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By Kekeletso Nakeli

Columnist


I have a newfound respect for the modern black women

When we see Dineo Ranaka 'acting out', perhaps we should be honest enough with ourselves to call it hyper-independence, refusing to accept the status quo of generational hurts that women have endured.


I have a newfound respect for the modern black woman and a commentator put it best when she said that many of our grannies had to endure nonstop infidelities, struggle love, accept second citizenship in their own homes, seeing their husbands’ faces in neighbourhood children’s faces and silencing themselves in order to survive… These were marriages held together by trauma bonds, a lack of resources and tradition that favoured a gender that would hold us under subjection – these are the marriages my generation refuses to accept. Black society has an expectation of women to have unending levels of tolerance…

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I have a newfound respect for the modern black woman and a commentator put it best when she said that many of our grannies had to endure nonstop infidelities, struggle love, accept second citizenship in their own homes, seeing their husbands’ faces in neighbourhood children’s faces and silencing themselves in order to survive…

These were marriages held together by trauma bonds, a lack of resources and tradition that favoured a gender that would hold us under subjection – these are the marriages my generation refuses to accept.

Black society has an expectation of women to have unending levels of tolerance for the inadequacies of men who refuse to rise to the occasion of manhood.

The emotional abandonment, the repeated use of culture to hold women in subjection, the reminder that lobola was paid, the expectation that a woman must remember her place.

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But the truth is that emotional abuse is real. Husbands and their families with their expectations that a good wife deserts her previous life in order for her marriage to work – the pressure just too much.

As things stand, he ought to be giving up those late nights out drinking, the expectation for more from another when he does not really measure up. Then, you emotionally blackmail the woman and so does your family when the head of the house does not get his way… far too many women in South Africa are living with emotional abusers and by an extension, emotionally abusive in-laws.

A woman is stripped of her dignity as she suffers alone, she is stripped of a support system because society has expectations of her, never him. She is left questioning her sanity because she has no physical scars that serve as evidential support.

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I have a newfound respect for the modern black women because they have the audacity to expect respect and reciprocity.

So, when we see Dineo Ranaka “acting out”, perhaps we should be honest enough with ourselves to call it hyper-independence, refusing to accept the status quo of generational hurts that women have endured, that which we have watched our mothers and their mothers barely survive.

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Dineo Ranaka Gender-based Violence (GBV)

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