n Africa Insight - Phallocracies and gynocratic transgressions
Gender, State power and Kenyan public life

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


This article explores the role of hegemonic masculinities in shaping patterns of authority in Kenya, a context in which state power has historically been framed as a male affair, with the foregrounding of the phallus as a symbol for power and leadership. It argues that, beyond ethnicity and class, gender - and specifically masculinities - provides a compelling lens through which to understand the Kenyan post-election crisis and its attendant elements: the deadlock between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga; the mobilisation of militaristic masculinities and the violence inflicted on men and women's bodies during the conflict.

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