Patriarchal expressions in modern selected Sesotho novels: a feminist perspective
This research work entitled, Patriarchal expressions in modern selected Sesotho novels: A feminist perspective, is about the ill-treatment that women are subjected to in society through the system of patriarchy and some of the traditional cultural values which oppress them. Chapter one is an introduction that deals with the background of the study, research methodology, statement of the problem, review of literature, significance of the study as well as aims of the study. Chapter two presents a theoretical framework focusing on feminism, African feminism, gender, patriarchy, culture and characterisation. In this chapter, the study shows how patriarchy as a system that oppresses women, should be challenged. Feminism is discussed as an approach which is concerned with how women are treated in society. Feminists believe that society is subjected to a patriarchal culture which promotes men at the expense of women. As a result, feminists challenge the ills of patriarchy in society and the equality of men and women. Women should not be treated as second- class citizens but should have equal rights as men. African traditional cultural values which oppress women are strongly challenged by African feminists. The third chapter deals with how male and female characters are portrayed in the novel, Bophelo ke dihaeya. Female characters are portrayed in negative terms. Characters such as Lefulesele, Dilahlwane, Ntswaki and Mmakgotso are portrayed as evil, sex objects, powerless and submissive to their male counterparts. Male characters such as Kotleng and Matsekane are portrayed as powerful, leaders, manipulative and dominant over women. In the fourth chapter, the novel, Hei! Ke tsamaile, is analysed. Senganangana is authoritative and has no respect for his daughter, Sepapatlele, and considers her as weak, dumb and a failure. He does not encourage and support her, instead he demoralises her and treats her as a slave. He chases Sepapatlele away when he discusses his son’s academic achievement and tells her that she is a good-for-nothing person and will not reach the high academic standard of his son. Sepapatlele is used as a sex object by Snoeky and Bolokwe. When Sepapatlele realises that she is pregnant, she flees to KwaZulu-Natal out of fear of her father. She does not succeed there and goes back home. The last chapter is the conclusion and observations of the study.