July is a month of cold days and chilly breezes around most of SA. Whilst working from home is amazing, I’ll be moving to my new offices in Braamfontein from the 12th. I’m really looking forward to interaction with colleagues and to getting out of the house for some perspective on things.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the support that we often give to each other without even making an effort: the phonecall just to say ‘Hi’, the forward of an email that’s relevant or meaningful, or the glass of wine/cup of coffee/slab of chocolate at the end of a week. Women provide incredible support to one another through their empathy and understanding, but we can also be our own worst enemies sometimes.
I was eavesdropping on a conversation in the gym change room the other day. Four women were talking about a fifth (who was in the shower) whose husband was having an affair. They’d all found out from their kids (must have been at the same school). They were debating whether or not woman number 5 knew, and how terrible it all was. When she materialised out of the shower, they said nothing. Talk returned to shopping, the weekend and the rugby. I continued to watch them, waiting for a sign that they’d say something, but they didn’t. Why not?
It really got me thinking about the reality of ‘the sisterhood’ – is it global anymore? Or is it just something that we like to say when people ask us why we’re feminist. Are we part of something bigger than ourselves, or are we holding ourselves back? Are we prepared to talk honestly amongst ourselves about the issues that concern us? I guess what I’m asking, is are we in this for the bigger picture, or are we only in it for ourselves? Whose interests does feminism stand for?
This month we’d love to hear from you about any issues that concern you, about the women that you celebrate and admire, and about the world you live in. Lets get real, and start to rekindle our sisterhood by sharing our concerns. Start it now. If you are looking for other places to write, check out the POWA Women’s Writing Project, and the My First Time Project (out as a series of books in 2012).