7 March 2019

South Africa: An Open Letter to the Women of the EFF

Photo: Supplied
Screenshot of a tweet from EFF leader Julius Malema accusing veteran journalist Karima Brown of using "moles" to spy on the party.

We know you're still in there somewhere. Could you please remind your male colleagues what the EFF was supposed to be doing about gender?

Here's the thing. Nobody expects South African political parties not to be seething cesspits of misogyny. Most of them are clearly places where your average entitled bro of whatever colour could stroll in and put his feet up right away.

Among local political parties, sexual harassment policies are treated a bit like SABC TV licences. Everyone knows it's the right thing to do to have one - but also, snore.

Almost all the parties count among their ranks the type of dudes that women save on their phones under "CREEP DO NOT ANSWER".

Some of the parties also include the kind of men who suffer from, shall we say, a touch of Mampintshitis, although we must clarify for legal reasons that the well-loved musician who gives his name to the syndrome may also be a brave survivor of domestic abuse himself.

As I said, this is a fact of life pretty much across the political spectrum. Some parties, admittedly, have very harmonious internal gender relations - like the parliamentary caucus of the Freedom Front Plus, who...

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