Contemporary African Literature and the Politics of Gender

By Florence Stratton | Go to book overview
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Exclusionary practices

For a critique of Taiwo’s book, see Ama Ata Aidoo, ‘To be an African woman writer—an overview and a detail’, in Kirsten Holst Petersen (ed. ) Criticism and Ideology: Second African Writers’ Conference, Stockholm 1986, Uppsala, Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 1988:155-72. Aidoo aptly characterizes Taiwo’s book as ‘patronizing’, ‘self-righteous’, and ‘insensitive’. She also exposes his androcentrism and his careless reading of women’s novels.
In their concern with (white) western women writers’ exclusion from the canon, Nina Bahm, ‘Melodramas of beset manhood: how theories of American fiction exclude women authors’, in Elaine Showalter (ed. ) The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, and Theory, London, Virago, 1986, 63-80; and Lillian S. Robinson, ‘Treason our text: feminist challenges to the literary canon’, in Showalter, op. cit.: 105-21, make the same point as Krupat.
Ashcroft and his colleagues subsume both race and gender into coloniality in their attempt to make their theory applicable to ‘all post-colonial literatures’ (2). For a critique of their model in terms of its conflation of ‘first-’ and ‘third-world’ colonialist experience, see Arun P. Mukherjee, ‘Whose post-colonialism and whose postmodernism?’, World Literature Written in English, 1990, 30.2:1-9.
See Ifi Amadiume, Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender and Sex in an African Society, London, Zed, 1987; Kwame Arhin, ‘The political and military roles of Akan women’, in Christine Oppong (ed. ) Female and Male in West Africa, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1983:91-8; Kamene Okonjo, ‘Sex roles in Nigerian politics’, in Oppong, op. cit.: 211-22; Kamene Okonjo, ‘Women’s political participation in Nigeria’, in Filomena Chioma Steady (ed. ) The Black Woman Cross-Culturally, Cambridge, Mass., Schenkman, 1981: 79-106; Mona Etienne, ‘Gender relations and conjugality among the Baule’, in Oppong, op. cit.: 303-19; Jeanne K. Henn, ‘Women in the rural economy: past, present, and future’, in Margaret Jean Hay and Sharon Stichter (eds) African Women South of the Sahara, London, Longman, 1984:1-18; Jean O’Barr, ‘African women in politics’, in Hay and Stichter, op. cit.: 140-55; and Omolara Ogundipe-Leslie, ‘African women, culture and another development’, Présence Africaine, 1987, 141.1:129-32.


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