Gender Based Discrimination in the Novel Things Fall Apart
In regions especially where poverty and ignorance are widespread, people are generally be in dispair. Living in such hard conditions and being unable to get rid of the situation, the man is tend to unload his suppressed resentment by using brute force on his houshold. The man who is not satisfied with his achievments and dont have dignity in his social life, tries to establish domination over women through agression. Therefore masculanity is associated with agression and violence.
And that situation leads to discrimination and conflict between the two genders.
But unfortunately, the gender-based discrimination happens everywhere, even in the western ,industrialized nations that are thought to be closest to an ideal modern egalitarian treatment for women. Although western women have legal freedoms, the right to vote and to own property; they still dont enjoy full equality with men, nor are they socially valued or esteemed as men.
The concept of ‘gender based discrimination’ may be analyzed in the aspects of; interpretion of gender, domestic life of women, women & sexuality and the roles of men, among various times and cultures.
Based on the novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ we deduce that in Nigerian community women led a domestic life, being in charge of breeding their children, cooking and serving to their husbands as well as not being able to participate the social life and ceremonies, while the men are in charge of taking all decisions about the community. ( Chapter 10, pages 77-78 )
Also, a man’s power was measured by his physical strength. If one hasnt got a name by bloodshed he was called as agbala which also means woman. As a concequence of being a strong men, they frequently beat and threaten their wives. Similarly, plural marriage is widespread and virginity is considered as a merit. Since a woman is not valuable herself, she is always described whether as a daughter or a wife of a man. If she asks for divorce, her husband wants the bride-prize he had given back, which is very insulting as the marriage became a trade.
This ideology is also widely seen in Turkey and many other Middle Eastern countries supported by “the ethnic morals”. In rural areas many women are being killed due to chastity by her kins. In cities, althogh they work more than men they are less prefered and less paid. Needless to say that, these obstacles can only be passed over with the presence of the more educated individuals who are able to establish healthy relationships with women. For that reason both gender must be aware of their rights and values in the community.
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