18 September 2019 | Volume 78 | Edition 8
@VarsityNews | 18 September 2019 | V78 E8 | Page 2
Gabriel Vieira firstname.lastname@example.org
Protests Target GBV Epidemic
By Gabriel Vieira
A spate of horriﬁc and highly publicised acts of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) has set off two weeks of mass protests within various universities and in South Africa as a whole.
he murder and rape of Uyinene Mrwetyana, a ﬁrstyear ﬁlm and media student at the University of Cape Town (UCT), is the spark that lit the kindling of growing anger and disbelief surrounding a seemingly unending list of similar incidents. The fact that many of these cases took place on or near university campuses, including UCT, led many to question how much protection is really aﬀorded to students on campus.
“We will wait for him on the highway” On Wednesday 4th September, protestors converged on Parliament demanding to see President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, which was being held from the 4th - 6th September at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). These protestors were largely from universities within Cape Town, such as UCT and the University of Western Cape (UWC), but it also
included concerned citizens and even secondary school students. Protesters attempted to block highways in an eﬀort to pressure the President into meeting them, as a megaphoned Zuki Lamani made clear, blaring, “We will wait for him on the highway.” This action was met with stun grenades and water hoses which the protesters endured into the evening. However, it was only the next day, when the original protesters were joined by hundreds of others at Parliament, that President Ramaphosa faced them and promised an announcement on measures to be put in place to better combat against GBV. While this statement was not forthcoming, the protests gained international attention with hashtags, such as: #AmINext and #JusticeForNene making the virtual rounds on social media. In UCT’s speciﬁc case, questions were raised as to what measures were going to be put in place to decrease the prevalence of GBV on campus.
“UCT does not seem to have cared about the issue” At the memorial for Uyinene, UCT Chancellor Graça Machel called for perpetrators of sexual assault on campus to be outed, which was followed by student-led protests in male residences such as Kopano and Leo Marquard. Vice Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng was repeatedly booed when she attempted to address the crowd at the night vigil on Monday evening. “UCT does not seem to have cared about the issue,” a despairing second-year protestor had to say. In the face of the outrage, the university cancelled academic activities for the remainder of the ﬁrst week of September.
be business as usual.” This move was met with considerable disagreement in some factions within the student body and prompted the coalition of a group of student leaders from associations such as the South African Students Congress (SASCO), Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) and others. Subsequently, they submitted a memorandum of demands to combat rape culture at UCT as well as to improve campus security. The memorandum was accepted by Deputy Vice Chancellors Lis Lange and Loretta Feris, who agreed with most of the demands and made plans to meet again on Tuesday the 17th of September to further ﬂesh out plans to institute these changes.
Another UCT-aﬃliated body that came under ﬁre for perceived lack of eﬃcacy throughout the crisis, was the Student Representative Council (SRC). None of the major protests were spearheaded by them and they eventually called for an end to the planned shutdown of campus by students. However, they acknowledged that “the institution cannot continue to
Safety not a ﬁrst for UCT
Safety and security in and around the University of Cape Town (UCT) has once again become a topic of great concern, following the devastating news of the death of Uyinene ‘Nene’ Mrwetyana. By Thandizo Chigona Despite the alleged measures taken in the previous years to protect those in and around the university, there has still been a noticeable surge in crime in 2019, with common reports of campus muggings and car thefts.
“There are basically no preventative measures for people to come onto campus space” It was following the loss of Mrwetyana that UCT once again aﬃrmed its commitment to creating a safer environment in and around its campuses. In a statement by Vice Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng, it was noted that the university has made upgrades to its CCTV camera systems, reviewed its Campus Protection Services (CPS) operations and tactics, as well as beginning partnerships with South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District in order to secure known crime hotspots. Many students have questioned the
eﬀectiveness of these measures. “I think UCT CPS measures are pretty pathetic if I am being honest with you,” stated one Law student. Another student shared the same sentiment by pointing to the lack of night-time security, particularly for those traveling to residences on Lower Campus or using the Jammie Shuttles - which they felt lacked visible security personnel. Although many agreed that for the most part they felt relatively safe on their respective campuses during the day, they felt most unsecure in the nearby areas, which are mostly populated by students. Many students have stated that Rondebosch Main Road and its immediate environs is the most dangerous area, whilst women and visible members of the LGBTQIAP+ community - particularly Trans-people are most likely to be targeted. Some feel that the root cause of many of these issues can be attributed to the university’s lack of concern for its students. “I feel like they’re just running it like it’s a business. I don’t think they care about our safety, they take it for granted,” a third-year Humanities student said. Another student believed it boiled down to CPS inadequacy and
the university’s open campus policy for many of its campuses, “There are basically no preventative measures for people to come onto campus spaces. There is no access control except for maybe the library but that’s again only to protect UCT resources.” The same student felt that many of the university’s safety issues could easily be solved if CPS were more eﬀectively trained and deployed. “The university needs to oﬀer more to its students. There are more ﬁre drills than actual safety or self-defence drills,” a Commerce student expressed. This is not the ﬁrst year where concerns over safety by students have ﬂared up. Two years ago similar concerns were articulated following a surge of crimes in and around UCT, predominantly in the nearby Rondebosch area and Lower Campus, where many students were victims of theft and two young female students were kidnapped by taxi drivers for a R5 000 ransom. At the time UCT and Rondebosch SAPS had assured those concerned that the matter was of their utmost priority and that their actions would see a decrease in such crimes.
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Couple on a Mission to Curb Food Insecurity and Nurture the Environment By Akhona Matshoba Lizanne Isaacs and her husband Mark are determined to curb food insecurity by transforming unused plots of land into sustainable sources of nutrition.
succulents and ﬂowers, the garden has also become a therapeutic outlet for the people who work it. “It is a good wholesome project, it izanne, a ﬁnal year Social is not only meeting a need, but it is Work student at the University also educational and sustainable,” of Cape Town (UCT), runs a she says. food garden at JP Duminy Court, a UCT residence, together with She notes that students often her husband Mark. Lizanne no- struggle to survive solely on their ticed an issue with food insecurity monthly allowance but are too amongst students very early on in ashamed to speak up and ask for her academic career. This moti- help. “Hunger is silent, and people vated her and her husband to start don’t want others to know about the food garden at the UCT family it because there is that shame residence, providing nutritious food associated with it.” Lizanne goes packs to families and students. on to say that the programme tries to create a welcoming environment for people, placing no judgement “It is a good wholesome project” on them, saying “it’s a safe space to access good nutritious food without Lizanne expresses her hope for the the shame”. programme to branch out to other residences and university spaces. “To make it more sustainable, we The garden not only supplies people need buy-in from the university” with healthy food options, but it also teaches them how to care for the environment. Due to the exhibition The couple has managed to secure of a variety of vegetables, herbs,
By Athenkosi Nzala
he workers have been striking against the university for almost a month because of grievances centred on working conditions, insourcing and pay grade - with insourcing being the worker’s primary concern and motivation for the strike. “UCT is using a middleman to avoid this issue”
Former UCT ViceChancellor, Dr Max Price, announced the insourcing of some workers during #FeesMustFall in June 2016. By so doing, Price said the university promised the country, as well as the university community, not only to promote insourcing of workers but also setting a minimum wage and monitoring employment practices. A worker from Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge stated that the demands from the diﬀerent workers all come down to one central demand: UCT must insource all the workers from the aforementioned companies.“Being outsourced is the pillar of
sponsorship from various companies allowing them to help more people. She notes that for the programme to branch out to other university spaces, UCT needs to be on-board because running the programme is not only expensive to sustain but time-consuming as well. “It would be very exciting to take it [the programme] further, but of course we need sponsors, we need resources.” She goes on to say that, “to make it more sustainable we need buy-in from the university to ensure that more students can have access. We can’t do it alone”. The couple has been communicating with the university about expanding the programme in the future.
Source: UCT News
The programme distributes excess food to homeless and unemployed people living in and around Rondebosch. If you wish to help out or ﬁnd out more about the programme, you can contact Lizanne Isaacs on WhatsApp at 079 937 0735.
Outsourced workers continue plea for insourcing and better working conditions
The University of Cape Town (UCT) faces a nightmare from the past as nearly 100 workers from Bytes Document Centre, Protea Boekwinkel, Food and Connect, Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Protea Hotel Mowbray, Food Vendors and the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) protest on its campus. every problem that will be you have a contract with, resolved when we become take these employees. UCT part of UCT commercial must be consistent.” business. UCT is using a middleman to avoid this One of the workers from employment issue” said the Food and Connect said, worker. “We are not sure from our contracts whether we “We put in the hours but are insourced or not and we are not treated well by we are not compensated” our employers as we are not compensated as the is short of staﬀ. We Mzomhle Bixa, who is company put in the hours but we are the general secretary of not compensated”. Going the University and Allied on to say, “UCT said we are Workers’ Union (UAWU), pay class 2 but we get below spoke to Independent class 2”. The worker Online (IOL) saying “If you pay later that pay class fail to enforce the minimum 2 is explained around R148 000 p.a wage with the companies and what they currently using your property, that paid at Food and Connectare is
Source: Athenkosi Nzala
approximately R121 000 p.a. The university spokesperson, Elijah Moholola, when asked about the protest, responded with a statement from the university saying, “Insourcing of staﬀ for services directly linked to UCT was done and ﬁnalised in 2016. UCT is committed to good faith engagements with its recognised unions and will continue to engage with UAWU in all matters aﬀecting UCT employees”. Moholola continued to state that the university is in no position to address the demands as they are not employed by UCT but by their respective employers.
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Soligah Solomons email@example.com
DEPUTY EDITOR Akhona Matshoba firstname.lastname@example.org
MANAGING EDITOR Teboho George email@example.com
Continuing the Struggle for Remembrance
COPY EDITOR Ntombi Khulu copyed@varsitynewspaper. co.za
Soligah Solomons Editor-in-Chief
ONLINE EDITOR Arin Barry firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tasneem Jacobs creativedirector@ varsitynewspaper.co.za CONTRIBUTORS Thandizo Chigona, Daniel Dix, Chinenye Chukwuka, Stepan Stravogin, Busisiwe Gwangqa, Paul Makhabane, Chanté Sammering PRINT NEWS Gabriel Vieira email@example.com
he past few weeks have been an extremely harrowing time for all of us, with students and staﬀ alike reacting to the tragic events that have encompassed the atmosphere on and around campus. Uyinene’s life was cut short by the senseless acts of violence that have shaken our community to the core. Such an event should not be the impetus for the much-needed protest action that we saw take place over the past two weeks surrounding genderbased violence, however the thousands of survivors and allies that congregated at Uyinene’s memorial service and at the marches to parliament saw a kind of solidarity reminiscent of the #FeesMustFall protests. “VARSITY strives to provide a platform to engage meaningfully” With
majority female collective, VARSITY’s number one priority is not only keeping our members safe but also providing a platform to showcase the works and experiences of the UCT community, so as to give each and every one of us the platform to voice our thoughts and experiences. Safety on campus has been a priority with regards to the content we’ve produced for this edition, where we’ve highlighted the institution’s shortcomings regarding safety and security. We have also dedicated this edition
PRINT OPINIONS Kelsey Maggott & Zahirah Benjamin firstname.lastname@example.org
as a memorial for Uyinene and the countless others who have lost their lives to gender-based violence. VARSITY is calling on all members of the UCT community to submit any creative content relating to the death of Uyinene. These can be poems, short stories, epitaphs, small essays, illustrations, or even a heartfelt tweet. They can speak directly to Uyinene and her death or its consequences, such as the protests to end genderbased violence. “We hope to keep Uyinene’s memory alive” VARSITY intends to show these creative pieces on our website in the format of an online archive. Our intention is twofold – ﬁrstly, we want to actively engage in the public healing that our campus desperately needs through the process of public remembering; secondly, we want to create an archive of these events and their ramiﬁcations on each and every one of us. We hope that this will reinforce VARSITY’s role in our public space and how we begin to remember the tragic events that plague us daily, and in doing so we hope to keep Uyinene’s memory alive. Please send all your contributions to creativedirector@ varsitynewspaper.co.za
PRINT FEATURES Sebastian Moronell & Amber Williams features@varsitynewspaper. co.za
PRINT LIFESTYLE & FITNESS email@example.com
NEWS REPORTERS Mantwa Mehlape, Sinothando Siyolo & Phophi Tshikovi IMAGES Tao Varty & Lebo Notoane firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE NEWS Jasmine Jacobs email@example.com ONLINE LIFESTYLE & FITNESS Tiyani Rikhotso firstname.lastname@example.org
ONLINE CONTENT EDITOR Nolitha Ngamlana
STAFF WRITERS Julia Rowley, Chandré Cupido, Stephanie Wild, Brad Brinkley, Anouschka Tollig, Bathandwa Magqaza
Arin Barry Online Editor
ONLINE OPINIONS Ruhi Ghaza & Salma Noor Mahomed email@example.com WEB EDITOR Mukhetwa Ravele firstname.lastname@example.org
MARKETING & BRANDING Tshepiso Mokabu email@example.com
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FINANCE MANAGER Aidan Croy ﬁnance@varsitynewspaper. co.za
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VIDEOGRAPHY Siyambonga Jubeju videographers@ varsitynewspaper.co.za
ONLINE FEATURES Refentse Malatji & Anna Cocks firstname.lastname@example.org SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Malusi Ngidi email@example.com
Applications are open for 2020! Tasneem Jacobs Creative Director
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!
This Week In Images Athenkosi Nzala
@VarsityNews | 18 September 2019 | V78 E8 |Page 6
An Outcry for our Lives
Sebastian Monorell & Amber Williams email@example.com
By Amber Williams
n Monday, the 2nd of September, many of us woke up to a hoard of messages, posts, and news media as the whole of Cape Town, and South Africa at large, finally decided that enough was enough after the rape and murder of our very own Uyinene ‘Nene’ Mrwetyana - a 19-year-old firstyear student who was reported missing on Tuesday, August 24th. Her death - and that of countless other names that have since emerged - has sparked a nationwide outrage at the national femicide as well as the continued complacency by our governmental structures and our own friends and family. The brutal killing of our womxn can no longer be seen as the norm in a country where womxn rape and murder rates are five times higher than the global average. We can no longer accept the normative superstructures that have been a part of our societal, cultural, and religious narratives.
“A stark reality is that no womxn feels safe in any public space” Universities have always functioned as spaces of debate, challenging the conceived norms within our society - first with the #RhodesMustFall uprisings, followed by its successor, the #FeesMustFall campaign. The #AmINext campaign grew out of the solidarity of womxn students, but it has now extended itself outside the confines of our institutional spaces to the rest of the country. Womxn have united under one banner, expressing their concerns over not just their general safety, but their lives and that of their sisters. A stark reality is that no womxn feels safe in any public space. We are always worrying, too scared to be
Image by: Athenkosi Nzala
out for fear of our lives, too scared to get into Ubers lest we become the victim of yet another mysterious disappearance which may or may not be thoroughly investigated, as we become part of a normative long list of missing persons. Following last week’s protests in town, President Cyril Ramaphosa appeared outside parliament on Thursday, September 5th, expressing his condolences to the crowd of protestors gathered outside and his solidarity with the movement at large. Protestors were angered at the insincere message and many called him out for his delayed response. But what we need are actions, not just words, Mr President. Speaking about a problem does not constitute it being resolved. Where are the implementations? Where are the measures to hold the countless number of men accountable who have robbed womxn of their voices and their lives? What is being done to secure our safety in a country which has turned a blind eye to femicide for decades? Normal routine cannot be expected to ensue when the lives of womxn and children are being lost right now, at this very moment. In a report on gender-related killings of womxn and girls, the UN agency states the definition of femicide as “the conventional understanding that hate crimes against women are perpetrated by men simply because of the gender roles assigned to women.” Femicide has always been a problem in our country. The patriarchal structures in place ensure that whatever womxn do and wherever womxn go, they are always made to feel as being lesser than. But our society has been exposed at last. We are governed by an imperialist, white, supremacist and capitalist patriarchy, and these structures
must be tackled as the parasitic and deceptively arranged superstructure that they are. Our current system must challenge itself when womxn are only useful to build the critical mass needed for struggles whose outcomes are continually defined by men, resulting in the sustained co-option of womxn and their silencing.
“The biggest threat we face at this moment is our society’s continued complacency” According to the 2017-2018 South African Police Service statistics there were 40 035 recorded rapes last year alone, that means 110 rape cases reported daily. In the same year 2 930 womxn were murdered. Will we remain complacent as more lives are lost day by day? The process with cases like these have become all too predictable: life is lost, followed by outrage and grief, and then everything lapses into silence. And so it continues. The biggest threat we face at this moment is our society’s continued complacency, by our brothers most of all, but also by our own family members and friends who often refuse to acknowledge the words of the victim. We have become so desensitized to the loss of our womxn’s lives, it has become a way of life - something that can happen at any moment. Womxn are in pain and they are scared for their lives. And yet, no one seems to be willing to give them an ear. The calls of womxn need to be heard by those who can effect the most dramatic change.
“The rise of this movement has effectively put a mirror up to society” First and foremost, men need to learn
that sex is about consent, not coercion. You cannot convince me to have sex with you, either when I am sober or when I am drunk. That’s called coercion, not sex. Sex is about consent. And if your parents did not teach you this, now you can say someone told you. The rise of this movement has effectively put a mirror up to society and the silence by men and those in positions of power speak volumes in a time like this. It is clear they do not like what they see, so what do they do? Confront the image before them and try to make a change or take the all-tooeasy route and back away, too scared to face the image that greets back. This plague we are facing is a societal problem. Unless we address the issues at hand, they will only continue, and get progressively worse by the day. This is not a physical war we are fighting; this is a war on the minds of men, of society at large. To undo the normative structures and perceptions that underlie violence and our unjustified reactions to it, will take time. We need sustained policies to ensure that the condemnation of those men who hurt and steal the lives of womxn with no remorse are continued. Change on this scale is not quick to come into full effect, but if we can start now by holding men accountable for their words and their actions, then we are one step closer to reaching safer spaces for our womxn population.
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Study spaces on Campus
By Sebastian Moronell
s the end of the year approaches, so do exams. As such, study spaces are in short supply – they seem to turn into a thousand ghosts. What used to be a few awkward smiles cast in my direction as I walked past overworked bodies in the main library now seem like a terrible rendition of Hell (or Heaven): a series of known faces stare blankly at me – lost lovers, ﬂeeting one-time acquaintances and someone you swiped right on but evidently the feelings weren’t mutual. They seem to expect something from you; that look – that ever expectant look. Here I present to you some spaces that will best serve you during the most crazed time of the year, protests and all. They don’t expect anything from you, and they won’t leave you cold. So, like all good ghosts, these too should be exorcised: In your bed, under your blankets:
The Library: Okay, I had to include this one. As a multi-layered ode to knowledge, the library oﬀers many opportunities for self-improvement. One encounters books, computers, artiﬁcial lighting and occasional self-deception. If you desire any of the above, be sure to visit the Accounting students in the Research Wing. Other conﬁgurations of these constitutive elements include: unread books for Humanities students sitting on Jammie plaza (located below the library), and unrealised (yet) self-deception for Health Sciences students who are doing the world a favour (usually located in an unspeciﬁed location oﬀ-campus). Whatever the place, be sure to make these next weeks a hardfought victory. I hope this article has in some way made that victory a little bit more of a reality.
Known for its versatility – it can serve as the site of a racy date or surreal nightmares - this space oﬀers you the comfort of home without the need to impress anyone. No clothes are required, so wardrobe decisions are easy. The downfall is that you might not do anything. People who visit are known to develop an extreme Netﬂix addiction. Leslie Social:
By Stepan Stravogin
stopped in the doorway as our eyes met; my mouth slightly agape, the hairs on my arms standing straight, my spine tingling. Someone tried to pass me and said something – or was he saying something? I don’t know, but I blushed and quickly took the chair closest to me. He begins the tutorial – I didn’t do the reading but I liked the way he said Foucault: “phew-co”. The roll of his tongue on his full lips made me sweat – I could almost feel his slow, methodological touch on my sweaty upper lip. Was he looking at my upper lip? Perhaps it was that stare – that stare could see right through me; oh, I wish that he would see through me, into me. He talked for hours on end; I loved it. Other tutors try and make us do group work. I’m so thankful he doesn’t because I dislike the people in my class. They all drone on about this and that social problem – all I
want to do is admire his jawline. *** I came in a bit late and sat down. My students were hardly there. Damn students. Another tutorial - would I speak the whole time today? Probably; the reading was Foucault and I bet they wouldn’t know the conclusion from its introduction. After a while she came in. She always did this weird thing where she’d stare at me from the doorway. I’ve often asked her if she needed something from me, or if I could help her, but she just stares at me. Throughout the tutorial she’d look at me – focusing on what seemed my upper lip. Was that weird? It always made me self-conscious; now I’ve grown a moustache. Sometimes I’d ask them to do group work, but she would sit, rooted to her chair. , now looking at my jawline, now in love.
Probably the most diﬃcult place to navigate outside of Foucault, Leslie Social oﬀers a wide range of rooms and labs. Most of them smell bad and the bathrooms are usually quite awful, although I have seen a couple with showers. Thus, long-term study sessions are a very real opportunity. Cons include a severe sense of self-hate arising from the aforementioned spatial confusion and smell. One should carry a compass and deodorant at all times, except if you are Politics students, for then disorientation and bad body odour are seen as political Image by: Lebogang Khotso Notoane attitudes. Source: UCT News - tutoring
Uyinene If only you knew what you have done. The mark you have left. The sacrifice you have been for the women of our country. YOU have given us a voice. YOU have made us heard. YOU have united the women of an entire nation, independent of race, class, religion, culture, background. YOU have brought the president of South Africa to the podium. YOU have changed the justice system. YOU have changed this country. Perpetrators are trembling. And you WILL NOT be remembered as a victim. You are a hero. You are a warrior. You are a fighter. You are a WOMXN. And it is in your name, UYINENE, that we will continue to fight. It is in your name, UYINENE, that we will not put this to rest. It is your name, UYINENE, that women will walk free. It is in your name, UYINENE, that lives will be saved. It is in your name, UYINENE, that children will live to see another day. It is in your name, UYINENE, that perpetrators of rape, murder and sexual abuse will be held accountable for their actions. It is ALL In YOUR NAME. And we will NEVER forget. UYINENE. UYINENE. UYINENE. Words by Caris Paynter (@carisjane) Images provided by friends of Uyinene Mrwetyana.
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The Inevitable Decline of Monogamy
By Chinenye Chukwuka
F*CK MONOGAMY. F*CK EVERYONE LITERALLY.
y mother would have a heart attack at the sight of this article with me as the writer. But gone are the times of waiting for a prince(ss) charming that will come and save you from a tower guarded by your ﬁre-breathing father. Who will then proceed to cheat on you, leaving you to raise the spawn you co -created. Then where does that leave you? Stuck in a situation and complacent. No thank you. Quite the vivid picture to paint but this is the reality of how most marriages turn out. And those people that step out,simply cannot be blamed. We are not inherently monogamous, but it’s been instilled in us for the sake of the nuclear family. Cue gasps from concerned mothers.
“many are able to have genuine romantic connections with more than one person simultaneously” Monogamy can be safely deﬁned as the relationship between two people intended to last for a lifetime. A concept
that has been in existence in western society since the dawn of time, reaching its peak during the twentieth century.
“a polyamorous relationship is not an excuse to have threesomes or orgies” What if you had two partners, both diﬀerent from the other and they each in their own ways, fulﬁlled your diﬀerent needs. Now imagine they knew each other and better yet consented to it. This is the reality (and beauty) of polyamorous relationships. What society seems to ignore is that many of us are quite able to be sexually attracted to multiple people at the same time. Moreover, many are able to have genuine romantic connections with more than one person simultaneously. Many couples have a primary relationship system in which they are each other’s primary partners, then individually proceed with people they explore in diﬀerent ways, with knowledge of their primary
Source: Source Medium
“spread your wings and love in all the different and beautiful ways you can” As someone who is quite ambivalent to the concept of polyamory, I can neither die for it nor ﬁght against it , but the reality of the situation is that many of us in university spaces are in polyamorous relationshipswhether you know it or not. We rarely commit to one person but instead have a string of ﬂings along the way that may or may not come to loosely deﬁne how we conceive love and learn about intimacy. Is this not the point of love? To learn and grow from each other? However, keep in mind, a polyamorous
relationship is not an excuse to have threesomes or orgies. This dynamic works as a way for multiple people to come together. It has its pros and cons. Too many people inevitably means a lot of emotions. What we could say instead is that monogamy is not on the decline, nor is it seeing its own death anytime soon. A more accurate sentiment would be that polyamory is on the rise; we are here for it and we advocate it. If you sincerely believe that you can introduce the idea to your current situation then do so, but be clear and honest about it. It’s all too easy to play with people’s emotions. Especially when it comes to that word ‘Love’. But spread your wings and love in all the diﬀerent and beautiful ways you can. It’s what we’re here for.
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What The Pigeon Heard
By The Anonymous Pigeon firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Jemma Wilensky
Womxn aren’t as quiet as you think they are, society is just dismissive
y grandfather used to tell me a story of what he observed from his nest back in the days when he lived on a farm in Stellenbosch:
One day a mouse came running and shouted in distress to a cow that he had seen a fellow rodent trapped in the farmer’s bedroom. The cow carried on grazing without blinking an eye, saying that she never ventured to the bedroom and so hadn’t seen the trap. The mouse then turned to the goat, but was met with the same apathy. Now the mouse, in desperation, turned to the largest animal of the farm and begged for help. “A mouse trap could never hurt me!” the great ox said with laughter. The following week the farmer’s wife bent down to pick up the trap and her hand got caught in the mouse trap, tearing flesh. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. After a few days the farmer wanted to take a home-cooked meal to his wife and killed the cow to make a roast beef dish. Many people came to visit the wife and so the farmer thought it best to give thanks by making a good supper for them, and so the goat was slain. Unfortunately, an awful infection in the flesh wound killed the wife. In order to feed all the people who would be attending her funeral, the farmer killed the largest animal on the farm—the ox. (story courtesy of Godfrey Ndlovu). “fewer people talk about the cases where rape survivors weren’t necessarily quiet, but their call for help was dismissed” A lot of this week has been about highlighting how the culture of abused womxn keeping quiet needs to change into a culture of naming and shaming sexual abusers. Harvey Weinstein is used as an example of a ‘success’ story where womxn have spoken out and the perpetrator appropriately punished. However, fewer people talk about the cases where rape survivors weren’t necessarily quiet, but their call for help was dismissed. For example, a case was brought against Woody Allen by his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, who has claimed, since 1992, that he raped her in an attic when she was 7. She is now 28 years old and the story has not changed, but neither has Woody Allen’s life or reputation—according to Dave McNary. Here Farrow spoke out, but she was only met with dismissal and no action. This week has been a great attack on men and culture of men and South Africa. Additionally, it is important to point out that our culture of accepting and perpetuating a ‘boys will be boys’ narrative, by default includes some womxn. It is one thing for your patriarchal father to dismiss your claims that your uncle is an abuser, but it is entirely another story when your best girlfriend doubts whether you didn’t just ‘lead him on too much’. In fact, according to CBS News, Scarlett Johansson (a prominent female actress) defended Woody Allen, saying that “I believe him, and I would work with him anytime." That’s akin to ludicrousness of the parent mice saying to the mouse he is exaggerating and has nothing to worry about. Perhaps my grandfather’s tale brings you peace because it seems like justice was served by the animals being served in a dish. But it is not the animals who represent the sexual predator in the story, it is the mouse trap itself. So why is it that we feel justice when the animals are made into soup? The answer is that what is perhaps perceived by bystanders as merely lazy and assuming, is perceived by the oppressed as villainous and despicable. We are fast losing respect and patience for those who dismiss us; for enablers of oppression. As Desmond Tutu says “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”. Silence among the abused is something that needs to be addressed, but our culture of dismissal and skepticism when womxn do speak up is liferuining and one of the reasons womxn avoid speaking up in the first place. Crushing apathy as well as aggressively unlearning societal norms regarding appropriate gender behavior should be treated as a state of emergency, and not only for men; for men and womxn alike. DISCLAIMER This section of the VARSITY is a vehicle for expression on any topic by the columnist. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY collective or its advertisers. Letters to the Editor can be sent to: email@example.com
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Kelsey Maggott & Zahirah Benjamin firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindness for Kendall
Kendall Jenner gets Cornrows – Will she ever learn? By Zahirah Benjamin
By Paul Makhabane
ollowing a change to her hair style, Kendall Jenner opted for cornrows and has since experienced unnecessarily harsh backlash for which I would like to share my opinion, “to each her own”. I posed the scenario to several people, my colleague replied: “I’m not for it but honestly, who cares?” Let Kendall be Kendall and do what she wants, especially concerning her own hair.
“It’s provocative, it gets the people going!” The issue is cultural appropriation, which my friend kindly defined as: “A minority in a community influencing the majority to such an extent that their customs are adopted”, making this case representative of the influential power wielded by the African community. It is not the only construct influencing the masses. Popular culture for one is my cup of Monster. Other opinions carry the sentiment that proper recognition for this trend is not justly attributed to black culture, because for centuries, Afro-textured hair has been the subject of ridicule, breeding contempt for someone like Kendall 200 years ago.
“there’s no such thing as bad publicity” Finally, after many years, the African diaspora has been liberated from slavery and freed to exploit its resources and own all of the looks that come with grown hair in addition to the products of our globalised world. Something that I note fondly in both Zozibini Tunzi and Chuma Matsaluka. Yet, in-line with one’s liberty to choose, Kendall’s “new look” can’t be considered ignorant. Let’s be aware that controversy sells. What Jay-Z and Kanye West articulated so well is true: “It’s provocative, it gets the people going!” Which is why, more than anything, I appreciate the intelligence underpinning this celebrity’s decision to provoke (black) twitter and have the masses (singing) shouting her name, because “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. I’d like to leave you with some fluid thoughts from other fellow UCT students: “If we let them have our cornrows, we let them take our land!” and “In truth (in addition to hair trends) dark skin has led to tanning”. Stay woke while culture gets appropriated, but also remember what my final interviewee said: “There are are bigger topics under the sun!”
ops she did it again! After the Kardashian/Jenner sisters have been called out several times for cultural appropriation, one would think that they would understand what the term means by now. However, they continue to use their status and wealth to do as they please.
we still live in an unequal society where systems of oppression create power dynamics between different groups of people. If we were living in an equal world, we would not have to think about power and privilege over the people we’re borrowing culture from. With this imbalance, we see how white womxn think they are entitled to freely wear the same hair style as black womxn.
“If we were living in an equal world we would not have to think about power and privilege over the people we’re borrowing culture from.”
“I AM EXHAUSTED of white people constantly appropriating black culture and wearing hairstyles that we are always ridiculed/ chastised for having, and doing it just because they want to ‘look different’ or stand out’” – Twitter user
It’s clear that many Twitter users have had enough, as they called Kendall out for clout after she posted Instagram pictures of herself wearing Cornrows just before her trip to Jamaica. Within a few minutes of her post, she was called out for cultural appropriation, as her choice of hairstyle was seen as disrespectful and discriminatory towards black culture and people. I understand that in 2019 many would say “let her be” and “everyone is equal and has the right to wear their hair the way they like.” Unfortunately, even in 2019
The message that these privileged and entitled reality stars are sending out is that they condone the practice of using privilege to exploit black culture and that experimenting with black hairstyles is ‘cool’, as long as white people are rocking it. The problem with this is that they have not acknowledged the value of black people and their culture and have not credited the genesis of these hairstyles. It’s clear that this girl never learns, and unfortunately this won’t be the last time that we will be trying to explain to the Jenner/ Kardashian sisters that what they are doing is cultural appropriation.
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Source: Department of Home Affairs
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Do South African Womxn Own their Names?
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By Stephanie Wild
he past few weeks have seen a focus on womxn’s rights beyond the usual fanfare of womxn’s month. Protests against genderbased violence have occurred both on campus and in town. Driving around the Southern Suburbs, protesting signs can be seen outside both Wynberg Girls’ and Timour Hall Primary.
her own in the eyes of the Department of Home Affairs, as freelance journalist Sarah Wild recently drew attention to. More specifically, adult womxn in South Africa are being required to receive their husband’s permission to keep their maiden names after marriage.
“Changing a womxn’s name without notifying her, let alone seeking her permission, is an extreme violation of her personhood.”
“This appears a desperate attempt by the old patriarchal framework to retain a level of ownership and control over South African womxn.”
This is reflective of South Africa’s notoriously liberal constitution coupled with the poor implementation of rights. This phenomenon extends to something as basic as a womxn’s name, which is still not even entirely
Despite this being in contravention of South African law, conservative bureaucrats are ignoring the box womxn are ticking to keep their maiden names on their marriage certificates. Changing a womxn’s name without
notifying her, let alone seeking her permission, is an extreme violation of her personhood. Considering that the most common reason womxn choose to keep their birth names is due to their already having established professional personas, this especially targets working womxn. Moreover, this has affected some’s ability to vote and to travel, as well as has forced some to sacrifice working days to fight home affairs and pay fees. As such, womxn are being forced to employ the services of organisations, such as the Legal Resources Centre, to put forward a civil action aimed at reinstating their original names. This appears a desperate attempt by the old patriarchal framework to retain a level of ownership and control over South African womxn.
Blue skies, beautiful day, and Catzavelos must pay
By Brad Brinkley
fter more than a year, Adam Catzavelos has finally reached a settlement in the equality court with the South African Human Rights Commission to pay R150 000 for his racist utterances in August, 2018. While holidaying on a beach in Greece, he posted a video on social media that went viral. The video entailed his attempt at a “weather report”, in which he used the K-word to refer to black people.
“There should be limitations on speech, especially in our current climate.” He was charged under crimen injuria, which can be explained simply as intentionally hurting the dignity of others. In cases like these, it is common to cite section 16 of the constitution which states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression which includes, “freedom of the press and other media.” This, however, does not allow
for, “advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity gender, or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.” It is obvious that his actions “advocate(ed) hatred based on race,” however it is unclear for some, whether he “incit(ed) harm”.
“everyone’s dignity is equally important and any acts that compromise that should be punished severely” While it might not physically harm black people, a case can be made for their mental harm. It is one of the most offensive South African slurs, due to its historically and politically charged nature. Even though this event occurred in Greece, the South African courts were still able to prosecute him under our law, as it clearly refers to, and harms black South Africans.
Source: Felix Dlangamandla
Frankly, Catzavelos escaped severe punishment. While he paid a hefty fine, Vicki Momberg served two years under the same charge of crimen injuria. I agree with the state in that everyone’s dignity is equally important and any acts that compromise that should be punished severely. There should be limitations on speech, especially in our current climate. This is not simply a matter of preventing sensitive people from being offended, but more of a measure that prohibits negative ideologies (racism, misogyny, homophobia etc.) from establishing roots within our society.
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A Revelation to Gender Reveals
guises and forms”.
completely ignorant to findings coming to the surface every day about gender existing on a spectrum. According to Jeffery Week, sex and gender has a “chameleon-like ability to take many
By Chanté Sammering Everything that is wrong with the ‘gender reveal’ party trend It explicitly implies that sex = gender.
Many people get these two terms confused: ‘gender’ and ‘sex’, that is. It is automatically assumed that because a penis (sex) is presented at birth, that the newborn is a boy (gender), when in fact these are completely different phenomena. For example, an individual who is born with a penis and has XY chromosomes does not necessarily mean that they will conform to the associated “masculine traits” of having a penis.
“At a particular color of confetti, the newborn baby is automatically exposed to the harmful gendered roles and stereotypes that has been decided for them before birth.”
“Gender is something that is identified and decided upon by the individual as they progress in life, it is not a given.”
‘Gender reveal’ parties reinforce harmful gender roles and stereotypes.
At a particular color of confetti, the newborn baby is automatically exposed to the harmful gendered roles and stereotypes that has been decided for them before birth. Based on the sex of a newborn, they are accustomed to a particular role in society to uphold. For example, a newborn with a penis is expected to dominate a newborn with a vagina in their career, social setting and physical ability.
constantly expanding, but it also excludes those gendered identities that already exist. These ‘gender reveal’ parties hinder us from creating inclusive and diverse communities by conforming to societal norms.
It takes away the agency of the newborn
Although at birth the newborn’s sex would be undeniably so, i.e. a penis, this much cannot and should not be said for gender. Gender is something that is identified and decided upon by the individual as they progress in life, it is not a given. Take away the cute color schemes and themes. Let’s say expecting parents still want to have a grand and excessive party: would they be as comfortable celebrating the reveal of a penis or vagina (or a combination thereof)? Because that is exactly what they are referring to, but then calling it a ‘gender reveal’. The chosen terms used in this article was most definitely intended to make the reader feel discomfort – but then again, the discomfort that you are experiencing is just a tad-bit of what individuals feel on a daily basis when being labelled as ‘she’ or ‘he’, when in fact they do not identify as either.
“These ‘gender reveal’ parties hinder us from creating inclusive and diverse communities by conforming to societal norms.”
It implies that there are only two existing genders and sex
A ‘gender reveal’ with the option of the color blue for ‘boys’ and pink for ‘girls’ implies that there are only two existing genders, and more so sex. It seems as though expecting parents have either failed biology or are
It excludes the LGBTQIA+ community
Having a ‘gender reveal’ with only two options is not only ignorant to the fact that gendered identities are
Barbie’s been thinking about You By Busisiwe Gwangqa
f you believe in buying and owning little plastic people as toys to play with, then Barbie diversifying comes in as good news. Earlier in 2019, Mattel Inc, creators of Barbie announced the release of a new crew out in these streets. The new crew is meant to look more like you and me than ever before.
“dolls featuring eleven new skin tones, seven body types and a whopping 28 hairstyles.” The line has introduced more than 100 Barbie and Ken dolls featuring eleven new skin tones, seven body types and a whopping 28 hairstyles. Shout-out to the 150 countries where Barbies are sold. These Fashionistas are leading the call for diversity and inclusive representation, right? Best of all though, the line includes two new dolls with permanent physical disabilities. One doll uses a wheelchair and one has a prosthetic leg. Better late than never.
Source: Lira Facebook
On its 60th year, the Barbie brand seems to be doing much for diversity. Forget the 1997 incident this time it’s not about the money. Share-a-smile Becky, a Barbie friend who used a pink wheelchair with a backpack hanging on the handles needed to be cancelled. Her wheelchair was incompatible with the line’s Dreamhouse and other accessories. Becky simply did not fit in the Barbie world, so her permission to exist was revoked.
“This new chapter in the Barbie brand wants to advocate that girls should never know a world, job or a dream woman have not conquered.” This time around the brand has also chosen to honour a line of female role models to inspire the next generation. “We are igniting a movement to help close the dream gap and further establish Barbie as the ultimate girl empowerment brand,” said Lisa McKnight, General
Manager and Senior Vice President at Barbie. The dream gap refers to research showing that starting at age five, girls begin doubting their potential. For a press release published by Mattel Inc, Barbie is championed for inspiring generations of girls to believe through make believe. This new chapter in the Barbie brand wants to advocate that girls should never know a world, job or a dream woman have not conquered. Believe that this is good news. Diversity has not become a marketable commodity. And this is not the first, but rather the largest roll out of diverse Barbie dolls. DISCLAIMER This section of the VARSITY is a vehicle for expression, on any topic by members of the UCT community. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY collective or its advertisers. Letters to the Editor need to be kept at a maximum of 300 words and can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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LIFESTYLE & FITNESS
Dyantyi’s Damning Defence By Ntombi Khulu The 20th of September brings about the 2019 Rugby World Cup and it brings a lot of firsts for not only the tournament, but also for our Springboks.
he 2019 Rugby World Cup will be hosted by Japan – the first time the World Cup will be hosted in Asia and outside of the traditional heartland of the rugby union. Our national team enters this world cup with high spirits, after winning the Rugby Championships and being undefeated so far this year. Springboks captain Rassie Erasmus has shown capability in putting together and running the team this year and has built an in-depth and strong game plan and core group of players, brought to life by the many wins the team has witnessed so far.
“The 25-year-old Springboks and Lions wing tested positive for a number of banned substances”
boks and Lions wing tested positive for a number of banned substances, including anabolic steroids and metabolites. The consequences Dyantyi may face not only include missing out on the biggest rugby event of the season, but also opens the door for a potential fouryear ban for testing positive for these substances. Dyantyi’s defence has wholly stated at “I didn’t know” however that defence does not fly well with rugby officials and fans alike. CEO of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids), Khalid Galant, spoke to Eusebius McKaiser on Talk Radio 702 and reiterated how likely it would be that Dyantyi faces the full penalty for testing positive for banned substances. Professional athletes are held to a greater regard where there are often accompanied by an entourage of medical personnel and are thus expected to adhere to the rules and perform diligently.
Source: Anton Geyser
“Professional athletes are held to a greater regard” At this point whether we see Dyantyi at the ninth Rugby World Cup games in Japan is still in the air, however there still seems to be an air of excitement as day two of the tournament sees South Africa and New Zealand, two rugby giants, battling it out on the field in a match that will hopefully be reminiscent of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in every good way.
However, this dream may not be shared by one of the players, Aphiwe Dyantyi. The 25-year-old Spring-
Womxn in football deserve recognition too would have been nothing but an unattainable dream. Danielle added by saying that their coaches purchase the majority of the team’s facilities with their own money and devote most of their time to the team. She also said that their practices usually begin at 16.45pm, but the coaches arrive there either 30 or 45 minutes earlier, to prepare their drills.
“SAFA and major institutions should invest more on the developing rather than the developed” Image by: Elton John Duffy
By Bathandwa Magqaza
n the 9th August 2019, the South African Football Association (SAFA) implemented a National Women’s League. This implementation was influenced by Banyana Banyana’s incompetence at the global stage (World Cup). One of the team members of the UCT womxns soccer squad who was interviewed shared their opinions regarding this enactment. Instead of an excited demeanour they exuded dull reactions. “It is a decision that is long overdue, because our international adversaries are already miles ahead of us. In their countries, they are provided such platforms at an earlier age and they have all the necessary equipment as well as qualified facilitators (coaches) at their disposal, hence by the time they reach professional level they have fully honed and developed their skills”, said Danielle October, a third-year Bachelor of Social Sciences student and the current left back of UCT’s 2nd team division.
“In order to maintain the teams’ success rate, the current squads have managed to recruit High School learners” However, the main context prioritized was UCT. When asked about whether UCT as an institution has taken any measures to create platforms that will enhance the capabilities of womxn who play soccer, all three of them looked baffled and speechless. Nina Woermann, a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) and a member of UCT’s 1st division side, broke the ice, by responding, “This is a tough question”. Nonetheless, she went on to say, yes, UCT does take measures, but to a certain extent. Nina, together with the rest of the team, rather gave the credit of the measures taken to their coaches. They said that without their coaches, Ahmed Parker (second division coach) and Kamaal Sait (first division coach), the teams’ success and accomplishments
Since the majority of their players are third and fourth-year students, there begs the question whether the team will maintain their consistent progress after their seniors have graduated. Kawthar Gierdien, a third-year student doing Architectural studies and a left winger of UCT’s 2nd team division, confidently said, “As long as Mr. Kamaal and Mr. Parker are here, then the team is in safe hands”. In order to maintain the teams’ success rate, the current squads have managed to recruit high school learners, so that by the time they get to university, they are already familiar with the varsity football atmosphere. On a national level, Banyana Banyana might have cemented their place as the powerhouses of Southern African football through their numerous COSAFA triumphs. They might have also earned a spot at the World Cup, which also makes them one of the best in the continent. However, if our womxn’s national team and UCT’s soccer team wants to compete with ‘the big guns’ then SAFA and major institutions should invest more on the developing rather than the developed.
Rest In Power Leighandre Jegels
Janika Mallo Sources: News24 Mail & Guardian Netwerk24 IOL
Sue Ann Klaasen