Sunday afternoon in Germiston. All quiet, except for the gentle chirpings of birds, the odd dog barking and NG Kerk bells chiming dolefully in the distance. I was taking my little dog, ‘Sponkie’ for our weekly walk. My busy sister, Marcia, for once had time to join us.
So this aggressive oke (of the Brandy-and-coke variety) stepped onto the pavement in his two-toned shirt as we walked past his house. He’s armed with a vicious Rottweiler on an angry leash of chains. He tuned us: ‘If you ever walk past my house again, I will open the gate and set my dogs on you – so that they rip you apart!’
‘Rip us apart? Is it?” I was as much offended as rattled. In my culture we were brought up to ’respect’/fear/play small to male figures, but especially if they are either stronger or older or more religious than you and that conditioning sticks around even though are are liberated.
I started lecturing him on municipal by-laws and my right to walk Sponkie on the pavement. Marcia (of the vat-nie-kak-nie variety) had a different tactic. The moment he grabbed his crotch like a weapon and throws us another threat, she stopped. Her mouth twitched twice. Her shoulders straightened once. She sunk into a ‘Haka’ position, flipped him a double-zap sign and grouted (grouts = growling and shouting) ‘Fu-u-uck Y-o-o-o-u-u-u-u!!!!!!’ It was if centuries of suppressed frustration and anger felt by generations of women released itself in two syllables. Birds stopped chirping. Church bells stopped ringing. The bollas of at least 3 NG Kerk Tannies jumped straight of their heads.
I knew, in that instant, that Marcia was being righteous. She was showing me the way. She was way more authentic than I was. And it wasn’t even her dog.
I joined her in her haka stance. I swore various insults at him at the top of my voice. I said ‘Fuck You’ many times.
And it was FANTASTIC!!!! My sister and I had not united this intensely in many years. Each time we said ‘Fuck You’ ‘ the oxytocin, adrenaline and endorphins shot through our veins like life-saving medicine.
(I have to clarify that I did not even ONCE insult his mother or her private parts. I am a classy broad, after all. Plus, she was standing behind a tree with a ciggie lurking out her mouth eying us with even more vicious dogs behind her.)
Poor Sponkie, she didn’t know where to hide her head. If she had opposable thumbs, she probably would’ve thrown a ‘peace’ sign. But Maas and I were bolstered by the special combination of feel-good drugs and a sense of purpose and meaning that start revolutions and win wars. We laughed and fumed and plotted for hours afterwards. Peace, tranquility and camaraderie descended upon us.
We became who we were …
I posted the story on Facebook and a strong response came from people, many women, who thought our behaviour was disgusting and non-ladylike. What?! His behaviour is unreasonable and physically threatens to ‘rip us apart’, but I am not a lady? Fuck off.
Which brings me to the Spur incident.
I have no parenting skills and know nothing about conflict resolution, but I am an expert on ‘fuck offs’ (check out my blog: What I learned from 50 Fuck-Offs’ ) So I am only commenting on the area of the story where the woman tells the man: ‘Fuck You!” I am entirely on her side on this one. I salute you, madam. Keep in mind that he had at time already told her “Fuck You!” and made threatening gestures and verbal threats. People on social media are calling her behaviour disgraceful, like that of a ‘fish wife.”
In such a highly charged situation, what did you expect her to do? Say :”Dankie, Meneer,’ and sit there with her legs folded and her pinky raised? Nee, kak man, fokof.
I am taking it further and saying that the little girl who was being bullied or hit by the older boy should have told him to ‘Fuck Off’ as well. Ok, so maybe there are grey areas when it comes to teaching kids to swear, but the sooner we teach our young girls to be firm on establishing boundaries the better. She could have said: “Voetsek!”, “No”, “Bully-be-Gone” or ‘Ngizokushaya kakhulu ‘ or something. I personally am not opposed to girls hitting back, but others disagree with me. Either way, this has to end with the new generation.
This is my advice to you, Women need to learn how to say ‘Fuck Off’ in whatever words will work for them. Say ‘Fuck off’ like you mean it. Not as a victim, not as a reactionary – but as an independent person setting a firm boundary. Say it like it is the end of the conversation, not the beginning of a negotiation.
Go forth, my sisters. You know what you need to do. You need to start telling all the deserving poeste where they stand with you. Go find your own way to say: ‘F-u-u-u-u-c-k-k-k O-o-o-o-f-f-!!!! and have the courage to do it. I am right behind you.
(I am so bedonnerd thinking about this I am sommer going to the Spur right now and eat a whole Burger-N-Chips-with-Onion-Rings-and-a Brownie while writing my new book: “The Friendly Fuck-Off Phrase book for 4 Year Olds.”)