Gauteng plans new law to insult women

07 February 2012 - 18:08 By Abdul Milazi

A visibly agitated Tavern owner in Thembisa, on the East Rand, told me that liquor outlets will be forced to keep pregnancy test kits when the draft Gauteng Liquor Bill of 2012 becomes law.

He saw the puzzled look on my face and he hastened to asked: “Broer, I was told you are a journalist, you mean you haven’t heard about the new liquor bill?”

I told him that I knew about the proposed legislation, but I still didn’t understand why liquor outlets will be forced to keep pregnancy test kits.

“The new law will prohibit the sale of alcohol to pregnant women. How do you propose we verify whether a woman is pregnant or just has a big stomach. There are lots of women with big stomachs these days, even young ones.

Gone are the days when every young woman wanted to have a Coca Cola bottle figure,” said my new-found friend whose name escapes me.

I told him that no woman would agree to be subjected to a pregnancy test by cashiers at a bottle store. Imagine the scenario, a large woman in her late forties enters a bottle store spotting a visible patriotic front just like her middle-class husband (it used to be called a potbelly in the old days). She grabs a few bottles of her favourite poison and proceeds to the till.

The cashier, a young teenage school dropout violently masticating gum, looks her over and says: “Askies auntie you look pregnant, can you go pee in this little cup for me please. It’s for a pregnancy test, you see. We are not allowed to sell to pregnant people.”

Imagine the ruckus this will cause, with the “pregnant” woman screaming murder while trying to strangle the little gum chomper behind the till. There will also be the occasional hard klap from some ‘fast hand’ mommas.

It will go something like this: “Who (klap) are (klap) you (klap) calling (klap) pregnant (klap, klap). I (klap) will (klap) teach (klap) you (klap) manners (klap), you (klap) little (klap) floozy (klap, klap, klap).

"Pregnant women in this province are in for a surprise next time they stop off to buy a bottle of champagne," DA spokesman Gavin Lewis said in a statement. I don't think Lewis thought about potbellied women when he said this.

According to section 53(1) of the draft legislation, a licensed liquor trader would not be allowed to sell, supply or give alcohol to minors, anyone wearing a school uniform, anyone who "reasonably appears to be intoxicated", or pregnant women.

The part about minors may present a problem with dyslexic cashiers. Anyone wearing a hard hat will be met with: “Sorry sir, we are not allowed to sell to miners”.

If liquor outlets will not be allowed to sell to “anyone wearing a school uniform”, does that mean when school kids can buy booze once they take off their uniform?

Then there is another more hilarious part about prohibiting liquor outlets from selling to anyone who "reasonably appears to be intoxicated". There will be serious fights at the till, especially when it comes to drunk people who don’t believe they are intoxicated.

On a serious note though this law takes women back to the dark days when they were treated like children and were not even allowed to own property. The government believes women aren’t clever enough to make simple decisions like not drinking during pregnancy. The next thing they may have to produce a letter from their husbands, stamped by the local police station, stating that they are buying for their men and not for themselves.

Well I guess we should have seen this coming when the government introduced the Ministry of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities. This actually says a lot about how the government sees women.

It’s like all the males in government were sitting at a cigar lounge somewhere in Cape Town, sipping on single malts and wondering where to put women in the greater scheme of things. Then one ‘visibly intoxicated’ official said: “Ag man, just bundle them there with children and the disabled.” Then the ministry was born. This must be the most insulting ministry to women.