The voiceless hero
What does a mother tell her children when she can’t feed them?
How deep are the tears made to her soul from hearing her child crying for food?
Poverty is not merely material but also a state of mind. Poverty is shame, powerlessness, despair, fear and lack of agency.
I was staring at the picture of a mother and her dying, skeletal child in her arms. This is the typical picture of the pornography of poverty that westerners use to dehumanize, commodify, objectify and exoctify the whole continent of Africa and its thousands of peoples. On this picture, they don’t see a mother and her child, they don’t even see people, they see a blank canvas on which to project their darkest neurosis and delusions of grandeur.
This woman had the grace and poise of an angel. She was tenderly holding the soon-to-be corpse of her child with motherly love. Yet her face was stoic and expressionless and the light had gone from her eyes.
I imagine her walking days and nights on an empty stomach with her hungry child strapped to her back desperately looking for food. I imagine her singing lullabies, counting the tales of the glory of her people, making jokes and funny faces just to divert her child’s attention from hunger and appease his suffering.
How did she cope? Where did she find the strength? Where people would usually see the darkness of Africa, as they would call it in the west, I see the amazing power of love, courage and strength. This is beauty!!!
She is the true definition of a hero, a hero that the whole world despises and pities without compassion or humanity.
Had any of the UN workers standing in the background stopped to ask her how she was doing? Obviously NO. Because they don’t care. No one cares about her. They wouldn’t even care to ask her her name, she is just another nameless brown face in pain. No one cares about the voice and feelings of a poor African mother with her child, the child she bore, brought to this world, cherished and promised to protect, that child was dying and a part of her too.
UN workers dump bags of rice from the sky. They are sent from those same evil nations who create and sustain the misery of this woman. Westerners physically feed off her impoverishment and psychologically feed off the spectacle of her destitution. It reassures them that they are on the right side of humanity, that their civilization is the best, that their lives are better, that they are better. And in their ‘white savior’ high, they may even think that they care, that for dumping bags of food from the sky on the people they have condemned to a slow and painful death, THEY are the heroes. But they are not!
The only heroes are this woman and millions like her around the world who courageously fight through the misery bought by the white supremacist axis of evil.
Everyone claims to care and want to help her but no one would sit on the floor next to her, hold her hand and listen to her story*.
*They are far too busy taking pictures of her pain and masturbating to it.
I can’t believe that I could ever write something this powerful, well to me at least. Sometimes, bewildered by the senselessness of the world, I am touched by grace, I guess.
This dedicated to every single woman in Africa, every forgotten and disregarded woman who manages to make it through, to cater for their loved-ones and who has the courage to be as an act of resistance against a vile system dedicated to crush them.
Can you please do something or say something to these evil men who are murdering, raping us because of our sexuality. Please save us from this pain?I fear for our lives every day i ask myself who’s next and that doesn’t sit well with me, I’m sure if u stand up and say enough is enough and show that you love and support us, you would succeed in fighting this hatred, because this issues affects you as well.
I’m writing this letter full of tears, loosing hope, weak, and most of all tired and disappointed that our government, justice system, broader communities and our families are not taking action to protect us from these evil men who think killing women particularly lesbians and giving us pain is a solution and that makes them men enough and makes it right for them to do that, but still no one is saying anything about that, no one cares even when they know that we are being brutally murdered.
Parents help us reclaim our humanity and dignity, I feel like a criminal in my own country and criminals walk free after doing this shocking and hateful things to our bodies, and boast about what they are doing to us and still continue doing that just because they think we are competing with them and feel threatened by us, REALLY? Is it Power relations, is it culture and tradition? That’s just scary and oppressive to lesbian women and to women in general. When half of the population feel that they own every woman’s body and they can do anything because they know that women are vulnerable.
I feel and I’m confident to say we are being disrespected, threatened, prejudice and our human rights are violated yet our justice system is failing us.
We don’t want to be tolerated , we have human rights by virtue of being Human, being a lesbian does not make us less human, there’s nothing wrong with us loving same sex, I never thought that loving women can make people to be this insecure and have this much hate.
Nonkululeko “said she has more reasons why she won’t have a man in her life and said she won’t change who she is and what she believe in and for her to get what she wants she work hard and smart, she doesn’t go around hurting people causing unnecessary pain to them, so these men need to learn that”.
Parents we are your children, we need you to fight this with us, if you as our parents can stand up against this evil, the senseless murders would go down, if not end.
I know it’s hard for you as well but is it hard for you to say STOP the murders on our Children’s body? Come out as collective and say something, make noise for us, start campaigns involve yourselves in human rights organisation so that you know that its within your right to fight for human rights and for those that a marginalised what happened to Wathinta umfazi wathintha Imbhokodo?
If you love us and care about us its time you stand up for us and raise awareness about these issues.
LESBIAN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS, QUEER RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
Forum for the Empowerment of Women
FEW was established by black lesbian women activists living in Johannesburg in 2001.In a post 1994 South Africa and with the new constitution of 1996 recognising sexual orientation within the equality clause, it was clear that we had to organize ourselves to ensure that we were able to claim and live the rights entrenched in the constitution. Already, with increasing numbers of LGBTI people coming out and being visible both in everyday life as well as within human rights defending work, the age-old issues of discrimination, stigmatisation and marginalization were becoming more blatant. The group which initially began the conversation about organizing black lesbian women were concerned that within the broader LGBTI and women’s human rights issues, black lesbian women were more vulnerable because of intersecting identities, contexts and realities.
We also recognised the power within our community – both black lesbian women, women in general and the LGBTI community – to confront the abuses that were being perpetrated against us in a democratic South Africa. Initially, the focus was on social space and service provision, including counseling and information, education and communication on key issues, health and related realities of lesbian lives. A key focus was on the issue of hate crimes, particularly rape and sexual assault, which were being reported in growing numbers. The hate crimes were being perpetrated based on assumptions about sexual orientation and gender identity which were seen as deviant and so worthy of responses by communities. This homophobia was directed at all LGBTI people, but the targeting of black lesbian women for this “fixing” was obvious and linked to the patriarchal nature of our society which in turn fed heteronormativity. Projects included a small scholarship fund for survivors of hate crime related violence, drama and soccer as processes to engage with black lesbian women.
I want you to believe in me. I love you like a man, like a brother, and like a father. Every time I’ve opened my mouth, assumed by battle stance, I was trying in effect to say I love you, African — African woman. My protest has been a small one, something much more effective is hidden in my mind — believe in me Angela.
women in my eyes are such beautiful, sophisticated and complex creations and i have a reserved amount of love and respect for all of womankind. i have such a profound respect for women as individuals and an immense passion for women as a whole, yet i’m a young heterosexual man whose never engaged in sex with a woman or even exclusively claimed a woman as my girlfriend. i’ve never been one to be possessive of a woman and despite my dating girls in the past, the relationships were never completely exclusive and i was adamant on not placing titles on one another. aside from my fear of commitment, i felt many young girls are obsessed with the hyper-romanticized ideals of relationships portrayed in television, films and books and when they weren’t fulfilled with their unsuccessful attempt at a fairytale relationship, they were on to another casanova and entered adulthood with a long list of ex’s. i never wanted any girls i cared about to fall victim to the damsel in distress lifestyle and i damn sure didn’t wanna play a part in their fairytale. but on the contrary, i was also intimidated by girls with strong, dominant personas and expressed their immortality with steady composure; not because i didn’t want a woman with those qualities, but because i, myself, lacked those qualities, making me unfit for a woman like that. i took things slowly in relationships with women in an attempt to avoid the speed, crash and burn relationships of my peers but many girls saw my actions as procrastination, which it may have been, but my intentions were pure. maybe too pure. my inability to take things to the next level caused me to break hearts despite my “mr. right” title many girls often deem me with regardless of the warning and advice i give them when i hear them call me that. i would always say, “stop worrying about mr. right and worry about mister just right FOR YOU.” all that did was make them see me as mr. right even more. i’m now 21, haven’t kissed a girl in three years and am still stuck on my crush from Jr high. the same crush who had an even bigger crush on me but got over me after i turned her down countless times. i was shy and didn’t see any good coming from me officially dating her so i kept things casual, unknowingly broke her heart and lets just say karma is now taking her course. despite what most people think of young male adults, chasing girls is not on my list of things to do and i have much work to do on myself before i can include a significant other in life and bore her in my issues. i’ll just keep living life and if i come across a young woman who catches my eye, i’ll approach her. or hope i catch her eye and get approached by her. it is get prerogative after all.
*Eating pop corn, waiting for more*
I want to sleep with you side by side
Our hair intertwined
Our sexes joined
With your mouth for a pillow.
I want to sleep with you back to back
With no breath to part us
No words to distract us
No eyes to lie to us
With no clothes on.
To sleep with you breast to breast
Tense and sweating
Shining with a thousand quivers
Consumed by ecstatic mad inertia
Stretched out on your shadow
Hammered by your tongue
To die in a rabbit’s rotting teeth
& those scars i had hidden wit smiles & good
& i dont know i dont know any more tricks
i am really colored & really sad sometimes & you hurt me
Look at me,
Let me be yours .