OVER recent years, the language of creating and sustaining safe spaces has become one I hear more and more often, especially in feminist spaces. For a time, I accepted this language uncritically, neither thinking more broadly about what a safe space truly requires nor introspecting around the various problematics that such spaces often bring with them. As such, I think it’s important to reflect on … Continue reading Are safe spaces really safe?
A friend and I begin a Twitter chat. I have picked up from her most recent tweets that she has been violated; a man has touched her inappropriately in a public space and has laughed back at her. “I hope you won’t say this is sexual harassment,” he states. I apologise to her; a helpless apology because, as she reassures me, it is not my … Continue reading Societal Privilege Does Not Protect Women From Violence
A surge of heat courses through my blood as soon as I see the email with a simple but foreboding subject line. ‘Elaine’, it reads. Warily, I open it and take in its words, my body quickly collapsing into disbelieving heaves and sobs. “No, no, no.” I repeat the word as though a chorus of my protest will undo what I am reading. As though … Continue reading Rest In Love, Dear Elaine Rosa Salo
It is a cool crisp Saturday morning in bed. I have a backlog of reading to get through, which is always confusing and daunting to navigate. Which book is worth my time? Which one will make the effort worth it at the end of the last chapter? As I do my routine rounds on Facebook, I notice two friends’ posts about Warsan Shire. One is … Continue reading On Reading ‘Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth’ by Warsan Shire
I don’t like weaves. Don’t like the way 100% human hair – that is not 100% my own – feels as it pulls at my scalp and lashes against my neck. The way you have to flick it out of the way, tie it, clip it, grease it, tong it, shampoo, condition, maintain it so it’s worth every dollar you’ve spent investing in it. Salons … Continue reading I Don’t Like Weaves
Here is my body, I’m giving it you to weigh on your market scales, to tell me the value of each pound of flesh; each coil and cuticle and cell of hair, skin, bone. You tell me you are making subtractions for my sex my colour my continent, recalculating the weight of my worth as the needle of your measure rotates backwards like a delirious … Continue reading Here Is My Body – For The 234 Missing Nigerian Girls
I had the great privilege this week to meet some powerful women from across Africa, and the world, at a meeting convened by Just Associates (JASS) to discuss among other things, feminist movement building across southern Africa. What I found most refreshing was the openness of the space, and those involved within it. I also had the fortune to finally meet Amina Doherty, who brings a young, … Continue reading African Feminisms and Grant-Making: In Conversation with Amina Doherty
I am still recovering from the disbelief I experienced earlier today when I read an opinion piece forthrightly titled ‘Why women Hate Pokello’. An anonymous writer, a Zimbabwean woman I presume, enters into a long narrative about why ‘we’ Zimbabwean women HATE Pokello Nare, one of the Zimbabwean representatives in the Big Brother House this year. We hate her because she is full of herself … Continue reading The problem with hating Pokello
I am well and truly overcome. With anger. Yesterday as I went about loading my washing, one of my new housemates had the nerve to put his grubby hands on my waist as he passed me by, acting like it was okay to touch me without my consent. I recoiled in horror and all he gave me was a smile that I read to mean, … Continue reading Don’t touch me – I don’t come cheap!