Sara Chetin


Despite the increasing interest in African women writers' concepts of femaleness, few critics have examined how male writers have portrayed females or have questioned what the implications of these portrayals suggest. It seems apparent that a large number of African women writers have been motivated to present a female perspective somewhat as a response to the various male writers' distortions concerning femaleness. Whether these distortions reflect a conscious attempt to uphold the traditional view of African women's subordinate status in society or whether they merely indicate a lack of awareness of the female point of view is irrelevant. What is crucial is that certain male writers' concepts of femaleness perpetuate specific stereotypes instead of opening the way for new values and new ways in which people can understand themselves — and each other.



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