Women’s Contributions to Declining Masculinities in the Urban Fiction of Meja Mwangi
This work focuses on the role women play in the declining masculinities as it emerges in Meja Mwangi’s The Cockroach Dance (1979) and Rafiki Man Guitar (2013). The increased empowerment of women over the years has continued to affect shifting gender roles, a situation that has come to pose a big threat to hegemonic masculinities, especially in the postcolonial urban setting. In its quest to empower women and achieve gender equality, feminism has played the role of subverting expressions of masculinity in a number of ways. The conditions of the postcolonial city have adversely subjected men to a foray of social, economic, and political challenges, creating a reversal in which the traditional perceptions of manhood have been repudiated. In a number of situations, the female counterparts have come to occupy the dominant position. Using theories of gender in relation to the dynamics of the postcolonial urban culture, this study is an exploration of Meja Mwangi’s representation of the circumstances that have contributed to declining masculinities in his two novels above
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