Abstract

As humans, we make a phenomenological interpretation of our everyday existence through discourse, a construct that mediates our way of being in the world (Foucault). In Africa, we use proverbs to do this. This paper discusses how gendered ideology is discursively framed in some sexist proverbs selected from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan. The paper attempts to show that there are strong intertextual and intercultural threads between the ways proverbs represent the roles, statuses, and identity of women in these countries. The paper suggests that in asymmetrically structured societies, linguistic resources are systematically used to perpetuate inequality. All of the selected proverbs directly or indirectly show that the cultural stereotypes about man and manhood form the base for the discursive construction and reconstruction of gender, to weigh the strength of women's thoughts and practices, and to fix their positions in the society. Implications are drawn on the basis of the analyses.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 96-108
Launched on MUSE
2009-07-08
Open Access
No
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