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Showing posts from July, 2013

Walking from the train station

A while ago I was having a conversation with one of my Grade 8 students. We were both walking from the train station heading for school at 7:30am, a dark morning in Cape Town. We exchanged the usual pleasantries and I asked her how's she's doing. I was expecting her to bemoan the early morning or tell me how tired she is or how much she hates school. But she didn't. Instead she responded "I'm inspired!".

I was taken aback by this response. What business did she have being inspired at 7:30 in the morning? I asked her what the source of her inspiration was and she responded with enthusiasm that she'd been reading poetry. As we closer to school we had a conversation about the form of poetry, sonnets, limericks and which would be easier to write. She promised me she would write a sonnet and show me.

Not all my students are as enthusiastic and curious as the student I mention above but it is a comfort to know that as a teacher I can be inspired while walking f…

What if marriage wasn't anti-feminism?

I’ve been contemplating marriage. Not as an abstract idea but as someone who has come face to face with the prospect of marriage. My partner and I have always spoken openly about marriage and after running away from the relationship for five years I’ve decided to consider marriage. While trying to make sense of the women who has taken over my body and having conversations about marriage on my behalf, I’ve been reading Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex: one of the most groundbreaking texts about the position of women. De Beauvoir articulates the plight of women by looking closely at the historical context making a case for feminism in the 1940s, when the book was first published. Central to de Beauvoir’s treatise is an exploration of marriage and the role it has played as a social practice that is an example of patriarchy. It’s impossible to write a book about the liberation of women without talking about marriage. And it’s impossible to identify as a feminist and not wonder about t…