How does the African family contribute to corruption?

We talk about corruption a lot. Sometimes we even discuss its causes, but often in very abstract, macroeconomic and historical terms. We talk about corruption in a very “big picture way.” However, for a time, I’ve wondered why we don’t zoom in. But not too far so that we are looking only at the psyche of the singular corrupt-or, but just far enough that we look at his family too. How does the African family contribute to corruption? This year we were given front row seats to the breakdown of football legend Emmanuel Adebayor’s family. In a move that many … Continue reading How does the African family contribute to corruption?

Beyonce, Democracy and the Media we deserve

Somehow, Beyonce’s latest music video release — a sloppy mix of bathroom selfies and dancing-on-a-hotel-balcony-in-a-pantie shots called “7/11”– got me thinking about democracy. The music video and its sloppiness , the crowd-pleasing lows of it, the commonness of it, was not simply a video to me. It was a law in practice that I had only begun to recognize. A law whose name I could not easily find on the first page of google results, so I’ll summarize it as: “at any given moment, we get the Beyonce we deserve.” When we celebrated excellence and talent and hard work, we got excellent, talented, … Continue reading Beyonce, Democracy and the Media we deserve

It’s not about rape | What the Swaziland laws against mini-skirts really mean

The concept that women cause rape is laughable at its best and at its worst – a terrifying indicator of how little respect our societies have for the female person. The law passed recently in Swaziland is a sad mixture of both.DSC_2874

The Swazi Monarch has decided that banning women from dressing ‘provocatively’ is a sure-fire way to prevent rape.

Because everyone knows only women dressed in mini-skirts and low-rise jeans can get raped. It only takes a quick look at the very low rape-rate in Islamic countries where only conservative garb is tolerated on women to see this.

Oh, what? That isn’t true?* That’s weird.

But it’s not weird. Because this has nothing to do with women’s clothing. Rape never does.

Rape is about control. And laws like the one passed in a country like Swaziland where traditional ceremonies in the King’s honour are more than tolerant of scantily-clad minors are still a firm fixture of the country’s cultural identity, are proof of this.

What we are looking at here is a very common situation that happens in the mind of many men groomed in the pits of their patriarchal societies. We are looking at a kind of thinking that these men hold onto—the kind of logic that makes them believe that a woman’s body is theirs to police.

Continue reading “It’s not about rape | What the Swaziland laws against mini-skirts really mean”