What would the world be without women? Nothing. The world would be nothing without women. Yet, for a host of reasons, none of which can be excused, women are consistently maligned, abused and relegated to second class status in the eyes of society, work and life.
With National Women’s Day approaching we spent a large part of the week focused on women and women’s issues and rights. This is a topic that seems over chewed and lacking in zest. It feels burnt out with all the talking and all the no-doing. All the earnest promises that lack follow through and the tiresomeness of a stuck status quo lead us to ask “What really needs to shift to make real change?”
We don’t have the answer other than to maintain that the place to start is with each and every one of us. We cannot change out there if we don’t change in here. Check out our latest podcast episode for more of our thoughts on this.
Matthew, Chantal and Kimon scoping out the retreat venue. Can you tell it’s still Winter!
Passing the bug baton on
The bug baton was passed on to Matthew, who through croaks, coughing fits and sneezes, waded through the week, somewhat bleary and lacking in energy and motivation.
The world never looks as kind when you are not feeling 100%. It becomes a mirror of the itchy and scratchiness that pervades your body. Tempers are more frayed and interactions become shorter and sharper. Responses are barked out through tight chests and sore throats, and patience wears as thin as the damp night shirt after a less than solid night’s sleep.
In spite of this, our week stumbled along quite positively. We scooted to the Vredefort Dome, mid week, to do a site visit of the venue for our September retreat. The energy there settled us as the welcome warmed us. We were buoyed up and excited by the support for what we believe is going to be a life changing offering.
We built a bee island this week to help prevent them from drowning in the pool
Influencing the subjective experience
Matthew met with a group of women who represent various NPO’s that support women and children. The job of this group is to ensure that the right laws are in place and are correctly adhered to to support and further the aims of their stakeholders. They represented organisations who focus on child trafficking, sex worker education and advocacy, rape surviviors, women’s rights and equality, those affected by domestic violence and abuse, the rights and dignity of children in the criminal justice system, and sexual, gender and bolidy diversity advocates.
The role they play is extremely important, for example, the laws around the legalisation of sex work want to move the criminalisation to the buyer of the service, making mockery of the drive to decriminalise the industry as a whole. However, one of the members remarked to Matthew that no policies, laws or ordinances have any influence on the subjective experience of those involved. Hence her interest in the work we do as it offers the possibility to really make a difference to those most at risk and affected.
This reminded Matthew of this quote:
"Probably all laws are useless; for good men do not want laws at all, and bad men are made no better by them."
—Demonax (AD 70 – c. 170)
Without wonderful women the world would be woeful. A wedding throwback.
Warmer weather and winning ways
On a sunnier note, for the first time in several years we invited a group of friends (more than two) around for lunch and to watch the Springboks vs All Blacks rugby test on Saturday. It was an easy afternoon of light conversation and catch ups. We had a braai. Even though we are vegetarians, it felt like the appropriate thing to do on this occasion. We don’t partake of the cooking or eating, we just make the salad and watch as the meat gets charred and chewed. Our support team was very appreciative of all the leftovers on Monday.
Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit hosted the first Springboks vs All Blacks test. From booming the national anthem so that we could almost hear it in Johannesburg to carrying the furious, unrelenting play from the Boks on a vocal wave that drowned out even the commentators, the All Blacks never had a chance. The All Blacks may not be at their best as a team right now, but the Boks played with such focus and intensity there was no doubt who was going to win.
Looking forward, with the weather starting to warm up, we hope to get back to our bouncy energetic selves.
About the author
5th Place offers specialised psychological services in the form of coaching and therapy for immediate relief from stress, anxiety, & other mental health challenges. It works fast, deep and quick. For individuals and groups, children, teens and adults.