08th Aug2016

Strength

by admin

Keep Calm and Mbokondo Mnyandu

I tried to stand up to the oppressor

and I guess that made him angry to realize that there is a woman so brave who’s able to voice her own opinions without fear of being judged

that there is a woman who is conscientized she might actually rub off onto others and enlighten the fellow women

He got so scared he tried to make the woman feel small and discredit everything that he clearly was guilty of

Oh but this woman was so brave she dared not break

because they threw all sorts of demeaning words at her

tried to break her spirit by all means

but because she was woman and possessed in her resilience so great

it could power the nation

she continued her fight and one by one fellow women starting seeing the light and changing their ways

they were no longer enslaved by men’s expectations and their fickle idea of what beauty is

oh dear because beauty is skin deep hits you like the morning sun and never fades

woman you are strong, stronger than who they compare you with for you carry your strength it resides in you

Now if you could carry with you these word and recite them like the serenity prayer

you would be building a nation full of confident, assured, strong and beautiful women

#HappyWomensMonth #MbokodoLeads #SheRock

09th May2016

Connections

by admin

ConnectionsHi everyone!

This week’s edition of the blog features several writers who discuss their ideas and opinions on various topics. Alice Moepi discusses the importance of preserving your individuality in the face of mounting societal pressure to conform. Mamelodi Marakalala writes on her love for Drake and how his album ‘Take Care’ has played a significant role in her life. Precious Mohale discusses Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ and the struggles experienced by black women within their intimate relationships. Monde Nqeza reflects on the problem of domestic violence and how it may be resolved. We have two poems from Thabisile Miya and Thandiwe Khalaki, each of these poems address the different forms of abuse individuals may experience. Thabisile Miya also discusses the marginal position occupied by women within hip hop culture. Finally, Nokuthula Mkwanazi discusses the advantages and disadvantages of getting coloured braids. Although these articles cover diverse topics, they are connected by the fact that they have been written by the talented writers on our team.

 

Hope that you enjoy reading this week’s edition.

Sandiswa and the 2016 exPress imPress team

17th Aug2015

The Forgotten African Women

by admin

Nqubeko Nzimande writes about the forgotten African women who face difficulties in life, but still emerge as strong, beautiful and fierce individuals.

 

Women in politics, science, leadership, and so forth, are widely respected and celebrated for breaking through the world’s patriarchal system and standing up for women’s rights. In South Africa, the hype around those prominent feminine figures in society and in male-dominated fields becomes the nation’s priority during the month of August. This owes to the fact that every year, on the 9th of forgotten 1 August, South Africa celebrates National Women’s Day. This day commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass laws that required Black South Africans to carry an internal passport. Hence, during this month one predominantly hears about women empowerment which, in my opinion, never seems to materialise.

Even though the month of August aims to celebrate all women, regardless of the position they hold in society; some are still left out. These women include those who reside in rural areas, do not speak English and are largely illiterate. Their hard work is rarely acknowledged and usually goes unnoticed. These women may not work in politics or science for instance, or hold positions of power; but the nation does rely on their abused manual labour. This is because they contributeforgotten 2 immensely to agricultural labour by producing, processing, and preparing much of the food available in grocery stores and supermarkets. In other words, they are essentially responsible for much of the country’s food security.

The voice for change mentions their struggles quite often, but hardly ever takes steps to change their disadvantaged lives. In their ignored and forgotten corners of the world, domestic duties define their intelligence, power, agency, and reasoning. Therefore, empowerment to them is nothing but a dream.

However, regardless of all odds that they encounter, in them exists a True African Woman. Her real beauty is embedded within as that of the Wonder Cave. Her eyes resemble the Two Oceans Aquarium. Her wrinkles appear as the Swartberg Pass. Her body shape is like that of Tsitsikamma National Park. What she built by her bare hands oozes the splendid beauty of the Drankensburg Mountains. And, when she sings, her melody is greater than that of the Birds of Eden.

As Thabo Mbeki put it, “All this I know and know to be true because I am an African!”

 

17th Aug2015

Being a Woman

by admin

Tshego Fatsohlaka writes a deeply personal piece of what being a woman means to her.

I spent the past few days leading up to Women’s Day deeply engaged in conversation with myself regarding this article. I dedicated hours to contemplating penning something different and of significance that has not already been spoken or written about during this incredible time where this phenomenon – that is being a woman – is garnered with positivity, gratitude and awe across the country and the world at large. I looked to social media, online articles, song lyrics and even conversations with friends to find a spark of inspiration, but each attempt came up empty and futile.  I then decided to change tact and look to myself for inspiration and immediately began to grapple with my identity as a woman, external to the binaries that inform how society engage with the ideal of wewhat a woman should be or ideally is. So, then what makes you a woman? What does being a woman entail? And, what does being a woman mean to you, as an individual?

For as long as I can remember, womanhood has always been a notion reserved for an adult that has graduated from the feminine adolescent role of being a girl-child through pubescence, or the typical role of having the capability and capacity of incubating civilization.  For a child, the iconography associated with this identification was always the little girl playing dress up with her mother’s clothes, filling bra cups with socks to give the impression of breasts all the while smudging lipstick across the dressing mirror, over and above the comic book images of Wonder Woman that are symbolic of the many hats worn and maintained by a woman. But, is that all there is to being a woman? Covertly obsessing over the fact that you are a cup size smaller than your peers are or trying to mould your body into a voluptuous state that is not inherently yours? Reshaping ourselves to fit into a mold that was not made for us.

In my recent escapade of unrepentant eavesdropping, I problematized what I overheard between a conversation between a couple of women when the other identified herself as a woman through her breasts, but partly because I spent my younger years deeply despising my breasts.  A loathing that manifested from the many encounters of witnessing and being a victim of the meat marketing, public groping and catcalling of women.  Surely there is a possibility of being equated with much more than our biological identity and physical appearance. Surely, a woman’s sense of attractiveness goes beyond what meets the eye. So many different sides are inherent in ourselves as women that are both beautiful and tragic, that pertain to much more than the physical. This is not to say that there is nothing to be in awe about concerning a woman’s architecture because it is a beautiful sight, a masterpiece of sorts. However, what about her intellect; her aspirations in life, for both herself and her loved ones; her ability to love and to endure inwe-all-can-do-it that love, debasing herself for the love of another; how she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and still makes time to fit into the box that you and society design for her irrespective of whether or not she is aware of it.

Being a woman is such a multilayered notion of such extraordinary power that it is and should be commended. On that note, being a woman for me is being a divine creature enthralled by a multitude of things feelings, realities, and ideals. It is being powerful beyond any measure, even in times of weakness; it is being vulnerable yet beautiful; it is endurance; it is patience; and it is activism.

20th Apr2015

“Stretchies Say Hi!”

by admin

Atlegang Pooe speaks about her inspiring stretch mark revolution.

1 UntitledThe title of this article has been trending on social media this week as supermodel, Chrissy Teigen, did the unthinkable and posted a picture of the stretch marks on her thighs on Instagram. I believe this picture caused most of us girls to think, “What? Models actually have stretch marks?” But, Chrissy Teigen took it one step further. Not only did she post the picture of her stretch marks, but she captioned this picture: “…Stretchies say hi!” breaking down the invisible glass door between models and ordinary girls, which has constantly made us think that models are perfect in everyway and therefore cannot possibly possess something as natural as stretch marks.

However, “to be proud, or not to be proud?” is the question us women are currently faced with when it comes to our precious tiger stripes. Stretch marks, which are known as striae distensae in medical terms, look like white, red or purple stripes. Stretch marks can be found anywhere on the body, but most commonly on the tummy, thighs, bottom and breasts. They are caused by the stretching of skin, which is why gaining and losing weight as well as pregnancy are the most common causes of stretch marks in women.

I, myself, have had a long and hard history with stretch marks. In my high school years, I was the only girl I knew of who did not have these stripes. I was very happy about this, because in my mind stretch marks were nothing to be proud of. I would watch as my mother and sister bought countless oils and creams in an attempt to reduce the appearance of their stretch marks. While, in the back of my mind I always had this fear that my day would come and my smooth skin would be ruined. This fear saw me lather all kinds of so-called remedies on my skin with the hopes of preventing them; in the same way that a pregnant woman would lather cream on her growing belly.

I believe that every woman with stretch marks has been through this stage of confusion and not understanding what she did to 2Untitleddeserve these marks that are there to stay forever. This fear progressed into my first year of university, when I began to notice three feint lines on each side of my bottom. Although, this fear soon turned into a realisation: a realisation of my insensitivity to those around me who had stretch marks their entire lives and have possibly struggled with accepting them. Since then, I have grown more, and although those tiger stripes of mine are not too visible as of yet, I have learnt to be proud of them anyways because they are a reflection of my journey as a young woman.

Women should no longer have to stress about their stretch marks, because living in the 21st century is amazing and issues that have plagued women for centuries are now being used to empower us. Instagram pages, such as, @loveyourstripes are there to remind us women that our bodies are strong, beautiful and bring forth life. So, it’s time to embrace your stripes because, like @loveyourstripes says: “You’re a tiger who earned her stripes”.

3 Untitled

13th Apr2015

Girls on the Pursuit of Beauty

by admin

Relebohile Mokoena reflects on society’s perpetual obsession with beauty. 

 

What is the most common craze in the world right now? You guessed it…beauty! All around the world women obsess over looking beautiful. They will do almost anything to mirror the idealistic image of beauty that is created and reiterated by the mass media’s portrayals of what is beautiful. The 90s era had women desiring and trying to look more like models amongst the ranks of Kate Moss; and, of course, that meant being taller, blonder and skinnier – anything over a size 6 was considered fat.  However, presently speaking, things have slightly changed. The overly skinny girl is no longer the desired ideal of beauty in today’s current society. But, instead, women are more interested in attaining the body shape of curvier women, such as, Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé.

These women, and the likes thereof, are now taking centre stage; but just how much work does it actually take to get there? Apparently, it takes a lot… For example, girls nowadays seem to be obsessed with ridiculous fad diets that promote (for example) the ingestion of laxatives and juice cleanses for over periods of 10 days. Well, I mean, if it worked for King B – also known as Jay-Z – then I guess it can work for the average girl, right? In addition, squat and ab challenges have also been doing the rounds on social media sites lately; suggesting that once these challenges have been completed, their dreams of amazing hourglass figures will be reached.

 1

But how much do all these beauty methods cost? This isn’t really a concern because women are so obsessed with looking beautiful that they would do anything to get there – even if it means landing up in debt. A friend of mine once said that her mom spends up to R10 000 a year on makeup…insane, right? Not only do women spend large amounts of money on makeup, but they spend even larger amounts on cosmetic surgery. Enhancing your breasts and your buttocks could cost you close to R100 000. Why is it so important for women to look ‘good’? Why are women so obsessed with looking ‘good’? Is beauty so important that it has even taken over the workplace? Promotion companies only seem to hire certain types of girls, the criteria being: you need to be PRETTY. Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with images of tall, beautiful women selling us: cars, makeup, clothes, and the list goes on.

Hair has even become an issue. Gone are the days where women were praised for their large afros, as more and more women go for the ‘relaxed’ straightened look, because it is just ‘neater’. Neater…or more beautiful? But why should women go for the natural afro and no makeup look when they can have their faces painted full of makeup with fake lashes, heads adorned with weaves in any style, and tight, provocative dresses accompanied by heels as an everyday, ‘normal’ look? Because it seems now looking extremely beautiful supposedly gets you the “perfect” life, that is: a boyfriend and a great job.

But it is important to realize that beauty is not only a stress for older, working women; it has more recently become a stress that younger girls are too faced with. It’s scary to think that girls as young as 11-years-old are already starting to stress about their image. My younger cousin, who is still in primary school, is already complaining about her weight and even goes on these crazy diets. Not only do girls get the pressure from media, which depict photo-shopped images of ‘perfect’ women, but they also get the pressure from their families. Reflecting on my own my own life right now, I can clearly recall my mother constantly placing an importance on my image and how I always need to look presentable no matter where I am going. My mother would say things like: “You will get the right job,” or, “you will find the perfect husband.” Therefore, in my mother’s eyes, the only way this was attainable was through looking beautiful.

These are just some of the examples many mothers tell their daughters about beauty and its relative benefits. But one thing we really need to think about is this: Is the female obsession with beauty more for themselves, or is it more to please the society to which they belong?

 

18th Mar2013

I am woman

by admin

Pontsho Pilane writes about being a woman.

Women are finicky, demanding and perfectionists. We pay attention to detail, that’s who we are. For decades, society (men and women) has convincedppiam1 women that these traits that are embedded in our DNA are wrong or less of.

A herd of breeding female elephants has what is called a Matriarch. She is the boss lady, her word (or trumpet) is final and she chooses which male elephant will mate with which female elephant. The matriarch is strict on which male is chosen for which members of her herd. This seems like a tedious task, and too many, unnecessary but like most women- we want the impossible, we like to complicate things and we just take too long to finish everything (especially shopping and dressing up). But the matriarch, like every woman, has her valid reasons for being such a “woman” about which elephant bull mates with which female elephant. Well, the matriarch is so serious about choosing her herd’s mating partners because of the nature of an elephant’s long life span. She has to remember which male mated with which female in order to prevent (about twenty years later) the same male from mating with its own daughter. The same matriarch who is over-protective and very strict also remembers every death of every calf that dies in her herd. She remembers it so well that years later when they cross the land where the calf’s body decayed, she can find its bones and mourn them for a while. Yes, women (even in the elephant species) are emotional.

Yes, we take ages when we go shopping- even just for groceries and toiletries. Yes, we usually buy more things than we intended, making us a tad bit impulsive. Yes, we fuss over the details of almost every outfit, meal and anything else we have put our blood, sweat and tears into. Yes, we are emotional, we care too much and we cry more easily than our male counterparts. All this is generally true and unquestionable but my question is what is wrong with that?

Because it’s the same excessive shopping that remembers stuff that is needed but is not on the grocery list, it’s these long hours of shopping and getting ready (and sitting down to get our hair done) that result in us looking as good as we do on a daily basis. It’s the same perfectionist behaviour that that we fix our partner’s tie with and that generally ensures that we do things to the tee. That same attention to details made sure that we get undivided attention from our moms without feeling inferior over our siblings. It’s our caring too much that makes us extend beyond ourselves to help those that need it. It’s that caring too much that tells us when to give others a hug, when to cry and when to reprimand others. It’s that same emotional nature we have that allows us to forgive after being hurt.

I love shopping. I love talking. I have (limited) OCD. I wake up on time but end up late sometimes. I cry. I get hurt. I care too much but I also love. I’m girly. I AM WOMAN.

24th Apr2012

The myth of ‘it all’

by admin

I was recently on the Mail and Guardian website, when my cursor hovered over an article titled “Sisters in the academic struggle”. Fate! As if daring me to read it, I complied and clicked on the title, waiting patiently to be routed to the article. And then, there it was right in front of me. The cause for my not pursuing my postgraduate studies further.

Ok, perhaps it wasn’t that dramatic. Sure. But I always feel such a sense of guilt when I get asked why I didn’t pursue my graduate studies further. Worse yet, when I meet university friends who have and they gloat about how great an experience it was for them. So, it didn’t at all help that my cursor led me to this article. It had me reaching for the nearest dessert I could find. Ice-cream, anyone?

Esther Ramani and Nancy Malema, co-authors of the article, from the onset assert that there are various reasons why “[m]en do most of the research in South Africa”. Startling? Not necessarily. One can take a shot in the dark as to why this is so and they would hit the bull’s eye. Research and academia have been strongholds of men the world over, and research, funding, scholarship is geared towards attracting men. Women, certainly in South Africa, are not encouraged to pursue higher education as strongly as they should. And when they do take up studies, it is often in disciplines and fields that are friendly to them: teaching, psychology and human resources. Even then, they are not encouraged or equipped to pursue these studies beyond undergraduate level. The authors cite other challenges such as the conflict between women’s domestic and professional roles and the inflexibility of the workplace to accommodate women’s dual roles and aspirations. Are we still counting?

In my particular situation, I didn’t pursue my postgrad studies further than Honours because of the pressure put on me both at home and on the library lawns by pesky BCom students urging me to “find a job”. It didn’t help at the time that South Africa was going through the depths of the global financial crisis which made jobs and opportunities for inexperienced BA graduates all the more scarce. Pursuing a Bachelor of Anything along with, oh, THOUSANDS of other young, black women did not make me anymore attractive.

But apart from the structural problems which I am satisfied are being addressed, if inadequately so, it is the guilt women carry around and the insecurity of security that I want to address here. The young, black South African woman is at such a vexing point in her life. She is faced with so much choice she doesn’t know what to do with it all. This is no complaint at all. I’m just trying to navigate my way as best I can through all these choices. I get stuck at the point where I consult the bibles of women’s empowerment – magazines in lieu of having a mentor – and get bombarded with contradictory messages about being a woman in South Africa, in 2012 nogal!

I can have it all, apparently! If anyone saw November’s issue of Destiny magazine, with Unathi Msengana on the cover, you know what I’m talking about. In fact, if you have read any consumer lifestyle magazine aimed at women, you will know what I am on about: Woman & Home, Cosmopolitan, True Love, Shape, Sarie [insert preferred magazine title]. The salient message is the same. For R30 per title, we give magazines entry into our personal lives, where we grant them permission to dictate our destiny, as it were and feed our guilt. Magazines are those insidious characters in our lives that make us feel guilty for going back to the buffet table for seconds or reaching for a third chocolate-filled cream cupcake. They make you question your parental skills because you have assigned the TV as the babysitter for the day in order to complete the methodology section of your thesis. They are completely unforgiving if you cannot fit into your ‘does-this-make-my-bum-look-big’ pair of jeans. And here you thought you were a fun, fearless female! Pah!

So, how do I better navigate this maze? I am apparently supposed to have it all; to want it all at the very least. And then, I am meant to consult these titles in my endeavor to reach it all. But with ‘It All’ being such an ill-defined concept, it’s hard to know whether I am coming or going. I’m getting dangerously close to the point where one asks the question: are you suggesting that we go back to “the good ol’ days” where a woman’s role was more strictly defined (explicitly: wife and mother) and where her trajectory is certain? More critically, I am suggesting that the roles of women, and the possibilities for them which are plenty, have not been given adequate mileage in magazines and that this is a problem. I am in fact problematising the continuing portrayal of women in these two roles, despite the feminist political movement having made great strides to go beyond them. “Is all I will ever be in my life a wife and mother?” is the more direct question.

Consumer magazines suggest, in the salient ways presented above, that women should aim for nothing more, or nothing different, than the role of wife and mother. They shroud this sentiment in glossy photo-shopped images of Unathi Msengana with ring on finger on Destiny magazine with the blurb: I want it ALL! They also highlight it in fashion spreads with this or that new black model in the latest form-fitting office wear from [insert label], replete with ‘husband’, ‘two kids’ and ‘dog’ at the breakfast table. Further, one is made to feel insecure if one does not aim for, reach or have ‘it all’. [Queue the ice-cream please]

Women are then stuck in anxiety and insecurity about themselves, because they fall short of the many boxes they have to tick to fulfill the requirements of Superwoman. Worse, we see our peers going for it all, and feel more anxious and insecure that we are getting left behind. Sure, it is difficult to shy away from this reality. Women are wives and mothers, amongst many other roles. “Amongst many other roles”, being the operative term! Why do these roles continue to dominate and be so pervasive? And why do we keep trapping young girls in the same cycles that subordinate us? If I hear about another young black girl who has dropped out of university, or gotten herself into debt because she buckled under the pressure, or was employed by a sugar daddy to fuel her cars, cash and cellphone ambitions or was chasing the elusive dream of it all… I’m gonna say I feel you.

The bigger political project for South African women is to support the University of Limpopo/Rhodes Women’s Academic Solidarity Association, to support the ANC Women’s league in its endeavor to decriminalize prostitution, to engage workplaces so that they become friendlier or more accommodating of women’s roles, needs and aspirations and to ensure that the stats speak more accurately of women’s realities [insert preferred feminist political project].

I don’t think young women – women of any age really – should want or chase it all. Certainly not at one go, and certainly if ‘it all’ has not been defined by beautiful, powerful You. But that is for you, woman, to chose. Chase your dream, live your dream. And pass the ice cream, please.

Naledi Siphokazi Msimang

 

05th Oct2011

Reviewing “Breaking the Silence: Love and Revolution”

by admin

Phelokazi Jaas, a third year student in Media Studies, reviews a new book entitled Breaking the Silence: Love and Revolution, produced by the People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) Women’s Writing Project 2010, and published by Jacana Media.

If the question “what is love” were to be directed to a group of people, there would be countless definitions and explanations as to what it is, simply because everyone has their own understandings of how it is felt, demonstrated and shown. What do you then make of the word “revolution”? Not suggesting that this is an easy word to define, but it seems to have less density. Although it defines controversy in itself, I would confidently say that it creates less.

Then, what would you make of the combination of both words: love and revolution? Seems like an oxymoron of som sort, doesn’t it? A new book titled Breaking the Silence: Love and Revolution, seeks to link up the two. Putting one word that is associated with passion, affection and romance together with the other which evokes associations such as uprising, riot, and rebellion, we are yet to find out what the title shapes for the reader. The book is a product of the POWA Women’s Writing Project 2010 which simply gives women a voice to express and articulate their stories of hurt, identity and love – all in an attempt to get them through the process of healing.

I must say that I was pinned and needled when I got the copy. I just could not wait to sit down and read it. Admittedly, I was drawn by the word “love” and looking forward as to what they had to say about the concept and why “revolution” was tagged along. I say stories because the book is composed of poetry, short stories and personal essays that tell the stories of women who experienced revolutionary love. Be very aware as throughout this whole article, both these words will be coupled together to describe the emotion behind the stories. From poetry that defines what it is to be a woman, how it feels to be a woman to be trapped in abusive situations in the name of love, to stories that shape different kinds of love: sisterly love, brotherly love, parental love, courtly love, and love that is given on a friendly basis. All these stories are told by women capturing the very essential thoughts that went through each and every experience that made their love revolutionary. As I am writing this, it is hard to withdraw information that I would love you to know. However, the aim is to develop your interest into reading the book, giving you more insight on the book would really defeat the purpose of this review.

With all these experiences that made these women victims of revolutionary love, there is a question that I raise in my head:  If “revolutionary love” is something that is formed by a misconception of how love is given and felt, is there such a thing called “pure love”, or love that is never “fought for”? I ask this because as much as these are occurrences of someone else’s life, these are also representations of our own society and how we have come to experience what we call love. It felt like I was being a voyeur, just merely reading about how despicable it is to base one’s hate on the inability to understand why one is not loved back to the ability to love oneself first, or how as women we tend to associate sex with love as told in the stories.

Then there’s a story of a woman who loved herself and her community enough to share what she thought was knowledgeable about love and protection. A woman who rebels against going to funerals because she was fed up with attending these funerals with sincere condolences and the feeling of resentment towards the ill-informed and ignorant society in which she lives. She then decides to open a campaign that warns young women and ladies of being taken advantage of. She canvases on street corners, in mine companies and at schools, and in some cases, exposes promiscuous husbands. After such attempts of going out of her way to raise awareness, she is firstly threatened to be killed, gets the support she needs and then eventually poisoned.

With a long discussion about these stories, I start to formulate my own questions: are there limits to loving someone and oneself? How far is rationality supposed to interrupt before the love gets mistaken for selfishness or stupidity? Is love a feeling that is suppose to have its own controls, limits and satisfactions, or does our psyche come to the rescue to help us view that “this is too far-fetched to be called love” or “my love is too sanctified to have thrown in my face”?  The concept then of revolutionary love raises this question: how far would you go to protect your community, your home or yourselves for that matter?

My point is: Love and Revolution is a book that traps you with these wonderfully written stories of women who were battered, mistreated, loved on condition or even not loved at all. If you think you would open the book and read about how hard it was for a woman to get out of an abusive relationship, this book also captures the mind of the conscious, a woman who is fully aware of what she’s faced with on a daily basis but constantly compares herself with others. Love and Revolution exists in our own societies, our homes, our schools and friendship circles, and we all have stories of how we were wronged, tricked and handled, all in a revolutionary way that unfortunately are mistaken for love. I’ve read and had my share of thoughts around the concept, the question now is: what will yours be?

20th May2011

The dinosaur roams…

by admin

If I had one rand for every time my friends and I were accosted by dodgy characters and chance takers, I would be a very wealthy individual. In fact, I’d be so rich, I’d be able to play golf with Steve Jobs. Every day at least one of us has an encounter with a young male who seems to believe that he was created to validate our existence. I have grown accustomed to this evil. Frankly, I’ve come to expect it as the natural order of things. You can therefore imagine my horror when a fossilised dinosaur decided to go against the laws of nature and tried to revive his prehistoric youth by ‘creeping’ on me.

There I was, minding my own business, taking the Greyhound back to KZN for the Easter holidays when suddenly, out of nowhere, the old man asks me ‘Does it hurt?’. Confused, I ask: ‘What?’ and he says ‘Being so beautiful’. Now in my mind I’m thinking: ‘Really? Really, old man, really? First of all, you’re old enough to have played rock paper scissors with Moses and I could be your grandson’s baby. And then on top of that, you come up to me with your worn-out 1980s game, asking me if being beautiful hurts. Why don’t you go back home and ask that to your wife or your children?’. I didn’t say it because I was raised right, but make no mistake, I definitely did think it.

Honestly though, dinosaurs are on the loose and on the prowl for fresh meat. It’s no longer just celebrities (like Michael Douglas who married Catherine Zeta-Jones, a woman 25 years his junior) or royalty (like King Mswati III who hijacked an 18-year-old girl to marry him when he was steadily into his forties) or even politicians (as in the case of our dear polygamous president, Big Daddy Jacob). Now every man approaching his mid-life crisis gets Hugh Hefner fever, believing himself to be irresistible to the sight of young girls who, if they have enough sense, will just tell him to go back to the old-age home.

If you are a guy between the ages of 18 and 26, please be proactive about hitting on  girls your own age. Please polish up on your charm and general demeanour, please work out (especially if you know that you’re not cognitively gifted) and at least attempt to learn social protocol (especially if you are particularly cognitively gifted). Don’t just do this for me, do this for the entire human species. Make it difficult to the point of impossible for your dinosaur dads to attempt inappropriate relationships with us. Please boys, helps us send these fossils back to the museums. Help us shut down these old men who, in the words of Ke$ha ‘are like a billion and still out to make a killin’. We will appreciate it greatly, even Darwin will thank you.

Sne Zungu

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