Feminism as a concept gained approval the help of some male feminist
writers who write for the sake of women liberation but this concept has
its limitations. Feminist aesthetics thereby came into full realization
in the work of some female writers who actually wants other women’s
This work has attempted explore feminists aesthetics in the works of Femi Osofisan and Ola Rotimi.
The sociological critical method was adopted for this work. Thus, the
texts have been analysed in relation to the social and cultural
contexts from which they emanated.
Some of the key findings of the research are:
That feminist theory has become a popular area of study in the literary field and has grown through rigorous research works.
That works of feminist orientation are strongly in their challenge of social and cultural contradictions.
That the feminists writes provide reading materials that are capable of changing the negative views about the female gender.
That these feminist texts provide the instructions to convert female
readers to writers thereby increasing the generation of female writers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Forms of Feminism
Women and Their Social Struggle in Morountodun
Madness as a Metaphor for Patriarchy in Our Husband
Has Gone Mad Again
Patriarchy and Madness
Feminism as a literary theory is an ideology which tends
towards female Liberace in the society. (Joseph 2003:99) describes
feminism as an ideology of social commitment to the struggle for female
libration in the society through conscious and collective effort.
Feminism Raji (1999:228) says feminism a concerns itself with
contemporary agitation by women for social economics, political and
cultural equality with male counterparts”. Most feminists are especially
concerned with social, political and economic inequality between men
First inaugurated in the sixties, feminist criticism proceeds from
the assumption that “the history of all the societies is the history
patriarch of male domination and exploitation of women, a situation
which women clam has hundred the actualization of women’s possibilities
aid potentials in all fields of human endeavour. Just as feminism clamed
in murices, feminists behaves that literature represents a very strong
infrastructural support of this patriarchal ideology Abram (1998;209)
Typically, the most highly regarded literary works on male
protagonist to these, the female characters when they play a role are
marginal end subordinate…………….and implicitly addressed to male readers
either leave the women reader as an alien outsider or else solicit her
to identify….and ways of perceiving.
Feminism like Marxism is concerned about societal inequalities. It is
also a literary ideology founded on the need to develop a female
tradition of creativity to cause awareness on the high of women as the
oppressed, deprived, subjugated and unfulfilled gender. It is directed
against patriarchal hegemony which according to Josephy (2003) “gives
men confidence, subordination the female to male or treats the female as
an inferior being:
Marxism recognizes that women are oppressed, and attributes the
oppresses to the capitalist/private property system. Thus, it insists
that the only way to end the oppression of women is to overthrow the
capitalism system (Christian, 1985). Marxism and feminism as schools of
thought are different but they have a meeting point while Marxism deals
with class stratification between the wealthy and the poor, feminism
discussion gender discrimination between the oppressing male and
oppressed female. The bottom line is that they are both fighting for the
same cause which is liberation of the people from oppression,
exploitation and domination.
Feminism as an ideology later, pined a fertile ground in Africa in
the 1960’s Obioma Nnaemeka (995) establishes the fundamental purpose of
the discussion when she assets that:
Fermium provides the opportunity of evaluating attitudes and
misconception about women which have buttressed all along both by
African culture and the misogynous tradition of European colonial
Where are varieties of African feminism feminist writers like
Acholonu behave that women should not be seen as objects to decorate the
homes but they should be regarded as major contributors to the destiny
of the nation without really affecting the roles as mothers and wives at
home in her article titled “Buchi Emecheta” (1988) acholonu says:
Women should no longer be decorative accessories, objects to be
moved about, and companions to be flattered or claimed with promises.
They should see themselves as nation’s primary fundamental roots, from
which all else grows and blossoms. Women must be encouraged to takes a
keen interest in the destiny of the country.
African feminist writers can be grouped in for the liberal and the
radical Encydopeadia of feminist theory says liberal feminism “advocates
equal rights for women”. The writers are gradient in their approaches
to women emancipation as they portray the ability of their rural women
of be at par with man in farming. Writers in these categories include
flora Nwapa, Zaynab Alkali and the base most of their early works on
rural protagonists who are created to realize their fund potentials as
human beings and to contribute the special demine quota to the general
improvement of the society.
The radical feminist writer on the other hand approaches women’s
literature from materialist perspective. It is an approach to feminist
thinking and action which maintains that the sex gender system is the
fundamental cause of women’s oppression. Writer in the category include
Molara Ogundipa Leslie, Mariam Ba and Animata sowfall.
Radical and liberal as types of African feminism are different in
their approach to writings. Radical feminists are harsh, militant and
most forceful form of feminism. Radicalists believers that women are
oppressed as a result of her sex/gender while liberal are slow and
lenient in their writings in the sense that, they advocates equal rights
The rebel against anything that subjugates or relegates women to the
background. The radicalists relegated women to the background. The
radicalists and the liberalists advocates joint efforts across gender in
solving human problems, aid in developing a solid society, again, they
behave in education as a weapon that women need to challenge patriarchy.
On the whole the bottom line is that they are both fighting for the
same cause which is the liberation of self expression, self fulfillment
in a world that is male dominated. Talking about Zaynab Alkali’s the stubborn from
the liberal perspective. Alkali compasses women’s need for economic
independence but also the need for women to work with men to build a new
society. Zaynab concerns in her works the plight of the rural woman,
whose effort to satisfy the man is trivialized. The novel encloses and
records the heartaches and disappointment of the women in the society
the presents the values of virtue and self determination for self
construction of women in a patriarchal society. She endows with trampy
through her tough and indomitable determination. She becomes truly
liberated from humiliation, betrayal, oppression and brutalization in
the hands of Habu Adams. Li finds education as the key to her freedom
from male subjugation and dehumanization and therefore puts the past
behind and focuses on the future. Zaynab builds a vision of a better’s
life based on economic independence, self sacrifice and solidarity
between men and women. Also, we shall consider Marian Ba’s so long a
letters from the radical perspective. Ba’s works treat issues of
conflicts for survival in an oppressive society and freedom from
subjugation. An example of this is Aissaton in so long letter who
struggled to survive in African patriarchal society. Marian uses
education as a weapon needed for the challenges of self determination.
She creates two females friends Aissatou and Ramatoulaye who face
matrimonial disappointments with their respective polygamous husbands.
Aissation gets imbued with the near spirit of liberation gained through
her education and intellect and refuses to accept any self made destroy
to oppress her.
Women are portrayed in this novel in different guises of check
patriarchy. They are portrayed as friend’s enemies within to expose the
effects of patriarchy on them and to put a cheek on it.
African male playwrights and other characters
African male playwrights have presented better myths and images of
women in their writings writers include Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o
and Olu Obafemi. Soyinka autobiographies inevitably presents strong
women because that was how things were in reality as we are familiar
with the history of Abeokuta woman as a strong force for women’s
mobilization against oppression. These playwrights depict their female
characters as being strong, resourceful and skillful against the mundane
opinion of some writers who point to women as being second fiddle. They
have presented myths and images of women in most of their works. We
shall use Olu Obafemi wheals suicide syndrome and Ngug: Wa Thiong’o the
Trial of Dedan Kumathi to show that they have presented more positive
images of women consistently. Olu Obafemi suicide syndrome also created a
positive role for women in his play. To him women have a dynamic role
in the society and should not be seen as second class citizens. The
market women in the play protest against the contemptible ways of the
bourgeois class which claims there is austerity and declares emergency.
Yeye Oja, the matriarchal head mobilizes her colleagues to fight against
the ruling elite that keep them in object poverty. Also in his novel
wheels, Obafemi recognizes the role which women are playing. This is
conveyed through the characters of Abeke and Kemi, who both participate
in their own individual significant ways in the task of nation building.
Kemi is portrayed positively and given a very wholesome personality.
She comes across as vivacious courageous, sensitive and highly motivated
participating actively in the social transformation of her society and
takes a catalytic part in the entire process. To this extent, Obafemi
has recognized the potentials of the women to complement the efforts of
the men to transform the society.
In the trial of Dedan Kimathi, the playwrights identify women as an
integral part of the guariila movement. The role women play cannot be
over emphasized Mugo and Ngugi see women in the evolutional struggle as
an embodiment of unity, loyalty and faithfulness. The women in the trial
of Dedan Kimath is see as the champion of the oppressed Kenyans. She
mobilizes the youths, mainly the body and girl to free Kimathi, the
imprisoned leader of man, man freedom fighters.
This study examiners the aesthetics of feminism in African drama
through a critical study of Temi Osofisan’s Morountodun and Ola Rotimi’s
our I thus bands have gone mad Again. The work focuses on
conscientizing women to rise up to the challenges in the society with
understanding of the roles they could play in their community to make
the society a better place. It also focuses on how women have struggled
side by side with their male counterparts, against the general injustice
and oppression that the few privileged impose on the majority
The importance of women many given society can neither be
underestimated nor can research on their past, present and future be
exhausted. Osofisan recognized the role which women are capable of
undertaking in revolutionary process. He has gone a long way to bring
out the fact that women and their positions in the society are
inevitable in societal development. He therefore does not leave out
women in his call for revolutionary activities since he believes that
everyone is to be involved in any successful revolution.
In this study, we shall adopt liberal feminism to our study. This is
because liberalists recognize women as human beings and agitate for
women equal opportunity, so that they can contribute their own quota to
national development. On the whole, Osofisan is more of a liberal
feminist than a radical feminist. The scope of the long essay covers
four chapters. Chapter one is the general introduction which comprises
the purpose, justification, and methodology. Chapter two will be
literature review i.e the comments of some critics about the
pre-occupation of Femi Osofisan’s Morountodun. Chapter three on themes,
the personality of women, the role of women in the social political
struggle, the contrastive study of male and female characters and the
biography of another. Chapter four will be summary, finding and
This research work will only cover aspect of feminism and areas
related to it. It will be limited to the feminist concept in Femi
Osofisan’s Morountodun Attension shall be focused on defining feminism
as a ideology. With feminism, our scope is limited to include only works
that focus on or raise issues relating to women, situations and events