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Category Archives: Stuff that Pisses Me Off

“Dress properly and rape will decline?” > WTF?


I won’t lie to you – the past week or two and in particularly the last few days, have been taxing. I never thought I would think about “what happened” this much ever again.

Last night, those memories (some of which I had even forgotten, I thought) made me cry – for the first time in ages. I have to thank Mark Gamanya (BTW: This individual should not be confused with Mark Gamanya from Professionals SA, who happens to be a great guy) for that. Thanks for telling the world how rape declines if women dress ‘properly’.

I am not in favour of naming and shaming. These are not the Middle Ages after all, in which people accused of God knows what are displayed in public. But in this case I am making an exception.

Mark, saying that a woman should pay the highest price when a man can’t control his lustful pecker and basically condoning criminal behavior is unforgivable.  Taking that aside – you have no idea what you are talking. Rape is not just about wanting to have sex or skimpy clothing. It is about power, the drive to subject others, to dominate, to feel powerful. Do you effing research before you single-handedly smack thousands and thousands of South African women in the face – as well as your fellow male counterparts.

The image below says it all.

The fact that you, on Twitter, claim to be a motivational speaker just … just baffles me. I am too afraid to think what you are trying to convince your audiences of.

Oh, and don’t you come with your ‘freedom of expression’ excuse. As a journalist, I am a genuine freedom of expression fan – but that Holy Principle has boundaries. You overstepped those.

PS: I was wearing jeans when it happened. Very improper attire indeed. 

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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Stuff that Pisses Me Off, The World of Mir

 

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Todd Akin & Fans: Punish rapists, not their victims!


[This post contains profanities, lots of them – and the odd typo. Blame the sheer anger]

I have a dream, and that is of a world in which men and women have an equal say, equal pay, equal power, equal possibilities, equal rights and equal responsibilities. A world, in which we no longer regard the inauguration of a president equipped with a vagina as “something special”.

I wish for a world in which men and women are eachother’s peers and associates, with equal obligations and duties; a world in which men and women are allowed to make the same decisions over their careers, over whom they love, and over what happens with and to their bodies.

And when I say equal, I mean equal. There is no such thing like ‘a little bit more (or less) equal’. You are either equal to the person standing next to you, or you are not. The Oxford Dictionary after all defines ‘equality’ as being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value and having the same status, rights, or opportunities. It is a bit like being pregnant: you either are, or you are not. There is no debatable middle ground here, ladies and gentlemen.

Fancy gender equality veneer

Some regions in the world seem to have come a long way in the decades after women started to set alight their bras, yet others have an equally long way to go – despite the content of their constitutions (South Africa is a good example). Even in Europe and the US, both seen as beacons of civilization, human rights, and equality, there is room for improvement. Even there, equality between men and women is sometimes nothing but a thin layer of fancy veneer that masks a sometimes not so equal reality.

Pessimistic? Nah. I don’t think so. I consider myself a perfectionist rather. As long as there are EU commissions to make sure that women have the same rights and responsibilities as men; as long as there is a need for gender equality NGOs; as long as there are people of influence who are doing their best to undermine women’s wellbeing – the situation is far from optimal.

Able to shut down pregnancy? Gimme a break!

Talking about those people of influence. Over the past few weeks, various US politicians – all men – have climbed onto their soapboxes to inform the world how a) rape affects women physically and mentally b) how there are various, sometimes less serious, types of rape and c) how females should deal with pregnancies as a result of this act that falls into the category crime against humanity.

“[Pregnancy as a result of rape] seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down,” said Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican representative, earlier this month.

This came on top of other utterings of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and presidential hopeful Ron Paul, both Republicans. They respectively coined the phrases “forcible rape” and “honest rape” – suggesting that there are god forms of rape.

Visitation rights for rapists? WTF?

Then there are various states in the United States (31 of of them) where the law – which is often drawn up by men, let’s be honest – allows rapists to claim visitation rights and custody of the child (if pregnancy occurs). Yes, let’s rape the woman all over again shall we? Let’s give the asshole in the story some rights.

American male politicians are not alone with their retarded ideas about rape and how it affects women.

* In 2011, UK Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke claimed that “date rape” was less “serious” than other attacks.

* Last week, Kees van der Staaij, the leader of the Dutch Christian fundamentalist party SGP, echoed the backwards remarks by Todd Akin – and refused to take them back.

* In 2005, South African Constitutional Court Judge Moegoeng Mogoeng – back then judge in the former Bophuthatswana High Court – reduced the jail sentence of the rapist of a seven-year old girl from five to three years because “the accused was 30 years old and a first-time offender, married with two children and a soldier who earned R1 800 a month. “While he accepted that the girl’s vagina had been penetrated, he found that it was not known whether this was with the man’s penis or his finger, as her dress had covered her face,” The Mail & Guardian reported.

Acceptable forms of rape? WTF?

Back to Akin and his hillbilly friends. I refuse to dig into his ‘knowledge’ regarding the female body. I refuse. That is plain stupidity and ignorance. Nothing a few years of high school biology classes can’t fix.

What does bring my blood to a simmering boil is the suggestion that there are apparently acceptable forms of rape. What makes me spit fire and brimstones is that men have the audacity to tell women, who were raped by other vagina-less human beings, how they should deal with the potential consequences of rape. Instead of going after the rapists, these men push the problem into the victims’ corner – and uteri.

Excuse my French but give me fucking a break already! Todd Akin and Fan Club – whether you are from the US or elsewhere: You are nothing but a bunch of backward, ignorant, heartless assholes living in the Stone Age. Did your mothers collectively drop you on your heads when you were little, or were you born this way? I really can’t fucking tell.

You have no clue how it feels!

In My Humble Opinion you three, as well as your fans out there, should keep your ignorant, dumb-ass mouths shut about how victims should deal with the aftermath of a crime that affects mainly women (not men!) and is committed mainly by males, your male counterparts (not women!).

You ‘gentlemen’ have no clue about how it feels when someone forces himself onto and into to you, simply because you were equipped with a vagina – and not a penis. You will probably never know how it feels when your pleas are ignored. You will never know how it feels to lie on your bed, too drugged up (involuntary, in my case, by the guy I was dating at the time. I hope that of all people, YOU Kenneth Clarke, with your hurtful date rape comments, are reading this post) to protest but conscious enough to realize what it going on.

You will never feel the overpowering mix of humiliation, the loss of dignity, self-worth and self-love on le moment supreme when someone forcefully shoves his penis inside you. You will not spend hours in the shower because you feel so dirty you want to die, scrubbing until your skin is red and raw. Nor will you cry yourself to sleep for days after and have anger tantrums for weeks and months.

Soul-crushing, nauseating fear

You will not have to go to the GP for all sorts of STD tests. You will not have sit at the cop shop and explain everything to a total stranger.  You will not know how it feels when they tell you the evidence is so small that there is not a case – because there was a condom in the equation.

You will not suffer the mental consequences, including lack of trust in people and never wanting to have sex ever again – which subsequently may lead to one failed relationship after the other. You will not feel the overpowering, soul-crushing, nauseating fear when you accidentally bump into the perpetrator years later, just before a job interview.

I personally can’t even start to imagine how it must be like to fall pregnant on top of all of that, and having to look at a swelling belly containing the product of one of the worst days of your life. I can’t imagine having to allow the rapist back into my life because he wants to see the baby.

The above was enough, thank you very much.

It must be excruciatingly painful having to carry the rape pregnancy to full term – whether you give up the child for adoption or not. When you are not pregnant, you can sometimes forget about what happened. Sometimes, in whatever shape or form, you are able to black it out. How the fuck can you ever come to terms with the ordeal when you are forced to carry your rapist’ child, and love it at the same time? Or even worse, when you are forced to allow the rapist back into you life? How?

Spare me your pro-life bull shit 

Akin & Fan Club, in the US and elsewhere (even in my so-called tolerant native land The Netherlands there are politicians with similar convictions): Spare me your murder and pro-life bullshit crap nonsense.

Do you morons realize that tampering with women’s reproductive rights will lead to an increase in backyard abortions? DO YOU? We females are pretty determined and industrious that way. If we want to get rid of ‘it’, we will find a solution – whether it is allowed and safe, or not.

You don’t have to push daisies in order to be dead

Those backyard abortions are deadly. Globally, 17 million women per year undergo illegal, unsafe abortions because there is not other option available and of them 70.000 do not live to tell the tale. This has severe implications on their families, children and the overall fabric of their communities. Most children in the world are raised primarily with their mothers. I am sure you get the idea.

Akin & Fan Club, with your pro-life theory you are giving a cluster of cells, that can’t possibly survive on its own, a much superior status than a woman of flesh and blood, a woman who has been living and breathing.

Your mothers would be proud.

Taken all of the above aside, can I inform you that one does not have to be pushing daisies in order to be dead! It took me years to feel alive again, to regain my confidence in the opposite sex, to disallow the past from affecting the present, and to have functional relationships again.

Todd Akin and fan Club: I know you are hiding behind the Mighty Bible, but try to listen to your common sense and stop your pro-life bullshit and stop telling rape victims what they can and can’t do with their uteri. Instead, fight the perpetratorsThey are the problem, not the women who are trying their best to patch their lives back  together. 

 

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Failing our women & two super sisters who are fighting for them


I have some pretty amazing friends, as I mentioned before. Today, I want to push Marelise Van Der Merwe in the spotlights. Why? Because she – together with her sister Amelie – is determined to save the Saartjie Baartman Centre (SBC) in Cape Town from forced closure. How? By raising a R100.000 in ten days – R500 at a time.

What is so special about the SBC? The center – situated in Manenberg, an area ravaged by violence, gang warfare, drugs, and poverty – is very simply the only option for many women and their children to escape the chronic physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse. It is therefore the only chance to rebuild their lives. It is either that, or sleeping on the streets, or staying with their abusers. It is the horrid truth.

This center is now being threatened with closure after the Lotto has failed to pay out (other NGOs and charities are facing similar circumstances). The organisation’s immediate needs are R100.000 to get through the next couple of months. The money needs to come in before the end of May. No money = closure = 20 to 30 women and their children (all traumatized by the abuse they suffered) will be forced onto the streets or back in abusive households. Simple.

Marelise and Amelie are determined to prevent this from happening and are on a mission to raise R100.000 in the next ten days or so – R500 at a time. How? They need 20 people a day to pledge R50 (47 euro / 59 US dollar). So far, Cape Town’s two newest super heroes seem to be on track (check http://100-grand-in-ten-days.blogspot.com !!!)

One of the latest people who donated, was my own mother (Marijke Mannak) by the way. She donated R500 (well, the equivalent in euros as she lives in The Netherlands) and knowing her, she is busy spreading the word RIGHT NOW!

How can you help? First of all: spread the word. The more people know about this, the better. Secondly, make a donation. R500 is ideal, more is even better but less is fine too.

The account details are: ABSA / savings / 9156133936. Please use the reference ‘BAARTMAN’ and send proof of payment to marelise@gmail.com. Those who prefer to donate straight to the center, use the following details  but please don’t forget to let The Super Sisters know about your pledge so they can track the donations and post updates)

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children
First National Bank 201509
Current account 62028179415
SWIFT Code: FIRNZAJJ

I have written a press release about, which can be found here. Please download it, use it, and send in on to everyone you know! Let’s not fail these women!

 

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Confessions of a childless 35-year old spinster


I turned 35 last week, and I hated every second of it. Well, not really every second. Look, it was great to hang out with my parents of course, but for various very defined and specific reasons I felt a bit crap. I never envisaged myself spending my 35th on my own. If it were up to me, I would have had a family by now. The thought that my ex and I were supposed to start the whole ‘trying for a baby’ thing sometime around NOW (a plan he single-handedly canned after he decided to stay on some island at the arse-end of the world) does not help much.

Instead of having a family in the pipeline, and someone who loves me to its, I am on my own. An 35-year old freelance spinster with two cats. No, I do not look old if I say so myself. But I have to face the fact that my ovaries are over a third of a century old and that I therefore do not have all the time in the world.

Of course I will meet someone else somewhere down the line, but if I want to realize my family plan I need to make sure that a) he wants kids, b) wants them fairly soon (No, I don’t want them tomorrow but I dont fancy the idea to be a 65-year old mother of a teenager either) and c) is a nice guy (which could be an ominous task, when looking at my track record of assholes and fuckwits).

Another option is to do it on my own. Gazillions of women have done and are doing it alone: having and raising a child. I am sure I would be able to do that. There are some problems though.

Firstly, I am a freelancer and I am not earning heaps of moolah. In addition: South Africa’s living costs are increasing by the minute. Secondly, my folks live in The Netherlands (I imagine I would need their mental support). Thirdly, I would love to do it with someone else. No, I do not have to be in a relationship with that person. A very involved donor would be very cool too.

But finding a sperm donor who is nice and who wants to be involved in the child’s upbringing as a father figure seems to be a task from hell. Then again, there must be single men out there who have not been able to find a partner but who want to become a father. Or not?

Another option is to form a commune with other women who are in the same position. You know, the whole “It takes a village to raise a child” thing.

So yes, indeed, I feel a bit stuck. Do I realize my dream of becoming a mom? Do I give up on it, seeing there are so many issues involved? Do I give myself a year or six months before I make a decision?

Anyway, I was wondering if there are other people out there who are in a similar position. Please send me your comments or drop me an email.

 
 

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Dear Dickhead Who Hurt My Friend


* Start rant* 

I am fed up of players and slime balls. I am. They suck. Ass.  Really. I honestly despise men who think a woman is nothing more than a walking pair of tits adorned with an ass.

Gentlemen, there is nothing fun about walking down the street and having to listen to someone shouting some profanity in your direction. Making remarks is one thing, but some guys are downright rude. It raises my blood to a boil in no time and it makes me want to bury my Havaiana & foot deep into your crotch.

The same counts for men who pretend they are ruled by the mind and heart and soul, while they are actually thinking with their winkies. Or with their ‘small head’ as my American host mom used to joke.

These men offer you a drink, compliment you on your eyes (*sigh*), and ask you things that make you believe these men are in fact interesting in what you do / have to say. They show compassion with sick little puppies, tell you how much they enjoy cooking / gardening / hiking / community work and throw in a full assortment of clichés (“I love kids”, “I love my mom”, etc). In other words, they make you believe that they are God’s gift to women in every sense of the word.

You swap numbers and he smses everyday. You decide to go on a couple of dates, and become rather smitten with this lovely individual. Not too long later, you are invited over for dinner at his place. You eat, you laugh, you kiss. And then, all of a sudden, his hands are everywhere you don’t want them to be. You politely push them away, and joke about it. You end up declining the offer to stay over, and go home at the end of the evening.

And then you stop hearing from him. Radio silence de Luxe.

This is exactly what happened to one of my dearest friends, a beautiful girl with a ditto heart and a magnificent set of brains.

Well, guess what Mister Giant Whorebag of Note: the fact that my lovely friend accepted your drinks and dinners and what not, did not entitle you to a one-way ticket to her bed. Oh, and next time you send a degrading sms (“No man. She wasn’t up for it, so I am moving on. Next, ha ha!”): Check to whom you send it before you press the green button.

So help me God: if I find ever bump into you, you would do well to prepare your ‘little head’ for a up-close and personal encounter with my flipflop.

That is all.

*End rant*

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Stuff that Pisses Me Off, The World of Mir

 

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Dutch government goes extra mile to show heartlessness


Who remembers the case of Mauro Manuel, the 18-year old who was born in Angola and arrived in The Netherlands at the age of ten? Yup, I am talking about the young man who is more Dutch than the average Kaaskop, and who was voted off the island by the Dutch government recently.

Mauro’s case reminded me of Sahar Hbrahim Gel from Afghanistan, although she and her family ended up being among the lucky ones. Last year December, the Dutch government driven by the right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV), were about to give this 14-year old and her family the boot.

Yes, after ten years they had to back “home”, regardless of the fact that this could put the life of Sahar, in all aspects a Western girl, in danger. Eventually, after lots and lots of pressure, the family received their residency permits. Thank God.

With Mauro, I thought the government had really outdone itself. How heartless can you be to send a teenage boy back to a country he has absolutely nothing? Well, I was wrong. Ver very very wrong. Mauro was just te tip of the iceberg.

The Dutch government has just gone the extra mile in this respect. This case revolves around 9-year old Jossef and his mother, both from Eritrea. They arrived in The Netherlands when the boy was just an infant. Yup, you guessed it: my country of birth, often thought of as the pinnacle of tolerance abroad, is sending them back.

I have no words for what is happening in the country where I was born. Yes, there are rules and I understand that. But to deny a child, which has grown up here and is in every aspect a Dutch citizen, and send it back to a country which is far form safe is criminal to the core.

I have no words apart from some very very rude ones. It seems my country of birth is developing into a right-wing state with fascist tendencies where politicians are successfully trying to white-wash the land from  everything and everyone with a certain hue.

PS: Please sign both petitions asking for Jossef to stay: http://bit.ly/vaFAol and http://bit.ly/rDi04d

PS: My passport is still for sale. Discount offered.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Stuff that Pisses Me Off, The World of Mir

 

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Yesterday the African National Congress shoved a big fat middle finger in the face of democracy and all of those who died, bled, cried, fought and suffered for a free country with among other things a free press Look, I am not going to talk much about yesterday. By now pretty much everything has been said about the day that will go down in history as “Black Tuesday”. I have written two blogs about it, which you will find here and here. Here are some pictures though, to show you what went down in Cape Town yesterday. Enjoy. PS: If you for some reason like my pictures and want to use them for something, please don’t be a douche by ripping them off my blog. It would make you a thief as these are my images. So please ask first. 

 

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