OPINION

Mzansi has 100 problems, but a cardiologist's cleavage shouldn't be one!

21 February 2019 - 08:25 By Chrizelda Kekana
Viwe Mtwesi, SA's youngest cardiologist, has been harassed on social media for wearing a 'revealing' top.
Viwe Mtwesi, SA's youngest cardiologist, has been harassed on social media for wearing a 'revealing' top.
Image: Twitter/Metro FM

Y’all on these social media streets really keep raising the bar higher when it comes to dedicating your time to things you shouldn’t. In 2019, y’all really still have ways to justify policing women’s dress codes and what they must do with their bodies? It’s shocking, really.

You mean to tell me that in a South Africa that is going through different shades of load-shedding, increasing numbers of femicides, women and children abuse, ridiculously high data prices and the 96 other problems, y’all really have time to be policing women on what they should wear?

Just in the past week, someone who probably has no idea what it takes to be a GP, let alone a cardiologist, told the youngest cardiologist in SA, Viwe Mtwesi, that her “revealing” lace shirt was inappropriate.

And a couple of days before that, someone thought they made sense when they put it to a young, curvaceous teacher, Lulu Menziwa, that her dress code was the reason young boys don’t do well at school...

Even typing that I feel disappointed that someone proudly shared such a thought. I mean, how ridiculous can a person be.

We will not attribute such foolishness to you just “sharing” your opinion. You may be entitled to one, but that sure as hell does not mean you should impose it on other people.

You can’t (and shouldn't) tell women what to wear. Period.

I wasn’t as shocked to see the inappropriate comments men made. By now, I’ve seen enough cringe-worthy comments from men to know that theirs is a deeper issue. When they make such comments, not only does it reflect on their upbringing, but that society has made it okay for them to say it.

Patriarchy is among the main reasons men are more inclined to make comments  that imply they think they have rights over women and women’s bodies. They’ve been given a lifetim of bad advice where women are concerned, so they see nothing wrong in, for example, blaming a woman’s body for their lust or pervertedness.

It’s one of the main reasons there are still men who see nothing wrong with rape.

“I raped her because she wore a short skirt,” says the rapist. “I touched her breast because her shirt showed cleavage,” says the boss who sexually harassed his employee. “She was dancing in a sexualised way,” says the guy who took advantage of the drunk woman at the club.

All these men have a problem.

However, the real heartbreak for me was that it was women who said the nastiest things about Viwe and Lulu. It wasn’t that it was a new phenomenon, it was that it finally hit me that the more we, women, take four steps forward, somehow we wind up taking 10 steps back.

It’s like no matter how many sisterhood groups we form and no matter how we try to unite, the glue just doesn’t stick.

Worse is that most of the women who said these awful things are mothers of girls and, even worse, they are mothers of boys.

Imagine a mother of a young boy agreeing that a teacher’s dress code and body is the reason her son can’t concentrate in class... Imagine what is going through the young girl’s mind when her mother implies that her “skanky” dress code got her raped.

It’s bad enough that we have to constantly fight for the right to fully exist because it’s a man’s world. We, as women, can’t continue to be willing participants in this madness.

As a young black woman I have to fight, on a daily basis, for my hair, for my curves, for my boobs, for the amount of melanin in my skin. Every day I have to prove that I am capable of doing things “only a man” can do, that I am worthy of my position at work, that I deserve equal pay, that my hormones, period pains or birth pains are a strength and not a weakness. 

This is a fight I fight every day, seven days a week, all year. At church, at work, on social media, in a taxi, in my car, in the club, at school...Everywhere.

But somehow people still want to choose what armour  put on.

Y’all must be f**king kidding me, because ain’t nobody got time for that. Let us be!


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