"Don't touch me on my psychology and religion!" : feminist backlash in a wearable cloak and different voice.
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In this article it is argued that feminist successes in South Africa are being ‘overshadowed’ by movements which are essentially anti-feminist and brazenly patriarchal, but which go unchallenged because these movements are protected by the freedom of religion clause in the Constitution. Further, these movements and the messages they preach are drawing large numbers of educated men and women of all ages under the guise of what Nadar (2009) has labeled Palatable Patriarchy and what Nadar and Potgieter (2010) have labeled Formenism. This article draws on the online advice column run by Gretha Wiid (one of the many ‘services’ offered by her) as material for a feminist rhetorical discursive textual analysis, and illustrates how these growing movements are challenging and negating feminist successes with very little (if any) challenge from feminist intellectuals, feminist organisations and especially the State. Two rhetorical discourses emanating from the movement are identified – termed psychologisation and pastoralisation. These movements are offering a space whereby everyday challenges (bankruptcy, global economic crisis, unemployment, marriage problems, crime) of persons from a range of backgrounds are being addressed in “ways” and by people who they identify with and aspire to. In conclusion the article engages with how feminists could respond to these challenges.