I do not wish women to have power over men,
but over themselves.
but over themselves.
(Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-1797)
In today's world, I fear that, more and more often, we women - drunk with a sense of liberation after millennia of patriarchy - forget that the only power worth having is that which we have over our Inner Self. If we seek only to dominate or denigrate men, we shall, in turn, become The Oppressor rather than The Equal.
True liberation for any individual comes with harmonising the male/female dualities within our own being: having power (a more appropriate word may be 'self-mastery') over the unified Self is the key to fulfilling our potential as strong women, not seeking power over the male Other.
Today I celebrate the wonderful women in my life (my mother, my sister, my nieces), who teach me how to be an assertive, intelligent, courageous and independent individual.
And I celebrate the amazing men in my life (my husband, my father, my brother-in-law, my nephew), who teach me how to embrace a different kind of strength: that of being a gentle, compassionate, nurturing and emotional woman.
Now for that promised Giveaway! I have four autographed books by Southern African women authors to send to four lucky readers (contest requirements below).
Two lucky winners will each receive a copy of The Bed Book of Short Stories. Published by the independent publishers Modjaji Books (named after the Rain Queen), A collection of short stories by 30 southern African women writers, some established and well known, some new writers. Contributers come from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Mocambique and South Africa. All the stories are in one way or another related to the theme of the Bed. The collection has a wide range of kinds of stories. Some are funny, quirky and strange; while other stories are tragic, violent, and sad. Writers include Jayne Bauling, Laurie Kubuitsile, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma and Arja Salafranca. The publication of this book was supported by the Arts and Culture Trust.
One lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of Arja Salafranca's The Thin Line, also published by Modjaji Press. Arja has received many accolades and prizes for her poetry and short fiction since the mid 90’s, and is currently the editor of the Sunday Independent’s Lifestyle section. Hamilton Wende says of the collection: "These are wonderful stories. They chart a new direction in South African fiction, where each line, each page – each story unfolds subtly, reaching deeper and more intimately into the tender spaces that exist in all our lives between love and doubt. Reading them kept me up late at night, wanting to know more about the characters’ lives. I was enthralled by the clarity and compassion of her insights; and moved by her obvious love for our fragile country and the fierce power of our unrelinquished hopes."
And, finally, a fourth lucky reader will receive an autographed copy of Fiona Snycker's Trinity on Air, the sequel to Trinity Rising. It's four years later. Trinity is 23 and living in Johannesburg. With her university days behind her, life couldn't be better for Trinity Luhabe. She's got everything a Sandton girl needs - The Perfect Boyfriend: Ethan brings her (fat-free) breakfast in bed and takes her to craft markets on weekends. The Perfect Job: Working at Jozi Talks radio is a dream come true for Trinity. The Neighbour: Ajala is six foot five inches of mysterious Nigerian. Trinity thinks he's a pussycat. Her best friend Steph thinks he's a man-eating tiger. Looking into his business dealings could be Trinity's ticket off the traffic desk and onto hard news.
But, sadly, there's no such thing as a free lunch or a (completely) free book. To stand a chance to win one of these fantastic stories by South African women, you can do one of three things:
1. Become a follower on my Blog, Twitter or Facebook (look for the tab above that says FOLLOW ME), then leave a comment saying which you've chosen to do. And (this part is voluntary), please tweet, blog or update your Facebook status (or any other social media you prefer) with the news of this giveaway. It'll be fun to see how far in the world these books can go!
2. If you are already a follower on any of the three social media sites, just leave a comment saying where you're following me. And (this part is voluntary) please tweet, blog or status update news of this giveaway. It'll be fun to see how far in the world these books can go!
3. Just leave a comment saying that you've tweeted, blogged or updated your Facebook status to spread the news of this giveaway. It'll be fun to see how far in the world these books can go!
The draw closes at 06h00 (South African time, that's approx 00h00 EST) on the 16th August 2010 and the four lucky readers will be announced during the day.