Jody Bieber’s Quiet Portrays Men in South Africa in their Underwear
Gender / Images / Masculinity / Men

Jody Bieber’s Quiet Portrays Men in South Africa in their Underwear

At the least it seems to me that what takes place in the intimate spaces of the home, while often neglected in studies of society, is as consequential as that which occurs in the public, in the more overtly political, history-making spaces of political rallies, parliament, companies, courts, stadiums. What we do when are alone or with our close … Continue reading

Race / Violence


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was a very good idea. But if a worthy life characterised by the right to human dignity for the greatest number (as opposed to the constant spectre of death, disease, hunger, injury and sense of superfluity), are used as a set of measures of how far we have dealt with the violent oppression and … Continue reading

Femininity / Masculinity / Men / Women

Seeing Biology as Destiny Denies Men the Possibility of Change in the Future

In a piece that first appeared on M&G Thought Leader, Lindsay Clowes, associate professor  of women’s and gender studies at the University of Western Cape, tries to dismantle the “myth of a timeless masculinity that somehow exists outside history and culture”. This is a very powerful, baffling, myth, as I will say again below. Professor Clowes writes that according … Continue reading

Culture / Gender / Masculinity / Men / Tradition

New Article on South African Men

Here is a new article by Kopano Ratele on South African men and masculinities. “Currents against gender transformation of South African men: relocating marginality to the centre of research and theory of masculinities” is published in the new issue of the relaunched NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies, Volume 9, Issue 1, 2014. The abstract of … Continue reading

Gender / Uncategorized / Violence / Women

Government and Vodacom Establish a Call Centre Dedicated to Provide Support and Counselling to Victims of Gender Based Violence

Forget that it’s called a Command Centre. You don’t need to like them for their excellent service, high call rates, or raise your eyebrow because Vodacom is partnering government on this project. Actually, it is a laudable thing for big business to consider gender based as a social scourge. I don’t know what a call centre will do to bring down level of … Continue reading

Children / Race

The Way Children Learn To Love, or Hate, Their Bodies, Minds, and Race

Even if there is only a thousand of black children, instead of a million, who think that black is not as intelligent, talented, and beautiful as white, it means changing the racialised preference of black children remains a key challenge for parents of black children everywhere in the world.

Even if there is only a thousand of whites who think that blacks are not as intelligent, talented, and beautiful as them, it means the quest to undo racism and prejudice remains one of our great challenges. Continue reading

Feminist / Gender / Masculinity / Men / Uncategorized / Women

Thoughts of Spending Time With Female Students Overwhelming To Male Student

This story, about a male student who took his professor to a human rights tribunal because the thought of being in a class full of females made him anxious, is amusing. Thank you to the folk at Southern Masculinities for bringing it to our attention. Finding it ‘very funny’ too, Professor Lindsay Clowes observes that ‘it raises all sorts of questions … Continue reading


Teaching Men and Boys to Understand How Some Performances of Masculinity Compromise Lives

Last year Lisa Vetten and I co-edited a special issue of the journal Agenda. One of the papers that we received and published was by Professor Lindsay Clowes.  A really well-argued piece of reflection, it is concerned with the issue of teaching on the subject of masculinity. The paper has the title “The limits of … Continue reading

“It is Easy to Allow Pathologised Black Masculinities to Become the Truth, Even for Those of Us Who Know Better.”
African / Feminist / Gender / Masculinity / Sexuality

“It is Easy to Allow Pathologised Black Masculinities to Become the Truth, Even for Those of Us Who Know Better.”

Binyvanga’s words remind us that African people are not what the world tells us we are, that African men are not defined by the stereotypes they are fed. He reminds me of my brother-in-law, comfortably cradling my infant niece, changing her nappy, holding her close. He reminds me of lovers and brothers and friends – each as articulate and as feeling as Binyavanga – who folded me into themselves and unstuck me each time I found myself in a place that was sticky. He reminds me that it is easy to allow pathologised black masculinities to become the truth, even for those of us who know better. Continue reading