A Cross-Examination of Female Masculinities and Male Femininities in Mema by Daniel Mengara

Ayodele A. Allagbe, Akinola M. Allagbe


This paper attempts a critical reading of Mema (2003) written by Daniel Mengara. The study draws on insights from language and gender studies, feminism and queer theory to critically cross-examine how female masculinities and male femininities are represented in the novel. It holds the view that gendered identities are socially constructed via speech. This means that language encodes means which overtly mark masculinity or/and femininity. However, it should be noted that neither masculinity nor femininity is an exclusive characteristic of the male or the female sex/gender. In this sense, the role(s) an individual takes on in a given context confers either the masculine or the feminine profile upon him/her. This study concludes that gendered identities as portrayed in Mema are intricate, and that in most cases the portraiture of both sexes counters the expectations of African culture.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v3n4p384


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