From #RhodesMustFall to #FeesMustFall and all the way to #ZumaMustFall, 2015 was the year for falling; but as we enter the new year, Lethabo Afrika Bogatsu has a list of a couple of things that need to rise this year.
Young people should exercise their power more
#FeesMustFall showed us last year how powerful young people are when they come together. We need more young people galvanising to make change in other areas like health, poverty alleviation and human rights.
White people should call each other out on racism
More white people, especially liberals and allies, need to rise up and call out their friends, family and co-workers on racism because clearly cries from black people are falling on deaf ears. Penny Sparrow, Chris Hart, Justin Van Vuuren, Dianne Kohler Barnard and others have people who should have called them out long before they made national headlines. So don’t disassociate yourself by saying #NotAllWhites because really #YesAllWhites as keeping quiet makes you complicit.
Men need to educate themselves on feminism
Men should stop asking us what feminism is and assuming that feminists hate them. Your ignorance is only made worse by your arrogance and it’s not cute. Really you can do so much better. Read a book. Use Google. Visit a library. Educate yourself. It is not a woman’s duty to educate you, it’s 2016 and we’ve got better things to do.
All of us need to be more aware of LGBTI+ rights
There needs to be way more awareness around the LGBTI+ community including the fact that this is the correct acronym: LGBTQQIAAPL (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (Non-binary), Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual). If men need to educate themselves about feminism, then the rest of us can also certainly do more.
We need more diverse faces and bodies in the media
We’re tired of seeing just white faces and skinny bodies on magazine covers and ad campaigns. You should know by now that it’s not just “champion men” who drink beer and white women aren’t the only ones who shop from popular Swedish clothing stores. It’s time that brands represent all of us, especially if they are going to enjoy our hard earned money.