Thursday, 28 March 2013

Her name was Reeva Steenkamp

The other day, I attended a talk on feminism, and one of the women on the panel described how South Africa was gearing up for a major campaign on rape and violence against women, when (and I quote) "a fluffy two-dimensional model got murdered and it was all over the news" (thus knocking the campaign out of the headlines).

Her name was Reeva Steenkamp. She was a lawyer as well as a model. She was a feminist. She had tweeted support for the anti-rape and anti-violence campaign. It was not her fault that she was killed. It's not her fault that the media were more interested in her good looks and her modelling career than in the fact that she was a lawyer and a feminist.

As feminists, we should look behind the headlines and the media hype to see what is really going on, and not mistake the sexist and patriarchal nonsense peddled by the tabloids for anything resembling reality. And we should not refer to other women with the sort of insults that patriarchy dishes out.

I would have challenged the woman on the panel who said this, were it not for the fact that a woman in the audience had said something even more outrageous, which I also felt the need to challenge.

No comments:

Post a Comment