Gillian Schutte

Leering glances: The silence on sexual harassment is untenable

Sexual harassment on the streets is a pervasive phenomenon that women from a range of racial and cultural backgrounds as well as social circumstances experience in daily life. Most men, even educated men from so-called respectable backgrounds belittle women’s experiences of sexual harassment. Internationally, this has led to a spate of new films and campaigns…

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Middle-class narratives and the disconnect with the poor

In January this year, numerous protestors were killed by the police in service-delivery protests, four of them simply for rising up to demand a most basic right — water. This is a contravention of human rights on many levels and while it sent shock waves through poor black working-class and marginalised communities, the broader middle…

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Let’s talk about the protests. Where is the empathy and outrage?

“The country is burning”. “Burning frustration”. “Hot-headed in South Africa”. These are the headlines that abound about the many protests that are currently erupting around South Africa. On television we witness mobs of black people apparently running amok, building barricades and burning tyres. We hear of the disenfranchised masses dancing, picking up rocks and supposedly…

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An activist’s manifesto for 2014: Ten social justice issues to champion

The fanfare at the beginning of a new year is usually celebratory and full of hope. This celebration is a way for people to wipe the slate clean and begin anew. But last year, 2013, was a particularly tumultuous year in South Africa when we were besieged by problems. In reality, these problems have been…

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We need to talk about racism (TEDx Talk)

So here I am, on the TEDx stage, to deliver the message that makes me probably the most hated person in South Africa — as far as white many people are concerned. Certainly I have been called all sorts of horrible things including self-loathing, masochistic, a black-wannabe, a bitch, witch, man-hating dyke, mad women who…

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What the fake signing man really told us

Gibberish or not, what the fake signing man so pithily exposed about our society, is that white privilege and commonsense racism continue to permeate and dominate the South African public conversation. This was evident in the many educated and colloquial responses to this debacle which, rather than focusing on the grave disservice done to the…

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Nine things white people can do to help transform South Africa

In tribute to Mandela’s vision for a world that is rid of racism, I have created this list of nine things white people can do to assist in the transformation of South Africa. “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must…

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Golden Boy

I have often been asked how I got into writing about the inequalities and racialised problematics of our society. When I reflect back on it I realise that my son was probably one of my biggest teachers. From the moment he moved into the realm of language he made the most astounding social observations from…

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Dear Eusebius, if you ever go to Buckingham Palace make sure to go without me

Eusebius McKaiser writes in this week’s Sunday Times column that he finds me intellectually fascinating and then goes on to describe, in nit-picking terms, how he interprets my work. He asks if I do not get tired of tweeting and tweeting (me?) antiracist rhetoric as well as writing plentiful angry essays about my fellow “blind…

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A blonde walked into the room

A blonde walked into the room. Tokyo’s loins stirred like a shifting crocodile on the banks of the Limpopo … or perhaps a mole on the first day of spring … or possibly an idea about to be birthed. The point is they stirred and this took him by surprise. He had not felt stirred…

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