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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - "Binne 'n halfuur het ek wit geword" : snypunte van gender, ras en klas in Suid-Afrikaanse fiksionele uitbeeldings van voorkoms

 

Abstract

Hierdie artikel ondersoek hoe snypunte van gender, ras en klas die beoordeling van vroue se voorkoms in uitgesoekte Suid-Afrikaanse fiksionele tekste beïnvloed. Hierdie tekste is Pat Stamatélos se (2005), E.K.M. Dido se (2000), Zoë Wicomb se (1987), (2006) en (2008), Rayda Jacobs se (2006) en Kopano Matlwa se (2007). Die romans en kortverhale wat in hierdie artikel aan bod kom, laat blyk die mate waarin die onderskeie skrywers aspekte van voorkoms, soos haartekstuur, velskakering en gelaatstrekke, as bepalend in die lewens van die vroulike hoofkarakters beskou. In die proses konstrueer hulle 'n landskap wat herkenbare ooreenkomste met die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing vertoon. Gender, ras en klas kan egter nooit as afsonderlike konstruksies beskou word nie. Hierdie aslyne is nóú met mekaar verweef en moet dus gesamentlik in ag geneem word in enige poging om voorkomsstandaarde te verstaan. Met behulp van 'n letterkundige ontleding van die tekste binne die raamwerk van feministiese teorieë oor die snypunte van gender, ras en klas ondersoek die artikel die verskillende soorte druk wat op vroulike karakters uitgeoefen word in terme van hulle voorkoms. Alhoewel die artikel illustreer dat vroulike karakters dikwels heelwat tyd en moeite wy aan hulle voorkoms, blyk dit dat die magsverhoudinge in 'n rassistiese en patriargale samelewing sterk druk op vroue uitoefen om te voldoen aan Eurosentriese standaarde van skoonheid. Die artikel stel verder voor dat vroue nie besig is met onbenullighede wanneer hulle probeer om veranderinge aan hulle voorkoms aan te bring nie. Inteendeel, die ervarings van die karakters wys dat dit dikwels die enigste manier is waarop vroue 'n beperkte hoeveelheid mag kan uitoefen binne 'n konteks waar hulle onderdruk word - as gevolg van die samevloeiing van gender, ras en klas.


This article explores how intersections of gender, race and class shape the evaluation of women's appearance in selected South African works of fiction. These texts are Pat Stamatélos's (2005), E.K.M. Dido's (2000), Zoë Wicomb's (1987), (2006) and (2008), Rayda Jacobs's (2006) and Kopano Matlwa's (2007). The novels and short stories that are analysed reveal the extent to which the different authors regard aspects of appearance, such as hair texture, skin colour and facial features, as determining the material circumstances of the female characters' lives. In the process they construct a landscape that contains marked similarities to South African society. Gender, race and class can, however, never be regarded as wholly separate constructions. These axes are intricately interwoven and must be considered together in any attempt to understand standards of appearance. By means of a literary analysis within the framework of feminist theories about the intersections of gender, race and class, the article investigates the types of pressure that are exerted on female characters in terms of their appearance. The article illustrates that female characters often invest a great deal of time and effort in their appearance. However, it emerges that power relations in a racist and patriarchal society strongly encourage women to conform to Eurocentric standards of beauty. The article suggests that women are not engaging in trivialities when they attempt to change their appearance. On the contrary, the experiences of the characters demonstrate that this may be the only way in which women are able to exercise a limited amount of power in a context where they are oppressed - due to the intersections of gender, race and class.

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/content/litnet/8/2/EJC62293
2011-08-01
2016-12-08
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