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Marang: Journal of Language and Literature

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Patriarchy and social determinism: interrogating feminist agenda in Tanzania’s neglected poetry

Eliah S. Mwaifuge

Abstract


This paper examines poems written in English by Tanzanians from a feminist perspective. Specifically, the paper examines how Tanzanian poets in English handle feminist ideas. It interrogates how the poets address issues of human rights, dignity and equality from a feminist perspective in a predominantly patriarchal society. Through a feminist lens, the paper also delineates how the poets depict the reaction of women against masculinity and often female-gender insensitive traditional cultural beliefs which continue to subjugate and marginalise women. The paper contends that despite being ignored in terms of scholarship, Tanzanian poets in English have been preoccupied with the question of gender equality, which helps to define and place their contribution to literary and gender discourse in Tanzania. The paper concludes that Tanzanian poets in English have rhetorically been fostering the feminist agenda to undermine prevalent patriarchal norms and values.

Keywords: Feminists, patriarchy, Tanzanian poets in English, masculinity, identity


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