Tue Sep 26 16:20:08 SAST 2017

Why the sudden culture shock, ladies?

2013-01-21 12:30:57.0 | Madala Thepa |

At the risk of giving women readers type 2 diabetes, I must hasten to mention that my psychological truss has been slipping of late.

Picture taken from www.capetownmagazine.com

Maybe it's Bafana Bafana or the realisation that the ruling party has lost the concept of nation management, but I tend to agree that some rituals are not supposed to be performed near women.

Sacrifices, rituals and superstition have always had a significant impact on black life - and on the lives of other racial groups - even before the biblical patriarch's faith was tested on his son Isaac on that great altar of sacrifice.

In this biblical scene women weren't allowed to be around in case Abraham lost his titanium balls and failed to see out the assignment.

At the Snorting Grunter we know that Africans' cultural and ritual underpants were showing long before the Voortrekkers were whipped by King Sekwati in Sekhukhune - long before Dingaan plotted against Shaka.

So the report that women would not be allowed "to occupy the lower level of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium next to the players' change rooms" because they will give the players bad luck should not be read as shocking and barbaric or discriminatory.

Africans and other racial groups have always had a moment of ritual "session" that involves only men.

The same way that parents were peeved when a suspended teacher from Soweto was reportedly entering the girls toilets at the school to check out the gals or beat them up.

The implication is that girls dormitories or toilets are holy.

A man is not supposed to enter there, whether women are present or not. So women have always known ritual and culture.

But the ANC Women's League think this is implausible.

To put it in their own words: "The ANCWL is shocked and appalled at reports that some of the Afcon teams gearing up to play in the upcoming continental soccer tournament feel women in stadiums are bad luck.

"Never in the history of sports events hosted in South Africa has the ANCWL ever heard of such absurdity.

"We call on all women sports fans to refuse this kind of treatment and demand the equal rights enshrined in our constitution."

This is despite the fact that in African homes there are rituals that are not supposed to be performed by women, such as the slaughter of cows or goats - or any animal for that matter. They call it culture.

Women seem to have been fine with this cultural arrangement until now, and not only because men outweigh women by a million pounds of testosterone.

Culture, whatever it means, has always been observed in African homes.

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