BEING A BLACK FEMINIST
By: Nosipho Ntombela
Usually culture and religion shape our way of thinking and we often adopt new ideologies, and this begins to clash with what we have been taught by tradition.
Feminism has been around since the 70’s but it’s now seen to be making a more prominent role in the manner in which the modern woman choses to live her life.
The idea of feminism was conceived in the 17th century European social contract theory.
This theory is the idea that both men and women are equal in any sense of life either at home, work, social and political platforms.
Most African countries do not seem to have adapted to this new notion of women and men being equal and especially in some tribes in South Africa
that are still highly patriarchal.
In patriarchal societies, males are viewed as the superior sex.
They show greater masculine power, they are viewed as more intellectually capable than women.
South Africa celebrates national woman’s day on August 9.
The day marks a historic march in 1956 of women from various racial, ethnic and class backgrounds.
The march was a visible display of the power of women to publicly make their voices heard on matters they considered vital to their everyday lives. This shows that besides being nurturers, women are still capable of being leaders in political and social platforms.
The individualised European, male-centric concept of human rights is often contrasted with African customary emphasis on collective rights based on accretive criteria such as lineage,
sex, nobility of birth and age.
Nowadays since the movement of feminist has woken, women have taken a stand to do and become things that society never thought they could be, simply because being a female was
seen as something that limits your potential as a woman.
Vusi Nxumalo, a law student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal does not believe that feminism actually exits. He said that it is a movement formed by bitter, angry and single
women who are tired of not being noticed by the opposite sex.
“Usually these so-called-feminists are women who are already 38-40 years without a husband and suddenly they become feminists,” said Nxumalo.
“These women should stop spoiling our minds, it is not our fault that they are old and single,” added Nxumalo.
Ayanda Radebe, a student and self-proclaimed writer who is a blogger understands and hears the limitations that culture and religion dictates she has as a woman. Radebe said that she
understands and knows her full potential as a woman.
“I am a Zulu woman and a feminist. The two are often at odd but I embrace both,” Radebe said.
“When I think in isiZulu I am defined by being my father’s daughter, a respectable young woman and all of kinds of domesticated. When I think in English I am my own woman with
my own aspirations,” she continued.
Radebe said that she is unbothered by respectability politics and in possession of plenty of sexual agency.
“I believe we are all equal but I am biased towards women. I believe in the abilities and talents of women. I am forever rooting for us and I love to see nothing more than a woman
being comfortable in her own skin and owning her complexities,” concluded Radebe.
Radebe said that being a Zulu woman and a feminist are both her identities; both these things make her who she is.