I assaulted someone today.

I BEAT UP A FULLY GROWN MAN TODAY AND NOW I AM TELLING YOU ALL ABOUT IT.


 

I’ve had a lot of trouble with banks this year. It’s only the end of March, but I have been to 5 bank branches (mostly for the same reason), and I’ve been annoyed to the same degree when leaving each of them.

I was at a branch today (that had free wifi and lovely sofas and no queues and the most beautiful aircon I ever did feel), and I left after hearing that my card was locked because someone at a previous branch didn’t give me a form to fill out. I felt fantastic. Amazing. I love having my money locked in a card that I cannot use.

On my way to the mall where I would later meet my sisters, a bakkie (pick up truck?) carrying 13 guys stopped at the red light where I had stopped. I was catcalled (annoyingly, but expectedly) and then, I was yelled at for “seducing [them]”. In my floor length skirt and tank top, my arms (aka the mistresses of seduction) did some serious damage to these guys.

Nonetheless, I kept walking. Earphones in, head down – you know the drill. Until one of the guys climbed down from the truck and started walking next to me.

Perfect.

He did some more catcalling, perhaps believing that the proximity would help his cause. I ignored him. He yelled at me, called me a whore, called my mother a whore, and asked how I dared to put myself on display and then reject his advances.

The logical thing to do would be to get the hell out of there. Heaven knows why I did what I did next.

I stopped walking, took my earphones out and said, “If you touch me, I will hurt you”. He laughed, and grabbed my wrist.

Then, I kicked his ass.

Look, a childhood obsession with Totally Spies and three years of Kickboxing don’t go unnoticed when an annoyed Shalom finds herself in the company of threatening men. They just don’t.

I pushed him over when I was done, and said, “I told you not to touch me.” He swore at me (and my mother) again, and I walked away.

I’m currently in a café, drinking a chamomile tea and looking like the calmest calm person to ever calm. I don’t look like someone who left a grown man lying in a heap on the ground.

Honesty, though – for how long will girls have to take self defense classes so that they can go to the mall? How long will the idea that men on cars have rights of access to women on the street be perpetuated? How many more people have to kick their way out of a violent encounter?

I am so tired. I am tired of this. I am tired of having to fight because I am female. I am tired of “she was asking for it”. I am tired of “what was she wearing?”. I am tired.

If you’re reading this, you owe the world better. We owe the world better. I don’t know how we’re going to fix this, but we’re going to.


shalom xo

 

WE’RE ALL SLUTS HERE

Damn, Shalom! Back at it again with the posts about slut shaming!

(the first one is here.)

Celebrity news is not my niche. It’s not. I have very limited interest or time in and for it. I’m not big on hero worshiping people you think are your friends because they let you see into their lives by means of one of the biggest online platforms in the world. I don’t have any kind of allegiance to Zoe Sugg, or Kim Kardashian. At all.  I am, however, interested in slut shaming & double standards. And by interested, I mean fed the hell up.

Now, I’m not sure if you follow the happenings on the internet the way I do, but we’ve established that I spend 90% of my time on here. Recently, Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella (of YouTube and Girl Online (strong opinions about ghostwriting & lies surrounding said book) fame) posted this photo to her Snapchat (?):

Why #WeStandWithZoe was trending on Twitter last night

source: zoella / snapchat

The world’s Most Reliable and Truthful paper TM, the Sun, then did what any good and trustworthy paper would do: they published the selfie in their online newspaper with the Least Clickbaity Title Ever TM:

Capture.JPG

And so it began. The article called Zoe out for “trying to widen her fanbase”(?) and essentially gave her several virtual slaps on both of her wrists for being the sluttiest slut to ever slut. In her long sleeved shirt & Calvin Klein briefs. Yowza. Hide your kids, hide your wives – Zoe Sugg’s belly button and upper thigh are changing the world and hurting your family.

Did you catch the dripping sarcasm? I hope you caught the dripping sarcasm.

The Sun is a very stupid paper that makes me very tired. In my Media and Society lectures, we talk about the tabloid, and how ridiculous it is. Basically. We study the media effects as well, but we spend a good portion of time lamenting The Sun. Sydney @ Love, Sydney is a die hard Zoe supporter, and made this post with all of the right reasons to back Zoe in this stupid stupid time.

Zoe’s fans, friends, and other supporters had things like this to say, and #WeStandWithZoe was trending within a couple of hours:

a.JPG

From this all, we can deduce that the people who had made these comments are body positive people against slut shaming, and believe that “skin is just skin” and that Zoe shouldn’t be ashamed for loving her body, yes? Okay. Now, another picture:

kk.JPG

Shalom! Stop spamming us with this, this — this is unacceptable! How dare you give her any more attention! Kim Kardashian is teaching our children how to be — this! She is objectifying herself! She has only gotten anywhere in life because of her body! This woman is a slut! Her children will see this one day! What kind of a woman —

Okay. You be quiet.

To have such a double standard – does it make sense to you? To quote Zoe’s supporters, ” being confident and loving your body IS NEVER A BAD THING”. Sydney’s post reads,

We should be teaching the younger generations self-confidence, and to love there bodies and that we shouldn’t need to feel like we need to hide ourselves. We definitely should not be teaching them that it is okay to slut shame and tear people down when they do have to confidence to post a picture no matter what they are wearing.

Mmmmm. Okay. Are you picking up a discrepancy between what’s said by supporters and what Kim received? I mean, Zoe’s supporters are enraged because, “why is it so shameful to show skin?” Surely, Kim should have received the same support? The ethos is the same, isn’t it?

I’m pretty sure you’ve picked up my position on this matter. I don’t believe in slut shaming. I have no time for it. I have no time for selective defence. I am not here for shaming one woman who clearly loves her body, and supporting another who does the same.

Stop slut shaming, y’all. It’s 2016.  It’ll be 2017 before you know it, and I’m going to make another post like this. I can bet money on it.

Love and light,
shalom xo

 

The Week From Hell

Seriously. I was punched in the face before 8AM.

This is the first break I have had the entire week, and I only have 54 minutes left of it. The panic has been very,very real. While I have been lucky enough to have Hamilton help me get by (my obsession is a little OTT), sometimes, a superb rap musical just isn’t enough.

Monday: You know, Monday was the only okay day.  I went to my lecture. I remembered to take my meds. Things were working out, man!

Tuesday: SURPRISE BITCH. It was my immediate younger sister’s birthday, and that was fine. It was great, she was happy. I got to uni, and was late for my 8AM. The lecturer had changed. I had zero clue what communication models he was talking about. That day,  I realise that I cannot find ANY of the cases I need to know for my law test, in a week. My English tutor tells me that my way of thinking is wrong, a week before the essay that counts for half of my grade is due. Excellent The panic is very real.

Wednesday: WELL. My mother made some cryptic accusations (???) and told me that a meeting between her and myself would be happening this weekend. Excellent. I miss my 10AM lecture because I have the anxiety attack from hell. I go to the bank to close an account, like I have been trying to do for the last MONTH, and they keep me running. I send an email of complaint, because NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO GO TO FOUR BRANCHES TO CLOSE AN ACCOUNT. I realise that tomorrow is the philosophy test. Perfect. Nothing else could go wrong, right?

Thursday: WRONG. It rains the entire day. I get punched in the face by a taxi driver, and have to pay twice because he decided that it’s a good day for xenophobia. Lovely. I cry while trying to gird my loins in preparation for the philosophy test that I am very, very unprepared for. The guest law lecturer calls on me in class, and I say “Wasn’t it, I mean, kind of yeah not really.”. The question was what the third factor the courts look out when evaluating discrimination according to the constitution. Good job, Shalom. I arrive at my law tutorial, and haven’t read the case, BECAUSE I COULDN’T FIND IT. I can’t answer any questions. I see people leaving and wonder why, and then realise that they are going to the philosophy test. OH. SHIT. I run out of the lecture theatre, into the rain, and make the Great Trek TM to West Campus. I wait for 30 minutes outside the venue. I realise I am early, and that my slot is only in an hour. Ah. Wonderful. I decide to go to the library, and my student ID won’t allow me to enter. Excellent. I decide to go to the bathroom before test. ALL THREE BATHROOMS (not cubicles, as in, three buildings) ARE OUT OF ORDER. Perfect. I write my test, but not before having my shoe fall off of my foot, and having myself fall into a puddle. I get home, and THE INTERNET IS BROKEN. I also can’t fix it, because all of our landlines are broken because our internet is broken. Holy hell, okay.

Friday: I find the law cases. I get back my English assignment and score an A. I go to the bank AND THEY STILL MUCK ABOUT. I find out I am only leaving campus at 9 tonight. I mean, today could go worse. It’s only 3 o’clock.

I am tired. The entire universe has taken a piss both on me and in my coffee this week. I am tired.

I have no clue if I will finish reading the cases that I need to, and then finish actually studying for the law test. Prolly not. I have no clue if next week will continue at this rate. If it does, don’t expect much from me but more sarcasm than usual. If that’s possible. Ugh.

love & light,
shalom

 

CHANCE

Can you tell me why? Can you try to explain why you’re here to me?

She’s new. She’s a dirt-brown haired newbie, who thinks that she’ll be the one. She’ll crack these girl and the four boys in our ward, and she’ll solve the pesky problem of eating disorders. She’s really trying quite hard: her arms are open – no barriers to communication; her notepad is in her lap, and she’s looking at me in the face. She’s smiling a tiny, closed-mouth mother-of-three smile, and she’s waiting.

I know you’ve heard it before, but I promise you, you can trust me. I just want to know how you’re doing so that we can be on the same page, okay?

I know her type. Two of the guys won’t speak to her because they know her type too. I cross one leg over the other, tilt my head upwards, remind myself to murmur, and say, “I’m doing fine. Thank you.” She’ll stop smiling, and then she’ll write something – ‘uncooperative’ or ‘unwilling to engage’ – and then look back up at me.

She doesn’t.

It says here that you don’t talk much. You once told a psychologist that you wanted to disappear entirely. Can you tell me why do you want to disappear?

It’s funny how you think you have any sort of privacy in this world. The ghosts of the past haunt us, and remind us of realities we seem to have forgotten. My ghosts swim in my lungs, and dance to my irregular heartbeat. They read the notes of the first woman I ever spoke to about Vanishing. They keep those notes forever, and give them to the the New Head Psychologist Woman, PhD.

I don’t know why I told the first one.

I size this one up again. New Psychologist: tall, brown hair, face like pale sand. Blue veins down her arm, like I always wanted. Family photo on the desk, like I always wanted. Tiny smile, like I never wanted. The chances are these: tell her, and have her question you; or don’t, and have her wonder, like the rest of them. 50/50. Moon or sun. Heads or tails.

Romeo and Juliet. Dead, and dead. 1oo. Both.

Part one: Moon. I tell her, “Do you know what it means to transcend everything? Everything that you know. To be apart from everything here, all of this trouble, all this stress? I know what it means. It means vanishing. It means leaving all of this behind, and still getting the grades and the girl and being the good daughter. It means that you say no to some things for a little while, you grow smaller and smaller, and in a little while, you’re closer to vanishing than you ever thought possible. You get to disappear, and live above all of this.”

What do you mean when you say, “live above all of this”?

Part two. I don’t tell her.

I am the sun.

-s.c.o


 

featured image from unidentifieduniverse.com

 

 

RACE RELATIONS! REDRESS AND REFORM! RACISM! (and other scary r-words)

This post has been cross-posted from my Facebook. I think it’s important to talk about.

on what’s been happening recently (and really, for almost ever):

there are many questions that i’ve been asked over the past couple of weeks concerning various issues, including student protests, why black history month is okay but white history isn’t (same with black anything vs white anything), why i’m so racist, why i don’t encourage black people to “be colourblind” or “stop living in the past” why i’m “such a damn elitist” (?) etc. i’ve been thinking about this all a lot, so i’m going to address them now. please, feel free to leave respectful comments if you want to have a discussion. this is a long post broken into three sections. you can read them all, or read one, but i’d appreciate if you read them all.

on colourblindness:

guys. GUYS. you can’t tell me it has nothing to with race if race is the reason we’re here. come on. you can tell me that you want to be able to move past the injustices of the past, but not without being willing to work through them or acknowledge them. pro-tip: if someone tells you that you’re racist, the correct response isn’t “what! how could you! i have black friends! my sister goes to saint teresa’s with black girls! what does this have to do with race! this is reverse racism!”. if someone calls you out, listen. “okay, i’m listening. tell me what i said that was wrong, and what you think i should have said instead. i apologise for offending you.” colourblindness is avoiding the issue, and it’s going to keep making thing more difficult if we do. the fact of the matter is that race relations all over the world are tense. saying that “we are all human” or “i’m only black and you’re only white because we are divided, come together ‪#‎onelove‬” is not going to help.

on living in the past:

this probably annoys me the most, but i’m being civil here, so here’s an explanation of why. in 1994, a miracle happened. black people voted. mandela was made president. apartheid was over. magic. so, in essence, everyone went and lived happy lives and were equal, and south africa was perfect. hooray. no pals. the people who were living in impoverished informal settlements (thanks to apartheid which we’re supposed to magically forget now that it’s over) went back to their settlements after voting. 1994 did not bring running water to them. the people that were earning next to nothing – i’m talking domestic workers, gardeners etc (99.9% of them people of colour) – went back to their jobs after voting. the black parents who had no education, and as such, uneducated children (thanks to apartheid) continued being poor and uneducated after apartheid ended. you see where i’m going with this? the effects of apartheid are still extremely prevalent in today’s society. to think that mass injustice would be repaired after 20 years of faux forgiveness, that is, before even addressing the situation that apartheid left in its wake, is foolish. injustice and privilege is a cycle. those who experienced injustice then had children that experience it now; and those who were privileged then continue to have the privilege of remaining as such. “okay, shalom, but what about quotas, BEE, and the fact that a black kid with two distinctions got into engineering instead of me, a white kid with six?” okay. this black kid got in and you didn’t, and you believe it’s because you performed better academically, and that it’s unfair, and that they got in on the grounds of race rather than merit. two things, mate: (1) someone who cannot do engineering, or doesn’t meet the requirements will not be admitted. i wouldn’t get into engineering. i promise. they got in because they are capable. (2) it’s safe to say that universities are striving for diversity, for their campuses to look more like the country does. could it be that there are other criteria that get looked at? (there are.) perhaps, whether the other person’s parent’s had an education at all (thanks apartheid), or whether they have performed extraordinarily despite their living situation, the standard of the school they went to, and just how they managed to qualify for engineering? don’t worry: they look at the same for you. it’s an issue of redress, friend, and it has to happen. i’m not sure if i can explain this better, but i can direct you to the admissions counsellor that provided me with this information. you best believe i did my research.

on black history month,black girl magic, for black girls only, black lives matter etc:

“shalom! this is racist! how can you exclude white people from all of these events! we need a white version!” okay. i get your confusion. i feel like you don’t understand why these things exist. black history month isn’t to say that white history is unimportant. the concept of black girl magic doesn’t have anything to do with saying that white girls aren’t magic. same goes for things like BET. black history month is important simply because black people have been erased. black girl magic is important because black girls have been taught to hate their blackness. look at this for further details: (http://blackgirllonghair.com/…/meet-the-model-whose-lips-c…/). a black model had racist comments flung at her because as the face (lips?) of a new lipstick of the cosmetics company, her lips didn’t match up to the perceived standard of beauty. they’re “too thick, too dark, take up half of her face, are ugly negro slave lips” – i follow mac on instagram. i saw this happen. i felt ashamed. i felt as though being black, having bigger lips than the white girl next to me (hi simone) made me ugly, inferior, and ultimately not worthy of being called beautiful. that’s why‪#‎blackgirlmagic‬ is a thing. to tell young women of colour to appreciate and love themselves, in spite of the projected white standard of beauty that almost 80% of the population will never match up to. black lives matter is an important movement. all lives matter is not a thing. this is why: all races are not being killed brutally by police officers for no reason. all races are not arrested on the grounds of walking while black (this actually happened). all races are not strangled by police officers after screaming “i can’t breathe” eleven times. all lives will matter when black lives matter. dylan roof (killed members of a church in charleston, south carolina last year) was taken into custody. tamir rice was 12 and was shot for no reason (none given by police) and the two white police officers that killed him were not charged. all lives will matter when black lives matter.

these are my thoughts. as i said, i’m willing to have civil discussion in the comments. if i’ve said something problematic in this post, let me know. i’m learning and unlearning the same as you are. thanks for reading this if you got this far. stay woke.

love and light,
shalom