On Wednesday I read, perhaps, the most painfully terrible article I have every read. Promoted by Women24 actively on the main news page, the piece was by a Michael Kennedy with the already vomit-inducing title: Are you getting laid?
According to Michael, women in this country are frustrated because we are not fucking enough. I think Michael may have gotten confused between ‘getting fucked over’ and fucking. To suggest, even for a second, that the general frustrations of women may be because we aren’t having enough sex is so enraging I don’t know who to throw my Birkenstock at.
To be less trite, the assault on women in South Africa is pervasive and obvious. There is not a day that goes by when I am not sexually harassed in some form by a stranger on the street. More horrific are the endemic sexual assaults and incidences of rape perpetuated on our gender. The bodies of South African women are the property of South African men.
Yet the subjugation of our physical bodies extends even to the very websites claiming to forward our interests. That Women24 think its is in the interests of women to read an article in which the male author admits it is based on the perceived ‘problem’ that most of his male friends aren’t getting shagged enough (although for depth of his research cases he does helpfully note “reading the Women24 Forums, it is clear a lot of women aren’t getting any either”), only contributes to the state of atrocity.
As Michael notes, a healthy sex life is good for relationships. However, it becomes very clear that there is no desire to examine what is good for women generally, or even what is good for their sexual selves. This is of course validated by his conviction, blatantly false to many women, that our sex lives would be best advanced through more sex with men (as opposed to women, or ourselves).
He provides no actual knowledge about what is happening in the sexual lives of South African women, although he does seem to find time to read a lot of News24 comments, which already indicates a form of sociopathic tendencies. Nor does he provide any solution to our apparent ubiquitous frigidity outside of “[women should] take their cues from men – don’t over evaluate or examine sex”. Instead, his incisive commentary notes:
“Why would men not get any if women are so openly accepting of 50 Shades [of Grey]?”.
And therein lies the rub (excuse the pun): at its heart, his article is about the audacity of South African women to not allow open season on our open legs. This is making everyone frustrated and that, apparently, is just not on.
This is part of a broader damaging discourse, which seeks to re-wrap the subjugation of women as ‘sexual liberation’, most often for purely male benefit (such as the benefit of Michael’s mates). It is often motivated too by profit, which when given the fact that Michael’s twitter says he wants us all to have “happy sex”, and he is clearly the visionary here to help us with that, is apparently at work here too. What is perhaps the most revolting aspect of this piece is the underscoring motivation revealed from the first lines when Michael describes the ‘patently’ sexually frustrated woman who had the cheek to cut him off in traffic: Michael doesn’t want any form of female aggression to hinder his drive home. So we should open our legs, dammit.
If Women24 really cares about the sexual needs of its female readers they might be better disposed to sourcing an article, from its female readers, entitled: “The actual things that dry up my vagina”. I think “men like Michael Kennedy” may end up being one of the submitted answers.