MALE DOMINANCE OVER THE FEMALES IN THE AFRICAN SOCIETY USING A CASE STUDY OF LOLA SHONEYIS SECRET LIVES OF BABA SEGIS WIVES AND AYOBAMI ADEBAYOS STAY WITH ME
- Background to the Study
The secret lives of baba segi’s wives and stay with me are patriarch story in the African society. According to Godess Bvukutwa, patriarchy is so rooted in most African contexts that trying to separate it from our humanity is unfathomable for the most part. Meanwhile, apologists (including women) insist on equality between the sexes is a Western notion that will never work in an African creation. Moreover, Lady Bvukutwa argued that after years of listening to the same rhetoric by many men, government officials and even some women, this genre is a borrowed word, that gender equality is A Western notion that Africans imported, and stuck in African contexts; And therefore the same gender equality will never work in an African institution. However, Cham, Mbyre (2012: 89) stated that patriarchy was defined as a system of sexual power. It is a network of social, political and economic relations through which men dominate and control female labor, reproduction and sexuality, and define the status, privileges and rights of women in a society. It is a successful system because those who obtain this privilege are often unaware of it and consequently perpetuate involuntarily the ill treatment of people in this society whose suffering is the fulcrum on which this society turns. According to Kolawole, Mary (2011: 116), this social system has managed to survive for a long time because its main psychological weapon is its universality as well as its longevity. It is difficult for many people to imagine a time when this system did not exist. It is even harder for people to imagine a future less patriarchal. But this must change (Kolawole, 116). Given that Labeodan (2012: 76) argued that a complete revision of our mentalities when it comes to African culture must take place if there is hope for the Black Consciousness Movement in this century.
On the other hand, since time immemorial, Nigerian society has been a patriarchal society (Aina, 2013: 3). The patriarchal structure was a major feature of traditional society. It is a structure of a set of social relations with a material basis that allows men to dominate women (Makward, 272). It is a system of social stratification and differentiation on the basis of sex, which provides material benefits to men while at the same time imposing severe constraints on the roles and activities of women. There are clearly defined gender roles, while various taboos ensure compliance with gender-specific roles (Aina 2013: 6). Traditionally, men do not participate in domestic work, including the education of children – these tasks are considered to be the exclusive domain of women. Men are classified as having the following qualities: strength, vigor, virile / powerful courage, self-confidence and ability to meet the outside world, that is, animals and human intruders and treat effectively. These qualities were reflected in the kind of work to which men were engaged. Men were responsible for much of what was thought to be “heavy work”. In short, men provided their families (Ogundipe-Leslie, Molara, 12). Women supervise household chores. They kept the houses, processed and cooked all the food. They also assist in the planting and harvesting of food crops and cash crops. They were mainly responsible for the port and education of children from birth; Men were only expected to attend when extraordinary discipline was deemed necessary, especially for boys (Ogunyemi, 20).
However, Okoli, Nkechi (2008: 57) argued that women, most often, played a secondary role in African literature, or in the words of Charles C. Fonchingong, marginalized. They were attributed mainly to the role of mother or wife, but always in the context of a woman assisting the head of the household either as a mother provides an heir or a wife taking care of the household affairs and showing herself worthy of his bed. As if the roles were not degrading enough, cultural norms and traditions surrounding these roles are themselves a definition of oppression (Okoli, 57). Women were described as more of a commodity than a self-aware being and this was refreshed in various games where the girl had to marry at an early age so that the family could use the bride’s money to send the son for education. In other cases, any mother who can not give birth to a son (heir of a patriarchal society) has been bullied and, in severe cases, punished. And it was still preferable to a sterile woman (Olukemi-Kusa, Dayo, 210)
In Wole Soyinka’s Madmen and Specialists, Onukaogu (2010) asserted that old women were something of a religious authority and therefore “vulnerable to evil”, so they had to be held in their place and under surveillance Continues in the After Colonial Africa (Fonchingong) society. Domestic violence is a recurring structure in literary devices embodying African culture. Onyerionwu, (2010) argued that it should be noted that most of these novels and games end up on a rather powerless note for females. Olukemi-Kusa, (2014: 211) suggests that as we progress on the calendar, these roles take a turn for the better, mainly in the works illustrating the times after colonial domination of Africa. In the poems of Black Africa, women are shown to have a more engaging role and a better spotlight on the literature scene. Some works captured the maternity of the African woman on a more subtle and kind note then the slave woman oppressed confined to the four walls of her house condemned only to reproduce. And in some cases, the African woman’s sexuality has been glorified as a “community builder” and rather a life giver, the constant in the circle of life. In addition, ChimamandaNgozi, (2010) claimed that female characters in novels were also considered to take a stand for themselves against the oppressive patriarchal society. Because of colonialism, women felt that they needed to be self-sufficient. This notion has been favored by gender bias in African cultural norms. Thus, they sought to escape from the mainstream and struggled vigorously against the dual ties of being a woman and a black man. They have used methods like education and additional culture of culture for sale to work out.
On the other hand, Ogunyemi, (2011: 19) revealed that African men have had a wide variety of roles in African literary works. Due to the marginalization of female roles in early African literary works, males played the central role for a considerable time. The projection of the male as a dominant, violent, insensitive and unforgiving characteristic was considered necessary at that time. Thus, most male characters are shown as strong, independent and self-made in most post-colonial literary works. This has shown or at least subtly put forward the African will to be liberated (Ogunyemi, 2011:7). The aim of these efforts was to depict the prowess of Africa to autonomy. The male figure was a kind of analogy. The head of the house or the head of a colony builds the image of leadership. And leadership had to be bold in the face of calamity. Hence the propagation of the male figure as authority on all fronts, whether domestic or political. Colonialism forced the then famous writers to portray the need to preserve the sovereignty of Africa (Makward, 2013: 294). To restore the dignity of the black man, writers like Achebe used the strength and virility of the African male to highlight the macho masculinity of leadership. Whether son, brother, father or husband, the male in the family has always been given the role of authority, “His rights were always privileged in relation to that of his sister or his wife. Emecheta is seen to speak against such a dominant male society (Labeodan, 77). The following extract subliminally paints an accurate picture of the roles played by the males, “the good woman, in the representation of Achebe drinks the dregs after her husband. In the arrow of God, when the husband beats his wife, the other women say it is enough. According to him, this kind of subordinate woman is the right woman (Cham, 92)
Moreover, GodessBvukutwa, (2014) pointed out that these roles, because of their self-assertion, also help to paint a rather bleak picture of African men. Backed by tradition and customs, the dominant role of the male has often stung on the shy women of Africa. As a result, men enjoy more rights than females. These rights included, but were not limited to, the right to education, the free will to marry, to swim first, to eat first, and so on. This inherent disparity between the sexes was so strong that when a son was born, the mother was celebrated and the day was rejoicing. Whereas Olukemi-Kusa (212) argued that if a girl was born, the day was mourning and the mother was avoided to bring shame to the family. The chauvinistic fortress is evident in the play “The Trials of Brother Jero” where all Chume needs to beat his wife is the consent of a prophet fraud, which is also a male. Because of this patriarchal society, men inherently believed it was their right to silence their wives as they wished. And, in so doing, they also believed that any woman to bear silently to be the “right” woman.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The most dangerous thing is the inability of many Africans to separate African culture from the systems that oppress the freedoms of African women. It is this inability to see a future where African culture is not tinged with patriarchal nuances which is the greatest threat to the Black Conscience Movement. Then Orabueze, (114) asserted that it is necessary that we disassemble what it means to be African and look more closely at what customs are just dishes and what defines our culture. My hope is to make understand patriarchy, African culture and the need to separate the two. However, patriarchy is a social formation according to Opara, Chioma, (2008) in which the male sex plays the dominant role in collective social existence. On the other hand, patriarchy is a social system in which men hold the primary power and predominate in the roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. More so, the projection of power over each material, physical or otherwise, is a shallow and primordial approach to problem solving. This frightening method has existed since patriarchy became the dominant social order through various human collectives.
After all, Orie, Chibueze, (164) argued thatthe civilization we praise ad infinitum is nothing other than the result of continuous efforts to solve natural or artificial problems by projecting violent domination. The critical issue here is to clearly distinguish existential problems that realistically affect our struggle for survival and those that can be interpreted as non-essential (at least not harmful to the existence of the species). In this regard, Onukaogu, (2010) stated thatthe success of the patriarchate is at best blended, if not rightly biased. Leveraging non-renewable natural resources to make life more comfortable (in all its aspects) is an achievement that can be described as a two-edged sword. Since we have always stressed the unsustainability of our modernity project, further elaboration may not be necessary at this stage, and it suffices to say: The patriarchate grossly missed the absolute limit to growth, that is, the finiteness of resources in our small planet. This is the immediate consequence of the overestimation of the limit of the two-legged creature, the principle mark of the patriarchate. Naturally, human beings are afraid of having to point out the evidence again and again; Humans are created organisms (via evolution, divine decree, etc.) and are not creators of themselves or the planet or the larger universe. At best, Okoli, Nkechi, (63) opined that we are manipulators of what is already created.However, patriarchy has been both essential and problematic in the development of feminist thought; the patriarchy has also identified, at least for important sectors of the women’s movement in the industrialized countries, a political objective: the whole structure of male dominance should be dismantled if the liberation of women should be done.
1.3 Scope of the study
This study selected two novels: baba segi’s wives by Lola Shoney and stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo for analysis. These two novels reveal male dominance and a display of patriarchy. Therefore, the dimensions of gender inequality and discrimination in Nigeria women and education will be examined.
1.4 Objective of the study
The objective of this study is to examine male dominance over the females in the African society using a case study of the secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives by Lola Shoney and stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo.
Specific objectives are:
- To examine the involvement of men in household activities/roles
- To determine the nature of men – masculinity and male dominance
- To examine the aspects of Culture and how they cause violence on women
- To determine the dimensions of gender inequality and discrimination in Nigeria women and education
- To analyze the secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives by Lola Shoney
- To analyze stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo
1.5 Research questions
- What is the involvement of men in household activities/roles?
- What is the nature of men – masculinity and male dominance?
- What are the aspects of Culture and how they cause violence on women?
- What are the dimensions of gender inequality and discrimination in Nigeria women and education?
- How to analyze the secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives by Lola Shoney?
- How to analyze stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo?
1.6 Justification of the study
This study lies in the fact that gender equality in the area of gender roles and responsibilities is one of the principles of the women’s liberation movement. The division of labor in these areas has been important to the movement as it is perceived as a major obstacle to professional equality for men and women. As long as women are in charge of a household and children while pursuing a career, they can never devote enough time and energy to professional demands to compete with men who can and are encouraged to devote all their time and energy to pursuing careers. The study also hopes to highlight the problem associated with male dominance and make use of improving equality thereby minimizing the problems of patriarchy in its environment. Finally, the study will inform the whole, the need for involvement of men in household activities/roles not only for stability but also for less dominium.
1.7 Research methodology
This research work is dependent on academic journals, books, articles archival materials, review of magazines, Nigerian newspapers and internet based documented source materials which form much of the secondary sources. Also, the researcher discussed with Nigerian stakeholders such as: politicians and others who matters in Nigeria. The researcher likewise discussed with the public to assess the level of the patriarchy in the country.