Posts Tagged ‘gender’

A few weeks ago (at a screening arranged by the International Documentary Foundation) I saw “Rough Aunties,” a film by director Kim Longinotto about a group of women in Durban, South Africa, who work with police to apprehend child rapists and molesters, as well as run a home for abused and molested women.  The women, a mix of white middle class and black working class women, also make up a family of sorts. The film can be intense at moments (at one point I left the theater to take a break). There’s a lot of violence in the film.

In his review of the film, David Poland of Hot Blog describes the film as “emotionally over-powering.” (He also speculates on what the Hollywood remake would look like.)

I really liked the film and hopes it gets a wider airing.

In the clips below, you can see the aunties at work.



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The Guardian has a story on the results of a study by South Africa’s Medical Research Council.

The first few paragraphs:

One in four men in South Africa have admitted to rape and many confess to attacking more than one victim, according to a study that exposes the country’s endemic culture of sexual violence. Three out of four rapists first attacked while still in their teens, the study found. One in 20 men said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year. South Africa is notorious for having one of the highest levels of rape in the world. Only a fraction are reported, and only a fraction of those lead to a conviction. The study into rape and HIV, by the country’s Medical Research Council (MRC), asked men to tap their answers into a Palm Pilot device to guarantee anonymity. The method appears to have produced some unusually frank responses.

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Searing 23-minute film, “Not Yet Rain,” about attempts to ensure safe abortions in Ethiopia, where thousands of women die each year from pregnancy-related complications. Despite the fact that Ethiopia passed a far-reaching abortion law in 2006, safe abortions are still unattainable in most cases.

The film is directed by Brooklyn-based Lisa Russell. (The film was funded by IPAS, a Chapel Hill-based organization “… that works around the world to increase women’s ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, and to reduce abortion-related deaths and injuries.”

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the art of Shadi Ghadirian as part of exhibition and panel on “The Seen and the Hidden: [Dis]covering the Veil” at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Manhattan.

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Nekessa Opoti at Kenya Imagine on the current `sex strike’ in Kenya”:

“… I must be getting wrong. Or maybe most people are missing the point of the sex strike.My first reaction when I heard about the sex strike was: how bold! what a statement! Still, I questioned their use of sex as a tool. And then I began to watch in dismay as the country reacted. Perhaps we all agree that Kenyan politicians need to get their act together.

But sex is still a taboo; unspoken. The backlash from Kenyans is not surprising. The chatter on social networking sites, and in email conversations, shows that many Kenyans do not believe that this was the right strategy.…”


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Like George W Bush’s “Bushisms,” South Africa’s presumptive new president Jacob Zuma (after Thursday’s elections) also speaks his mind. The (South African) Sunday Times has published a collection of “Zuma-isms.”

Some highlights:

* “I told her [his rape accuser] that I did not have massage oils, but only had baby oil. She said it was fine. She loosened the kanga from the front so that I could lower it. As I did that I noticed that she was not wearing her panties. I realised that she was up to something.”

* “There is no magic bullet [to deal with high levels of crime], but I am a great admirer of King Shaka Zulu, who could be ruthless.”


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That’s what Michelle Obama is to the American right. My 3 year old and Katha Pollit disagrees.

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