Good Review Article Review Example

Published: 2021-06-21 23:40:07
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Category: Literature, Women

Type of paper: Essay

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Critical review of Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa
Nwando Achebe gives cases of women in Africa who have been able to occupy a variety of leadership roles. She states that traditionally women mainly held power due to their relationship with the particular rulers especially as mothers, sisters or daughter to the rulers. She moves ahead and illustrates his assertion by giving examples of women who were guided by great leaders who in most cases were their close relatives. For instance Ahebi Ugbabe, among the Igbo, assumed royal powers and dressed in the king’s attire pending the installation of the next ruler (Lindsay, Lisa & Miescher, 53). This illustrates that women had the potential and capability to lead effectively despite being looked down upon by the highly prejudiced male dominated society of those times. Nevertheless, Nwando fails to elucidate why the Igbo society was to overcome the gender barrier and allowed women to be men as though gender was utterly insignificant and allowed women to rule under the surveillance of renowned leaders. The author states that the account of Ahebi is eloquent and confounding but fails to provide an explanation for the peculiarity.
Ahebi’s story demonstrates the changing foundations of gendered power under the indirect rule and highpoints the various ways in which men and women among the Igbo negotiated and molded their colonial environment. During her life, Ahebi remapped the terrain of colonial and traditional gendered politics that redesigned the society incessantly. It is due to this aspect that women received gratitude in many societies and brought to an end the contempt that they had hitherto received from the highly chauvinistic society. Females started ascending to leadership positions that were associated with high responsibilities and admiration.
Ahebi was also revolting against slavery and gerontocratic patriarchal authorities that allowed women to be straightforwardly victimized (Lindsay, Lisa & Miescher, 57). However, the author fails to ascertain whether these were the only crucial problems that were engraving the then Igbo society. Though Ahebi was extremely against such aspects, her contribution towards ending them was quite minute considering the diversity of the issue and the seriousness of the problems. If she was really against the British as she made people to believe, why did she go ahead and revealed to the British the routes that they could take conquer her people? The author reveals the insincerity that was ordinarily practiced by the African leaders for their own selfish gains.
When Ahebi was made the warrant chief, a conflict emerged between her and the recognized leadership of male elders. Her ability to transform herself into a male depicts her extraordinary abilities and her exceptional ability to invent and reinvent herself within the viable settings of the British colonial rule. In becoming a leader, Ahebi redefined herself, evolved and expanded upon an existing Nsuka female masculinity and adapted youth-based and industrialized context of indirect rule in the society (Lindsay, Lisa & Miescher, 67).
In spite of all she had done in the society, she finally realized that the society may never grant her decent burial rights and she had to perform them for herself. The entire story reveals victory in conflict against excessive and inordinate female ambition.
Questions
- Since Ahebi believed to be serving the society and fighting a cogent war, why did she not have composure that the society would accord her a decent burial?
- What exhilarated Ahebi to practice such a high level of two-facedness against her very own people that she claimed to love?
Work cited
Lindsay, Lisa A, and Stephan Miescher. Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003. Print.

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