MANIFESTATION OF THE PROTEST AGAINST GENDER INEQUALITY THROUGH THE EYES OF SOME NOTABLE FEMALE AUTHORS
This study is concerned with the manifestation of protest against gender inequality through the feminist texts of some selected African authors. The study is investigated in the research by analyzing the selected text. After careful observation of the problem stated in chapter one, some research questions were formulated, specifically the study seeking to effectively determine those factors that could greatly improve gender equality in our society.
In the final chapter, the researcher provided a useful summary as well as recommendations for further research and how to sustain the solution to the identified gender inequality problem.
1.1 THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND
Manifestation of Gender Inequality examines feminism revolt as a legitimate instrument against gender inequality as it affects women, using the texts and authors listed below as case studies. The Revolt of the Wives Clark, J. P. Such a long letter, Second-class citizen Mariama Ba The women of Orena are wiser than the gods, Osadebamwen Oamen, and The Dragon Funeral Nwabueze, Emeka
According to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, feminism is a movement that advocates for the recognition of women’s claims to equal legal, political, and other rights as men. Feminism is a Euro-American concept. It was founded in Africa by educated African women who felt marginalized within the African cultural society and context, as well as the belief that, in the cultural African society, women are seen but not heard, and thus must change their status quo.
“Feminism is a revolutionary movement that is focused on specifically the female subject of representing and challenging the mentality that women are subordinate to men,” writes Aihevba (2006) in his work literacy criticism: A practical approach. It is a fight against the cultural portrayal of women as domestic and sexual objects only good for one thing.”
According to the Cambridge Encyclopaedia, feminism is “a socio-political movement whose goal is equality of right, status, and power for men and women” (62). According to Judith Burdick (2007) in Women in Transition, “feminism” is an explicitly reduced way of life created by strong coercive norms that define who women are and what they can do. She goes on to say that feminism is a psychological revolution based on women’s insistence on the fundamental right to choose and be judged as individuals.
Finally, feminism, according to the researchers, is ideologically designed to liberate and emancipate women around the world from oppression, ignorance, and poverty, and that freedom for women is also liberation for me. This means that it is intended to correct the perception that women are culturally inferior, whose identity is found in the desire to please, serve others, and seek definition by being second to men, racial minorities, sexual deviants
(sexual objects), or even the masses, and are only good for domestic chores and are also seen as baby making machines. Being the target of male violence, religious fundamentalism, and pornography that depicted them as literally in servitude to men.
Feminism as a movement has its roots or origins in the Enlightenment campaign against slavery, sexual assault, prejudice, and other forms of cultural and literacy oppression suffered by women around the world. For example, in the United States of America, the feminist movement arose from an anti-slavery campaign led by Rosa Park, who was opposed to American supremacy.
Similarly, women in the North and South of Europe rose to the occasion of feminism as a result of prejudice and privileges denied to them. While educated black women imported the Euro-American concept of feminism to challenge the institution of slavery and resist white men’s sexual assault, it was educated black men who imported the Euro-American concept of feminism to challenge the institution of slavery and resist white men’s sexual assault.
According to the above-mentioned early feminists who were able to rise above sexual prejudice, their interest was to reconstitute literature in order to do justice to female point of view, concern, and value, as well as to identify recurring and distorting “images of women” or to bring to light and counter the covert sexual biases written into a literary work.
As a result, a good literature to them (early feminists) was a work produced to project the freedom and dignity of womanhood, as well as the reawakening of feminist consciousness, by appealing to the idea that liberation for women is liberation for men. According to the above definitions of conception and the brief history of feminism, feminism can be socialist, cultural, and radical. The researcher’s essay examined these classifications one after the other along the lines of this classification.
a. Socialist feminism: Socialist feminism connects female oppression to class structure. Sexism, defined as “unfair treatment of people, especially women, because of their sex, or the attitude that causes this” by the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, gives men complete control over women. Women are oppressed by the men around them, but the class system ultimately oppresses both men and women. Men and women, according to socialist feminism, are not significantly different.
b. Cultural Feminism: Men have traditionally been elevated as the ideal performer in any normative action. They are frequently lionized and celebrated as the model for group identification, whereas women are viewed as the weaker sex. Cultural feminism is concerned with the theory that men and women are fundamentally different and that women’s differences are unique and should be celebrated. Women are generally thought to be gentler and kinder than men. Cultural feminism views women’s unique qualities, ways, and experiences as worthy of celebration.
c. Radical Feminism: This feminism frequently opts for a separate existence from the opposite sex. It questions why women are forced to play certain roles because of their biology. According to radical feminist critics, men create the world from their own perspectives, which then become the truth to be described. The criticism of radical feminists advocates a revolutionary model of social change.
1.2THE PROBLEM’S STATEMENT
Culturally, the image of womanhood is particularly represented as a symbol of erotic desire, positioned as a subservient group of people lower and inferior to the male folks by race, class, and gender. Again, the image of women was portrayed as culturally inferior, whose identity is found in the desire to please and serve men and seek definition by being secondary to men, as is common in most African societies.
Having examined the situation in which women find themselves, their pitiful state evade position, it calls for radical and correct representation of the image of womanhood through literature, as a means of rebuilding the image of women in general.
The problem statement for this research work is thus to discover and describe how womanhood has fared culturally, and how feminism as a literary concept and movement in African literature has helped to reconstruct or reposition the image of womanhood in Africa through a selection of works produced by some notable authors in their contribution to redeeming the image of women.
1.3OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this research is to demonstrate the chosen authors’ portrayal of the respective identification of the role culture and feminism play in the repositioning of women in society. The study also aims to provide an overview of the African woman in relation to the concept and movement of feminism, in the themes of these texts that depict the African woman’s current position.
THE STUDY’S SIGNIFICANCE
When completed, the study will serve as a document that depicts how literature:
i. Challenges, debunks, and confronts the crude negative perception of women.
ii. Correctly represent the image of the woman in a feministic sense.
iii. Explain why people should regard women as agents in society whose feelings must be respected.
iv. Show how the image of womanhood was portrayed in African culture before and after the arrival of feminism in African literature.
v. To honor my fellow true African feminists for their courage and dignity.
1.5 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
The following research questions will help to guide the study’s direction.
i. What causes females to suffer from gender inequality?
ii. What role does African societal culture play in the perpetuation of gender inequality?
iii. How does feminism function as a tool for preserving the female ego?
iv. How have some selected authors contributed to the manifestation of protest against gender inequality?
v. What are the opinions of African women on this protest?
vi. What are some Nigerian radical feminists’ contributions to resolving this problem?
1.6 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This related investigative literature focuses on gender inequality and its manifestation in the protest scenario thus far. As a result, the above topic has been designed to cover five selected literary texts: the Wives Revolt, So Long a Letter, Second Class Citizen, The Women of Orena are wiser than the gods, and The Dragon’s Funeral.
Patriarchy: A societal system in which men rule or control a country or state.
Patronage: A term used to describe the relationship between father and child that continues through each generation of a family.
Cultural: Related to culture, which refers to a specific group of people’s customs and beliefs, arts, way of life, and social organization.
Feminism: A female claim to equal rights with men.
Feminist: Someone who supports feminism.
To revolt is to oppose a specific authority.