There’s nothing like a poorly written, judgmental article to make the blood boil. Vice magazine posted such an opinion piece online today about dating South African girls.
I initially read it prepared to be lightly offended but mainly amused by generalisations and a tongue-in-cheek tone. Instead the Marie Claire team and I were downright upset by vulgarity, thoughtless commentary and offensive sexism. Even if it is a parody, it’s not a clever one. It was based on author Jonno Seidler’s experience dating one South African girl in 2006-2007.
Some of the ‘gems’ below, and my comments:
- EATING: ‘By subsisting purely on staples and never swallowing after blowjobs, you can ensure that Ms Johannesburg 2012 will simultaneously hate herself and look great long after she breaks up with you,’ Jonno writes. To be quite frank, I’m impressed he got any women that near his genitals.
- ACCENTS: in a nutshell, ours suck (based on his colleague’s reaction to his impression of a South African accent – excuse my scepticism). Seidler asks sarcastically, ‘Would you logically abbreviate ‘How are you going, mate?’ to ‘Howsit?’. To this question I must ask, who says ‘How are you going, mate?’ How does ‘How are you going?’ make any more sense than ‘How is it [going]?’
- RACE RELATIONS: ‘If you are remotely ethnic-looking, expect to always be treated like a second class citizen. Add it to the list of things you should definitely not talk about until you’ve broken up.’ The only thing I like about this sentence? That he is confident that she will break up by him.
- APARTHEID: ‘Pronounced “Ah-Pwoar-Tide”. If you say it really fast it sounds like “Opportos”. Which is not funny. Nothing about apartheid is funny. Also, South Africans have no sense of humour.’ Out of everything he wrote, this line offended me the most – and made no sense. Firstly, who pronounces Apartheid like that? Only you, Jon, only you (your impression of a South African accent is now cast into even more doubt). Also, South Africans are hilarious! I have no proof to back this up. But it’s true.
- SEX: ‘You can start cheating on her now because she’s almost certainly already doing it to you.’ Wow. Wonder why she broke up with him. This guy is a prince among men.
- CAPETOWN (the spelling makes me wince. Have you heard of Google?): ‘This is where all the cool stoner South African Dads who still jam out to Deep Purple on long weekends come from. You will probably want to hang out with them more than their daughters.’ Maybe you do, Jonno, but I doubt they’ll want to hang out with you.
- TEETH: ‘There are a lot of South African orthodontists for some reason, and this means your South African girlfriend’s teeth will sparkle in the fucking dark.’ I’m not even sure why this offends him. But be warned, perfect teeth piss some people off. Who knew?
- Then Jonno complains about Grey’s Anatomy. Don’t know why this is a South African thing. But it makes him mad.