Why do some men hurt the women they claim to love? Professor Kopano Ratele’s lecture explores this question. Written in part as a response to a character in Pumeza Rashe-Matoti’s play, Unbroken Silence – which will be staged during the lecture – Ratele also considers why some women love the men who hurt them. “My interest,” Ratele says,“is in a certain play of affects connected to the desire to hurt others, to being hurt, to forgiving, to both affection and hatred, so as not to offer explanations that easily snap into place.”
Kopano Ratele is Professor in the Institute of Social and Health Sciences at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and researcher in the South African Medical Research Council-UNISA Violence, Injury & Peace Research Unit. He runs the Research Unit on Men & Masculinities and the Transdisciplinary African Psychology Programme. Most of his work focuses on the subject of men and masculinities in intersection with violence, race, income, sexuality, and culture.
In a society that finds itself in the midst of some of the most atrocious acts of violence enacted upon young and older women alike. It becomes important to listen not only the voices of the afflicted, but also the voices of those entrusted with protecting those that need to be protected. It is through storytelling, poetry, movement and music we share these stories of women that have lost lives because of gender-based violence. We question the impact of society, patriarchy and even matriarchy on these now voiceless souls. In all of that we celebrate the lives of these women, we share their dreams, the love they had for their families and betrayal of the most fundamental requirement in what has become an overly violent society.