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A (re)-conceptualisation of Afrocentrism African subjectivity

Christopher Babatunde Ogunyemi

Abstract


This article reconceptualises and reappraises different perspectives and ‘gender performativity’ in the light of gender and feminist interpretation for the African woman. It clearly opines that it is expedient for different feminists to distinguish between theories so that there will be clearer focus on the subject in order to clarify and not complicate issues. For instance, some feminist critics see history as the measure for analysis of women and gender, while some will not accept history because of rigid periodisation. Deconstruction displaces the question of history because it embraces a ‘textual fidelity’ and ‘ethical concern for reading’ as its major preoccupation.1 Performativity places priority on ‘being’ and not the sex. With reference to Patricia McFadden, Nawal el Saadawi, Chinyere Okafor and other critics of feminism in Africa, the article makes a drastic reinterpretation of contemporary African feminism: it articulates and enthusiastically redefines the concept of Afrocentrism with reference to the African woman in order to develop new awareness for the family and marriage in order to be ‘performative’. This ostensibly valorises African subjectivities, sexualities and identities for proper articulation of concepts in African literature. This article uses the radical feminist theory expatiated by McFadden in contemporary discourse. It portends a feminist consciousness in Africa that resists the epistemologies of patriarchy, masculinities, misogyny and neo-colonialist assumptions of women suppression and relegation. The radical feminist theory provides a new theoretical framework for considering prejudice against women in African cosmology.




AJOL African Journals Online