An extraordinary, unexpected and inexplicable development. This once-upon-a-time avid drinker of all things alcoholic has slipped and fallen… Onto (of all God forsaken places) the wagon. It began with the discreet elimination of certain favoured clear liquids: Silver tequila, vodka, gin. Then it progressed to a gradual decline in anything grape-related. Eventually, only ciders were consumed. And these were cut down to 2-3 at a time. Finally, even the ciders were left unattended, undrunk and unloved. After 2 weeks of sobriety, the panic kicked in. Where was the urge to drink? Two weekends came and went and no alcohol was craved or taken. When at long last the occasion to drink presented itself, two drinks were consumed but the behaviour was of one who’d had enough for one night. Shock, horror: one was now what avid drinkers refer to as a ‘lightweight’. Oh the shame! How can it be? And why should one be ashamed of ones semi-sobriety? So many questions and not enough drinks. Then the bulb above this sober head flickered on. A non-drinker I have become. Good grief. Feeling a loss of identity: you are what you drink. So who is this lady now? Is this non-drinking permanent? Or is it temporary? The lack of roaring hangovers to complain about is distressing. The lack of amusing drunk-tales is disturbing. But… (Big but) tendencies come and go and come again and go again. If my destiny is to be a non-drinker (and an indignant one at that), so be it. Health benefits, saving money etc aside, change is not to be feared. I am not afraid. A little anxious, a little bewildered, but unafraid.
According to the BBC, Wendy Hleta said women in Swaziland make it easier for rapists by wearing mini-skirts. Easier? Because rapists can justify their criminal inclinations by saying: too much on display! In that case, I’m off to rob a store: the mannequins looked too good in the clothes, too many nice clothes, must. Have. Them. Or was Hleta suggesting it’s easier to undress a woman in a mini-skirt? So on the morning in question, a woman put on her mini-skirt while repeating the mantra: I’m making it easier for rapists. I’m making it easy for rapists. Strange times we live in. Where criminals (because rape is a crime and a rapist is a criminal) are given the tools they need to justify their acts. ‘Well, if she had a pair of trousers on I’d not have done it!’ Has this ever been said? Or is Hleta suggesting there are two criminals here, the rapist and that dreadful, dreadful mini-skirt? And how sorry I feel for doctors everywhere. They see us naked. They probe us and prod us. Poor, poor doctors. No wonder 99% of rapists are doctors.Wait a minute. They aren’t. Strange times we live in. Once women stood together and burnt bras (the old scabby ones with the wire poking out already). Now women tell other women that clothing may influence rapists. Somewhere clever, clever men are rubbing their hands together because they got a woman to say it. On second thought, this could all be Hleta’s idea; what fresh hell would that be? Many African women in traditional attire must be at risk then. But Hleta has that covered, a ban on ‘immoral’ dressing won’t extend to traditional clothing. So as long as the clothing is traditional, it is not immoral. What’s the difference between a mini-skirt exposing one’s legs and a colourful traditional bead skirt exposing one’s legs? One represents tradition, the safety to express oneself. The other? Represents a willingness to be abused? Does such a person exist? Does anyone on this earth enjoy having their rights and their body violated? No. No. No. A thousand times no. Rape needs to be stopped, no doubt about that. But a mini-skirt makes it easier for a rapist? What does that even mean?