Baho is a Burundian novel written by Roland Roguero. Thisi a novel about Nyamugari a adolescent mute who is looking for a place to go to the bathroom and attempts to ask a young girl for help. Unfortunately, his gestures are mistaken by an attempt to rape this young girl. Nyamugari attempts to flee the scene and this assures the community of his guilt of raping the young girl. This scenario saya a lot about this community and their views towards women.
In this community, women are seen more as objects rather than valuable women. Men seem to be in control of the women from this community. Rugero states, “The young girl has ceased to speak. In her ears, her earlier cry still resonates, distant and yet close at hand; there, on her lips, ready to go back up her throat, burning, following the images that march before her gaze. Right now, she doesn’t see anything anymore. She suffers” (pg.24). This quote gives us a sense on how although. Nyamugari’s intentions were not to rape the young girl but, to ask her where the nearest place was to relieve himself was at, this young girl was so accustomed to other girls in her community getting raped that his actions perceived this act of rape. This quote allows the readers to understand that a social norm in this community is rape and many young women live their everyday lives in fear of this occurring to them.
On chapter IV of Baho, Roguero states, “there is a woman who measures almost six feet two inches. She was run out of the house by her husband for being too tall. The strict man of the house preferred to bring another, shorter woman” (pg.24). This signifies how men in this society see women as rather objects than valuable humans. In this case, this man decided to leave his wife for a woman who was more convenient (Pliable) than his wife. This gives an understanding of how women are looked at and treated in this community.
Roland Roguero does a great job at illustrating the social role of women in this community. Throughout the novel, he gives examples of how women are treated and the hardships they go through. How are women viewed in your community? Are they treated as valuable individuals or rather passive objects ?