Equality

Racism, sexism and homophobia: Which prejudice is worse?

By Matthew Beetar Racism is more of a problem than sexism. But sexism is more of a problem than xenophobia, which is less of a problem — occasionally — than homophobia. Transphobia we deal with sometimes, and ageism — what is that even? And dealing with ableism — let’s not take this “reconciliation” thing too…

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Cultural embodiments of the life and death instincts in human beings

Since the 19th century, when the heirs of 17th- and 18th-century British empiricism started thinking of the social implications of the empiricist doctrine, that all we know comes from experience, thinkers like Lord Shaftesbury and his ilk have believed that human society was “perfectible”. After all, if society could be arranged in such a way…

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Of birth rights and gay rights

By Steven Hussey “Nobody is born gay” reads the headline of a billboard by a so-called “pro-ex-gay” non-profit in the United States. The ad shows identical twin brothers with the revelation, “One gay. One not.” Profound. Ironically, the openly gay South African model featured in the ad, who has no twin brother and whose image…

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South Africa, we can do and be better

By Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar It would seem that racism is a divisive topic. It seems to me that the rattling of that word bothers people. It brings out such defensive reactions. It is troubling to see how easy it is to become self-righteous, indignant and defensive. We must guard against this tendency. Let us not…

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Towards a better development agenda for the global south

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. They were adopted in September 2000 through the Millennium Declaration at the 55th session of the United Nations General Assembly, convened as the Millennium Assembly. The MDGs, understood to be a global development agenda, focused on poverty reduction, access to education, gender parity, healthcare access, sustainable development…

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Racism in SA is real and it matters

By Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar We have seen the distractions all around us. We have been confronted with a great deal of flash but not much substance: from the protection orders urgently brought (and then discharged), to the newsletters from Helen Zille to the battle between a Chester and Ms Zille. However, this sideshow distracts us…

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Remembering Mandela the feminist

By Ntombenhle Khathwane As a black woman, like other black women, I have it tough. Especially in the world of business, corporate and academia: black women have to work harder than any other, including black men, to gain recognition, promotion or even entry. Since I left formal employment and started building a business, I have…

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Rampant racism in the US, the land of the not so free

I recently got my visa to visit the US of A. By recently, I mean three days ago. And as much as I’m excited for this much-anticipated holiday, I have many misgivings. The woman behind the glass at the United States Consulate in Johannesburg looked stern as she asked me if I have reason to…

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‘I am penis, hear me roar’: The threat of lesbianism

Men seem to labour under the misapprehension that sex is about them. This is not a hastily made statement, there is some evidence behind it. Exhibit A: The idea that men think they’re “putting the D” to or “giving it” to someone. The rhetoric gives the impression that the rest of us come to the…

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Africa, the dark continent?

By Matthew de la Hey “The world is like a Mask dancing. If you want to see it well you do not stand in one place” — Chinua Achebe Do they know it’s Christmas? Well of course they do. They’ll probably go to church, and then spend the day with their families. I find the…

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