Feminist backlash and a postcolonial dialectics: Rethinking binaries


Mbuh Tennu Mbuh


Inspired in part by a feminism-related debate on the WhatsApp ‘Collaborative Research’ Forum to which I belong, this paper argues that feminism remains an alien consciousness in Africa, and that the trumped up  marginalisation of the female was a colonial subterfuge to legitimise homogenous privileges. The analysis therefore envisages two things: first, that a backlash against the theory results from a combination of epistemic inconsistencies that evolved from a malleable discourse and the sustained indolence with which feminism was received in the continent, facilitating the erasure of every enabling data; and second, prospects into the possibility of an alternative theoretical imaginary that will realign gender relations back into an organic, non-intellectual and non-materialist context in which nomenclatures renegotiate an inclusive worldview with only relative polarisation of status. Textual and ethnographical material will be used to animate the analysis within the context of glocalisation imperatives.




How to Cite
Feminist backlash and a postcolonial dialectics: Rethinking binaries. (2023). Research Journal in Modern Languages and Literatures, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.58256/jmll.v4i1.1170

How to Cite

Feminist backlash and a postcolonial dialectics: Rethinking binaries. (2023). Research Journal in Modern Languages and Literatures, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.58256/jmll.v4i1.1170


Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann, 1986.

Achebe, Nwando. The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011.

Alexandra Black et al. Feminism Is. New York: Penguin/Random House, 2019.

Alkali, Muhammad et al. ‘Dwelling or Duelling in Possibilities: How (Ir)relevant are African Feminisms?’ Journal of Language Studies. 13:3 (September 2013). 237-257

Allen, Judith Van. “‘Sitting on a Man’: Colonialism and the Lost Political Institutions of Igbo Women”. Canadian Journal of African Studies, VI, ii (1972), 165-181

Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. London: Jonathan Cape, 1956

Betty Freidan. The Feminine Mystique. New York: Norton, 2001

Chapman, Tracy. https://genius.com/artists/Tracy-chapman

Chimamanda Ngozi Adechie, ‘We Should All be Feminists’. https://www.youtube.com/

Chinweizu. The Anatomy of Female Power: A Masculinist Dissection of Matriarchy. Lagos: Pero Press, 1990

Diop, Cheikh Anta. The African Origin of Civilisation: Myth or Rreality. New York: Lawrence Hill and Company, 1974

Ebunoluwa, Sotunsa Mobolanle. ‘Feminism: The Quest for an African Variant’. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 3:1 (September 2009). 227-234

Farrell, Warren. The Myth of Male Power: Why Men are the Disposable Sex. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Hendrickson, Robert. The Facts on Encyclopaedia of Word and Phrase Origin. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2008.

Jehlen, Myra. ‘Gender’ in Lentricchia, Frank and Thomas MaLaughlin (eds.). Critical Terms for Literary Study. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1990. (263-273)

Lefkowitz, Mary. Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentricism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. New York: BasicBooks, 1996.

Lerner, Gerder. The Creation of Patriarchy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986

Loomba, Aina. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. London: Routledge, 1998.

McLaren, Margaret A. ed., Decolonizing Feminism Transnational Feminism and Globalization, London: Rowman and Littlefiled, 2017

Mekgwe, Pinkie. ‘Theorizing African Feminism(s) 11: the “Colonial” Question’. QUEST: An African Journal of Philosophy, XX(2008): 11-22

Millet, Kate. Sexual Politics Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000

Nzegwu, Nkiru. ‘Feminism and Africa: Impact and Limits of the Metaphysics of Gender’ (in Wiredu) 560-569

Ogundipe, Leslie. ‘Desiree Lewis talks to Molara Ogundipe’. www.agi.ac.za/sites/default/files/image.../fa_1_conversation_2.pdf. Accessed, 11.10.2020

Oyӗwùmí, Oyèrónké, ed. Gender Epistemologies in Africa: Gendering Traditions, Spaces, Social Institutions, and Identities. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011

Owen, Candace. ‘Feminism is a Scam, it Kept me Unmarried for 55 Years’. https://www.kanyidaily.com/

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Discourse on Political Economy and The Social Contract. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Spivak, Gayatri. (1991). ‘Neocolonialism and the Secret Agent of Knowledge’. Oxford Literary Review, 13 (1991):220-51

Tang, Anne Tanyi. 2000. Ewa and Other Plays. Yaounde: Clé.

Torgovnick, Marianne, Gone Primitive: Savage Intellects, Modern Lives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990

Torgovnick, Marianne. Primitive Passions: Men, Women, and the Quest for Ecstasy. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997

Unwueme, Tess Osonye. Tell it to Women. Wayne State University Press, 1997

Walker, Alice. In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: A Womanist Prose. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983.

Wiredu, Kwasi. (ed). A Companion to African Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 > >>