n African Renaissance - Africana women : a revisionist perspective on their historic past and future activism

Volume 2, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


All so-called minority women - Black, Latina, Asian - should not be conceptualized as oppressed victims. Taken as a block, this group of women constitutes, in fact, the majority of women in the world. To view them as totally oppressed is to ironically replicate the repressive Victorian-age gender ideology of domesticity, of the woman as an "Angel in the house" - a term coined by Virginia Woolf, equivalent to Kate Chopin's "Mother Women," or as Nigerians would idealize - "Sweet Mother." When the West colonized Africa, the colonizers brought with them this perspective that depicted women as the weaker sex - a fragile, helpless, passive, idealized, exotic accessory to the educated African male. But this was the way the Europeans of that period perceived their women. In an African cultural setting already known for its patriarchal sexism, this additional negative stereotype of the woman, idealized only as "homemaker", worsened matters for African women. It destroyed women's traditional autonomy, economic power base and the freedom to move around from home to farm, back to the home and to the market.

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