“At this time I’d like to say a few word, especially to my sisters. Sisters, Black people will never be free unless Black women participate in every aspect of our struggle, on every level of our struggle.” – Assata Shakur
For the longest time, I have comtemplated writing on the subject of women’s complex conditions, positioning and power. Questions of power and disempowerment are always going to reflect each community’s cultures and socio-economic conditions. In the South Afrikan context we are faced with epidemic proportions of anti-woman or what is called Gender Based Violence. Children, girls and women of all ages are sexually violated and murdered at an alarming rate. We shall discuss just how this violence is also manifest throughout all levels of our society too inspite of gender, status and even race. Our primary attention is particularly focussed on the Afrikan woman, her history, her multifarious roles in personal, domestic, societal struggles and ill-appreciated victories.
The violence in South Afrikan society is not just disheartening but it also obscures the many complexities of the power that women hold and have always held in Afrikan societies. While the violence foregrounds our brokenness and highlights the savagery or depravity of certain men, all Afrikan men stand guilty of NOT DOING ENOUGH to stop the plague.
Many of us are aware of the myriad sources of Injustice in this country, sadly now called The Rape Capital of the World, (worse than war torn countries and those experiencing more severe economic challenges) – Our knowledge of the causes of our aggression appears to not be sufficient to help us dispell the daily adverse occurances. We are simply on a murderous autopilot mode and the haemorraging is making us delirious with sorrow. While many girls and women live in constant fear of being abused by known as well as strange boys and men, there is an almost paralyzed silence among many HEALERS.
Another part of my ‘cathartic’ exercise will include topics with titles such as; “What Is A Whore or Who is a Whore”? – or Sex For Sale In Capitalist Society. I have written notes on my journals but I do not want to attempt to deal with the subject if I cannot delve deep enough to explore its roots and implications especially from an Indigenous Knowledge perspective.
In my notes I wrote:
“I aim to write and curate works centreing on the Divine Female without objectifying Her. How is this even possible? With themes ranging from portrait of women from various backgrounds.
The sacred divine as mother – Mothers can be sub-divided into so many varieties and approached through various lens due to their diverse attributes both culturally, traditionally and in the modern sense.
The sacred divine as worker, as a carrerist, as a slave, as serf and as public servant.
The sacred female divine as a child surrounded by a world that limits the potential of girls.
The sacred divine as Lola Darling. Or the pros and cons of Sexual Liberation.
What is a Whore or Who is a Whore:
The matter of sex for sale and sex for SURVIVAL and even sex for the pure/impure pleasure of it fits rather uncomfortably in most peoples minds. How Do We Incorporate the subject in a discussion or subjects pertaining to divinity? It requires one to firstly UNTHINK all notions of Sex as a ‘Dirty Word’ or as a SINFUL act or sinful in nature.
When did we learn that sex is not sacred, or that it is only hallowed or sacred once it is institutionalised/traditionlised or performed in martriage?
We shall answer these questions once we have covered the topics of a MALE CENTRED WORLD, of PRIVATE PROPERTY, divisions of Labour …
Who decides what can and cannot be done, sold and whose ethical and moral compass is being used to navigate this territory.
What does experience and history tell us about the nature of sex and public opinions regarding matters of illicit engagement – how does civilization impact our conduct?