The beginning of the second block of this semester was met with a student protest through which students from across the country reiterated the call for Free Quality Education. Classes were disrupted and a lecture hall in Umthombo building was set alight. This protest was not unexpected as Professor Adam Habib was informed about the scheduled protest. During the protest, Black females and queer people were manhandled when they attempted to raise questions regarding how they are being treated in the movement. It is alleged that, a symposium was planned and took place this past weekend where women and queer people were not invited. In some of the photos taken during the protest, a Black Queer Woman Thenjiwe Mswane, appears surrounded by men, some of which are strangling her.
Perhaps one could argue that, this protest was necessary in a sense that, it served as a conversation starter regarding the exclusion of the minority groups in the students’ space. My first article in this platform looked at the power dynamics within the FMF space, citing that Black female bodies and queer people were being marginalized, that there were being reduced to bodies that can only be utilized to increase numbers during the student protests. Yesterday was a manifestation of what I had asserted that Black heterosexual bodies believe that its voice ought to be taken seriously as opposed to that of Black Women and Queer bodies.
What you happening in the movement is that, the socialization process through which Black heterosexual males have been taught to hate and disregard women is being used a defense tool. The interesting observation in all of these is that, while the project is about decolonizing the institutions of power, black heterosexual males in the movement have become selective on what needs to be decolonized and when this decolonizing process must be carried out. The selectivity plays out in a sense that the immediate student struggles are seen as more important than dismantling the sexist and exclusionary thoughts we carry with us. One thing you need to note is that, when it is being asserted that Patriarchy Must Fall, that does not mean the fight against anti-black racism should take a step back, but rather that, the struggles of Black Women and Queer people are important too and surely we can fight all of them at the same time.
Patriarchy does not only mistreat women and that is another thing you need to register in your mind, remember how you did “things” and you were told “that's not manly?” we need to begin looking at the fight against patriarchy as something that seeks not to take our “power” away but rather a tool that will ultimately see us freed from the jaws of patriarchy. There exist a need for us to question how retaining the heterosexual male privilege is going to impact on the utopia we are seeking to establish. Surely all of these problematic factors we all have been subjected to need to be dealt with now, you do not want to assume the role of the master,By Mpho Ndaba (@Anthony_Base1) Photo Cred: EPA