And she belonged only to herself

We started the ‘Ungovernable’ feature five years ago on the launch of noted.man, so that we may illuminate our blindspots and gain some perspective from women. Over the years we have had some amazing conversations with women who have enlightened, entertained and challenged us profoundly, writes Mr Siphiwe Mpye.

We are acutely aware that once-off initiatives like Women’s Day – although created with the best of intentions – like honouring the brave women that marched in 1956 – make very little material change to women’s lives. As so many women have pointed out, much of the pomp and empty symbolism surrounding this day is designed to appease men, to rid us of our guilt, creating a veneer of progress we can fool ourselves into believing. We are under no such illusions.

The women we have interviewed under the ‘Ungovernable’ banner have given us a glimpse of life in their skins, their bodies. They have showed us what it is like to at once be despised and desired, to be dismissed and shunned, to be likened to rocks, burdened with perceptions of superhuman durability. They have reminded us of the enormity of the work we have to get through.

They have showed us what it is like to at once be despised and desired, to be dismissed and shunned, to be likened to rocks, burdened with perceptions of superhuman durability.

That is why we intentionally highlight, celebrate and learn from women everyday, to keep such an important agenda top of mind, especially for the noted.men in our community, men who are on a lifelong journey to unlearn the ubiquitous ways of Patriarchy and all its trappings. To remember that no matter our proximity, or even paternity over her, ultimately, she belongs to nobody but herself.

We will continue to honour women and tap into their wisdom – so that we may better serve our families, partners, children, friends and colleagues who happen to be women or girls. We will continue to shape these burgeoning better versions of ourselves with this in mind – from August to eternity – for the sake of all humanity.

On this Women’s Day, woman’s month and for as long as we exist, you can read and absorb some historic and more recent interviews with the brilliant minds who have been generous enough to share their worlds with us. READ HERE

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