Health

Fantasies of binaries: Why are we so uncomfortable with difference?

By Pierre Brouard By Sunday May 17 I would have participated in a panel discussion on LGBTI migrants and asylum seekers at an Idahot event organised by the Alliance Francaise in Sunnyside, Pretoria. Idahot is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and is intended to celebrate sexual and gender diversity. This celebratory spin…

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Even good girls need sex

I kind of stumbled onto it. Born into multiple consecutive generations of Scottish missionaries and ministers, growing up in the front pews of the church pastored by my dad, achieving two theology degrees of my own as well as years in church service, led me to distance myself from any belief system that enforces a…

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Xenophobia and violence: A call for psychological expertise

In recent months, the country has experienced gruesome incidents of xenophobia-related violence. Some South Africans attacked, injured and killed a number of non-nationals and South Africans. Businesses belonging to non-nationals were looted and burned. People were driven out of their homes and had to spend time in refugee tent camps. The scenes reported in the…

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Dying for a transplant

By Patricia Erasmus It is a lawyer’s worst nightmare — having to watch your client die. But this was the reality for our staff when an Ethiopian man was brought to us in the final stages of double renal failure. As he lay in the parking lot of our offices, disorientated, weak and struggling to…

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Fighting TB with prisoners’ rights

By Annabel Raw Today is World Tuberculosis Day, commemorating the discovery of the cause of the disease in 1882. Tuberculosis (TB) is an ancient disease with traces in human remains being recorded since antiquity. Despite advances in public health and treatment, today TB continues to claim over one and a half million lives every year,…

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Becoming a man…and losing something on the way

By Olga Bialostocka As South Africa celebrates the first, successful penis transplant in the world, with much-deserved public awe, the question we should ask is why there’s a demand for this sort of specialist treatment. The results of the medical efforts of Stellenbosch University surgeons should be praised but the reasons why young men lose…

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The bitter sugar debate

At a kid’s birthday party recently someone remarked how thin I looked. I told the lady I was following Tim Noakes’ low-carb-high-fat Banting diet. I told her I ate butter like it’s cheese. She gasped a little. I told her I cut sugar completely out of my diet, which made some of the guests stop…

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Unaccompanied migrant children: Why we need to close the legal gaps to protect them

By Anjuli Maistry According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, almost half of the world’s forcibly displaced people are children. A number of factors lead to the migration of foreign children to South Africa. Some flee conflict and unrest, natural disaster or recruitment as child soldiers, while others leave their countries in the…

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How to survive dinner party small talk

If you or anyone close to you has ever made the big move of relocating between the Cape and Gauteng you are probably aware of the stereotypes around their divergent social cultures. Residents of the northern twin cities, after moving south, often describe the social scene in their new home town as clique, and the…

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‘The Life of I': Narcissism and (of course) you

“Paranoia is the self-cure for insignificance … the paranoiac is at the centre of a world which has no centre … to be hated makes him feel real: he has made his presence felt. To be unforgiveable is to be unforgettable.” (Emphases mine.) Australian social philosopher Anne Manne shrewdly begins The Life of I: the…

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