Explaining White Privilege in the new South Africa

A brief list of some societal privileges. Having one or more privileges does not exclude you from having a disadvantage in in other aspects, such as being a minority.

This week, I happened upon this Facebook status:

I was born in 1975. Apartheid ended in 1994. If you do the math, I have lived a “privileged life” for 19 years… for 18 of those 19 years I did not have a right to vote, I didn’t own a home, therefore never took any land from anybody and I never got a job that was meant for “Whites only”. And before you judge my family as beneficiaries of apartheid, please know that I grew up in a house where my parents struggled to make ends meet every single month. It has been 21 years since apartheid ended. I have spent the biggest chunk of my life so-far under a multi-racial flag. Under a government who accuses me of stealing land. Under more accusations about how I thought myself superior to black people. (Proof of such allegation will be found NOWHERE, as I have never done that, and never will.) I don’t have the same rights to jobs or to business contracts as my black counterparts. My children (who were born free) don’t have the same opportunities in this country as black kids as whites are openly being excluded from scholarship programs and sport teams…

This seems to be a common reaction of many of the white South Africans that I’ve encountered when South African discourse veers towards discussing racial dynamics. (Why is everything a race issue? Answer: Because our history makes it so). This encompasses so many problematic issues that it would be a shame not to dissect it further. So lets start.


5 Reasons Why Ms. Marvel Is The Most Relatable Superhero Ever

Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel

When I grow-up I want to be Ms. Marvel. Also known was the totally ass-kicking, homework doing and completely dorky Kamala Khan. Kamala is basically living my life, minus her tendency to get all Mr. Fantastic/ Mystique at the worst possible moments. Overbearing parents? Check. Slightly insecure and awkward? Check. Total fan girl of superheroes? Double check. Ms. Marvel is hands down the most relatable superhero EVER.


She Ran a Marathon Without a Tampon — and Lived

In April, Harvard grad and drummer for M.I.A. Kiran Gandhi ran theLondon Marathon while menstruating. Before the race, she decided to skipthe discomfort of running with a tampon in and let her period blood rundown her legs. In a new follow-up interview with People, Gandhi givesmore context about what drove her to go with the flow:

How After School Activities Reduces HIV In Girls

South Africa is one of the hardest hit countries in the world when it comes to HIV infection rates, with 6.5 million people living with the deadly disease. Teenage girls and young women are most at risk for infection – one in three South African women under the age of 24 is HIV positive.

This leaves the South African government and community leaders with a troublesome challenge. However the answer may be simple. As the infographic below indicates, keeping our girls safe may be as simple as providing safe places for them after school.

Women’s Reproductive Health in South Africa

By: Sarah Osman, MSc. Contributors: Mantshi Teffo-Menziwa and Denise Hunt, Marie Stopes South Africa

In South Africa, a paradox ensues when looking at data on women’s reproductive health. The last Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of 2003 states that 90 percent of pregnant women received antenatal care and 91 percent of births were attended by a skilled health practitioner, yet the latest estimates of maternal mortality in the country approximate the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) at up to 625 per 100 000 live births. The same DHS reports that 65 percent of women in South Africa are using a modern form of contraception, yet recent cross-sectional studies show that over 60 percent of most recent pregnancies are unplanned.


The F Word

ellen page


Feminism a dirty word. It’s often used as an insult, and has the power to make acquaintances and colleagues remarkably uncomfortable. Some people denounce feminism because they don’t think men are the enemy. Others feel that we no longer need feminism because they treat everyone the same. Others think that patriarchy is a conspiracy theory.

Despite all of the charges brought against feminism, I am a proud feminist. And here’s why.

I believe in equality.

The biggest misconception about feminists is that they are exclusively women who are trying to gain power over men. Feminists – both male and female – are fighting for equality among the sexes. Thanks to feminists women are able to vote, go to university and generally have more agency over their lives.Thanks to feminism mandated paternal leave is beginning to gain ground, men’s paternal rights are better protected, and slowly but surely, boys are no longer needing to prove their “masculinity” on a regular basis. Thanks to feminism women and men have permission to be exactly who they are despite their gender, and that’s a cause I can get behind.

Women are still oppressed.

im a feminist

For many middle class women and men, the idea that women are oppressed is outrageous and does not reflect their reality.

In South Africa, a woman is killed by a partner every eight hours. Child marriage is rampant across the continent.

More subtley, men still dominate senior management positions and on average, earn more than women for the same work. The list goes on and on.

I loath misogynists. I loath misandrists too.

misandryIf there is one thing I want to scream across the hilltops it’s this: Femists don’t hate men! Misandrists hate men!

Misandrists have done the most damage to the feminist movement by masquerading as feminists. By infiltrating our ranks, they seek legitimacy and make the rest of us seem like power hungry crazies in the process. Boo misandrists! And boo misogynists!

No one is better than anyone else.Okay?


So in the end, I’m a feminist because…


10 thoughts I had when going through my zillionth breakup

breakups can be good sometimes

Because dating in your twenties is both exhausting and amphibian filled.

1. I’m 25, that’s halfway to 50 which is halfway to death. I am going to die alone.
2. I need a drink. And Taylor Swift.
3. How young is too young to join Match.com? I think it’s time.
4. I really need to start meeting people in real life. Where do people meet people?
5. Why aren’t my friends replying to my messages?
6. I might as well adopt a few cats.
7. I am allergic to cats.
8. Fuck I’m drunk.
9. When did my life become a plain-shoed parody of SATC?
10. Ben and Jen broke up!?!?! How am I supposed to believe in love now?! If Chris Pratt and Anna Faris break up I am done.

Why I’m voting for the EFF

I am voting for the EFF at the next election. I was not of that opinion before SONA2015, or South Africa’s State of the Nation Address, but now I cannot wait to see a larger contingent of the red brigade in parliament.

I am voting for the Economic Freedom Fighters. I know what the objections to this statement will be. They are too radical. Their uniforms are an attention seeking joke. Their manifesto is more ideas than policies. Julius Malema is uneducated, he received 20% for woodwork! The EFF are unsuited to run this country. But I am voting for them anyway.

And here’s why. The ANC is synonymous with government, and that is not going to change any time soon. The ANC, who demanded South Africa’s freedom, have become complacent. The ANC, our saviours, have become drunk on power, and now they risk becoming the villain. To stop this, their supply must be siphoned. Only Julius Malema and his EFF cohorts have the power to do so.

Vying to rule the country is the secondary role for the opposition, one that only comes into play in the year leading up to a national election. The role of the opposition in a thriving democracy is to abate the power of the ruling party. The EFF has categorically proved that it is committed to this democratic tradition. It will not allow the public or the ruling party to forget, even for a moment, the exorbitant money spent at Nkandla. They will hold Jacob Zuma accountable. One way or another.

What’s more – the EFF has accomplished something the Democratic Alliance has never managed to do – it has frightened the ANC. Enough for them to show their cards and have the EFF forcibly removed from parliament. Enough to galvanise the opposition to fight fearlessly. Indeed, the SONA debate has provided the fiercest parliamentary debate in recent years with both Malema and Mmusi Maimane of the DA delivering searing speeches.

And that is why I am voting for the EFF in the next election.

5 Videos to help you through that Existential Crisis

Every now and then, you’re hit with an existential crisis. You’re not sure where your life is going. You thought you’d be married by now. You hate your job. Life has no meaning. These feelings are normal, but they aren’t fun. So I’ve collected 5 videos to help you through different types of crises, starting with the King of Comedy himself, Jim Carrey.

Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address

Watch this when you’re feeling afraid of the next step in your life. Carrey’s inspiring and touchingly humorous speech gives anyone who hears it the courage to chase their dreams.
So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it!

This is Water

Watch this when you feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel. David Foster Wallace begins with a parable about fish:
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?
Wallace teaches us that life is how you choose to think about it. It’s awareness, not a feeling.

The Most Astounding Fact

Watch this when you need to take a moment to reflect and appreciate where you are. Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us what he thinks is the most astounding fact – “we are part of the Universe, and the Universe is in us.

Kid President’s Pep Talk

Watch this when life has got you down, and you need a pep talk. As Kid President says, “What if there really is 2 paths? I want to be on the one that leads to awesome”. Don’t we all Kid President, don’t we all.

Why 30 is not the new 20

Watch this when you need direction. Controversial to some, Meg Jay gives my generation a reality check. It may seem like we have all the time in the world, but we’re deciding our lives right now.