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Feminism vs Igbo Culture

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dynamite19
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Feminism or Igbo Culture? Feminism is a body of social theory and political movement primarily based and motivated by the experiences of women. Feminist theory tries to understand the nature of gender inequality and focuses on gender politics and relations. Subjects explored in feminism range from discrimination to stereotyping and many more. As the history of feminism has been studied, feminist movements began in the late 1800’s. Feminist ideas were not only observed in the work place or social life, but also in readings. In Things Fall Apart, there is clearly a feminist point of view. There are certain behaviors that women do not attain, they serve a specific role in the community, have arranged roles in the family, and are limited by the extended family. Although women are “Mother Supreme”, they were looked upon differently by the Igbo because of their feminist views. The opening sentence in Things Fall Apart begins with the description of an alpha male. It is hard not to have a feminist view when a role of masculinity is observed as early as the first sentence. Okonkwo is a self-made, well-respected member of the clan. He has become a wealthy farmer through his own hard work. Behaviors and attitudes that he considers masculine are to have a patriarch mindset, not show love and affection, have a great sense of personal pride, work hard, provide for your family, and being brave. Okonkwo believes that any slight show of weakness is feminine. For example, Unoka, his father, was in debt and did not own anything to Okonkwo that is being feminine. Contrasting to Okonkwo’s beliefs of feminism, the role women play in the community is simple and limited, but can also showcase the power women withhold. One of the most powerful roles a woman plays in the Igbo community is that of a priestess. This reveals a degree of reverence. As strong as...

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