It is so refreshing to read a book written by a woman, for women, about women, and for the celebration and emancipation of women.
A book that celebrates domestic workers, sex workers, female farmers, female political leaders, community leaders, and many female activists in our society- who are changing the patriarchal fabric of our society.
In You Have Struck a Rock, Gugs Mhlungu has documented stories that highlight the-will-power, successes, pains, struggles, fears, and many other socio-economic challenges that continue to shape and form part of many women’s lives in South Africa- particularly black women.
Through personal interviews and historical accounts, Gugs weaves powerful and moving stories of South African women- from different spheres of life, who have and continue to show great strides in fighting issues that suffocate and oppress them.
Issues such as gender inequality, violence against women, landlessness, gender representation, gender pay gaps, and many others form part of the discussion.
Now, reading this book- as a black man has helped me changed how I see and think about women and their daily struggles.
The patriarchal society we live in continues to provide people like me with plenty of unearned privileges at the expense of women- particularly black women.
Perusing through the pages of this book, I have also come to a sad realization on how our democratic government has not only done so little to fight all the social ills faced by women but also how it continues to play a role in erasing the legacy and memory of many women who played a role in the fighting against the apartheid regime.
Powerful figures like Mme Winnie Kgware- despite her pivotal role in fighting for the liberation of this country, the democratic government has done the evil work of erasing her legacy and memory in the public discourse.
The move is purely because she was a WOMAN, and maybe also that she was not a member of the ruling party(not that female figures who are and were members of the ruling party are celebrated).
However, with this book, Gugs has not only celebrated Mme Kgware and many of who have been forgotten, but she is celebrating, and recognizing the role many women have played and continue to fight for an equal and safe society.
You Have Struck a Rock is an educational, and powerful read that will make many of us respect, value, and recognize women for being the bedrock of our society. Wa thinta o mfazi, wanthinta imbokodo.