Friday 20 July 2018

Brutal Legacy by Tracy Going

South Africans know Tracy Going's face so well. Even thirty years later, we remember her. She was a television presenter when we all woke up to the morning show, every morning. That's how we caught up on what had happened while we were asleep, in those days - the traffic, the gossip. No Twitter, morning news on TV. Imagine that. This book tells her story of what happened behind the scenes, and reveals the shocking and horrific behaviour from an abusive partner, who remains unnamed throughout the telling. It's her story, at last told.

As the title warns, it is brutal. It made me angry and sad. And although I was mostly sad for Tracy, I was also sad for all the other women treated in this manner. Tracy talks about her life as a child, which wasn't perfect. She also tells us the part when, against all odds, she decides to tell the truth about what happened, in a court of law, and then it isn't only her ex-partner that she must stand up to, its the legal system, the public, and the patriarchy is everywhere.

It's well written. Tracy has a way with words, and she tells her story her way, in a strong and powerful voice.

I was left thinking that just as society seems to raise little boys who believe that their voices are the only ones worth listening to, as little girls are often conditioned to keep quiet and not speak up, this culture enables unforgivable behaviour, and makes it more difficult for the abused to gather their courage and speak, it also must have silenced a lot of stories, stories that, even with movements like #MeToo, are still untold.

So despite the feelings of sadness and despair that this book evokes, hearing and reading this story, and others like it are even more important, given what has happened while we were asleep.

ISBN:  9781928420125

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