Gender Equality

Gender Equality

It’s My Culture – Gender Inequality CartOOn

1st December is World Aids day. Following on from our know your status from last year, our guest author, Engineer-Chic takes a critical look at the infamous It’s my culture defence. Wonkie and Engineer-Chic look forward to reading your comments on the post below:

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A recent news broadcast caught my attention: a Filipino maid was sentenced to one year in jail in Dubai for having sex with a man she said was her husband… and falling pregnant. Gasp! I thought to myself, “even if she were lying about being married, come on, it’s 2011! How could such an apparently modern society still hold such openly repressive and biased views on female sexuality? What kind of society would allow that?”

A feeling of relief came over me as I remembered that I belonged to a progressive and liberal society – in a democracy whose constitution allows me the right to equality in relationships, to have my sexual choices respected and above all, to have the final say in when and how I reproduced. ‘I am lucky‘, I thought, ‘to live in South Africa‘. The feeling of relief receded as I thought about a couple of dominant cultures in SA, and the roles that women play in our diverse communities. Strong links exist between certain cultural norms of the majority of our population and SA’s overwhelming problem with the spread of HIV/ Aids – the practice of polygamy for instance, or the lack of relationship bargaining-power – typical of various South African cultures. The same can be said for the high rates of violence against women in South Africa.

Just then, the voice of Jacob Zuma came to mind, flaunting his famous line: “It’s my culture”.

A myriad of Zapiro comics and Wonkie posts flashed through my head as I remembered our shower-clad President’s (many) caricatured appearances: his multiple wives, dozens of children out of wedlock (ooh, boy – don’t let him anywhere near Dubai!) , rape accusations and general philandering ways. I wondered how his wives felt about being put at risk of contracting STDs due to their husband’s ‘cultural rights’. I thought about the thousands of South African women who contract HIV/ AIDS from their unfaithful partners – unable to refuse sex or request the use of a condom because this is seen as culturally-inappropriate behavior for women.

Although our President’s actions, like the actions of many South African men, were in direct conflict with any rational notion of what respect for women meant, somehow just saying the magic words, “but it’s my culture”, made everything okay.

To be honest, I think South Africans go a bit overboard with trying to preserve cultures and traditions – a spill-over from our divide-and-conquer, apartheid past. Culture is important, but culture is always changing – always evolving in our globalising world. Nevertheless, our Bill of Rights states that each of us has the right to enjoy our culture and have them respected. Our founding fathers (and mothers) fortunately had the foresight to add a disclaimer to this otherwise-blank cheque: you may exercise cultural freedom as long as this is not inconsistent with any other provision of the Bill of Rights… like say, owning the rights to your own body? Or the right to protect yourself against the risk of HIV/ AIDS? Or maybe, the right to have your dignity respected and protected?

But don’t get me wrong – I’m not just picking on our President’s culture for its biased and unconstitutional ways. If I had to think about the diverse cultural groups that coexist in SA, I’d be hard-pressed to think of any that don’t exhibit severe gender biases – whether it be stigmas borne by divorced women (Indian culture), rape/ violence against women (all cultures), sanctioning of polygamy (Muslim/ African cultures), persecution of women – and not men – for displaying some form of empowerment (all cultures), or the view that a woman’s contributions to society has to be approved by men (ultra-conservative Afrikaner). These discriminations have been cemented into the fabric of our society over generations – so much so that even our President can get away with it. The USA, while it is by no means perfect in terms achieving gender equality, certainly would not have stood for Bill Clinton trying to claim his ‘cultural-rights’ with Monica, for example.

Our Head of State has clearly shown, again and again, that culture trumps constitution. In doing so, he has sanctioned gender inequality and given South African men a means to wash their hands of all their wrongs with respect to disrespecting and abusing women: all it takes now is a simple “It’s my right! It’s my culture.”

Share YOUR COMMENT on Gender Inequality and World Aids Day here.
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For more from our guest author, please check out her blog on http://engineerchic.me
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Related Wonkie articles on AIDS/ HIV:

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Comments

  1. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Shouldn’t that be – “It’s my culture – it’s my constitutional wrong”

  2. Spiritwolf says:

    and now with the ne winformation act we can use: “It is a state secret that i raped that women” *cough* “I mean its a state secret that i DIDNT rape that women”

  3. notaround says:

    eish………..ain’t that the truth, sad as it is……………..

  4. Culture does not mean sticking to some behaviours from the past that are no longer appropriate. Culture is in fact an agent of change and some things that are done in the name of culture have to be changed. To name a few, Wife Beating, Infidelity, Lobola, Taking bribes, peeing in the street. If we dealt with those that caused harm we would be on our way to a more civil society

  5. Where’s your commant Mzu, wouldn’t you like your boyfriends to stop beating you?

  6. Deena Naidoo says:

    With the likes of Julius and Jacob around, we will definately be seeing more retgrogression rather than progression. Culture is for the place of worship and for home. NOT to be forcibilly governed to the masses! Civility and culture was tried by govts. before, and. fell away after making a ‘holy-mess’ of entire nations. The NATS used religion to rule SA, but sadly ‘fucked-up’ completely.

  7. Dukie 743 says:

    Today is Zuma’s day.

  8. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ Garth – Ja!!! Gay-bashing IS part of the culture – pity it’s unconstitutional – still I’m sure Mzu will understand when his boyfriends don’t take it to the Constitutional Court because Mogoeng squared will probably over-rule the Constitution.

  9. Poligamy would be fine if if the fathers stood by to look after their offsprings.In Africa “its our culture” to produce children like coca-cola produces cold drinks and then to drop the mothers and let social services take the financial responsibility.It does not only happen in South Africa it is endemic throughout Africa ,respect for women simply does not exist

  10. Men who rape should be castrated. If that doesn’t make them understand, amputation should solve the problem.
    Men with HIV/AIDS who do not disclose their status before having unprotected sex should suffer similar retribution.
    Why should their rights be protected above those of their victims?
    Why do criminals, in general, in South Africa have rights and the victims have none?

  11. My reply to Dr. Sypho S Moyo who asked to join AIDS day:

    Hi Sipho,
    Sorry but contributing to a quilt and wearing a kilt will not be very effective.
    Start maybe with advising your audience to keep their pants closed and not
    acting like zuma will be a better solution.
    We live in a corrupt and criminal environment and for some, I think here on
    most of the anc members, would it be better that they join the one bullet man: The Great Peter Mukaba.
    Wishing you success. Frans

  12. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ Bacchus Once upon a time the Pick ‘n Pay / Shoprite / Checkers / OK / Spar plastic bag became the ‘national flower’ seen to grow all along the barbed wire fences of our country lanes. Now it is our culture that, once we have finished the ‘spurt’ of our coca cola cans we dispose of the ‘waste’ in the same way – hence all the single moms and fatherless children. A feature of ‘our culture’
    In the same way, Tony, we have to defend ourselves from the attacks of the innocent so that, culturally speaking, we are still respected even if we are caught breaking the modern code of conduct. After all, in ‘our culture’, if we succeed in stealing your cattle or your women, it is our right to keep them (see Shaka, Mzilikazi, et al).
    I presume, Tony, that you would assist the rapists in their cultural right to take a piss in the street by supplying them with a (surgically attached) rubber tube with a spring clip on it ( a small one, of course).

  13. To put culture above morality, is sure looking for aids, ag I mean trouble. A few medical professionals did a study on aids in the 80’s now nobody knows what happened to it. I do recall from memory on their STD’s research that the cause is mainly by sexual activity and nothing else. People with more then one sexual partner can easily contact any of those deceases. They found that many women suffering from ghonorea , had husbands that were sleeping around or they had more then one sleeping partner . Herpes as well. Some of the hiv patients that participated in the research, had husbands that were long distance truck drivers. had many sexual partners. Wish I can find the whole article as the dept of health should be handing it out in schools, universities etc.

  14. What is culture? Really! Is it not from some some adult way back in the past who insisted on having his way, told ridiculous stories to naive descendants, wielded the social whip, as it were, created myths about anything and everything, all to support his abusive life style. I was born in a period where it was the in thing to have one’s appendics out and a circumcision for the boys to boot. Everybody does it, so now it is unwritten law, one is ostracized if not cowtowering to some way back notion. Pity today’s society of man!!

  15. Wonkie it seems like you are also climbing on the “blame apartheid band wagon”! Fail to see how apartheid encouraged culture and tradition. The missionaries tried to get them to change, but it was the liberals, black consciousness and nationalists that believed culture and tradition was of paramount importance. Apartheid was not concerned about culture so long they could get all blacks into the homelands. There they could do what they want.

  16. COLLITJIES says:

    Our esteemed president cannot keep his trousers on, he just has to glimpse a willing female and yet another offspring is due in 9 months time. It is about time he was made into a sports model where he can satisfy his sexual needs without making yet another baby Zooma.

  17. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Collitjies – JZ knows just as well as I do that Mazda was a Persian god – so naturally he full of zuum zuum zuum. And loves to spread it around – culturally speaking.

    Talking of Zulu culture, have you ever wondered why the Zulu girls pick the LONGEST reeds they can find and hold them ERECT for the “dance” ???

  18. The HIV-Aids statistics quoted are ridiculous beyond belief(“Husbands a big problem,” yesterday). We have been dealing with this disease since the early 1980s. People should understand by now that it is suicidal to have sex.

    HIV is incurable-ARVs can only reduce the virus in your body. If people ignore the constant warnings against risky sexual behaviour, they will die. My sympathy is running low. Don’t have unprotected sex, abstain-it’s a simple equation.

  19. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Having sex is NOT suicidal – except under certain circumstances – all of which appear to be CULTURALLY correct – because rubber trees grow in Asia and South America. Latex may be part of THEIR culture but it was never part of Africa’s. So we go on doing the same old, same old. And we wonder why South Africa – the MOST UP TO DATE country on the continent – has the largest actual number of people living with AIDS in the whole world. Ok, the number has flattened out a little – maybe even dropped ever so slightly – but to know that we have more AIDS “victims” in SA than India (which has a population more than twenty times ours) or China (with a population nearly 30 times ours) just shows that with our culture we are much more democratic in sharing what we have with those who don’t yet have it. In our culture sharing is not dividing – sharing is increasing!!!

  20. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Another thing.
    America reckons it is the most liberal country in the world – a country with no legal discrimination (apart from a few states that won’t allow gays to marry partners of their own gender). They think that they have the best record of equality between genders – but we have shown them true gender equality – at least half of the AIDS “victims” in SA are female, but in the good ol’ US of A, the (mostly gay) men are hogging the numbers. Some culture of equality!!

  21. Some are so glued to culture that even if it causes terminal illness they will still stick to it , their culture means more to them then morals and dignity.

  22. Had a goog cackle the other day. They were interviewing some people from the squater camp in Hout Bay the other day wrt the polution in the river from human waste and why they don’t use the portable toilets supplied. Guess what their answer was?!! Your right, “it’s not our culture to use portable toilets” was the reply, that’s why they use the river. Con’t give a toot about the polution they are asking – min gepla!!

  23. Sorry, last sentence should have read “Don’t give a toot about the polution they are causing”.

  24. Mohammed K says:

    Engineer-chick, i think you need to get your facts straight before implying polygamy as a cause directly or indirectly for HIV/ AIDS. Where are your supporting figures showing that there is a higher incidence in polygamist cultures – nowhere, because there isn’t any such proof!

    Who are you to criticise some other culture’s beliefs as being regressive anyway? Certainly not condoning any sort of violence against women, but as far as I’m concerned gender biases exist and SHOULD EXIST because the genders ARE different. Deal with it.

  25. Mohammed K, what kind of moron are you to believe that gender biases SHOULD exist because the genders ARE different?
    All humans are different in some way or other, although many try to conform to what they perceive as the norm. Do you then believe that we must all discriminate against our neighbours?
    Presumably you believe that you wife is inferior to yourself because she is a woman and must therefore subject herself to your demands. If so you are a Male Chauvinist Pig. Do you view your mother in the same light?

    If we did not have women on earth, there would be less beauty, compassion, intelligent thought and a whole host of other advantages and pleasures that they afford us as inferior males. Deal with it.

  26. Cannibalism and human sacrifice were also cultural activities at one time. Sadly too many people who are unable to use what is between their ears hide behind “culture”

  27. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Tony – to your last paragraph, you could add that, with no women on earth, we would all be ‘gay’ and we would also be the last generation on earth.
    It takes two to tango and without differences the tango would be a boring dance. Vive la différence. Enjoy the differences, admire what you find good in others and that which, in others, seems defective, try to amend in yourself first. Then equality and good neighbourliness will surely follow.
    Mohammed K would do well to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest so much of what has already been written on this blog.
    No-one in their right minds likes a chauvinist pig – not even a male one.

  28. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ Mohammed K – you need to learn to read: the ‘Engineer’ is “Engineer Chic” and NOT “Engineer Chick”
    ‘Chic’ means stylish or elegant.
    ‘Chick’ is a word used by MCPs to describe a young woman of whom they think very little beyond getting into their panties.
    Your MCP-ism is showing !!!

  29. When Oh, When are you going to start praying Arch? Let us all know so we can join you.

  30. It seems that I did not include some other items of culture that need to be done away with, Rape, hijacking and circumcision. Instead of giving the foreskin a quick chop, maybe they should take the balls as well.

  31. Mohammed K. Gender discrimination is the greatest cause of the spread of AIDS. Women are at the very bottom of the social ladder, they are generally dependent on men, they are the last to be hired and the first to be fired and the earn the least. Young men who are unemployed get daily satisfaction by raping and breaking the law. Young women on the other hand have no survival mechanism other than to turn to prostitution or even fuck for dinner. Until such time that our culture (and COSATU) demands equality for women in the workplace and the government starts prosecuting those who discriminate against women and until such time as the Government recognizes that their policies and political diatribe discourages investors, women will remain at the bottom of the heap. The best way to beat AIDS is to employ as women. The men can fend for themselves’

  32. Dukie 743, yes you are right today is Zuma day. He should take this auspicious opportunity to resign before he make any more gaffes. If you look at his record it is below standard and embarrassing to SA that we have this fool for President. For Instance, he promotes Simelane who the courts have decided is unfit for office. He appoints a senior civil servant who is too old for office, He gives Mac Maharaj an ugly argumentative criminal a senior position, the list goes on. He should get out before he fucks up even more in 2012

  33. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ Garth – your suggestion would bring yet another CULTURE into the heady brew of ‘cultures’ in SA – the Ottoman culture of the EUNUCH – and this would have a number of beneficial effects, including, but not limited to:
    – a reduction in the rate of communication of the HIVirus – especially in the Eastern Cape.
    – a reduction in the birth-rate and thus (eventually) in the unemployment rate.
    – a serious reduction in the number of rapes (except, perhaps in the number of rapes of eunuchs – though THEY might be grateful for ANY kind of [shall we say] gratification)
    – the development of a faithful bodyguard for JZ’s harem which will no doubt expand
    – an overall shift in the demographics – especially in the Eastern Cape – which might see its per capita income increase as a result.
    – greater opportunities for non-Xhosa persons to rise to eminence in the Advancement of National Corruption
    – empower women to make a more rational choice by having fewer sets of jewellery to choose from

    and, I’m sure, many, many more benefits

    and, of course, size will matter much less – what you are actually capable of doing with it will matter so much more.

  34. Corny. It seems yo have hit thd nail on the head so to speak.

  35. Great discussion!

    @Garth
    I agree – culture is something that changes like fashion. Its often mistaken for tradition. Doing anything in the name of culture is like doing something in the name of fashion! In the end, constitution has to trump culture or else anyone can get away with anything and have an excuse.

    @Rainbow
    Could you really not take away anything else from this post? Really? Very telling.

    @a-maize-ingly-corny
    I love your comments – all of them! Yoou should write for Wonkie!

  36. lol – Corny you make me laugh! And thanks for coming to my defense – correctly, I am Chic, and not a Chick!

    As for you, Mohammad K – there is a GREAT DEAL of research that points to gender biases such as polygamy increasing the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. I do not just pull facts out of thin air and would not make sweeping remarks unless they were researched. You may find a tool called Google Scholar most helpful.
    And as for the rest of your comment – I don’t think it’s worth even responding to.

  37. You condemn islamic laws but look at the way hiv/aids is spreading in our country

  38. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    This is the first time that I have seen proof that a writer of the article accompanying the weekly cartoon has done a follow-up on the comments. Engineer-Chic – thanks for your comments about our comments.
    Wonkie webmaster – you should make sure that future contributors follow this excellent example. It’s good to think that we are in a dialogue with the author as well as a chat-room with the rest of the thinkers and others who think that they think (if they only think that they think does it follow that “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am”).
    Enough rambling – thanks Engineer-Chic and I hope the other authors will follw your great example.

  39. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ Mo – not having researched the subject, I shall refrain from any connection between Islamic Law (Sharia) and HIV/AIDS.
    However – how does any human being with humanity in his/her heart respond to images of that bastion of Sharia – the Taliban – bringing HUNDREDS of men to surround a single young woman, who is made to sit in a depression in the ground, and throw stones and rocks at her until one of the “men” takes enough pity on her suffering to shoot her through the head.
    Her “crime” – “adultery – no penetration, no kissing, no touching – just “eyes” but still (in Sharia law) ADULTERY.
    One of the definitions of ‘culture’ – and I think that we shall agree that this is the definition that the article implies – is the customs, civilisation and achievements of the group that is referred to.
    Is hundreds of “men” STONING a young woman to death an achievement? Is it civilised ? In many Islamic countries it is most certainly a custom – though in some a historical custom and not a current one – but not all customs are good.
    How would Mo like the custom of the ancient Amazons, who brought men to their island nation of Lesbos to fertilise them and then (when they missed their periods) slaughtered the men – it was their custom also to kill off any boy-child to keep their nation all female.
    Don’t confuse CULTURE with BARBARISM – barbarism is based on CUSTOM and NOT culture.

  40. Written by Bob and Debby Gass

    Surrender (1)
    Until we accept and cooperate with the law of gravity, we can’t fly. Until we accept and cooperate with the law of economics, we can’t succeed in business. Getting the idea? Surrendering to God is not weakness; it’s wisdom. Only a fool resists God, because it’s a fight we can’t win. It’s in surrendering to Him that we are empowered to succeed in what He’s called us to do. Surrender is demonstrated by obedience. It’s saying, ‘Yes, Lord’ to whatever He asks. To say, ‘No, Lord’ is a contradiction. How can we call Jesus ‘Lord’, and refuse to obey Him? (Luke 6:46 NKJV).

    Peter demonstrated true surrender when Jesus told him to try again. ‘…”Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish…’ (Luke 5:5-6 NKJV). Surrendered people obey God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Abraham followed God without knowing where it would take him. Hannah waited on God’s timing without knowing when. Mary expected a miracle without knowing how. Joseph trusted God’s plan without knowing why circumstances happened as they did. Each was fully surrendered to God, and they came out on top. ‘How will I know I’m fully surrendered?’ we ask. When we rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others, force our own agenda or control the situation. We don’t have to be in charge, we simply let go and let God have His way.

    Soul Food: Num 30:1-32:24; Mark 5:1-10; Ps 44: 9-16; Pr 11:10-11
    Did you enjoy reading this? We’d love you to share it with a friend.

  41. thanks for the feedback corny. good to know you enjoy the dialogue. and is that true that a woman was stoned for looking at another man? in what world can that ever be considered right or just?

    Mo, nowhere in my post or in the subsequent comments has anyone criticized Islam. I’m criticizing certain parts of almost all cultures that sanction abuses and discriminations against women. I know most Muslin people don’t subscribe to the atrocities described above, and many muslim women are liberated. but a few in that culture take liberties in the name of religion and culture and do things which are wrong, but excuse them as being religiously or culturally okay.

    can you comment on this?

  42. @peace no I did not enjoy wasting my time reading that. I foolishly thought you had some relevant point to make about this discussion.please take your spam elsewhere.

    I suggest you try one of the many religious blogs out there. this post is not about religion.

  43. engineer-chic, you are entirely right about religious blogs or rants.
    Maybe they should have pontificated on sorting the wheat from the chaff and then refrained from submitting their comment.

  44. Sorry not my fault if some of you do not have enough wisdom to realize that religion and cultures are man made according to beliefs. Some cultures are an abolishment and so are religions. The fact is that humans base it on their own understanding and not to the ruler of the Universe. It is cultures and religions that politics are based on , that is where wars, discrimination and racism has its origins. Any culture or religion that consists of murder and wars reaps the fruit of it, either curse or prosperity. The choice remains personal.

  45. Engineer-Chic – interesting article and valid observations but begs the question “so what?”

    How do you propose SA takes the issue forward? Or is this just a downward spiral we cannot recover from?

  46. I appreciate the beliefs of Peace and she undoubtedly is a true believer but. But here’s my penny’s worth. Karl Marx said that Religion was the opiate of the people. What he did not say was who peddles that opiate. Religion is as old as mankind, there are traces of religious culture going back into the prehistoric period. It served the same purpose then as it does now , namely to police the populace without having a police force or even a book of law. The Law was what the priests, Pharisees, mullahs, shamans or whatever said it was and it changed to suit the rulers. Or sometimes changed to overcome the rulers. Whatever it did it had little to do with faith and more to do with control. But this is a long and never ending argument and will be contested by religious people, Why? Well most religions indoctrinate the people sometimes from a very young age St Ignatius Loyola, a Spanish Pope in the middle ages said was “give me child before he is seven and he is mine for life”, A simple example of this is that many children in Durban who were born between 1978 and 1984 were brought up in the middle of a drought and water restrictions, they were told not to flush for number one. These small kids now in their 30’s still do not flush for number one. In other words they were habituated into not flushing the loo. The same can be said of just about anything including religious belief.

    Another argument is just how strong is religion, There must be in excess of 2000 Christian groups worldwide, many if not most conflict with one another, many also claim that they are the only right one. How do they know? Wars, Conquest, Slavery are among the worst outcomes of these differences. And that is only the Christians, what about the others? Various Hindus, Islam, Jews, Taoists, Buddhists, Confucianism all with their own divisions and conflicts ask again Who is right? and if they are all so good how does one explain the wholesale murder and destruction that goes on daily.

    Let us look at another argument, Most if not all the religious groups are on their knees praying to their gods or god asking that COP17 delegates will come to an agreement to save the planet from CO2 emissions and pollution in general. I do not see anything happening, but if you are a true believer in the power of prayer why not pray that God or Gods will deliver us from foul air and CO2 emissions without resorting to the hopes of a bunch of freeloaders at the COP17 Conference.. Is god not supposed to be almighty and can do anything and everything or is She not listening.

    Take a look around you, look at the birds in the trees, the fish in the sea, the beasts in the field and all humanity. Then read Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species then ask yourself “Can I believe in God”

  47. HIV/AIDS is aide and abetted by cultures that officially or otherwise fail to condemn rape, who practise adultery as matter of daily life and who collect too many partners. Islam and Christianity as a matter of course condemn these practices and correctly so. But if you read my previous blog it is neither religion or lack of it that is the cause. People are to blame and all those people belong to one culture or another and unless those cultures change their attitudes we will never beat this curse.

  48. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ Peace – I presume that, when you say that “Some cultures are an abolishment …” , you mean an ‘abomination’.
    If so, I agree.
    And so is the culture of shoving your own beliefs down another person’s throat.
    Don’t get me wrong – I am a Christian but I am also one who believes in God and not The Church. The church can lead my meditation but not direct it. Happily God gave mankind free will and I exercise mine with every pontification coming out of the mouths of self-proclaimed evangelists etc.
    As Garth has said, there must be over 2000 different Christian sects out there – I suppose that I am a sub-sect – possibly a sub-sect of one – and you are another. I think that in the Venn diagram of religion there is no intersection between your sub-set and mine even though they may be close together within the whole set. I am not looking for converts to my way of believing even if I am looking for converts to my way of thinking. May I suggest the same aim for you?

  49. True read again, religions and cultures are man made that is why they all differ. Write this down so when it happens you can contact me and ask me how I knew this. In about 11- 14mths time an enormous asteroid will it the earth, fortunately it will fall in the Pacific ocean and will not fall on any solid ground. Following that there will be another one falling later close to the Euphrates river.

  50. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    It seems that Peace subscribes to the Mayan Calendar prediction of the end of the world. Certainly a massive asteroid/comet/whatever has recently passed earth’s orbit in its own orbit around the sun. This was predicted by astronomers. What they have not been able to work out is how close it will come to the earth when it returns on its path from the sun. It may well be a similar end to that of 65 million years ago. If so, nobody will be telling Peace what a clever girl she was because there will be no-one left to say it and no Peace to hear it.
    Of course if nothing happens, Peace will not WANT to hear about it.

  51. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    21 December 2012

  52. The Mayan calender means nothing in my life neither does the date 21/12/2012. as no man can predict that date. Strange as it may seem I do not need to hear anything from people, as we humans are all the same with different talents. Some like and prefer a specific group and becomes biased towards other and yet with all the intelligence around nobody has come up with a solution to create real peace among all. Pity that one can not understand yet why God gave man freedom of choice as we always seem to pick the wrong and not what is right for all.

  53. Yeah! Oh Gosh! Oh golly! Wow! Gee!
    Peace we have heard all this crap so often that we hope the all the doomsayers finally get their wishes on one of the prophesied dates and we can be rid of them.
    Harold Camping predicted 21 May 2011 as THE date then 21 October 2011 as a result of his ‘miscalculations’. All of his followers lost their jobs, houses, etc., etc. Now they regret that they were conned and wish he had really known that which “……, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. …”
    Fortunately we have Peace who has given us the “TRUE INFORMATION”. Aren’t we fortunate???

    The Mayan calendar predicts 21 December 2012. One of Nostradamus’ prophecies intimated that “the world would be destroyed by balls of fire from heaven” in the 7th month of 1999. Maybe we live in parallel universes and that has saved us from the destruction that occurred in an alternate universe. I doubt it.

    By all means prepare for the end of your own life and ensure that you will not suffer eternal damnation, but don’t subject thinking people to your own fantasies that, when you go, the world will no longer have meaning to anybody else.

    Our civilization will end, of that there is no doubt. The destruction of of our planet is pure conjecture. Remind us, Peace, in 10 months time so we can all have a good laugh five months later.

    My fervent wish is that God will destroy all the truly evil people on the prospective date. HE has the Taliban, Mugabe and supporters, ANC despots and many others to include in his final damnation.

  54. Interesting how you people read biased with assumptions, where did I say the world was gonna end, what I said is there will be an asteroid hitting the earth in the Pacific and the Amaizingly mocks about saying one will return from the sun, what happens if your assumption does happen would it proof mine wrong?? I have also not condemned anybody all I said are facts, read them again maybe slowly and point out any wrongs that you may find I will gladly except them I dont have a problem with constructive criticism. so throw it as much as you like, no offence

  55. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ Tony – much as your sarcasm may be appreciated by myself and some others, it appears to have flown over Peace’s head.
    As a corollary to my (admittedly) incomplete mention of the asteroid/comet/whatever, it is predicted to re-cross the earth’s orbit in December 2012. Whether that is significant or not, time alone will tell.
    @ Peace – I quote “I dont have a problem with constructive criticism” so accept this as being constructive: get a spell checker and GET A LIFE! – no offence.

  56. It is good that I also have a good sense of humor which adds even more to my life thanks. Reading Tony’s comment about his wish that may just be granted and maybe sooner then you think. It is rather amazing though looking at all the famine hitting the earth, Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, epidemics, hunger , droughts, wars and riots frequently all over the world , shall we just continue to ignore and say that is life. Everybody is upset, just read all the comments one can not help but notice it. We have a government that has looted over 3 trillion and that also seems to be ok, it may just be there culture to take, who knows. Yet we have more then enough capable people to take over the reigns and fix it before there is nothing left. Why don’t the people mobilize and do it? if the motives are good it will succeed. These continuous hate debates just adds more fire to the problem and prevents real progress, It can also be done without riots, violence or protests just ensure that we find all of good standing, honest, compassionate and willing to serve the people and it can be done. Right now the Chinese is busy digging their clause into Africa and their main aim could just be SA then they could have control over all the oceans. Do we really want that to happen?? Think about it it is real.

  57. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Why is Mzu STILL so quiet? — we have had no racist rants in this debate – perhaps the homophobes around him have bludgeoned him to death – or is it that the lesbophobes (from the most recent [i.e. my] edition of the OED) have committed “corrective rape” on her.
    It is virtually unheard of that 57 comments can accumulate without a racist rant from him/her.
    Come on Mzu – show us YOUR culture.

  58. @Peace obvious and valid point that religion and culture basically go hand in hand! Perhaps just like the old song says “love and marriage goes together like a horse and carriage” So too does religion and culture. After all if not you would not have heard people say things like “Islam is not a religion but a way of life.” I hear Hindus say it too. And just look at how the Amish people took their Christianity seriously in forming their own culture away from popular/modern culture…the Amish people are grounded in their spin on Christianity. And then politics tends to mix in there too or perhaps is the unhappy offspring of the two! As for time eternity there has been the battle of how much you want religion in the affairs of your state or not. Of course you could have explained your point without just pasting the religious posting! LOL!

    Then you would not have quite possibly sent poor Engineer-Chic into a hair pulling and head banging fit! However it might be appeasing for her and all to check out as she says google scholar as quite a few articles on there about religion and culture! http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=religion+and+culture&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart

    Of course such a discussion would be like a never ending story especially in today’s world that is so filled with cross-cultural exchange and travel of bodies and ideas. Of course like the Amish there maybe many groups who live isolated from others…but Id need to read many more google scholar articles to find out more! LOL! Or perhaps I’ll just go check Natgeo or the Travel channel! Show me the untouched cultures of the world! I understand there maybe some like that in the Amazon rainforest! Or are there such peoples/tribes in Africa as well? Totally untouched/uninfluenced by other religions and cultures of the world?

  59. @ Meady, finally someone who reads comments intensively. Being long in the tooth already I have had loads of time to do many studies on religions, culture and customs. Previously one had to buy books and currently there is loads available on the web. Wikepedia has a huge source of information, being of age no longer employable there is much more time available. On account of so many name changes regarding countries, rivers etc more research needed again with the exception of Israel, Greece, Eqypt, Ethiopia, Italy and the Greek islands. It is amazing that weddings throughout the world is a huge feast but celebrated differently according to custom and the same with funerals.
    Unfortunately many react by attack if they do not have any knowledge of the substance in the comment , typical of the human nature and one has to accept it without taking offence. Many years ago I read the book: Religions, Cults and Cultures that covers most countries if I am correct Natgeo made a film very similar to the book.

  60. Any culture or ethnic group defines itself by a number of parameters. There are a large number that can be used to define an ethnic group the better known ones are Language, Geographic position, geographic origin, race, religion etc.. 5 are usually all that is required to define ethnicity. So ask yourself What is my origin? where do I live? What is my home language? What race am I? What religion am I? (practising or otherwise). You may be surprised as to what you are. Moreover some of these parameters can be changed without changing the Ethnicity. For Instance the Scots people over the centuries have changed their religion, most of them do not speak their original language, they have been dispersed around the world and yet they are still distinctively Scots (Some have even stopped drinking Whisky- shame on them). The same can be said of a number of Ethnic groups while there are others that have disappeared. You cannot change your ethnicity, in other words you cannot change your support of your soccer team to another club. But there are many cross cultural exchanges that over time can divide an ethnic group or even combine it with another or just simply change it. For instance very few people walk around with a bone in their nose but they may still be cannibals.

  61. Maize, the reason it seems for Mzu to have vanished is that she read my blog on ethnicity and cultural change and has taken it upon herself to walk around witha bucket of whitewash painting all her pals white

  62. Maize, I see that you fancy a bit of statistical analysis, as a former statistics lecturer I must advise you to be careful because statistics like bankers lie. For those who follow COP17 (have you got nothing better to do?) there is one statistic that is probably true but gives us a huge lie. It is documented that Australia has the highest per capita production of greenhouse emissions with China being number one. Wow and Golly Gosh, the Aussies must jack themselves up to correct this before the tree huggers impose sanctions. (which cannot happen as the Aussies are all tree huggers except my brother-in-law who was born in SA). But in the overall scheme of things Australia puts out less emissions of the greenhouse type than a US Seal unit.
    There is a saying that says Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics and anther one that says that statistics is like a Bikini – what they reveal is interesting, what they hide is vital.

  63. Good comment as usual Garth, The University of Stellenbosch also has a statistic department , many companies are requested to send certain information to them on a monthly basis, as it is voluntary how many don’t forward the information to them. Most statistics are a guessing game to a big extent gained from technical and scientific knowledge applying to the required selected information.

  64. Great discussion guys!

    @Peace please remember not to trust everything you read on wikipedia though as anyone can go in there and make changes no? Of course I know it is very tempting to just use it alone! 🙂 But I guess it is why Engineer-Chic’s choice of reference Google Scholar was a good one!

    Of course as a whole you can’t trust everything you read in any form of media including Wonkie! 🙂 And nothing beats going out there and asking people yourselves! 🙂 I had the distinguished pleasure a few yrs ago to talk with the members of an Australian aborigine dance troupe. I know they were on a tourism and promotion drive so I must still have not gotten the full story but it was such a great experience to meet them like that face to face in the middle of Trinidadian bush! I also had asked them about the film I had just seen at the time called ‘Australia’ You can recount my experiences here http://meadysmusings.blogspot.com/2009/06/have-redgreen-world-environment-day-my.html

    Very interesting in this case the mix of culture and religion on how we view our relationship with the physical environment i.e. Mother Earth. And also how cultures and religions world over can be similar in some ways and also how they can meet to influence each other…hopefully for the ‘greater good’! 🙂

  65. Oh and I know this is offtopic but today my blog is celebrating it so I thought I’d wish all of you it as well…Happy St. Nicholas Day 2011! During the Christian festival of giving and receiving! 🙂

  66. Meady, at least someone remembers the real message of Christmas. But I must argue that if we cannot believe Wikipedia, who are we supposed to believe? If you do not like what they say, just go in and change it.

  67. True Garth, Wikipedia and Discovery normally agrees seldom different , I tried to change something in Wikipedia after reading your comment and could not do it. It sure has a lot of interesting reading, read an article today, that the solar path of the earth which includes all the planets as we know them are moving closer to the sun, one of the major causes of climate change, which many lately contributes it to global warming due to polution. Fair enough the earth is being polluted but has nothing to do with the ice caps starting to melt. The same is happening to Pluto’s moon which is made up of ice, also starting to melt, lots of changes in conditions are also taking place on the other planets which are constantly being observed. Just thought I would add this due to the COP17 conference currently in Durban. The earth is moving closer to the sun or the sun is moving closer to earth. Check it out on the web indeed very interesting reading.

  68. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    The spider that wove this particular web must be enjoying the joke!
    Whilst it is not impossible to talk of the earth moving towards the sun (after all the earth’s orbit is elliptical and not circular – so for at least part of the orbit we ARE moving closer to the sun) no way can anyone say that the sun is moving towards the earth – no-one, that is, except the long dead Roman clerics who held that the earth was the centre of the Universe and that EVERYTHING rotated about the earth!

    “the solar path of the earth which includes all the planets” If the solar path of the earth (I assume that this means the earth’s orbit about the sun) includes all the planets why do the paths never cross? and why haven’t we had a planetary collision yet?

    The temperature of the surface of Pluto is rarely higher that -240°C and its moon Charon has a similar temperature. The “ice” making up part of Pluto’s surface and most of Charon’s surface is approx. 98% nitrogen and the rest is mostly methane and carbon monoxide. Pluto was closest to the sun in September 1989, since when it has been moving further away from the sun and will continue to do so until about 2114 when it reaches the furthest orbital point from the sun and again starts to come closer.

    My suggestion ? – get another spider.

  69. The scapegoat is always the Bill of Rights. When the colonisers, softly disguising as missionary, put foot on Africa he started preaching how having many wives was called polygamy. He went ahead to demonise the cultural practice which was so successful that those involved in the relationship did not find it a problem. Next thing he introduced homosexuality as an another human right. Come On. When shall we stop swallowing all this rubbish that goes against Our cultural beliefs!

  70. iwena kafuko cultures are a cult that comes from occults which comes from the devil himself no wonder those in bondage of it always suffers. Get yourself set free man and go to kwasisa bantu in natal and see for yourself .

  71. Kafuko. Your culture is not our culture so do not preach something that si out of date.
    Imp, what the hell are you talking about?

  72. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ kafuko learn a little bit about South Africa’s recent history. Under all of the colonial governments and under the Apartheid goverrnment also, homosexuality itself was a crime not just sodomy.
    The CODESSA talks produced a new constitution which included clauses ensuring non-discrimination with respect to gender, faith, ethnicity and sexual orientation among others.
    It was only in 1998 that the Constitutional Court overruled the Apartheid legislation against homosexuality as they were in contravention of the new Constitution negotiated by the new Government (the ANC). Whatever your feelings are to gay and bisexual men and women you cannot blame their legal acceptance in South Africa on ‘Missionaries’ and ‘Colonisers’ – this human right is HOME GROWN in the ANC. So, if you want to say that the ANC is introducing “all this rubbish that goes against Our cultural beliefs!”, then go ahead and do so. And, if you don’t like it, VOTE THEM OUT!!!

    @ impi – I suggest that, before you make an even bigger fool of yourself than you already have, you should (if not study Latin) look up the derivations of words which seem to confuse you.
    The words ‘cult’ and ‘culture’ have similar but different Latin roots – cult comes from the Latin ‘cultus’ which means ‘worship’; culture comes from the Latin ‘cultura’ or ‘culturare’ and these have nothing to do with worship but rather with cultivation and development. Occult, on the other hand, is derived from ‘occulere’ meaning ‘to hide’
    Now be a good boy and keep quiet until you know what you are talking about. Unless, of course, you are asking a relevant question in order to acquire understanding.

  73. I think I know what impi is saying, having been to Kwazisabantu myself I have knowledge of it. Impi should have said some cultures belong to the occults.

  74. Of course some cultures belong to the occults especially those that think lobola, hijacking, circumcision and putting a bone in your nose are acceptable.

  75. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Without wanting to cramp (or should that be ‘crimp’) anyone’s style, I believe that we should distinguish between ritual circumcision and circumcision performed in a hospital for medical or aesthetic reasons.
    The former is dangerous and is often (rightly or wrongly) associated with the occult (after all it is done in a very secluded [or HIDDEN] environment) whilst the latter is conducted in a public facility (albeit in the privacy of an operating theatre) where precautions are taken to avoid any infection during the procedure.
    The one, I believe, is painful in the process whilst the other is done under anaesthesia. Both are painful for several days afterwards – particularly when the offended organ tries to stand up for itself!
    So let us differentiate between what is ‘cultural’ and what is merely practical and call the offensive practice RITUAL (or perhaps OCCULT) circumcision.

  76. I’m loving this discussion. would never had imagined that it would take the shape it has.

    @Frank I believe that a system that allows almost anything to be acceptable under “cultural rights” needs to have its controls checked. that’s what the constitution was created for – to have a common set of pivotal human laws that supercede individual freedoms for the good of society. our systems should protect easy victims such as women and children living in culturally violent circumstances by enforcing equality in the household and not only in the workplace. empowerment begins at the heart, not with a degree or job. I believe our head of state should be an example of living or constitution of equal rights through his actions and show the men of South Africa what a real man is all about.

    Our role models should be powerful men and women who are in control of their choices and have respect for others and these should be promoted in media through extensive advertising campaigns and outreach.

    violence and abuse towards women need to be portrayed as the heinous act that it is and weeded out of our society through education and mentorship, realising that there is a strong link between other socio-economic factors such as poverty and unemployment with violence.

  77. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    @ engineer-chic – once more you are so right!

    Don’t forget the link between unemployment and drinking.
    And the link between inebriation and (depending partly on the level of inebriation) sexual, physical or verbal (and mental) abuse.

    Unfortunately, in our culture, male unemployment often leads to drinking. What is worse is male unemployment where the woman of the house IS employed – no equality here – the man more often than not resents his wife’s ability to provide when he sees it as a man’s role and this sets off the chain of drink and abuse.

  78. @ engineer-chic, fully agree the only problem is many in the rural areas do not have any form of media but sure there should be outreach programs for these areas.
    The Daily Sun reports almost everyday on cultural witchcraft killings, abductions of children etc. Many homes are run by grandmothers, the daughters are working in the cities and towns. Many men also work miles away from home and only goes home on long weekends and their annual leave. A solution is needed for this as well. this was caused by the previous regime. Miners and construction workers lived in compounds with children in the homelands and children with their local mistresses. The patriots constantly corresponded with the regime warning of all the implications this can cause which is exactly what happened. There is not much difference although some have brought their families now living in squatter camps around the cities. The level and methods of training should cater for all, men , women, married couples and at educational centers.
    @ impi, you should reach out to your people , they will rather listen to their own people then other races , we do what we can but often meet up with rejection and claims that we can keep our evil culture.

  79. I think That women eqaulity is very important becasue without that where would we being life.

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