Essay written by Alexandra Stonehouse, third year student at University of Cape Town.
The study of sexuality is a complex but undoubtedly vital one. This is due to the simple fact that policing sexuality is a means to controlling people – it contains power. In the patriarchal and heteronormative world in which we live, questions of which, whose and why sexualities are policed become crucial in the fight for equality and justice. Particularly in Africa, with its history of oppressive exploitation and colonialism, any study of sexuality is burdened by this history and thus calls for deconstructing and transformative thinking and action. African feminism was born out of and continues these qualities, and so it is through the work of African feminist scholars that I will approach the topic at hand. In February 2013, media and public opinion exploded when Police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga attempted to institute a ‘mini-skirt ban’ in Namibia. This essay seeks to outline this event, tease out the highly problematic discourses it propagated and offer an interpretation of the resistance and activism it inspired in Namibian women. In order to do so, it will look to concepts of sexuality, ‘African’, post-colonialism, heteronormativity, masculinity and feminism. Continue reading (Policing) Sexuality in Africa: The Namibian Mini-Skirt Ban