Abaya urrrrgghhh!

It was pretty hot today. The climate control in my car was at full tilt.  It was therefore a little disconcerting, gazing in my rear-view mirror at two women in those black tent-like outfits, riding in an older-model car that obviously did not have the same comforts.

I could not tell if they were comfortable or happy; all I could see were their eyes through a rectangular slit cut in the headdress which formed part of the ensemble known as an abaya, traditionally worn by Moslem women.

I resisted thinking about what they had on underneath and failed. I hope it was nothing because perhaps that would have made them slightly less hot. I really don’t know; I have never tried wearing a shapeless tent-like outfit before.

At this point, I know there will be those who will accuse me of being disrespectful towards the Islamic religion. Well…. I’m being no more insolent towards Islam, than I’m towards every other religion; I have the same loathing for all religions. Don’t take it personally.

This is not about your religion; well not entirely. It’s about the women who are affected by it. Maybe I’m presumptuous, but I can’t imagine any women willingly dressing up in tent-like outfits on a hot day. I’m not saying it does not have practical applications in some parts of the world; it just seems so impractical and silly on a hot day in this part of the world.

Women would have to be absolutely terrified of the maker of such a dehumanizing religious law, not to mention the cruel earthly guardians self-appointed to enforce it. That would be about the only reason for dressing up like that, apart from dementia and a bad case of self-loathing.

Women’s beauty is meant to be shown off and celebrated. It’s meant to be enjoyed by both men and women alike. I just can’t abide any archaic law that prevents me from savouring the beauty and form that makes up a women.

Women have a right to live with freedom and dignity. She should not tolerate any god or man who would take that away from her, lest she be prepared to live in mental and physical slavery for the rest of her life.

National Women’s Day will prove to be politically expedient once again

International Women’s Day (IWD) is commemorated on 8 March every year around the world. So why does South Africa celebrate an additional National Women’s Day (NWD) on 9 August?

Officially, NWD is celebrated (literally by many people) to mark the march on the Union Buildings by thousands of women during the Apartheid era, on 9 August 1956, to protest the infamous Pass laws, and was led by Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophie WIlliams and Lilian Ngoyi. This act of defiance was a significant event in the struggle against Apartheid; the fact that it was orchestrated by women repudiates the lie that women are the weaker sex.

So is this day worthy of being commemorated? Most certainly! And is the role of women in the struggle against racial oppression worthy of acknowledgement? Off course it is!

But is it necessary to create a separate Women’s Day to that of the rest of the world, as a public holiday to do so? I think not! Especially when the politicians who promulgated the holiday openly exhibit disdain towards womanhood in general.

How can one trust their intentions, especially when their daily behaviour is both dishonourable and contemptuous? It becomes pretty easy to perceive that National Women’s Day, far from being a day to celebrate women, is just an expedient day for politicians (mostly men) to gloat about pseudo-freedom and hitch the event to the bandwagon of political expediency.

Let’s examine some of the reprehensible behaviours of which I write: the President of the country, Jacob Zuma is a polygamist as indeed are many men who revere culture, tradition and religion above the sanctity of womanhood. The President recently granted a multibillion Rand loan (aid) to the despicable neighboring tyrant, King Mswati of Swaziland, another bigot who collects wives: at last count, 14. Mswati is well on his way to attaining the disgusting feat of his father: a harem of 70. Perhaps the loan will help him in his quest for trophies.

Polygamy is disgusting and an outrage towards women. No amount of religious, cultural or social posturing can endorse it.

The ruling ANC government; the ones’ who promulgated this holiday, tend to surround themselves with women who tow the party line and support their self-enrichment schemes; those who are critical of party policy and behaviour, such as Barbara Hogan are quickly silenced and sidelined.

On National Women’s Day tomorrow, the politicians will pay lip service to women, at public events, and use the opportunity to solidify their political power. This much is certain. Only greedy and immoral men will benefit. We must never allow the politicians to perpetuate the exploitation of women.

Women must be celebrated, not because their kind marched against tyranny at some point in the distant past; women must be celebrated because they are fellow human beings, deserving of respect and acknowledgement just as men demand it.

Shallow be thy name

I stumbled upon my friend’s wife dishing out advice over the phone yet again, yesterday. I’m normally very curious, not inquisitive, but one can’t help overhear her when she’s on the phone because she’s really loud. Anyway, her advice is usually hilarious because it’s so…innocent.

Yesterday it was about choosing men, and it was quite clear that she was serving it up for her niece, who is not married yet. According to her, these are the three most desirable traits in men:

  • They must have a light skin complexion
  • They must be very religious (she was at pains to stress that they must be very religious)
  • They must not consume alcohol or smoke

Crap, that means I strike out on all counts except the smoking bit, but since I do enjoy the very occasional bit of weed, I fail dismally to be desirable to women. Ah well, I’m probably better off single anyway.