My Afropolitan Articles

I love seeing my name in lights, and digital lights are pretty great, but being on paper is still infinitely more rewarding. I like to think the trees would be glad to know they are going to such a fine use (rather than ending up as tabloid fodder, shame). Happily, some of the articles are…

A Bunch of White Guys, or The Hugo Awards

It isn’t a surprise to anyone that I am not the biggest fan of that literary ghetto of a genre, science fiction/fantasy. Despite publisher attempts to rescue books from that dreaded pit by re-labeling them speculative fiction, it remains a genre that has become a shorthand for basement-dwelling, mouth-breathing virgins. Not that all readers of…

Women Warrior Series: The Dahomey Amazons

Not long ago in West Africa, there was a warrior clan so fierce, so hardened and so unbelievably tough that it took the might of an industrialised nation just to slow them down.

I Fight Like a Girl

I may be a lone voice in this, but I really want to bring this rallying cry into the martial arts, and especially in karate. I hate hearing ‘you punch like a girl’ being leveled at boys, that anything feminine is inherently weaker. It is one of the reasons why we see such an attrition of young female budo-ka.

Women Warriors: The Gulabi Gang

The Gulabi Gang India, despite its respectable number of female goddesses, is not a country known for treating women well. With a spousal abuse rate of two in three married women and the systematic abortion of female foetuses alongside nation-wide corruption,  climbing rape statistics, and the horrifying thousands of dowry murders a year, India is not…

Review of The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Usually a book can be allocated its genre within a moment of reading the blurb and glancing at the jacket. But then there’s The Shining Girls, which gleefully refuses to pick a genre box to sit in, and decides that it will timeshare in several.

Feminism Isn’t a Hobby

Today, people will be wearing black in some kind of attempt to soothe their consciences about the appalling treatment of women in South Africa on a daily basis, made manifest in the tragic rape and death of Anene Booysens. Like with the rhinos and the POI Bill, today people will express their sort-of pissiness with the…

Review of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis arrived with a great deal of literary street cred: it had been recommended by Oprah, who can still make or break books with nary a blog post. It came with a stunning recommendation from Marilynne Robinson, Orange Prize and Pulitzer Prize winner. Comparisons are being made to inimitable…

Criticism of The Fifty Shades Trilogy: Smackdown Round-up

I refuse to accept that there are better things for me to do with my time than round up all the best criticism of Fifty Shades of Fail. I could be saving kittens from trees, probably. However, if I could I would use this post to raise money for all the women that end up in abusive relationships like the one described in Shades of Black and Blue.

Quick Fix: A Writing Submission Gone Horribly Wrong

Far be it from me to piss on the writing parade of someone who likes to scribble cowboy fiction. After all, I suppose it has its place, much like bric-a-brac in the glorious, universe-spanning world of literature. While undoubtedly a genre that pretty much reinforces every heterosexual norm you can think of (the manly man…

Why White People Don’t Get Affirmative Action

As part of the ‘Cape Town is Racist’ furore (why is this news?), some of the commentators on this article at Daily Maverick are upset that white people are getting denied opportunities to medical school and say that this is racist too. (I really shouldn’t scroll down comment sections, otherwise blog posts like this happen.)…

The Foschini Debacle and some silly feminists

As per the usual Twitter ‘shitstorm in an egg cup’, today offers up the debate of Tasteless Tshirts offered by Foschini. If you read the comments below, it only reminds me that I am very, very glad to have left university. Friend Thomas has adopted a life philosophy that makes perfect sense: ‘haters gonna hate’….