Jordaan expose shows women are ready to fight sexism

Safa president Danny Jordaan
Safa president Danny Jordaan
Image: Thulani Mbele

Well, Danny Jordaan is re-elected president of the South African Football Association (Safa) - thanks to the many male delegates who overwhelmingly sent a message to many women in SA and beyond that sexual assault and rape are but a figment of our imagination.

Did we expect Jordaan not to be re-elected as Safa's president, hell yes. In fact, we had expected Jordaan to have voluntarily resigned when rape allegations were made against him by Jennifer Ferguson instead of deflecting and suing those he accused of being behind the rape allegations and assisting Jennifer to bring him down.

Safa's predominantly male membership has and continues to be part of a system that consciously believe that a man is in the right in being a man and it is the woman who is wrong.

They, collectively and indivi-dually, are born and socialised in a system that controls women, in the words of a French writer Simone de Beauvoir, man can think of himself without woman.

She cannot think of herself with man. And she is simply what a man decrees, thus she is called "the sex", by which is meant that she appears essentially to the male as a sexual being.

For him she is sex - absolute sex, no less. She is defined and differentiated with reference to man and not he with reference to her; she is incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential.

When Ferguson eventually mustered the courage through the #Me Too campaign to tell the whole world that she was raped by Jordaan, she - instead of Jordaan - became the story.

Questions were asked: why now; why did she wait this long? How can she accuse a married, family man of this hideous crime; how can she accuse a respected football administrator and ANC leader, a man who brought us the Fifa World Cup?

I can bet that most of the men in the Safa structures saw nothing wrong issuing a statement of support for Jordaan when he was accused of rape.

Now we are told there is another woman too. They support Jordaan because they see themselves in Jordaan, a powerful man.

They can only but see Jordaan side of story because they have found themselves in the same, if not similar situations, as Jordaan.

They may have beaten, slapped a woman up or have forced themselves upon a woman before.

Case in point, the Minister of Sport [Tokozile Xasa] is yet to issue a statement on the rape allegations against Jordaan as she swiftly did with the Ashwin Willemse and SuperSport saga.

When a man touches a woman's breast uninvited that is sexual assault; when a man lift a woman's skirt without permission that is sexual assault; when a man runs his unwanted fingers along a woman's back or her thighs that is sexual assault; when a man force himself on a woman and violently rip her panties and penetrates her that is sexual assault and rape.

Women might not always be successful in the criminal conviction of male rapists, they may be vilified by society for standing up to rapists; they might suffer secondary abuse in the hands of machismo in the workplace, church, schools, political organisation and trade unions. But it will not deter, or mute their voices to call out those men who think they have licence to rape, beat or sexually assault women.

Women are now very much aware of the significance of their rights; they know they will not get justice because they think they deserve it.

They are going to keep fighting until men get it that they cannot hide behind patriarchy and machismo forever. #TimesUp

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