The Crimes Women Commit Against Each Other


There’s an increasing call for women, particularly black women, to come together to form a sisterhood. But what happens when another woman does you wrong?

Expressions such as “ovaries before brovaries” and “sisters before misters” are the new rallying cry for women to form a sisterhood. A new wave of radical feminism is sweeping the world and young women, and some men, from across cultures and race lines are defining what being a woman is about as well as defining relationships between women.

Events such as For Black Girls Only and organisations like the Feminist Stokvel now exist so women can communicate with one another and so create a sisterhood that listens, engages with and uplifts one another.

Yet despite this valiant call to sisterhood, stories of women embroiled in malicious spats with each other over men continue to surface in tabloids. On Sunday, the Daily Sun carried a story of another fight between Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba’s former lover and his wife. The quarrel began last year when Buhle Mkhize alleged that she’d slept with Gigaba. Norma Gigaba, his wife, retaliated by calling Mkhize a “prostitute” and posting a picture on social media of Mkhize alongside one of Homo naledi.

ALSO READ  Here Is The Secret To Finding Love

Why women exhibit such hatred towards one another is a question often asked.

But Kay Sexwale, public commentator and communications strategist, doesn’t think this is necessarily the case. “I don’t think it’s a blanket issue of women hating each other. Some women do when it comes to men, but not all the time. I’d like to think that a lot of women are dignified when it comes to it.”

Often we expect women to be nice to one another because they’re also women. In an article for The Express Tribune on why women fight, writer Sabha Khalid says, “I think it’s because we expect better from them. It’s because we expect them to understand our pain and struggle. It’s because we expect more empathy from them.”

Carolyn Dever, in her book Skeptical Feminism: Activist Theory, Activist Practice, says women have to face one another and hold one another accountable. “Conflicts among feminists require women to pay attention to each other, to take each other’s reality seriously and to face each other.”

Writer and researcher Danielle Bowler says women are people rather than a “homogenous monolith” and therefore aren’t always going to agree with one another. However, they should try as much as possible to respect one another.

“The idea that we’re all going to naturally love each other is misguided,” she says. “Feminists aren’t exempt from being just like anyone else, and flawed. Sometimes we’re great; at other times we’re immensely problematic. The difference is between those who are willing to do the work and those who maintain problematic positions.”

This doesn’t mean that men should be handed a get-out-of-jail-free card for their wrongdoings. Sexwale says men who find themselves in these type of situations often escape with their reputation and dignity intact.

“Look at the [Zwelinzima] Vavi saga,” she says about the former Cosatu general-secretary’s tryst with a staff member. “He was slut-shaming her in the media when he was the one that had had an affair with her. He’s the one that moved her from the airport and offered her a job as a personal assistant.”

The onus, says Sexwale, should be on the parties involved to hold each other accountable for infidelity.

“As women we need to respect one another, but I don’t believe that a woman needs to stay away from a man because of another woman. Half the time it’s the guy making the advances anyway, so I don’t believe it’s the responsibility of the other woman to safeguard a relationship that isn’t there.”


You Might Also Like

  • Women caring for one another shouldn’t go unnoticed your correct !

    I had recently read a very touching article titled: “Call off the wedding” posted 1-21-15 by was so memorable because this occurred literally 1 week prior to a womens wedding. In a day and age where women are still cherishing the right to marry it is so rare to find an engaged women willing to compromise her marriage over her fiance’s former wife or babies momma for that matter but this one did. This engaged women was payed a visit from her fiance’s children’s mother @ her job (don’t ask me how she found out where she worked) anyway she didn’t pay the engaged women a visit to destroy their marriage but rather to ask that she would speak on her and her children’s behalf in order that their father wouldn’t forget to help his two children financially, it was an emotional moment so of course the engaged women entertained it and when she attempted to speak with her fiance about why first of all he had mentioned no children & second of all why he dose not provide food them, he basically let her know that his wife should know and understand how to mind her own business when she attempted to speak to him again on the issue he lifts his hand and BACKSLAPS her…now she’s contemplating whether or not she should forgive and marry or end it. This is sistahood because NO WOMEN and I mean NO WOMEN has to consider another women’s children for her and that was her fiance’s point when saying she should mind her own business but this man is arrogant which is why he responded in sarcasm and we all know and can understand how sarcasm provokes but it can’t go unnoticed that if the man had meant more than a moralistic sistahood bond in the first place (which is one mother 2 another) then no doubt she wouldn’t gave a rat’s behind about those kids and had either said nothing or quickly dropped it as soon as he objected…more articles like this of women who do care but are in abusive relationships with people whom they were unaware had these type of tendencies should be posted because men suffer from mental illness too and this is how women get hurt possibly even killed !