Open column: Let’s talk about pride

June 17, 2009

By Lauren O’Brien

What’re we proud of, anyway? Sure, Pride Week’s an institution in every LBGTI community. The ‘queers’ come out and play. It’s a celebration of diversity. Streets are painted pink. Rainbow flags are toted. But what’s the point? And if it’s so important, how come there’s no “heterosexual pride”?

Pride Week attempts to provide a place for the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex people, for those of you not in the know) community to recognise what it is to be ‘non-hetero’ in a heteronormative society and to recognise the struggle for self-determination that is faced by people around the world – and continues to be faced.

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Fake it then feel it

June 17, 2009

By Paige Knight

The past few weeks have been a blur of essays, deadlines, fights with friends and cold miserable weather. You would think that under these conditions, no one would be up to the lengthy challenge of making love or even exerting oneself to go out to find a wild one night stand.

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The price of a glorious inauguration

June 17, 2009

By Megan Ellis & Tatum Holloway

On Saturday, 9 May, South Africa witnessed the inauguration of our new democratically-elected president, Jacob Zuma. During the inauguration, South African Defence Force planes flew in formation, thousands of foreign dignitaries arrived, and free Nando’s meals were available for those attending. But the price tag which came along with the celebration raised both eyebrows and voices. R75 million, which came from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Public Works, was the price tag on this inauguration, excluding security and police protection, making Zuma’s inauguration the most expensive of South Africa’s democratically-elected presidents thus far. The question posed now is: was this cost justified?

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Open column

June 17, 2009

By Siyabonga-ka-Phindile Yonzi

This term was marked by the significant symbol of women closing their mouths with tape. This is very symbolic of sisters who do not report gender based violence but continue to be involved with the abusive partner. My question is that, why don’t we make a lot of noise for the whole day on behalf of those who are silenced?

The photo exhibition which showed women posing confidently in their birthday suits was one of the brave moves in raising awareness that women are owners of their bodies and don’t need anyone’s approval. Some students raised concern about the exhibition, because they thought it was just posing without any momentous impact on the thinking of the society. My question is that, why in a University that has such a high consumption of pornography, did campaigners chose to be nude as form of protest?


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Tight grip on media laws

May 19, 2009

By Rugare Nyamhunga & Loyiso Qoboshiyana


I
s the government justified in restricting media laws? Where should the government draw the line regarding censorship and commentary? South Africans are a gregarious bunch. This is a fact – from the dynamic Jonathan Shapiro, aka “Zapiro”, and his controversial cartoons, the arms deal saga, to the dropping of fraud and corruption charges against Jacob Zuma. The South African Constitution is the only constitution in the world that safeguards the independence of the broadcasting regulator against interference from the government. Let us revise a bit of history. After the 1994 democratic elections in South Africa, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 200 of 1993, which allows the freedom of speech, was carried over into the final Constitution in 1996 as the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996. Come to think of it, “Are we free? Or are we dom?” Activate finds out if there is perhaps a fine line between freedom of speech and censorship.

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Open Column

May 11, 2009

By Deva Lee

I smile as I spot a guy on campus wearing a t-shirt that says “feminist”. I am glad he acknowledges that the status of women in South Africa is not only a woman’s problem. I am also amused because I know that not everyone on campus is going to be impressed.

When I first arrived at Rhodes, someone asked me if I was a feminist. “Of course not,” I said, “I don’t think women are better than men”. I had thought all feminism was radical and was hesitant to associate myself with fundamentalist ideas. If feminism meant I was going to burn my bra and dismiss men as the enemy, I was not keen. This misconception is shared by many, even those of us who achieve degrees in a university that values the humanities so strongly.

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Sex binds us and we all look funny naked

May 11, 2009

By Activate’s sexpert, Paige Knight

With the political buzz in the air and many people divided as to who to vote for, I thought we could all reconnect over the subject of sex and nudity. To paraphrase Fred Khumalo, a columnist at the Sunday Times, the one subject that cuts across all cultures is the all powerful, the racism-defying and unifying force of sex.

Sex binds us as we are all a product of it. So if you are shy, curious, or just want a laugh, read on. Talking about sex should be open, honest and gentle. I wish this column to be a safe haven where sexual issues can be discussed in a funny but educational manner.Sex, as natural as it is, is tricky to perform and it would follow then that it is tricky to write about – a demonstration would probably be better. I’ll start this week’s column with the topic of nudity.

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