South Africa

Letter to the Editor: Our bodies are not your signifiers

By Febe Potgieter-Gqubule 12 April 2017

Dear Zapiro and Daily Maverick, as a woman and South African, I am deeply offended by your cartoon. Here's why. By FEBE POTGIETER-GQUBULE.

In a world and country where rape and sexual assault are realities for every woman (irrespective of race, age, sexual orientation, class) everywhere (in the streets, at home, in taxis, at work), using gang rape as a signifier for what’s happening in our nation is offensive. So once again, women’s bodies are treated as men’s property: “She’s all yours boss.”

The use of gang rape as a metaphor portrays us as powerless in the face of male actions – the male permission for us to be raped; the unreflective male whipping out of the penis; the males colluding by holding us down to be raped. So we should just lie down helplessly and take it, that rape culture is okay?

For those forever complaining about the undermining of “the Rainbow Nation”, so rape is a black male thing, white males don’t rape?
Last but not least, there are those well-meaning democrats quoting freedom of speech and expression – are those freedoms more important than rape and the persistent violation of women’s bodies, the war on women and girls’ right to safety, to their bodies?

As Barbara Boswell says in her post about the cartoon: “Black women’s bodies do not stand for the South African nation… nor are we proxies for what men fight over.” DM

Photo: Febe Potgieter-Gqubule in Mangaung, 18 Dec 2012. Photo: Greg Marinovich

Gallery

Support DAILY MAVERICK & get FREE UBER vouchers every month

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money, though not nearly as much as its absence can cost global community. No country can live and prosper without truth - that's why it matters.

Every Daily Maverick article and every Scorpio exposé is proof of our dedication to this unshakeable mission. Investing in our news media is by far the most effective investment into South Africa's future.

You can support Independent and Investigative journalism by joining Maverick Insider. If you contribute R150 or more per month you will receive R100 back in UBER vouchers. EVERY MONTH until October 2019.

So, if you'd like to help and do something meaningful for yourself and your country, then sign up to become a Maverick Insider. Together we can Defend Truth.


Days of Zondo

State Capture and corruption are the result of unleashing the worst of human instincts – Gordhan

By Pravin Gordhan

Google is valued higher than Russia's entire stock market.