You’d think that the world was wholly misogynistic if you cared to read and listen to many of the recent newspaper, magazine, radio, television and any other media articles of recent vintage .Women are being treated abysmally throughout the world .You’d imagine that the feminism of the 1970s had never happened and that many women had not yet been educated .
Russia, South Africa, Ireland , the UK, America, India …the Taliban …they’ve all featured recently in pieces related to crimes against women. Recently there have been two very high-profile cases involving the murder of very glamorous young women .In the news stories, the murdered women are the cause of the stories but are all but forgotten in the ensuing courtroom dramas that their deaths inspired.Their lives become secondary to picking through the bones of the South Afrrican Bladerunner ,Oscar Pistorious or the Indian Shrien Dewani in whose shadows their brutal deaths occurred . Both these deaths were murder statistics in South Africa, a country which has the unholy boast of being the repository of the world’s worst gender-related violence.In a nutshell, you’re not really too safe living in South Africa as a female.
It is not simply the cases of these two young women, but rather some of the statistics that have been bandied about as though they were the actual reasons and somehow the enabling context of the killings .The value of female life is left seeming very suspect and exposed as being of less value than the male protagonists..Mistreatment of women ,in many cases seems endemic. It has almost acquired a normalcy as though this is what should be expected in our societies. There is something very odd and very wrong going on that is both distasteful and ultimately poisonous , in certain sections of male society and maybe even in the male psyche.We all have had a mother.Some of us have sisters, wives, girlfriends, daughters.What has happened in some societies and micro-societies ,where it is thought normal to treat women as chattels, sexual toys , second class and ultimately disposable citizens?
Stories of female slavery are abundant .Young women pimped in parts of England by gangs is too obscenely close for any kind of comfort.If South Africa holds the Olympic Gold Medal for the worst case misogyny, why is that so ? Why do South African men beat, rape and kill their womenfolk more than anywhere else in the world ?We know that with the Taliban it is a control mechanism .They do not want their females educated and they are prepared to kill schoolgirls to prove a point.In South Africa three women are killed each day, usually by their partners. Rape is also commonplace. That actually means that in every eight hours you might count off , a woman is killed; usually by her partner. That’s not an oddity ..that’s a production line of slaughter.
In Russia the misogyny is barely concealed too .Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church are on the same conservative page in their opposition to anything of a feminist agenda , somehow seeing in its out-workings ,the destruction of their beloved Motherland.If that doesn’t sound like the blackest joke…. What they actually mean is the destruction of male domination in government and society . Their position is to shackle any advances that women have made socially and in the case of the infamous “Pussy Riot” agitprop punk- band, have even used gaol as a deterrent against their anti-Kremlin stance. For someone like Putin with very obvious issues of insecurity manifested in his recurring idiocies of machismo in phot-oshoots, I suppose it is another control mechanism…..
It all leaves you wondering why any woman would choose to live in a country with those kind of values and why they aren’t queuing up to get as far away from them, and the men in them, as is humanly possible.
Let’s see what the judge and lawyers say in the Pistorius case, shall we, and what happens when a motion is considered to toss out the Dewani charges on Monday.
Thank you for that useful overview. Sadly Ireland still has its share of unredeemed male chauvinists. A recent commemoration reminds us that male partners have been perpetrators of 50% of solved murders of women in Ireland since 1996. http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/victims-of-domestic-violence-remembered-in-moving-display-30760688.html
Do you think that these two cases will have any relevance or make any changes to those horrendous statistics, Anthony.? South Africa certainly leads the pack in this horror show , if we can believe the figures , but they are not on their own. There’s a worldwide social sickness at the heart of this.
No, Paddy. One is “white-vs-burglar” so far (an appeal pending), the other a British honeymoon tourist charged with murder via arranged carjacking (ridiculous!) he alleges instead was a carjacking and kidnapping for ransom (the perpetrators seeking lesser sentences by claiming “the devil (Dewani) made me do it”.
Yes, burglary is a huge problem in South Africa — figures many times the high numbers of carjackings (Pistorius’ brother a victim twice, his father once).
A legacy of apartheid is that statisticians remain in South Africa observing the effects of mass urbanisation where equal or worse societies have no figures at all, let alone analysis.
99.99% of murders and rapes are “black-on-black” and the corrupt ANC government tries continuously to suppress figures.
But the simple fact is SA DOES report figures, while equals and worse do not.
Traditionally “white” suburbs like mine are reasonably safe except for burglaries and occasional carjackings. My suburbs overflows with students from America and Europe.
On the woman position in South Africa, every Speaker in parliament from uhuru has been female, and in general women rule — though quietly.
They are just as ruthless and corrupt as men, the main spreaders of HIV/AIDS and infamously demanding lobolo “bride-price” from several men once a year.
I could go on, but this from today’s news:
I’ve no doubt that men and women are equally capable of corruption and crime. Anthony, but the point is in this particular aspect it seems to be men doing the most damage. I don’t know how many women are killing their male partners daily , but if the men are killing a woman every eight hours, there is something like hatred going on.
You are implying that there is a racist implication involved here …possibly a “cultural” one too involving marital finances and dowries , but also more prevalent within black culture.
I never made any distinction as to the colour or creed of the women involved Should I? My assumption was that this was a problem of gender , first and foremost but you , as someone within the South African community may have a different view. Is society still so divided there that apartheid still exists but in another unnamed form? A mentality , maybe?.You mentioned that you live in a “white” suburb , for example implying that that you see yourself and your community as distinctly “other” rather than part of a complete society.
@ Anthony Leisegang – Seems to me that it’s a good job you’re not a Judge over where you live (in your, lovely, i imagine ‘white community’ – gated and compounded is it?). Seems you have both cases wrapped up, ‘done-and-dusted’. – As regards the Dewani case, why did he fight extradition for so long – with his laughable ‘too depressed’ pleads that went with his cries of innocence. There’s a lot more to that case than meets the eye. A rather large ‘dowry’ plus life – and any other Insurance that would have factored in such a place to ‘Honeymoon’. And as regards your thoughts on the Pistorious case – another ‘man’ – who showed not an utter ounce of remorse to his victim’s family (nor even have the brain in his head to check that his girlfriend was even in the bed beside him – before letting loose with a hail of dum-dum bullets, from one of his MANY guns). You have a very odd way of thinking may i say. And a rather Afrikaans ‘old-school’ one at that.
John, I am an Irish citizen and highly-experienced journalist.
I’ve followed the case carefully and have met Dewani.
You sound like just a typical John, I’m afraid.
@ Anthony Leisegang – You may well be an Irish citizen (but where does that surname derive?) – and a highly experienced journalist (though in all my years of reading many Newspapers, i can’t say i’ve ever, ever come across an article written by yourself). And there was/has been no evidence to the contrary that you aren’t replying to these blogs from South Africa.
Myself? Irish citizen too. Also holder of a Degree which includes Criminal Law, and before that a sister (by adoption) who spent a number of years in the Police Service over in the UK, based in Bradford, during and after the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ case – so a very keen interest in the Law and various aspects of it were formed during my mid-teen years, which still continues.
I may not have met Mr.Dewani (or ‘Dewani’ as you term him – even after your ‘meeting’) – but i too have followed the case very, very carefully, and believe what i believe.
As for your meeting with the accused, pray do tell us in what capacity this was if you will?
And as for your last line – I won’t even give you the pleasure of rising to the bait of such a ridiculous statement.
You frequently don’t see editor’s and publisher’s names in the media.
My surname is Danish/Norwegian — Viking, I’m afraid, like Leixlip.
The mam was an O’Neill, daughter of Irish Citizen Army commandant after Connolly till the truce, James O’Neill, born in Leixlip.
I am retired but occasionally do short contract work, in Dewani’s case for an agency.
The Pound and Euro go far in South Africa.
Shrien Dewani is very perky these days, you might like to know — now that South Africa’s remaining, incompetent senior police have been exposed in their shoddy work seeking a malicious prosecution without even convincing circumstantial — let alone prima facie — evidence.
He now goes running fast in the morning (exhausting his remaining couple of smiling minders).
He has to wait out two weeks while the judge considers the discharge application, but he and his family are confident he will be cleared.
There were political goals in prosecuting him too, of course — it couldn’t be seen that tourists visiting the country were in danger (which of course they are if they stray off the beaten track).
However, the same might be said of parts of Belfast, London and any European capital.
Let’s see what experienced jurists (the judge deputy chief in a province several times the size of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England combined).
The law in South Africa is Roman-Dutch set on English Common Law, with no jury but assessors (usually two judges) hearing a serious case like this along with an experience, senior judge.
There is peer review of judgments, and case law is cited.
Then there are two levels of appeal (Pistorius heading for the first, unusually by the State and most often by the defence) — and those are sometimes followed by appeal to the Constitutional Court where human rights (leglislated) aspects can be tested.
The system seems to work where jury ones often fail.
Incidentally, the “hate speech” of Ireland would attract heaving fines and even imprisonment in South Africa.
This in today 14-11-26 may interest:
Paddykool, you intelligently raise the hornet’s nest of factors involved, and I’d have to write a book in replay.
But yes, there are cultural differences. Of our nine major “black” tribes (many folk don’t WANT to be “westernised”, and I empathise with them), in only the Zulu and Venda ones does a man do hard manual labour by tradition.
In the “white” English and Afrikaans (north and south) speaking tribes there are strong cultural differences too.
Apartheid did not cause any of this, and Portuguese, Dutch, German and British settlement established physical boundaries, not apartheid.
Apartheid tried to formalise traditional boundaries firstly to protect the interests of each and secondly to develop each in parallel.
This created the “black” civil service the (effective) federation of South Africa enjoys today (when it is not in league with corrupt politicians).
Back to women: in the rural tribal environment there is structure such that a girl or woman is protected, but this collapses with urbanisation.
They say convent girls are the naughtiest, and much the same applies here.
The lobola game means men who cannot afford a bride will exploit and be exploited.
Needless to say this does not apply, with all its evils, to tertiary-educated “black” people, but it does apply to the majority.
“White” folk come from various Western traditions, mainly anglican/catholic (lowercase) with English speakers and Calvinist with Afrikaans speakers.
Much the same as the Irish north-south cultural split, and much the same cultural split.
So, yes, the problems have a cultural (not racial) source, linked to mass urbanisation and economic issues — “whites” are mostly employed, “blacks” mostly unemployed.
Interesting in the Irish context, perhaps, is that the “water issue” is what triggered apartheid — “black” mine workers dropping tribal rules and muddying the drinking water of “white” miners soon after the Reef goldfields were established.
Hope this helps.
I am a South African living in Cape Town like you and have also lived in Ireland. I find your comment on muddy waters triggering apartheid laughable. Have you not heard of colonialism and racism – the forerunners of Apartheid? Do you know what Apartheid meant for black South Africans? If you have lived in white SA and not been involved in the Struggle, I doubt whether you understood what the system meant and how it controlled every aspect of life for those who were not classified white- a stupid classification since most are pinkish anyway!!!
Anthony.. You’ve obviously got a better insider’s view than most of us looking in. As you imply there’s there’s a very splintered society with not everyone cleaving to the same traditions or moralities.I still sounds like a terrible society for any woman to live within , though.There’s obviously a powerlessness on their part that is totally alien to anything we would know in “westernised” life and it is obvious that men there in general have a view of women that reduces them to a vulnerable situation. That is a culture with a sickness at its heart .You implied too that in some parts of the culture , men are basically lazy buggers who expect their womenfolk to work for them . That sounds like another name for slavery, doesn’t it?.
Yes, it is indeed a terrible society for women — especially in the squatter areas.
New legislation is contemplated to make women automatic owners of the family home in the case of divorce, and make men accountable in diverse ways for their misdeeds.
However, the police and entire justice system is flawed in practice even where principle dictates otherwise.
When women are “connected” and monied they can be powerful, though — Winnie Mandela a good (or bad, depending how viewed) example).
Yes, the traditional culture is at fault in all “black” tribes except the Zulu (the biggest, though) and Venda. It’s not surprising that marriages are common between those two.
What is sad to me is to see parallels at times with historic and modern-day Irish society north and south.
John, above, might study the facts rather than frothing so he can be of use in his own community.
This today 14-11-27 from the USA, similar problems to SA and parts of Dublin in the early 1900s.
Interesting UK figures:
@ Anthony Leisegang – I read your reply with some interest. I still have my reservations – but, as you say, let’s see what occurs in the coming days – and couple of weeks (and that a more competent Judge than in the Pistorious case is involved). Time will tell – and if he is found Not Guilty. i wish him well – a swift return home, and the opportunity to finally grieve for his Wife, with the undoubted support his family etc will provide. If, on the other hand…..Well, it goes without saying.
Your family history is indeed interesting. I don’t know if you reside in Leixlip these days, if so, it turns out we live in the same County.
I tried the link you provided – but was given a ‘404 – Access Denied’ message. As to the ‘hate speech’ quote above the link – i have no understanding as to why you quoted it – unless, it was another ‘dig’ at me. Other than that – you have made two detrimental comments aimed at me in this one blog – re: my forename (which to be honest Anthony, was quite a silly statement. Do you make a point of meeting people called John – and telling them they have a stupid name?) Jeez, it’s not like i had a choice in the matter! – And then again, another dig – “frothing”.
You come across as a very intelligent person Anthony – please don’t belittle myself (or yourself), by abusing someone who hasn’t said a single derogatory statement about you.
I hope this ‘clears the air’ – and my Best Wishes to yourself, despite your comments.