the matter is if you make decisions or deliberations based on what white people think, your mind is colonised. There are some people who are so in love with whiteness that they make it their standard and aim for it-sad and stupid. But equally bad are those people who are so full of hatred (i.e. fear) of whiteness that they go out of their way to make decisions against it-more sad, more stupid.

Being anti-white is not pro-black……What am I?

Women Empowerment

It takes a real man to see something wrong in society especially if it is caused by your kind. If there is anything I hate like white supremacy, it is the treatment of women in our society (especially black women). It sickens me to see the rape statistics in our country and across the world. It sickens me to see that there are no women in the South African Forbes top 10 list. It sickens me that even today woman have to pay for sanitary pads or tampons. It sickens me that only 2.4% of CEO’s in this country are women.

You see being a real man is like asking for the removal of a referee that is helping your own team to win. I am a real man because I see something wrong even though I don’t have anything to lose.

Why are we more offended by swear words and middle fingers instead of the struggles woman face in this man’s world? Why can’t can we get free condoms but women can’t get free pads? Why can we justify rape by saying “She was asking for it”?  Why do we not ask these questions? Why are we so reluctant to speak out about the injustices and evils of this world? Why are we so ignorant?

I grew up mainly around females and I learnt a lot from that, firstly I was taught to respect women. This was not only taught to me by the women in my life but my father too, he showed me how to treat women by treating my mother right. Secondly I find it somewhat disturbing that some guys think that knowing how to braid hair or going to the shop to buy pads as a guy is feminine and gay. We need to grow up as men of our society. We need to love and protect women (even those deemed to be ‘fuckgirls’) because at the end of the day, we are the reason they are at the bottom of mankind.

I am against women abuse, I am against selling sanitary pads, I am against women exclusion in the economy, I support women empowerment, I am pro-black, I am black and proud, I support black empowerment, I am unapologetically black and I refuse to be ignorant.

I am a confused Xhosa feminist.

18th Jul2016

Welcome Back

by admin

Welcome Back

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since our last edition, but now it is time for us to get back to work. As usual, our great writers have written amazing pieces for your enjoyment. Thabisile Miya has written a poem on how feminism has influenced her and her vision for a future where gender equality is the norm and not the exception. Mamelodi Marakalala discusses why she embraces her blackness in spite of structural racism which has devalued black bodies. 13 July marked the 15th anniversary of Legally Blonde‘s release. Tessa Hellberg marks this special occasion by discussing the movie’s legacy.

Here’s to another great week and have an amazing Mandela Day.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2016.

18th Jul2016

I Sat Down with Myself and I Wondered what I Gotta Say

by admin

I sat down with myself and I wondered what I got to say

In a world where as women we are forced to dumb ourselves down and look pretty

Where society is constantly setting standards for us to live by

I was told to never conform, to never let a man claim he’s better than me

I’m a girl with big dreams and I would hate it if they aren’t realized coz our society still relies heavily on patriarchy

Feminism had me supporting a movement that seeks to correct the system and empower the women

And I am for it through and through

Till the days were women don’t feel the need to constantly prove their abilities

Or feel small when compared to their male counterparts

until a time where women don’t get abused or lashed at for how they express themselves whether in what they wear and how they talk or think

until the days were women don’t have to sit around and raise babies rather take part in decision making positions about their countries

I see a future where girls know their worth and don’t rely on men

Where a women’s opinion is just as valid

And any dream doesn’t seem too big enough

And all opportunities turn into in to prosperous ventures

I am a black African women and I’m proud of that #BlackGirlsRock

Black Girl

09th May2016

Lemonade

by admin

IMG_20160506_163227“I’ve had my ups and downs, life gave me lemons and I made lemonade.” Beyonce’s highly anticipated visual album was recently released and, as was expected, it broke the internet. The shared understanding of the album amongst the Bey-hive fandom was that it addressed the singer’s husband’s (rapper Jay-Z) alleged infidelity. I am of the belief that Beyonce, through her visual album, addresses common issues faced by a number of black women. Having to search inside of yourself to find the strength to produce lemonade with the lemons thrown at you is a true testament of your own strength. What are these lemons that a young black woman is likely to face? Women deal with issues of rape, domestic violence, societal marginalizing, and yes infidelity. These are among a few of the issues that need to be properly addressed.

unnamed (4)Culturally, women are expected to be strong, accepting, and forgiving when they are confronted by their partner’s infidelity. Moreover, in some African cultures it is considered a shameful thing to do should a woman decide to leave her husband. Are these lemons reinforced and made acceptable by our own mothers, sisters, and other female relatives? Or are the lemons of infidelity socially reinforced? Or do both our female relatives and society contribute equally to these expectations? A great number of women have individualized and internalized various social ills and these social ills have manifested themselves through their behaviours. Women are constantly competing amongst one another for men’s attention. Moreover, young women have accustomed themselves to being the ‘side chicks‘ to married men. No one is mandated to judge another person; however, it needs to be acknowledged that certain things need to be corrected. Religiously, a marriage is ought to be pure and respected.  Men are not intrinsically the problem; however, our sociocultural ideologies and discourses need to be re-examined. In most cases cultural discourses are used to promote misogyny; a manifestation of this misogyny is the rape culture which has become ever present within our society.

Lemonade is a powerful example of how our current society divides women as a result of our society’s seemingly omnipresent patriarchal beliefs. I believe that the album seeks to address and correct divisions amongst women. If our society’s current overarching ideologies cannot be changed right away, then let us teach the younger generation of women to know what is right for them and fight for it.

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