Bye bye bi-sexualism…

13 04 2008

By Alna Dall

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In memory of the recent Pride week: I pay tribute to individuals such as Simon Nkoli who signalled the importance of gay and lesbian rights as HUMAN rights. I am particularly pleased that the torch is held high by people such as Zackie Achmat who was the founding farther of the Treatment Action Campaign. As pleased as these people make me, I am nevertheless sadly disappointed by the gay and straight community alike.

There seems to be a small part of society that suffers from underrepresentation when it comes to gender politics, particularly on the Rhodes campus. I am referring to the perhaps-confused, perhaps-perfectly-happy bi-sexuals. We are all aware of the connotations which the word “bi-sexual” implies. Some see them as indecisive, by others they are seen as pretentious attention-seekers. Regardless of whether they are judged by the straight or gay community – they ARE judged and patronised on a regular basis.

When I asked a member of the Outrhodes Committee (students who represent gay rights here at Rhodes) why they pay barely any attention to bi-sexual issues, she was very unresponsive. She did say that if there were documentaries on bi-sexualism, she would air them to the gay community. Is that it?

I do not suggest that we have a bi-sexual pride week. (And it should be mentioned that straight people don’t take a week off to celebrate their pride in being straight…) I am sure all bi-sexuals are happy with their worldwide celebration on 23rd September every year. It would just be nice if the bi-sexuals (even the bi-curious) could be treated as a class of their own. I am sure they would appreciate it. Everyone is “proud” of their sexual orientation but prejudice against bi-sexuals makes it very hard for them to even think of “coming out of the closet”.

As Wendy Curry (bi-sexual activist) said:… “Ignoring us won’t make us go away”. Ignoring bi-sexuals will certainly not force them into being gay or straight either…


“Take it off, take it all off!”

11 04 2008

By Bianca Silva

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“Take it off! Take it off! Take it off!” Whilst that may sound like a rather intriguing opening line to a blog piece I assure you that when it is being shouted out by a large mass of females in a club with one day left until the weekend, it is enough to drive fear into the very soul of anyone sober.

For some unfathomable reason I thought it would be fun to go a once-off College evening where boys were stripping (just down to their underwear) and I thought it was for charity, I may have been wrong though. Perhaps I am just optimistic and thought it would be fun and done in good taste. However half-way through the night I couldn’t help but feel as if I was in a butchery and the half exposed male specimen on the make-shift stage was just a piece of meat being hackled over. They looked like half-helpless prized cows which if not sacrificed to one of the “goddesses” (or any diva in tiny clothes with organs freshly marinated by the free punch) then that poor man would be ripped to shreds, like stale left-overs thrown to enraged Tasmanian devils. 

Now to understand the full extent how much that grosses me out you must know that I am a vegetarian. You should also know that whilst I fully respect animal rights, that is not why I am a vegetarian, meat simply makes me feel ill, as does the thought of it. So far fish is the only thing I can stomach. Back to my tangent…

Now I suppose it would be possible to pull Sigmund Freud or some other theorist out of your handbag and say that the women enjoy those nights so much because for a change they are not being objectified. It was Plush who said, “Women walk around with mace in their bags, just a piece of meat waiting to be tagged, oh I can believe this happens in my land, I can’t believe the value of the Rand.” Whilst I’m all for feminine rights I still can’t wrap my head around this ‘objectify each other thing’ and call me old fashioned or bad at maths but when did two wrongs make a right? If you could rank how much we (as a society) value human beings by using a currency, I think we would be using Zimbabwean dollars. Sadly Zimbabwean jokes are still priceless.

Last year I wrote an article on child trafficking. The story looked at how there was no legislation which criminalised child trafficking and how if this was not rectified by 2010 it could be a big problem. The scary thing is that we need to tell people child trafficking is wrong. To me it’s such a strange concept that people can be bought, modern day slavery anyone? Although we claim to have slavery it there are still people who hand out money and things happen, often very inhumane things. We have human rights organisations, we are humans and yet we cannot stop human rights violations from happening. People marry for money, people have sex for money, people strip for money and people will even willingly lose their dignity for money. Either we have a very weak currency or very desperate people.

Whilst there is no harm that was done to the “strippers” last night and it was all done in good spirit (or for many I am sure, too many spirits), there is still something that smells rotten about it. But perhaps I’m just a jaded individual, or perhaps the human butchery really does stink. Anyway you decide.