n Latin American Report - Imagining women : resistance and representation in Zimbabwean media

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



The aim of this article is to demonstrate that issues of gender equality are not easily taking root in Zimbabwean society owing to extensive use of patriarchy language. Patriarchy language is referred in this article as that vocabulary which is used in sustaining male dominance over women economically, socially and politically. Thus, patriarchy language helps in ensuring continued position of superiority of men over women. This language is mostly used by men. However, in some instances, women use patriarchy language unconsciously. Patriarchy vocabulary usually portrays women as 'prostitutes', 'loose', 'dangerous' and 'carriers or transmitters' of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwean society. The ultimate argument of this article is that the use of patriarchy language is ideological. It is male resistance of the fact that when it comes to issues of HIV/AIDS both male and female are potential 'players'. Through this language, men portray themselves as not 'sources' of the pandemic, but as 'victims' of female 'immoral' behaviour. In-order to illustrate how patriarchal language is used by male artists to resist the notion that they are potential partners in the transmission of the pandemic, examples will be drawn from poetry, popular songs and advertisements produced in Zimbabwe.

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