oa Alternation - Who am I?' thoughts on fabricating the body in postcolonial/post-apartheid South Africa

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Racial and gender discrimination has always been based on the ontology of race and gender. From recent public debates (the controversial anti-rape advertisement of Charlize Theron, the position of women in some Afrikaans churches within the Reformed tradition and the accusation of racism within the media) it appears as if that very ontology is still firmly in place, albeit, in some instances, in a reversed situation. The danger lies in a tendency to perpetuate the very frameworks which are being rejected, to come full circle. During the past three centuries, the racial (European) and gender (male) gaze on the body 'invented' the African as a dangerous individual and the female as a lesser human being. In turn, as if in a gesture of retaliation, the African and female gaze on the European in Africa and on men, can 'invent' a personality that is perceived as a source of danger, corruption, alienation, in short, a menace to racial harmony and gender equality (cf. Butchart 1998:126).

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