No country for young women

I’ve come to the conclusion that ours is not a country for young, single women.

My poor sisters. Luckily, the one is married (to a farmer, nogal) and the other is in a stable, long-term relationship with a would-be engineer whom I like.

But the other 10 million of you out there, I feel for you. I’m glad I’m not you. If I were, I would probably have retreated to a life of celibacy long ago.

Let me explain. This morning I was standing in the queue at my local supermarket. The two young South African men queuing in front of me were comparing notes on their cellphones — pictures of women they’ve slept with over the past nights, months and years.

The last time I experienced this kind of intense backslapping and ululating was at the Ghana versus USA game.

Then a beautiful young woman came by, probably wanting to buy some fruit, bread or shampoo. The two hyenas reacted like real experts of the female race. “No, she’s from Congo. Congolese women don’t like local boys. They only like Congolese men, you know.” As if you have to dig South African men to be a real woman. (And, let’s just clarify, the two brothers in front of me wouldn’t make the cut for the covers of GQ or Men’s Health.)

C’mon guys, where does this blown-up self-image of ourselves come from? With our high rape and abuse figures, we’re not exactly the Casanovas of the world or, for that matter, Africa. And with young men like Julius Malema as our leaders, can you really blame women from the Congo for not falling on their knees and begging for the hand of any South African man they see?

I don’t.

Of course, there are a lot of decent, mature, intelligent and well-mannered South African men out there. But my female friends tell me they’re all taken.

I feel for you, my sisters who go to shopping malls to shop or to the gym to, uhm, work out. That is, of course, the other hunting ground for the big-egoed hyenas with dicks for brains.

Recently I almost reported a gym instructor to the Equality Court for abusing a young woman on the treadmill, trying to burn some kilojoules.

“Hey baby, how are you?” he said while she was huffing and puffing on the running machine. Surely, if she wanted to make conversation or chat up guys, the treadmill would not be the place she would go to?

But no, Mr Muscles didn’t get the message and kept on asking stupid questions like “When are you coming in again?” or “Are you enjoying the running?”, while she focused on her running and dismissively replied with one-syllable answers.

My dear, single, young sisters. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe dating websites where you actually go to find a date and not to buy toothpaste or work out?

Then again, I can just imagine all the creepy hyenas trying to pick up girls in cyberspace. But at least you won’t have to face their blown-up egos in the flesh.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

South Africa must revisit and refresh its idea of itself

Covid has propelled citizens into feelings of a new shared identity in which the historical force of ‘whiteness’ is fading into irrelevance

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — that may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast.

Deconstructing South Africa’s construction industry performance

The construction industry has contracted sharply, partly due to Covid, and needs to rebalance its focus if it wants to survive

Editorial: SA will be bankrupted by looters

The chickens have finally come home to roost: if we do not end the looting, it will end us

Zuma vs Ramaphosa? Neither is the leader South Africans deserve

Neither statesman could command sufficient authority in an ANC that remains mired in corruption and infighting and at the behest of big capital

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

Joe Biden’s debate guests run the only Zimbabwean restaurant in...

A Zimbabwean restaurant feeding people in need formed an unlikely addition to Joe Biden’s election campaign

The high road is in harm reduction

While the restriction of movement curtailed the health services for people who use drugs in some parts of the world, it propelled other countries into finding innovative ways to continue services, a new report reveals

Khaya Sithole: Tsakani Maluleke’s example – and challenge

Shattering the glass ceiling is not enough, the new auditor general must make ‘live’ audits the norm here in SA

State’s wage freeze sparks apoplexy

Public sector unions have cried foul over the government’s plan to freeze wages for three years and have vowed to fight back.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday