We all know it can be hard to be South African. And I’m not talking about the several million people of our nation who live in severe poverty and hopelessness, because I have no right to speak for them. I’ve always lived a privileged middle-class existence where I have a job and a roof over my head and enough money to do the odd shop at Woolworths. *Shout out to Sam!*
But when we’re faced with the reality of the widespread, mindless, brutal crime, the debilitating unemployment figures, the scarily high Aids figures and the inherent, insidious racism that just keeps on rearing its ugly head on an almost daily basis it really makes it hard to keep hope burning sometimes.
Especially when our politicians (of all parties) are apathetic at best and corrupt at worst. I think many of us feel deeply alienated by our leaders who do nothing but say alarming things at regular intervals.
The thing is though, we are not the only country facing social and economic issues. And we are most certainly not the only country with ridiculous politicians. I’ve been following the US elections for the last few months (it’s hard not to because it’s practically JAMMED down our throats) and I am half-terrified and half-relieved that the “Leaders of the Free World” are just as bad as our guys in parliament.
Here are 4 examples of outrageous sexism and women-hating that occurred recently in the States. Read it and weep.
"Women shouldn't be allowed to vote"
Because there is nothing worse “than a bunch of mean, hateful women." This is according to Tea Party leader Janis Lane.
I'm not even going to bother pointing out how blindingly stupid this statement is because even my 6 year-old niece could see the irony that this came from a woman who votes AND is a politician.
"Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?"
This was one of the questions asked in a senate debate between Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Wendy Long. I kid you not.
Can you imagine anyone asking a male politician something like this?
“Ahem, Mr. Romney, are you a fan of Girls Gone Wild?”
You won't fall pregnant from legitimate rape
Todd Aiken made this outrageous statement in an argument why women should not be allowed abortions if they fell pregnant through rape.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
"I have binders full of women"
The latest gaffe by Mitt Romney (who might become the American president) is almost funny if it wasn’t so deeply disturbing.
"We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said: 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women."
Binders full of women.
Eish. Check out the hilarious memes.
I don’t know if I managed to console you or depress you further. Gosh, I’m not even sure whether I’m feeling better or not.
What I do know is this: we’re a long way from equality folks. So keep on fighting the good fight.