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Oh my this is awkward. Having to tell you who I am is a whole ordeal because I am still trying to figure that out myself lol. The most I know at this point is that, I am an unhinged hillbilly from a small town in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal; My first love had “Petronella” as a middle name (gross right?); I will on occasion get dressed in a onesie, using my red blankie as a cape to live out my fantasy of being the caped crusader of justice: Captain Tanuki; Finally, I have an obsession with owls that should get its own section in the DSM-V. On that owl thing, I feel like in one of my many past lives as a shrew somewhere in the world, I met my end to one of those majestic birds and that specific bird reincarnated as my first love who, at the time of writing, has not killed me…yet! Talk about a circle of life, neh. My goals? Well right now, I have but one very simple goal: to be the best human I can possibly be. Achieving that would make a hillbilly like me, a better person and growth is always good. My time at the paper has made sure I stay on this path. Should a lost soul wanting to know about the paper, stumbles across this bio, I want you to know that I will totally be a radically different person in the best way possible. Who knows, I might have reincarnated as an owl, by then.

On 18 August 2023, in honour of women’s month the Socialist Youth Movement (SYM) of the University of Pretoria hosted a discussion on feminist socialism. This included an opening speech from their guest speaker, Phemelo
Motseokae.

SYM is a Trotskyist society with Leftleaning political views and a view of establishing socialism in South Africa. In
her opening speech, Motseokae stated, “In honour of women’s month, it is important to remember the fact that women remain second-class citizens.” Quoting Karl Marx, she added, “The social progress of a society can be seen in the position that women hold within that society.” Motseokae raised several points of discussion relating to the fact that women work a double shift these days, as they are part of the economic workforce but are also home builders due to gendered social dynamics. In summarising her position in her opening speech, Motseokae said, “We must call out sexism within the movement; socialist feminism gets us to the heart of the issue.”

The floor then opened to everyone in attendance to add their contributions on the topic. Different speakers raised various points, such as the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, sex work, and poor sex education in schools that promote a culture of rape in society. Motseokae concluded the event with a response on all the points raised during the discussion. She said, “Socialist feminism is anti-war, and endorsing capitalism is standing behind poverty and war. Our loyalties must not lie with any government, but with the working class.”

The chairperson of the SYM UP, Cameron Rodrigues, reflected on the event, stating, “I think it was important and went really well […] We want to ensure that people are aware that women’s struggles are also recognised as a class struggle against capitalism because there will be a form of exploitation in capitalism.” They further added, “Women
are the hardest working people in society yet receive very little for the work that they put in. Capitalism is taking away our human rights, including reproductive health-care.” Rodrigues concluded, “I think it was an awesome discussion that needed to be had.”

For similar conversations across various areas, the SYM UP will be hosting a discussion platform known as “Commie
Convos” in Akanyang 1-11.