The ANC Women's League tried to defend itself this week following a widely condemned comment by Clara Ndlovu, its Mpumalanga provincial secretary.
She had justified the ANC Women's League's support of President Jacob Zuma for another term as ANC president by saying that "ANC women are not ready to lead".
Spokesperson Troy Martens responded to a daily newspaper's report on the matter, saying the league was deeply distressed about the "gross misrepresentation" of Ndlovu's comment on women's readiness to lead. And then Martens proceeded to put the women's league's foot even further into its ladylike mouth.
"We say the time is not right currently, not because we don't have capable leaders, and we believe South African society is maturing to a point where being led by a woman is acceptable. However, the women's league currently needs to assist in healing and unifying the organisation and we believe at this point continuity will assist in achieving this goal, rather than bringing another candidate to the fore and creating further rifts in our organisation."
Did they just say that? That we are "maturing to a point where being led by a woman is acceptable"? That they would rather continue to support men in the name of "healing and unifying" than "creating further rifts" in the party?
Seems the little women are content to let the men run the show – no matter how poorly they are running it – and continue in a motherly, nurturing role, rather than sticking their heads above the parapet and actually doing something to challenge the status quo. It is nothing short of outrageous, shocking, deeply disturbing and insulting to every woman in South Africa.
We might have been able to laugh it off if it came from some 18th-century text on patriarchy and not straight from those whose role it is to advance women in society and politics. If they are not ready, who is? When exactly will they be ready to present a female presidential candidate?
With prevailing beliefs like these, it is no wonder that women continue to earn less than men, or that patriarchy continues to be the accepted state of the nation. With feminists like these, who needs misogynists?