Why I wore Black today

stoprapeThis morning I took this photo of myself in support of Black Friday.  If you know me at all you’ll know that

1. I hate photos of myself,

2. I avoid taking photos of myself (especially in mirrors)

3. I try to limit my outrage to a select few topics such as parents that don’t put safety belts on their kids in cars. Rage and anger takes up too much of my precious energy.


Every one of us knows someone(s) that has been touched by rape, abuse or violence.  We can choose how we respond to it. We can try to ignore the inconvenience and un-prettiness of it, or we can be outraged and angry and declare how utterly fucked this country is, or declare that we will donate money toward a good cause, or do nothing, nothing at all.

Or we can choose to make a small difference every day, a positive difference in someone’s life.

That is my choice, and I’m lucky enough to be able to do that every day at work and will continue to do so.  I’m also blessed enough to be surrounded by people that are making a difference in their own big or small way.

I chose to wear black today in solidarity with the people that I know and love (or don’t know that linger my social media streams) that have had their power taken away from them in any shape of form.

I chose to wear black today because I will teach my children about their own power and that it is never acceptable or excusable to have anyone touch you in any way that is not meant to display love through my actions and my words.

I chose to wear black today because rape, abuse and violence in not acceptable. EVER.

I chose to wear black today because I refuse to be silenced and I refuse to allow people to be silenced and not be able to speak up for themselves.

I chose to wear black today because too often the victims are forgotten.

I chose to wear black today because we should never, never, NEVER get sick of reading about violence, because if we do, we will never choose to make a positive difference.

What is your choice?

Dear Mr President

zumaI have so many things to blog about (my awesome 40th last Saturday) and things that I’m considering blogging about (family and religion stuff), but this morning I had a hard conversation with Daniel which I think is more imporant to talk about.

Every morning I have a much-treasured 10 minutes of peace and quiet that I spend with my beloved iPad reading news and catching up on twitter.  You could possibly also refer to this time as avoiding-making-lunchbox-time, but hey.

This morning I was reading this article about rape in general and the rape and murder of Anine Booysen in particular with some rather horrifying details.  The mind baffles at the level of violence possible in a little town (Bredasdorp) that we have driven through several times on our way to Arniston. I know, how middle-class are we?

On the same page was a picture of our dear Mr President, Mr Zuma.  Daniel came and sat down for a cuddle under my arm, pointed to his picture and asked whether he was our president.  Yes, I say.  Is he nice? Daniel asks.

It took me a minute to work through all the inappropriate answers I could have given my child, but eventually I came up with this:

No, we don’t like him very much.

We don’t like him because he doesn’t take care of the children in our country as a President should, there are lots of children in really bad schools and without school books.

We don’t like him because he takes money from the poor people to build himself and really fancy house for his own, very large, family.

We really don’t like him because he doesn’t tell bad people not to hurt other people and doesn’t make proper rules to make sure this doesn’t happen.

We really don’t like him because he has told many lies and is often just really not a nice person.

So, Mr Prez,  how can you expect us parents to teach our children to love our country and be good citizens if you cannot do that yourself?  How can you expect us to teach our children to follow rules and respect each other when you cannot do the same? How can you expect our children (and by default YOUR children) not to rape, murder and pillage if YOU don’t stand up and take a stand?

Just saying.