Of bras, buttocks and sleaze!

Bras and buttocks, et al. Our columnist Maruping Phepheng asks if exposing bras and buttocks would deliver the intended message?

But I was, and it tasted bad, so yesterday morning (this past Tuesday) I decided to abandon the bitter betrayal masquerading as black coffee and decided to flip through the online news, you know, to see if we do not have a new racist star, or if Generations has not fallen off our screens, or if King Dalindyebo like his name has returned home on medical parole, or if I have perhaps not been appointed the new Finance Minister.

This is SA, baby.

Tales galore. We are alive with possibilities, and stuff happens.

So on I flipped through the online updates.

Shocked at seeing women displaying their buttocks in public, the snooping pubertal in me (not the pervert, please … such a child does not exist in me), decided to click open a link that led me to an online IOL News article (January 19, 2016). The heading read “ANC women bare bottoms in protest.”

“Some had unzipped their jeans, lifted their tops and undone their bras before turning away to expose their naked backsides in full view of our cameramen.” Bizarre, this. Or is it the new form of protest?

Still curious, I read the article and in summary, what it reported was that there was (according to the protesting women) an ANC branch meeting which was appropriated by pangas and firearms wielding bouncers, bouncers who then forced the women to leave, denying them the right to partake.

Now, I am not saying theirs is a false account. No. I was not there. Besides, the ANC, just like any other party, is not unlike an ailing monkey (did I really say monkey?) whose left kidney blames the right for the cancer.

I am just wondering if this is the best way to win the ear of the leadership. Has the leadership perhaps given the impression that bare buttocks are the key to the boardroom? An incentive to have problems solved? It can’t be.

With local government elections just around the corner, I am just wondering if this is the best way to advertise and interest people in your organisation.

Indeed is this the way to purchase respect of men, the respect of our children?

I wonder if this is the image that our boy children should be exposed to.

Speaking for myself, your sex notwithstanding, nakedness will certainly not make me pay more attention to your plight.

But, and I think this is the most unfortunate part, a misunderstanding of unbelievable proportions is reared through this picture, and that is a female body is a tool that can be used to canvass for power and attention. Worrisome, this.

I am not saying people must not rise in protest whenever they are aggrieved. I am saying you have no need to show us body parts that you would ordinarily have covered in order for us to pay attention to you or to the issues that you might be raising. That is in my view in poor taste, and, if anything, it will foster a view that in a discourse, bodies (and sexuality, perhaps?) value more than proper, reasoned conversation.

We love and respect our women. Some of us believe feminism should be for everybody. We champion it.

We accept that we as men play a major role in minimising, in banishing, and in dehumanising women, and therefore we must atone, and play the foremost role of helping torepair women’s social dignity and the parity of sexes. Any man with a heart must take on other men who seek to minimise, to banish, and to dehumanise women.

Women on the other hand would be lending a hand to this struggle if they did not act (such as in the picture/article cited) in a way that degrades, a way that is gratuitously indecent.

To act in this way is to mislay focus (to not give a damn about it, perhaps?). It is to score an own goal at a critical point of the game. There is no need to disgust us if it is attention you need.

Visit social media for Maruping’s work.

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