The Gender Relations Within

In Baho! written by Roland Rugero there are multiple different mediations within the novel that justify certain actions throughout. The novel starts out with and continues with a story of a young man who is a mute and he ends up in a predicament that is a complete accident that brings upon the ideals in the African culture and the gender standards.  Men had a place in their society of being the man of the house and in charge while Women were seen as property and became a person of value rather than seen for their human qualities.

“The men stare at the twenty-some combinations of headscarves, wraps, and multi-colored wool sweaters, and tactlessly comment on the gloomy murmur rising from the feminine sex below.They grumble to each other with glances” (25-26).

“She has just watched the violent arrest of the young mute by his pursuers. She saw the hate that fortified their actions, screwing up their eyes and quaking the knotted veins of their fingers—their rage to punish”(28).

“Wordlessly, far from the chaos before her eye, far from these powerful, hasty young men, far from the violent anger of the impotent. She reflects  in wonder on how the forbidden has moved from curse to deed in such little time, an illicit transferal. Pensively, she remembers her own father, a blunt, thin man, who was very strong and who loved to return home a little drunk some evenings. His curses were all related to her, the only daughter of a rich, forty-cow farmer” (41).

All of these quotes exemplify a form of gender commentary. In the first quote there is the topic of female objectification brought to light with the way male gaze is represented and men only caring about female appearances. This plays a major role in the entirety of the novel as men were seen in this certain light that mimics actions they must perform rather than taking advantage of women, as the main character finds out through a major misunderstanding. Then on to the material mentioned in the second quote, what is presented is this situation the main character winds up in and this is a viewers response to the events of the main character. The last quote basically sums up the ideal of how women were seen as property.

The presence of gender relations forms this cataclysmic effect on the novel as whole and becomes a form of commentary on society and it definitely relates to current situations on the way men and women are seen.



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