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Feminism and Africa: Impact and Limits of the Metaphysics of Gender

For the most part, prevailing definitions of gender in African studies have come from disciplines located within the Western body of knowledge. Scholars are often unaware how much these definitions are steeped in the mores and norms of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and the social conventions of European and European American cultures. These intellectual understandings of gender embody the political, social, and imperialist histories of the birth cultures. They reflect as well the binary opposition underlying Western epistemology in which women are defined in opposition to men, that is, are assigned converse attributes. ‘‘Gender,’’ Susan Moller Okin, a feminist political scientist, declares, is ‘‘the deeply entrenched institutionalization of sexual difference’’ (her emphasis); it maps the culture of discrimination against women (1989: 2). This construal of gender, as implying male domination of women, owes its logic to the character of the original social context of discourse in which sex differentiation equals sex discrimination. The logical grammar of the concept exposes the inequality principle that lies at the heart of male–female relationships in that conceptual framework. Much more significantly, it reveals that the analytic category of gender is cognate with the category of woman.

Here I examine two ways in which the metaphysical implications of the concept of gender affect theoretical analyses and erode the cultural specificity and the historicity of societies, such as Igbo society. I start by examining the strategies employed in the false universalization of the Western concept of woman. I will then show how the theorization of a Nigerian female scholar achieves a similar objective even as she strives to produce a culturally grounded account of the position of woman in Igboland. My objective is not necessarily to invalidate the concept of gender per se, but rather to highlight the intrusive nature of the Western metaphysics of gender on theoretical formulations in and about other cultures.

This impact begins in innocuous ways in cross-cultural philosophical analysis.

The white female US philosopher, Martha Nussbaum (1995), presents a picture of emotion in Igbo culture that she uses to validate the thesis that emotion is universally viewed as female, and passivity as womanish. She opens her article with a conflicted soliloquy by Okonkwo, the protagonist in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958). In it Okonkwo agonizes over his killing of Ikemefuna, who had clung to him as a son. He chastises himself for falling to pieces over this killing, especially since he had previously killed five men in battle. He worries that he has ‘‘become a shivering old woman.’’ The excerpt ends with the following self-chastisement: ‘‘Okonkwo, you have become a woman indeed.’’ Without questioning whether or not this fictional account of emotion has sociological accuracy, or whether the imagery of ‘‘shivering old woman’’ is correctly understood, Nussbaum deploys the soliloquy to represent Igbo culture as sexist. On this reading, emotion is relegated to the female side of the divide, a move that allows Nussbaum to globalize the social implication of sexism and to state that, on this showing, ‘‘Women are emotional, emotions are female.’’ According to her, ‘‘this view, familiar in Western and non- Western traditions alike, has for thousands of years been used in various ways to exclude women from full membership in the human community’’ (1995: 360; emphasis mine). This opening strategy might well obscure the fact that Nussbaum is unproblematically treating Achebe’s novel as a veridical sociological-cumphilosophical document, and is omitting examination of the specific sociologies and philosophies of the cultures in question.

The slide from fictional narrative to sociological truths may be symptomatic of the tendency to suppose that all societies – Western and non-Western alike – have the same ethical values, and that there is nothing complex or different in the conceptual categories of non-Western societies (including Igbo society). While it is important to see that this homogenization of the Western and non-Western worlds obstructs serious cross-cultural examination, it is more crucial to highlight the ways in which the false homogenization obscures contextual specificities and social complexities of a vast array of non-Western traditions. This homogenization makes them all seem unworthy of theoretical reflection. It needs to be reiterated that such appropriations of Africa legitimize, for example, the misreading of Igbo endogenous categories even when a scholar, such as Nussbaum, may be sympathetically trying to draw the cultures of Africa, China, and Micronesia into serious philosophical inquiry.

Though most commentaries on Things Fall Apart tend to focus on the novel’s historical plot, notably, the colonial incursion and the Christianization of Igboland, readers focus less on Achebe’s complex psychological study of a dysfunctional character in an achievement-oriented society. Caught in the restraining web of his obsessive fear, Okonkwo charges through life to self-destruction. The strength of the storyline is the completely believable way in which this insecure, frightened, frightful man represents a normal, well-adjusted Igbo man. The rich cultural data which Achebe skillfully marshals underwrite the plausibility of this picture. Completely absorbed with the protagonist’s achievement, readers miss Okonkwo’s periodic deviation from acceptable social norms. An example of this is Okonkwo’s participation in the killing of Ikemefuna, the young sacrificial victim who had taken to him as a father, and the inability of his male social peers to make sense of some of his fears.

That Okonkwo’s fears were not seen as normal is evident in Obierika’s revulsion at Okonkwo’s role in the death of Ikemefuna: ‘‘It is the kind of action for which the goddess wipes out whole families’’ (1958: 46). The gravity of Obierika’s disapproval is, indeed, proof that Okonkwo, a male, was expected to show emotion. The existence of this expectation, and the expressed distaste of Obierika, clearly reinforce the view that males’ expression of emotion was not perceived as a sign of weakness in Igbo cultural logic. From the community’s point of view, as conveyed by Obierika, human-ness rather than weakness is implicit in a father’s expression of love for a child who has cleaved to him as a son. Such a demonstration of emotion is appropriate for fathers since this is precisely what it means to be a father; just as Okonkwo’s emotional upset at his daughter’s sickness would be viewed as an appropriate response rather than a sign of weakness. That Okonkwo missed this point and misinterpreted a socially approved behavior and its corresponding psychological state as weakness is a sign of his dysfunction rather than a revelation of Igbo cultural logic.

The problem is that in the haste to universalize a specific culture’s reading of emotion, Nussbaum read the passage too literally. She thus came away with a warped interpretation of the Igbo conception of emotion.

Contextual Differences

While some may want Nussbaum to show good reason why she should treat a fictive account of emotion as a sociological account, I am more concerned with the fundamental assumption implicit in her argument that the category of women is unproblematic and that it truly captures female identities in all cultures and in all contexts. I will start by asking a seemingly obvious question: are there women in Igbo society?

An automatic response would be, ‘‘Yes, there are.’’ However, shifting to the cultural logic of Onitsha (Igbo) society leads us to the word ‘‘nwanyi,’’ the singular of ‘‘umunwanyi,’’ which means offspring who are female. Umunwanyi is a category that distinguishes female human beings from nwoke (male human beings). Its primary and dominant function is to mark the biological sex of a child. Quite unlike the Western category ‘‘woman,’’ nwanyi marks physiological differentiation without ranking or defining females in relation to males. In the translation of Igbo concepts to English, nwanyi has most regularly been treated as synonymous with ‘‘woman,’’ even though they do not share the same attributes or conceptual scope. For instance, nwanyi does not exclusively refer to an adult female person; it refers to both children and adults. It does not imply that females are psychologically passive beings who are or ought to be submissive and subordinate to men. No social attribution is made about women’s state of being or capabilities at this stage. In fact, there is no meaningful way to determine the social standing and what the temperaments of individuals in this generic category are, since their social identities still have to be independently fleshed out.

Western feminist analyses of the condition of women under patriarchy reveal, regardless of the social class or status of women, that the category ‘‘woman’’ defines women as the negative image of men. The ideology of masculinity underlying this patriarchal vision cast women as not just physiologically different, but as opposites.

Men are strong and taciturn, women are weak and emotional; men are masters, women are subordinates. As feminist scholar Sheila Ruth succinctly puts it: ‘‘[t]hey all say that women as human beings are substandard: less intelligent; less moral; less competent; less able physically, psychologically, and spiritually; small of body, mind, and character’’ (1990: 89). It is this masculist framework of the Western philosophical tradition that Nussbaum identifies as ‘‘typical in public life’’ when ‘‘it is claimed that women, on account of their emotional ‘nature,’ are incapable of full deliberative rationality, and should not perform various social roles in which rationality is required’’ (1995: 363–4).

As a concept of sex differentiation, nwanyi does not perform a similar function.

This is because gender identity is a flexible, fluid state of being, and is tied to social roles and functions that demand deliberative rationality from females. Given their multiple social roles, Igbo females do not have one gender identity. The Igbo word that most closely approximates the meaning of ‘‘woman’’ in the Western imagination is agbala. It defines a category of self-assured, assertive females, who may or may not be married, and whose identity is not defined in relation to men. In sum, nwanyi and agbala refer to the female sex, but they do not ascribe specific social attributes, roles, or identities to them.

Meaningful social identity ascriptions take place at another level. In traditional times, and even today, within different communities, the first meaningful basis of identity is the lineage, where power is diffuse. Basic social differentiation occurs in the following categories: umuada (lineage daughters), okpala (lineage sons), and inyemedi (lineage wives). The principle of organization within each of these socially significant categories is seniority. Complications arise for the idea of a unitary social status for females if we examine the categories of umuada and inyemedi. Even though both refer to adult females, there are clear differences in identity and consciousness.

The social nature of the relationship between umuada and inyemedi is a ‘‘husband’’/‘‘wife’’ relationship. As daughters of the lineage, umuada are in the social role of husbands to inyemedi or wives of the lineage. Consequently, inyemedi relate to umuada as wives. This husband/wife relationship of umuada and inyemedi is exactly the same that holds between okpala (lineage sons) and inyemedi (lineage wives). Under the lineage system, umuada (females, daughters) and okpala (males, sons) share the same dominant social role of ‘‘husband’’ to another group of females who are outsiders to the lineage. As outsiders, inyemedi or wives are socially subordinate to both lineage daughters and sons, whom they have to treat as ‘‘husbands.’’

The effect on the consciousness of females relating to another group of females on the basis of a dominant/subordinate, ‘‘husband’’/‘‘wife’’ relationship means that solidarity cannot be built on biology. This fact must be grasped before any meaningful discussion of women’s capabilities can begin.

The question of capabilities cannot even be addressed without considering a still further complication. Most umuada (lineage daughters) who inhabit a dominant location in their natal family also belong to the subordinate category of inyemedi (wives).

Unlike the Western marriage structure that eliminates the rights of a married daughter in her natal family, umuada are ever-present forces in their natal families. They assume juridical and peacekeeping roles, and regularly perform purification duties as well as funerary rites for deceased members of the lineage. By virtue of the social importance of these roles, the question of being incapable of full deliberative rationality or of being unfit ‘‘to perform social roles in which rationality is required’’ never arises for umuada. This is because umuada never occupy an inferior, subordinate position in their lineage. They are never viewed as ‘‘less intelligent; less moral; less competent; less able physically, psychologically, and spiritually; small of body, mind, and character.’’ A dominant influence in their lineages, while still maintaining permanent residence in their marital homes, umunwanyi (females) routinely develop at least two different identities between which they constantly switch back and forth.

By virtue of constantly shifting identity locations, females in western Igboland are never in either a permanently subordinate or dominant situation. Though the inyemedi (lineage wives) is a subordinate category within a lineage, no psychological or social attributions of the sort identified by Ruth are made about their emotional being. Further mitigating the effect of the formal subordinate status are the twin categories of motherhood and seniority that effectively transform the position of nwuye (wife) to one of formidable importance. Additionally, in a context where, historically, females could and did marry wives, ‘‘being a husband’’ or ‘‘being a wife’’ is not open to easy physiological interpretation as it is in Western culture. (Di, the term that is construed to mean ‘‘husband,’’ merely refers to members of the family into which a female is married.)

Females can be both wives and husbands at the same time. Some can actually marry their own wife or wives (with no sexual relationship involved), and they can do so even when they are in a conjugal marital relationship with a male. Clearly, what this reveals are the deep conceptual differences between Igbo and US cultures, and the important sociological differences in the two cultures’ conception of marriage that cannot be ignored in any determination of the intercultural relevance of the Western concept of ‘‘woman.’’ As a matter of routine, all Igbo females are husbands, given the fact that there inevitably are some females who are wives in the family lineage. Females-as-daughters always stand in a husband relationship to the females who are wives in their family lineage. Because of this relational principle, and the entailed flexibility of identities, there is no absolute female identity outside of relational ties. No Igbo female is simply a wife; the daughter identity remains in force and is never erased by the wife identity. The term ‘‘husband’’ is not equivalent to a male designation, and what a female is cannot be sorted out without determining the governing relation between the individual and others. Western Igboland is an achievement-oriented society, and in such a society individuals (both females and males) are expected to be industrious and to excel. Consequently, a social classification that subordinates women to men, or vice versa for that matter, cannot work. The question of reserving a negative set of psychological attributes for women and positive ones for men does not arise. Females are expected to succeed too, which is why honorific expressions like agwu (tiger), odogu (the brave), o gbatulu enyi (one who felled an elephant) are applied across sex lines to daring, shrewd, successful individuals of both sexes. Despite contemporary modifications of Igbo culture wrought by Christianity and modern social living, the existence of such ascriptions undermines the legitimacy of Nussbaum’s claim that non- Western traditions (including the Igbo) share the passive view of women. The problem with Nussbaum’s account, as with many feminists’ accounts too, is the utilization of European American social histories, cultural values, and norms to frame her concept of woman and then use it to interpret Igbo social practice. This illicit method of interpretation generates stereotypical conceptions of patriarchal domination in Igbo culture at the expense of more compelling accounts.

 

A Sticky Metaphysics

The second major, and more subtle, way in which the metaphysics of gender generates distortions occurs primarily in the writings of African women scholars. Because the concept of gender has become such an important analytic tool, many African women scholars instinctively employ it without considering its cultural nuances.

For many, the impressive thesis of oppression offers a powerful analytical tool that provides a neat overarching explanation for women’s obvious disadvantages in societies. We see this in Amadiume’s latest book, Reinventing Africa: Matriarchy, Religion, and Culture (1997), where she utilizes the concept of gender (a) to argue that, historically, matriarchy was the dominant ethos of sociopolitical organization and moral life in Africa, and (b) to try to establish a historical basis for the empowerment of modern African women.

According to Amadiume, in Nnobi (Igbo) society, ‘‘the ideology of gender has its basis in the binary opposition between the mkpuke, the female mother-focused matricentric unit and the obi, the male-focused ancestral house’’ (ibid. 18). This opposition of male and female and of father and mother invokes from the onset the conceptual scheme of patriarchy on which is based ‘‘the ideology of gender.’’ Amadiume’s deployment of the concept of gender involves an entrenched logic which construes sex differentiation as equivalent to sex discrimination. It endows it with ontological status through treating it as ‘‘a fundamental principle of social organization … that predates class and is carried over into class formations’’ (ibid. 113).

Faced with the fluidity of the male and female roles in the society in question, which violates the sex discrimination logic of her category, Amadiume manufactures a ‘‘neuter gender construct’’ (a ‘‘third classificatory system’’), to deal with the occasions when ‘‘men and women share the same status and play the same roles without social stigma’’ (ibid. 129). In other words, she tries to bypass the internal inconsistency of supposing that men and women who are by her theory intrinsically and definitively gendered can, at the same time, be neuter gendered.

But what does it mean to be gendered and neuter gendered at the same time? If gender is foundational, as Amadiume maintains, then the neuter construct is redundant given that only gendered bodies will share that role, and map their gender status upon it. On the other hand, if the corpus of social roles and statuses transcends the logic and politics of gender ascription, so that ‘‘monolithic masculinization of power was eliminated’’ (ibid.), then it must be that the category of gender is not really foundational. Because the shared status and roles existed historically in Igbo society, and no ‘‘social stigma’’ was attached to them, gender could not have been the operative category.

This suggests that it was the major social changes instituted during colonial rule that created some of the male-privileging traditions which today are being represented as ‘‘customary’’ or ‘‘indigenous.’’ We are led to believe that these maleprivileging traditions have historically been part of a culture that is supposed to be fundamentally patriarchal, even though ‘‘daughters were classified as male in relation to wives and had authority just like their brothers’’ (ibid. 148; emphasis mine).

The point is not that Amadiume does not acknowledge these historical events that transformed Igbo society, which she does; the point is rather that she is unaware of the displacement of Igbo social history and conceptual schemes by the patriarchal force implicit in her categories of interpretation. For this reason, her acknowledgment of the historical changes wrought by colonialism does not go far enough.

A clear sign that Amadiume’s acknowledgment falls short is seen in the fact that the male-privileging features of the concept of gender overwrite aspects of her descriptions of Igbo culture. Because she is committed to a gender frame of analysis, she fails to see the incompatibility between the gendered frame and the Igbo social frame. Thus, despite her brilliant insight that the flexibility of Igbo categories marks an important difference between Igbo society and European patriarchal societies, she undermines this insight by insisting on the gendered description of the surrounding culture.

Matters are substantially complicated by Amadiume’s language of gender in that it produces cultural distortions in the Igbo context. It does this in the following ways. First, it injects the metaphysics of patriarchy into the cultures of western Igboland, where it positions the patriarchal scheme at the conceptual background.

Second, it initiates a gender-based discourse that entrenches this scheme by making it a foil to the matriarchal scheme in the foreground. Third, it artificially opposes the mkpuke to the obi and presents this opposition as an accurate analysis of the relationship between the two units. And, fourth, it collapses sex differentiation into sex discrimination, so that all instances of difference are then made to imply discrimination. These steps, of course, guarantee her gender-mediated interpretation.

In fact, it is the conceptual complexity of Igbo culture at the foundational level that explains Amadiume’s need to introduce a third category to circumvent, as it seems, the distorting effects of the constructed patriarchal structure that she had inserted into the culture. The neuter category, thus introduced, injects a false flexibility into the culture, and makes the gender-empowerment significance of the three examples she offers as proof of this flexibility problematic. These are that (1) daughters can become ‘‘male’’; (2) females can marry and become husbands; and (3) wealthy women can buy access into male associations (ibid. 149).

Given that the direction of mobility in each case is toward the male roles and status, and rarely in the female direction, these examples of social flexibility and female empowerment are hardly convincing. They preserve intact the normative status of men, men’s roles, and men’s relationship to women. Whatever is ‘‘male’’ is privileged and constitutes the social space of worthiness. The existence of this concealed yardstick tells us that, contrary to Amadiume’s objective, her account of matriarchy succeeds paradoxically in presenting Igbo society as patriarchal, one in which women were structurally disadvantaged on the basis of sex. Interestingly, her thesis of gender flexibility reinforces this structural disadvantage by exceptionalizing the efforts of successful women. It suggests that only a few wealthy women and a few audacious females could use the ‘‘neuter roles’’ to negotiate themselves out of the unfavorable situations of inferiority she had created. In short, her observation that the Igbo social ‘‘system was not monolithic and not rigid because gender-bending and gender-crossing were practised’’ (ibid. 149) is deployed in ways that ultimately reinforce the existence of a patriarchal classificatory scheme in which males occupy privileged positions.

 

Chasing Shadows: Getting our Analysis Right

The theoretical difficulties in Amadiume’s analyses show that there is a disjunction between her interpretation of Igbo culture and society and the reality on the ground. If the third classificatory scheme is illusory, as I contend, what does this say for the roles and status she identified as ‘‘neuter’’? Do they exist? Are there such roles and status in societies of western Igboland?

For all its claimed capacity to explain the flexibility of Igbo social structure, Amadiume’s neuter category obscures the social logic of the roles it is deployed to explain. Basically, this is because it is a response to an artificial dilemma created by an interpretive scheme. Consider the ‘‘male-daughter’’ phenomenon that she represents as a neuter role. There is no such linguistic or cultural expression as nwokeada, which is the accurate translation of Amadiume’s ‘‘male daughter.’’ This is not to say that the social institution alluded to is imaginary, but rather that her representation of it misses the mark. There used to be (and there may still be in some communities) a widespread formal institution of considerable import known as idigbe, idegbe, or mgba. This institution enables a daughter to remain in, or to dissolve, her marriage and return to her natal home to have, with a paramour, children who are assimilated into her own lineage.

There are two senses in which idigbe or mgba is understood. The first sense describes a situation in which a female is in a consensual relationship with a paramour. She retains her primary identity as daughter and never becomes his wife. Because no bridewealth is exchanged, ada no na iba (literally, the daughter in the patrilineal sanctuary) or ada di na obi (literally, the daughter in the patricentric unit) has sole custody of the children of the union. The children of a female in such circumstances derive their name, identity, and rights from her lineage or obi. In this sense, adiba, or adaobi, formally describes this status of a daughter within the lineage, and informs the community of her role. It also indicates that her children have the same status in the lineage as those of her brothers. The second sense, which is the one Amadiume constantly alludes to, is also expressed by adiba or adaobi. It designates a daughter who formally occupies the ancestral family sanctuary of fathers. This occurs on the rare occasion that there is no male successor to pass on the family name, and there is no wife of a childbearing age in the compound to produce a male child. A daughter either foregoes marriage, or ends her marriage to uphold the family sanctuary and to prevent the obliteration of the family name.

Social roles have specific purposes and their meanings and interpretations have to be sought in the relevant sociocultural context of practice. Because Amadiume did not closely attend to the cultural parameters of the roles and status she classifies as neuter, her interpretation of the mgba and adaobi institution produces fictional meanings in which the gender-loaded imagery of ‘‘male daughter’’ is invoked to explain a social phenomenon whose meaning lies elsewhere. This chosen imagery is conceptually problematic for a variety of reasons. It conflicts with the logic of adaobi as ‘‘daughter in the patricentric unit.’’ It problematizes the presence of this daughter exercising her responsibilities in the natal residence. Also, it implausibly suggests that this daughter’s presence is intelligible only if she is transformed into a male, a logic that casts the female presence as socially and ontologically deviant.

The idea of adaobi implying the transformation of daughters into males wreaks havoc on Igbo cultural logic. It suggests that membership in an obi is predicated on ‘‘being male’’ rather than on ‘‘being a child’’; it casts daughters as less worthy than sons; and it confers value on them only if they can somehow become sons. Not only does this state of affairs misconstrue the principle of family-as-lineage formation and what it means to be a father, it also arbitrarily nullifies a daughter’s membership in her own obi.

In concluding, it is worth reiterating that other examples abound of misinterpretations of the cultural ethos of African societies, in which the deployed concept of gender invents false bridges to explain social roles, statuses, processes, and the logic of various practices. In my analysis of the works of Nussbaum and Amadiume, historicity is revealed as the critical constraint that would have limited the freeranging effect of the metaphysics of the concept of gender. Historicity is not the mere recitation of ‘‘facts’’ and events, it involves confronting historical events, historicizing interpretations, and using an appropriate yardstick. The combination of these three ensures that timeframes are not illicitly collapsed, that societal formations are not redefined, and that conceptual frames of different cultures are not illicitly switched. Some of the principal shortcomings in feminist analyses come from inattentiveness to historicity. Nussbaum is oblivious to it, and though Amadiume is familiar with Nigeria’s colonial and contemporary history, she underestimates the impact of change, the depth of cultural distortions wrought by the categories (e.g. generic man, woman, wife) and concepts (e.g. work, domesticity, and marriage) borrowed from Britain. Because of these limitations, both scholars adopted uncritically the European and American construal of gender and its implicit thesis of female subordination. In the particular case of Amadiume, this adoption propels her toward interpretive directions that are incompatible with the reasonable, historically sound aspects of her claim that a ‘‘monolithic masculinization of power was eliminated’’ in Igboland.

 

References

Achebe, Chinua (1958) Things Fall Apart (London: Heinemann Educational Books). Amadiume, Ifi (1997) Reinventing Africa: Matriarchy, Religion, and Culture (London: Zed Books Ltd.).

Nussbaum, Martha (1995) ‘‘Emotions and Women’s Capabilities,’’ in Martha Nussbaum and Jonathan Glover (eds.), Women, Culture Development (Oxford: Clarendon Press). Okin, Susan Moller (1989) Justice, Gender and Family (New York: Basic Books, Inc.).

 

Further reading

Adewoye, Omoniyi (1977) The Judicial System in Southern Nigeria, 1854–1954 (London: Longman). Amadiume, Ifi (1987) Male Daughters, Female Husbands (London: Zed Books Ltd.).

Appiah, Kwame Anthony (1992) In My Father’s House (New York: Oxford University Press).

Boserup, Ester (1970) Women’s Role in Economic Development (London: George Allen and Unwin).

Ekejiuba, Felicia (1995) ‘‘Down to Fundamentals: Women-centered Hearthholds in Rural West Africa,’’ in Deborah Fahy Bryceson (ed.), Women Wielding the Hoe (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Henderson, Richard (1972) The King in Every Man (New Haven: Yale University Press).

Mba, Nina (1982) Nigeria Women Mobilized (Berkeley: International and Area Studies Universit of Berkeley).

Musisi, Nakanyike B. (1992) ‘‘Colonial and Missionary Education: Women and Domesticity in Uganda, 1900–1945,’’ in Karen Tranberg Hansen (ed.), African Encounters with Domesticity (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press).

Nzegwu, Nkiru (1996) ‘‘Philosophers’ Intellectual Responsibility to African Females,’’ American Philosophical Association’s (APA) Newsletter, 90(I): 130–5.

Nzegwu, Nkiru (1996) ‘‘Questions of Identity and Inheritance: A Critical Review of Anthony Appiah’s In My Father’s House,’’ HYPATIA: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Special Issue on Feminist Theory and the Family, 2(1): 176–99.

Nzegwu, Nkiru (1999) ‘‘Colonial Racism: Sweeping Out Africa with Europe’s Broom,’’ in Susan Babbitt and Sue Campbell (eds.), Philosophy and Racism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).

Okonjo, Kamen (1976) ‘‘The Dual-Sex Political System in Operation: Igbo Women and Community Politics in Midwestern Nigeria,’’ in Nancy Hafkin and Edna Bay (eds.), Women in Africa (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press).

Oyewumi, Oyeronke (1997) Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses (Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press).

Ruth, Sheila (1990) ‘‘Images of Women in Patriarchy: The Masculist-Defined Woman,’’ in Ruth (ed.), Issues in Feminism (Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company).

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