The Mothers of New Nations

Peter van Heusden pvh at
Tue Aug 15 00:40:38 PDT 2000

On Mon, 14 Aug 2000, kelley wrote:

> "The Mothers of New Nations" Antjie Krog, The Daily Mail and Guardian
> -- While nursing wounds from decades of violence, Afrikaner and black
> women have been taking very different paths to power in post-apartheid
> South Africa, notes Antjie Krog in the Daily Mail and Guardian. Where
> Afrikaner feminists historically have been stifled in their own
> communities, gaining no political or economic clout, black women of the
> African National Congress (ANC) have reaped the benefits of imposed
> quotas.

Yeah, I read this. It was (in my mind) an awful piece, neatly tying together a sanitised version of Afrikaner Nationalism with a sanitised version of African Nationalism.

Women's Day, which in South Africa is on 9 August to commemorate the famous women's anti-pass law protest, this year was characterised by a near-total fixation with the roles of women ('mother, healer, etc, etc'). No mention at all of the need for struggle - and this, in SA, a notoriously sexist country. To give you an idea of how 'good' things are - a young black friend of mine told me recently that in his community it is generally accepted that women and men can't have fulfilling relationships - with attitudes like that being common, it is not surprising that rape and other forms of violence against women are common.

Krog wasted two big newssheets with this article.


-- Peter van Heusden <pvh at> NOTE: I do not speak for my employer, Electric Genetics "Criticism has torn up the imaginary flowers from the chain not so that man shall wear the unadorned, bleak chain but so that he will shake off the chain and pluck the living flower." - Karl Marx, 1844

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