Victims and/or Oppressors: Patriarchial Values that Injure Both Sexes

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A Study of Gender Issues in African and African-American Prose Works

This study explores the ambiguities, inconsistencies and controversies that shroud the male-female relations as reflected in literary works of art.

It fractures and explodes the aged Feminist literary perspective that tends to classify all men as belonging to the patriarchal oppressor class and all women as the class of victims.

Although generally conceding that gender relations are tilted in men's favour, this research has discovered that men too can be studied in literature as entrapped in some kind of prison, instead of ignoring the plight of the weaker man who appears to have been hidden under the heap and debris of patriarchal cultural myths of male aggression and superiority on one hand and female weakness and docility on the other.

Another major point of discussion of this study centres on viewing men, women and children as perpetrators of patriarchy as well as victims and/or oppressors of each other.

The study shows that irrespective of their biological make-up, victims across the sexual divide are neutralised, vandalised and violed by women and men advocates of patriarchy.

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