This has been another week of turmoil in South Africa. There have been protests over a few different things. Rumours are that there is another taxi strike planned for tomorrow. I will drive around the village rather than risk getting trapped like last time.
Last Wednesday there was a protest against Gender Based Violence held in various towns in SA. It was an Intersectional Women’s March and included in this protest were people protesting the violence done against all women, inclusive of all non-gender conforming people, the LGBTI community and disabled women.
Men were not welcome in the march. There are people of all genders who perpetrate and experience intimate partner and or sexual violence, however men are most often the perpetrators and women and children the victims. Despite the march clearly stating that men were not welcome, until men step up and support the initiative to prevent this violence, there is minimal chance of change or success. Men need to be role models to their children, showing them by their behaviour that violence or abuse of women and children will not be tolerated in our society.
Are you aware of these statistics provided by Safer Spaces?
- More than half of all the women murdered (56%) in 2009 were killed by an intimate male partner.
- Between 25% and 40% of South African women have experienced sexual and/or physical intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
- Just under 50% of women report having ever experienced emotional or economic abuse at the hands of their intimate partners in their lifetime.
- Between 28 and 37% of adult men report having raped a woman.
- South Africa also faces a high prevalence of gang rape.
- Most men who rape do so for the first time as teenagers and almost all men who ever rape do so by their mid-20s.
- There is limited research into rape targeting women who have sex with women. One study across four Southern African countries, including South Africa, found that 31.1% of women reported having experienced forced sex.
- Male victims of rape are another under-studied group. One survey in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape found that 9.6% of men reported having experienced sexual victimisation by another man.
- Non-partner Structural Violence is particularly common, but reporting to police is very low. One study found that one in 13 women in Gauteng had reported non-partner rape, and only one in 25 rapes had been reported to the police.
Structural violence is “where violence is built into structures, appearing as unequal power relations and, consequently, as unequal opportunities. Structural violence exists when certain groups, classes, genders or nationalities have privileged access to goods, resources and opportunities over others, and when this unequal advantage is built into the social, political and economic systems that govern their lives.” Sadly this is a leftover of apartheid and colonialism and is still prevalent in South Africa.
I think that the concept of a Blesser is reflecting these same patterns of patriarchal hierarchy and behaviours. A “blesser” in South Africa is kind of like a sugar daddy. He’s an older man who often has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship. A woman allowing a man to look after her in exchange for sex. The behaviour of women culturally conditioned to not value their body and dignity due to many years of being devalued by a nation. It is heartbreaking.
The current ruling political party does little to change these statistics and despite the ANC being in power for decades, they have not done very much to improve the lives of the poor and uneducated masses in general. A few South Africans benefit greatly from their rule and most benefit not at all.
In fact some people say that not only have they not benefited the constituents in the areas where they govern on a provincial level, but they have also done their best to make the western cape ungovernable.
Many people in the outlying areas rely on trains for getting into the city for work. There has been a rash of fires on the routes going into the city with multiple fires occurring at or near the station, fires people say were deliberately started in order to cause transport chaos as it coincides with the ongoing taxi strikes. More of an attempt to cause turmoil.
This week in a shock address to the nation, President Ramaphosa officially confirmed that the ANC-led government will change the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. That is pretty horrendous, that the president used a public broadcast to air his views but that this is being treated as a done deal without going to court.
This means that your private property – your home, business or land – could be taken away from you without payment should the government decide that it is in the public’s best interest (whatever that means!).
Meanwhile life goes on, I get up in the dark and go to work hoping I get through to my destination with no dramas.
Norm has been looking after us and trying to keep us healthy. On Monday he cooked a yummy dinner of chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, corn on the cob, green beans and baby spinach.
On Tuesday for dinner he made fishcakes, coleslaw, mashed sweet potato and baby zucchini. That was a nice change! We tend to get into a rut and eat the same old things quite often.
Work has been busy. On Wednesday I had a workshop that lasted most of the day. It exhausted me but we were off that night to Caitlin for dinner so I perked myself up and off we went after work.
When we arrived at her flat we went in to look at her new bathroom cupboard which Norm was going to sort the handles for. While we were in there her boy cat Scout kept going into his litter box. Caitlin said ‘I think he is a bit constipated’ and without thinking I said ‘I think he has a bladder infection and we need to read about it as it can be dangerous for boy cats as they can get crystals in their urethra’. As I have never had any issues with a cat having a bladder infection or crystals I have no idea where this information came from. It kind of startled me that I said it! We then googled it and read that a bladder blockage can be fatal for a male cat and then I rang the 24 hour vet who said she must take him in that evening rather than wait overnight. Caitlin was so grateful that I was there that very night and that I directed her to the vet as she would never even have noticed his behaviour most likely.
Another of my healing whisperer moments. I am no longer questioning them. My hairdresser is Christian and she also gets The Voice and she said that she treats it as the voice of the holy spirit. I have decided to treat it as The Voice of the Great Spirit. I am still learning how to deal with this gift.
Caitlin had already made our dinner of delicious chicken curry and cauliflower rice so we quickly had dinner.
Cait then popped Scout into his carrier and shot off to the vet and Norm and I went home. Scout is still not completely well, his bladder is very inflamed. We would be happy for any prayers and healing you can send him if you are so inclined.
Driving into work on Thursday morning I had loads of police cars passing me, I think they are visibly policing to deter the taxi violence. There were rumours of a protest by the Khoisan over fishing rights being planned, but I did not hear of any evidence of it happening.
On Thursday there were lots of helicopters flying over Chapman’s Peak and we read later that they were searching for the body of the missing woman who was last seen there and had not returned home. They found her body so at least the family have some closure, I do hope it was not suicide but the rumours are that was exactly what transpired. So sad for her family regardless of how she died.
We had another long workshop on Thursday which I was facilitating and mid-workshop the fire alarm went off and we all evacuated. I took my laptop as it is my own, not my company’s. It was so hot and we were standing in the direct sun and I was wearing a giant woolly jumper and boiling with heat. After we were allowed in I ran up the 3 flights to our meeting room, wearing said jumper and carrying my laptop. I thought I might keel over by the time I got back and then had to quickly recover and start leading the meeting again.
Thursday night Norm had a meeting and had cooked chili con carne for us so I ate while he was out. He is getting to be as good at making chili as I am. I was very impressed.
Friday after work I had a hair appointment so I finished work at 3pm. I was home about 6pm and by then Lily and Josh had arrived at our place for the weekend. We let them choose the take away and as Josh was racing on Saturday they opted for Cassarechio so Josh could carbo load. We had a night relaxing and watching serial killer or murder TV shows as Lily loves that as much as I do.
Her and Josh were up and away early on Saturday and I was off to take Pixie to see David the doggy Chiropractor in Noordhoek. I rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, gulped a coffee and threw on some clothes without showering. I would just get full of dog hair anyway.
When I left there was a wee french bulldog who was waiting to be treated and he had such an awkward gait, I felt so sad for him. There was a dachshund being treated while we were waiting our turn and David said the dog was paralysed when he started treating her. He is a miracle worker. He has transformed Pixie’s life.
After I got home I showered and Norm and I headed off to meet our friend Annette for lunch.
She moved to Johannesburg a few years ago. I was so excited when she said she could see us.
I brought Norm along but we barely let him get a word in edgewise.
We met at The Lookout Deck which is at the harbour in my village.
It is so beautiful there even on an overcast gloomy day.
They had a special on for 1/2 a kilo of prawns with either chips or rice for R165. It sounded nice and both Annette and I ordered it.
The prawns peeled easily, were moist and full of flavour. We both got stuck in and covered in sauce and made the most of it. Yummy. Norm had the hake and chips and ate every bite.
We all fancied a sweet and ordered dessert. Annette had the creme brulee, Norm had the baked cheesecake and I had the chocolate nut sundae which was massive! I love soft serve ice cream and ate it all though!
We spent most of the afternoon there catching up and then Annette went home to spend her last evening in Cape Town with her son and daughter in law.
When we were chilling out that evening in front of a big fire, Norm heard of an issue on the radio, strapped on his bullet proof vest and headed out with the Neighbourhood Watch group as there were 6 men seen trying to enter a property. That has become a normal part of our lives as it happens several times a week. It is a strange way to live but it is necessary to help in the defense of our neighbours and boundaries.
Norm has just left now to go to another attempted break in.
Today we have been very lazy, Josh and Lily drove home and we built a big fire and have been snuggled up with me writing and Norm working until when he had to go out on the call.
I am delighted to read today that Patricia De Lille has finally resigned and the DA can start to move forward in a positive manner.
Navajo sees the doggy physiotherapist on Tuesday and hopefully she can help him with his gamey leg. Hopefully Scout improves as well and both of our babies feel some relief. I have a 4 day week at work and all manner of fun things planned which I will tell you about next time.
I wish you all a great week ahead. Until next time….
Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x0