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Things Fall Apart; Gender Roles
Transcript of Things Fall Apart; Gender Roles
affect the character's relationships How do Okonkwo's actions exemplify gender roles in society? Igbo society exemplifies gender roles in that women are traditionally duty-bound to the household, and to the man of the house. As Okonkwo's character represents, men who are do not have a title is not strong, hardworking, or authoritative, and are considered women. "This was how Okonkwo first came to know that Agbala was not only another name for a woman, it could also mean a man who had taken no title." (pg. 13 TFA, Achebe) Okonkwo's character also exemplifies disparity in gender roles when he violates the week of peace by beating his wife for not cooking dinner "when she returned he beat her very heavily. in his anger, he had forgotten that it was the week of peace." (pg. 13 TFA, Achebe)
The role of the man included controlling his wife, and children, as is shown by okonkwo's character. Men were required to be aggressive and tending to land and business. women were expected to be passive, and obedient, and constantly tending to children and household activities. Women in the 50's of American culture, were not unlike Ibo women, as they were expected to tend to the children and household. Now, they are expected to have jobs, and better education. They are seen as independent from men for their basic needs. Women who depend on men are often seen in a negative context, and men who view women as lower are viewed as misogynistic, and unjust, as okonkwo would have been. Even still, politics is majorly dominated by Men. why is are men Why is the role of men so strongly criticized in Ibo culture and why is it so significant? Because men are expected to do the majority of work, and the fact that life is much more difficult in Ibo culture, they can't afford to be labeled as an "Agbala". Agbala means woman in Ibo, or can be used in context to describe a man without titles. Okonkwo found out that "agbala is not only another name for a woman, it could also mean a man who had taken no title." At a meeting, Okonkwo had insulted a man by saying "[he] had no titles" and "That was why he had called him a woman." The competitiveness that each man in Ibo culture is required to go through shows how shameful it can be to have no titles. what stereotypes do Ibo Gender roles perpetuate? Ibo gender roles perpetuate the stereotypes that only men are wise enough to handle business, strong enough to farm yams, and worthy enough to lead families and tribes. It also shows women as emotional, fearful, weaker than men, and unable to do basic things, such as provide for themselves. Women are burdened with one simple job: Tending to the housework and children. The stereotype for men depicts them as controlling, aggressive, and arbitrative. Okonkwo exemplifies this stereotype; he "ruled his household with a heavy hand" and "his wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children." Ibo gender roles perpetuate the stereotype that women are subordinate to men and and are only burdened with one simple job: Tending to the housework and children. The stereotype for men depicts them as controlling, aggressive, and arbitrative. Things to think about... How do gender roles still affect the
perception or men and women in the 21st century? how are people who support "sexist"
gender roles seen in society's eyes?