42 episodes

Living While Feminist is a podcast in celebration of living a feminist life.

Each week it features a feminist from South Africa and the world so that we can listen to and draw from their experiences to embolden our own.

Hosted by feminist author, writer, and researcher, Jen Thorpe.

Living While Feminist Jen Thorpe

    • Society & Culture

Living While Feminist is a podcast in celebration of living a feminist life.

Each week it features a feminist from South Africa and the world so that we can listen to and draw from their experiences to embolden our own.

Hosted by feminist author, writer, and researcher, Jen Thorpe.

    S4: E10 - See you in 2022!

    S4: E10 - See you in 2022!

    Take care of yourselves!

    • 1 min
    S4: E9: Nyx Mclean - Finding home and communities, and celebrating identity

    S4: E9: Nyx Mclean - Finding home and communities, and celebrating identity

    Today on the podcast I’m talking with Nyx McLean.

    Nyx McLean is a trans non-binary queer South African, they use the pronouns they/them. Nyx is an academic who specialises in LGBTIAQ+ identities and communities, and their use of digital technology to form publics and counter-publics to resist the status quo. Nyx McLean is a Research Associate affiliated with the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, and is also currently the engagement editor of Makhanda’s Grocott’s Mail.

    Their piece in Living While Feminist is called ‘The Agender Borderlands’ and in that piece they say:

    I view being non-binary (and specifically agender) as a gift I walk this strange space of existence, it is often lonely but it can also be bright and glorious over here.

    So today I’m going to be talking with Nyx about gender politics, finding home, and writing resistance.

    • 36 min
    S4: E8: Tiff Mugo: On sexual touch, heartbreak, pole dancing, and feminism

    S4: E8: Tiff Mugo: On sexual touch, heartbreak, pole dancing, and feminism

    Today on the podcast I have the absolute pleasure of talking again to Tiffany Kagure Mugo. Tiff was the very first guest on Living While Feminist, talking about her book Quirky Quick Guide to having great sex, cancel culture, and everything in between. Since then Tiff has given us a new collection, with her co compiler Kim Windvogel, called Touch: Sex Sexulaity and Sensuality. It came out this year from Kwela. As a piece in the collection by Zanta Nkumane says “The architecture of pleasure is expansive” and this collection certainly illustrates that well.

    Tiff is still the co-founder and curator of HOLAA!! – a pan Africanist hub that advocates for and tackles issues surrounding African sexuality. She does ted talks and writing and just general amazingness all the time. She can often be found with a glass of wine, and, in my experience, can always be found with a joke. Earlier this year she was part of the Queering Belonging mini-series hosted by the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University, and you can watch her episode online.

    But the topics Tiff tackles (try that tongue twister after a glass of wine) are as serious as they are light – sex and sexuality remain taboo points of conversation for many of us. In a piece in March this year in the Mail and Guardian, Tiffany said:

    Writing about sex, for me, has been a journey of learning and unlearning, turning things around in my mind to try to figure out how to do it. As someone who is a nerd at heart, I thought being able to understand the mechanics of the thing would help me do the thing. I was also under the impression one could crash course learning about sex.

    However, the journey has been the equivalent of thinking you are digging in a sand pit and finding out you are actually in the middle of the Sahara desert. When I began, I thought that simply because I knew a little more than the average person about getting down and nasty I could enter this realm and document sex in all its glory. And for a while, as one of the few voices who had the gumption to write publicly about sex, the con worked.

    Eventually, I realised that this was a marathon and not a sprint. I was always one article/sex story/radio interview away from talking absolute nonsense if I did not keep digging and furthering my understanding. When it comes to sex, sexuality and desire there is always something to learn, someone to learn from and something that has been a core part of your thinking that you need to put down and lay to rest.

    So today I’ll be talking with Tiff about touch, sexual pleasure, and whatever else we feel like.

    • 34 min
    S4: E7: Ziyanda Stuurman: Policing, policy making and feminism

    S4: E7: Ziyanda Stuurman: Policing, policy making and feminism

    Today on the podcast I’m talking with Ziyanda Stuurman.

    Ziyanda is a social policy, political science, and international relations graduate who currently works as a social science researcher based in Cape Town.

    She’s a recipient of both the Chevening and Fulbright scholarships and hold advanced degrees in Conflict, Security and Development Studies from Sussex University, and in International Development from Brandeis University. Her undergraduate degrees in international relations and political science are both from the University of Stellenbosch.

    Ziyanda has worked in various roles related to political and social science research over the past decade, and each of these professional experiences have informed her research and writing on policing and police militarisation in South Africa.

    Today I’m speaking to Ziyanda about her new book – Can We Be Safe: The Future of Policing in South Africa. In the book Ziyanda explores the distant and recent history of policing in South Africa as well as some of the contemporary realities. It touches on colonial history, police brutality, inequality, the problem with public perceptions about crime and the misuse of this for political rhetoric, gangsterism and social order, the criminal justice system, and the ordinary lives of those who are affected by our crisis of policing.

    The book suggests that things have not been working and will not work to make us feel safe and live safely, unless we imagine a new system entirely.

    In the book Ziyanda says:

    Inequality in South Africa is evident not only in who is policed and how, but also in the allocation of police resources. As it has always been in the past, the allocation of police resources does not always follow need … If we want to create a society that cares equally about the protection and safety of all communities, and a police system that responds with equal urgency and empathy for people regardless of their social status, then the horribly unequal state of affairs that we have right now in terms of resource allocation must be completely altered.

    So today I’ll be talking to Ziyanda about her vision for policing in South Africa, her studies abroad, and her feminism. Welcome Ziyanda.

    • 43 min
    S4: E6 Nechama Brodie: Femicide, fake news, fact checking, fiction and feminist growth

    S4: E6 Nechama Brodie: Femicide, fake news, fact checking, fiction and feminist growth

    Today on the podcast I’m talking with Dr Nechama Brodie.

    Nechama has worked as a multi-media journalist, editor, producer and publisher for nearly twenty-five years. During this time she has dodged the secret police in Burma, explored tunnels underneath Johannesburg, gotten dusty at rock festivals, and reported on the myth of ‘white genocide’ in South Africa. Nechama’s journalistic work has appeared in leading South African newspapers like the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian, and City Press, and in the Hindustan Times (India) and the Guardian (UK). Nechama also previously headed up the training and research division TRI Facts for independent fact-checking agency Africa Check.

    Nechama has a PhD in journalism and is a part-time lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Journalism and Media Studies. Her research work focuses on interpersonal violence and media representations of violence. Nechama is also a musician and singer and (unrelated) a martial artist, holding a second dan in karate.

    In addition to her journalism Nechama is the author of several books - The Joburg Book (Pan Macmillan), a contemporary history of the city that was long-listed for the Alan Paton Award and has sold over 10 000 copies; and Inside Joburg (Pan Macmillan), a guide to the city’s most interesting spaces. Nechama’s best-selling history of the city of Cape Town, The Cape Town Book (Struik Travel and Heritage), was released in 2015.

    Nechama is also the co-author of memoirs I Ran For My Life (Pan Macmillan), with best-selling musician Kabelo Mabalane, and Rule of Law (Pan Macmillan), with MP and former state prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.

    Nechama’s first novel – a supernatural thriller called Knucklebone (Pan Macmillan) – was published in 2018 and was long-listed for the Barry Ronge Prize for South African fiction and short-listed for the Nommo Award for African speculative fiction.

    In 2020, Nechama published two further books - The sequel to Knucklebone, Three Bodies (Macmillan) in March, and her non-fiction work Femicide in South Africa (Kwela) in July 2020. In the Introduction to Femicide she says

    “Femicide – like the murders of children, and perhaps the elderly – carries such distinct features that, if we were to try and understand or profile these killings only in the context of male homicides, we would miss the point entirely. The violence meted out against women has long been distinct from the violence meted out between men” and goes on to say later in the book “most violent injuries between men arise from ‘everyday life, most often involving strangers and including poorly defined arguments and quarrels over money, women and drunkenness’ whereas most women are attacked and harmed by someone they know. Where men often participate in or even initiate violence against each other, even when they are with strangers, women are subjected to violence, and mostly by the people close to them.”

    So, today I’ll be talking to Nechama about femicide, how to tell fact from fiction, and her writing life.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    S4: E5 Terry-Ann Adams: Writing women, Inspiration and Activism

    S4: E5 Terry-Ann Adams: Writing women, Inspiration and Activism

    Today on the podcast I’m talking with Terry-Ann Adams. Terry-Ann is a writer and commentator from Johannesburg. They have an honours in history from the University of Pretoria where she focused on the disability rights movement in South Africa and Disability Representation in American Film. They has spoken and written on ableism and feminism.

    In 2020 Terry-Ann published their debut novel, Those Who Live in Cages, with Jacana Media. Those Who Live in Cages is a story of five women, connected to one another through blood and circumstance  – Bertha, Janice, Laverne, Kaylynn and Kela (Raquel) – all living in Eldorado Park. As the review in New Frame puts it, “they are women full of hope for their families and futures, bumping up against the obstacles of class limitation and a patriarchal, religious and judgement-driven environment.”

    It is a story where place comes alive as character. Eldorado Park is a location that shapes the lives of each of these characters, whether they are yearning to leave or destined to stay. In her interview with New Frame writer, Binwe Adebayo, Adams says:

    “I think that the world is a dystopia, that systemic oppression kills any form of hope for real change or progress. As individuals, we can move forward slightly … but the greater good is not realised and many are left behind … Only when systems that oppress us are dismantled will we see real change.”

    So today I’ll be talking with Terry-Ann about writing as one tool to address social issues, their work as a disability activist, and what comes next for them.

    • 29 min

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