PATRICK VIEW- 8 PROOFS TO SHOW THE EXISTANCE OF PATRIARCHY AND SOCIALIZATION (GENDER SOCIALIZATION) IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS

61Ime-a6GQL

PATRICK VIEW- 8 PROOFS TO SHOW THE EXISTANCE OF PATRIARCHY AND SOCIALIZATION (GENDER SOCIALIZATION) IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS

 

INTRODUCTION

After a close reading of the socialization processes and patriarchy existence effected in mother-daughter relationships in Chimamanda Adichie ”PURPLE HIBISCUS” (2005), set in Nigeria, the article acknowledges the geographical and cultural factor, socio-economic and political factors which influence the various ways of socialization.

 

 I chose to work with this text “PURPLE HIBISCUS” because of the problem of gender inequality, gender segregation, patriarchal and socialization effect   in the formation of female identity.

 

I am interested in exploring the author representation of women’s strategies of socialization in her daughter in a context characterized by strict patriarchal edicts/persons.

 

For proper understanding about this articles, am going to give a details definition of the terms PATRIARCHY” and “SOCIALIZATION”.

 

DEFINITIONS OF PATRIARCHY

A. According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy

  1. Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. Some patriarchal societies are also patrilineal, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage.
  2. Patriarchy is associated with a set of ideas, a patriarchal ideology that acts to explain and justify this dominance and attributes it to inherent natural differences between men and women. Sociologists tend to see patriarchy as a social product and not as an outcome of innate differences between the sexes and they focus attention on the way that gender roles in a society affect power differentials between men and women.

 

B.  According to Merriam-Webster dictionary

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patriarchy 

  1. Social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line
  2. Broadly: control by men of a disproportionately large share of power

 

DEFINITIONS OF SOCIALIZATION

A.  According to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialization

In sociology, socialization is the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society. Socialization encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus “the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained”.

Socialization is strongly connected to developmental psychology. Humans need social experiences to learn their culture and to survive.

Socialization essentially represents the whole process of learning throughout the life course and is a central influence on the behavior, beliefs, and actions of adults as well as of children.

 

B.  According to Merriam-Webster dictionary

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialization

  1. The process beginning during childhood by which individuals acquire the values, habits, and attitudes of a society.
  2. Social interaction with others.

 

C.  According to Cambridge dictionary

https://www.google.com/amp/s/dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/english/socialization

The process of training people or animals to behave in a way that others in the group think is suitable.

 

D.  According to oxford learners dictionary

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/socialization

The process by which somebody, especially a child, learns to behave in a way that is acceptable in their society.

 

GENDER SOCIALIZATION

Gender socialization is the process through which children learn about the social expectations, attitudes and behaviours typically associated with boys and girls.

AGENTS OF SOCIALIZATION

There are various socializing agent that underpin in the society. There agents include

  1. parents
  2. teachers
  3. peers
  4. media-movies and television music
  5. books
  6. religion

 

 

  1. PARENTS

Here, sociologists know that adults perceive and treat female and male infants differently. Traditionally, fathers teach boys how to fix and build things; mothers teach girls how to cook, sew, and keep house clean. Children then receive parental training and they adopt accept cultural or traditional and society roles. Gender roles adopted during childhood normally continue into adulthood. At home, people have certain ideas about decision‐making, child‐rearing practices, financial responsibilities, and so forth. Gender roles are realities in almost everyone’s life.

Gender roles in the past have been deciding factors in the type of work someone can do. For example most women didn’t work and were expected to take care of the family from the home while men farmed or worked in industrial settings.

Society has set a lot of duties for men and women alike and it’s even painful to see that in a children’s textbook, the duties of a wife are “to cook for the family and clean the house.” It’s a huge shame. We need to wake up and stop this nonsense.

Firstly, I will backed it up with 8 QUOTES/ POWERFUL STATEMENTS made by FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE in terms of cooking, domestics chores and upbringing.

 

FIRST BACK UP

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

From the third suggestion

“”””” There have been recent Nigerian social media debates about women and cooking, about how wives have to cook for husbands. It is funny, in the way that sad things are funny, that we are still talking about cooking as some kind of marriageability test for women. The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned. Cooking – domestic work in general – is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. It is also a skill that can elude both men and women   “””””””””

 

SECOND BACKUP

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

“””” I know a woman who hates domestic work, but she pretends that she likes it, because  she has been taught that to be “good wife material,” she has to be—to use that Nigerian word—homely. And then she got married. And her husband’s family began to complain that she had changed. Actually, she had not changed. She just got tired of pretending to be what she was not. The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.

 Boys and girls are undeniably different biologically, but socialization exaggerates the differences. And then starts a self-fulfilling process. ””””

 

THIRD BACKUP

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

“””””””””“Take cooking, for example. Today, women in general are more likely to do housework than men— cooking and cleaning.  But why is that? Is it because women are born with a cooking gene or because over years they have been socialized to see cooking as their role? I was going to say that perhaps women are born with a cooking gene until I remembered that the majority of famous cooks in the world—who are given the fancy title of “chef”—are men. But what matters even more is our attitude, our mind-set. What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender? I know a family who has a son and a daughter, a year apart in age, both brilliant at school. When the boy is hungry, the parents say to the girl, Go and cook Indomie noodles for your brother. The girl doesn’t like to cook Indomie, but she is a girl and she has to. What if the parents, from the beginning, taught both children to cook Indomie? Cooking, by the way, is a useful and practical life skill for a boy to have—I’ve never thought it made much sense to leave such a crucial thing—the ability to nourish oneself —in the hands of others.   “”””””””””””””

 

FOURTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “”

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI  she says in her book:

“”””””””” The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina. Cooking is learned.

 Cooking – domestic work in general – is a life skill that both men and women should ideally have. It is also a skill that can elude both men and women. We also need to question the idea of marriage as a prize to women, because that is the basis of these absurd debates. If we stop conditioning women to see marriage as a prize, then we would have fewer debates about a wife needing to cook in order to earn that prize. It is interesting to me how early the world starts to invent gender roles. “””””””””””

 

FIFTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “”

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI   she says in her book:

””””” Boys and girls are undeniably different biologically, but socialization exaggerates the differences. And then starts a self-fulfilling process. Take cooking, for example. Today, women in general are more likely to do housework than men—cooking and cleaning. But why is that? Is it because women are born with a cooking gene or because over years they have been socialized to see cooking as their role? I was going to say that perhaps women are born with a cooking gene until I remembered that the majority of famous cooks in the world—who are given the fancy title of “chef”—are men.    ”””””

 

SIXTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book “”” DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

From the first suggestion

””” I have no interest in the debate about women ‘doing it all’ because it is a debate that assumes that care-giving and domestic work are singularly female domains, an idea that I strongly reject. Domestic work and care-giving should be gender-neutral, and we should be asking not whether a woman can ‘do it all’ but how best to support parents in their dual duties at work and at home. ””””

 

 

SEVENTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book “”“  DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

From the Sixth Suggestion

 

””””Teach her to ask questions like: what are the things that women cannot do because they are women? Do these things have cultural prestige? If so, why are only men allowed to do the things that have cultural prestige? It is helpful, I think, to use everyday examples. Remember that television commercial we watched in Lagos, where a man cooks and his claps for him? True progress is when she doesn’t clap for him but just reacts to the food itself – she can either praise the food or not praise the food, just as he can praise hers or not praise hers, but what is sexist is that she is praising the fact that he has undertaken the act of cooking, praise that implies that cooking is an inherently female act. ””””””

 

 

EIGHTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book “”“DEAR IJEAWELE OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS   “””

 FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI   she says in her book:

From the Tenth Suggestion

“”””””””” She can counter ideas about static ‘gender roles’ if she has been empowered by her familiarity with alternatives. If she knows an uncle who cooks well – and does so with indifference – then she can smile and brush off the foolishness of somebody who claims that ‘women must do the cooking. “””””””””

 

NINTH BACK UP

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

“””” But what matters even more is our attitude, our mind-set. What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?  “”””

 

 

From the above backup based on the socialization of women with cooking and domestics chores, this should give men a little rethink about cooking and house/domestic chores, which i personally are meant to be shared equally between the two partners. As for me (PATRICKSTORIES) cooking, domestic chores- cleaning sweeping, mopping are supposed to be shared equally. Cooking was never meant for women. Anybody can cook whether male or female.

 

  1. TEACHERS

Teachers are major contexts for socialization agent/ gender socialization because children spend large amounts of time engaged with teachers in such settings.

Most trait  which young boys and girls carry like reading ability, play preferences are influence by most teachers. Teachers can magnify or diminish gender differences by providing environments that promote gender similarity and gender differences. Teachers shape children’s gender attitudes and, in turn, their gender differences, gender recognition and gender behaviour.

In addition, teachers in most schools support gender segregation. Children’s gender segregation, in turn, affects their play experiences, leading them to spend more time in stereotypic play. When many peers are available, children tend to select same-sex playmates.

Furthermore, gender segregation predicts children’s future to gender stereotypes.  Study shows that, as the amount of time that children played with same-sex peers increased, children’s own behaviour became more gender stereotypic.

In addition, more work is needed to identify effective means to prevent and minimize gender biased attitudes and behaviour. In conclusion, many of the socialization processes that lead to gender differentiated outcomes, includes gender segregation.

 

HOW DO TEACHERS CONTRIBUTE TO GENDER DIFFERENCES?

Many educators endorse gender stereotypes (e.g., math is easier for boys than girls) and prejudices (show preferences for same-gender individuals). These biases can be explicit (e.g., consciously endorsed) or implicit (unconsciously held), and they influence teachers’ classroom behaviours.

Teachers’ gender stereotypes and prejudices shape their classroom behaviour in at least three ways.

  • First, teachers often model gender stereotypic behaviour. Female teachers, for example, often exhibit “math phobic” behaviours. 
  • Second, teachers often exhibit gender differential expectations for males and females (e.g., creating “dress-up” for girls and “construction centers“  for boys thereby facilitating gender difference).
  • Third, teachers facilitate children’s gender biases by marking gender as important by using it to label and organize students. For example, in an organized display of profession , nurses and fashion designer are for female while engineer and doctors are males

 

PROBLEMS OF GENDER ROLES/STEREOTYPING UNDERPINNED BY TEACHERS

For me personally the two major problems that facilitate the gender roles in schools which is underpinned by teachers includes:

  1. Different learning opportunities
  2. Gender-Curricular materials

 

  1. DIFFERENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

Teachers directly influence gender differentiation by providing boys and girls with different learning opportunities.

  1. GENDER-CURRICULAR MATERIALS

Teachers present curricular materials that contain gender stereotypic behaviour, and this school children copy and exhibit gender stereotypic attitudes and behavior towards each other. For example in most children’s textbook, the duties of a wife/mother are “to cook for the family and clean the house.” While father /husband are the “head of the house and to provide money for the family.”

 

HOW TO SOLVE GENDER ROLES/STEREOTYPE UNDERPINNED BY TEACHERS

After much survey and analysis of gender stereotyping underpinned by teacher am able to bring out solutions to counter it;

  1. Teachers should kick against/counter traditional gender stereotypes, biases, and differences.
  2. Educators and teachers should adopt a commitment to gender egalitarianism or equality and thus promote cross-gender interaction.
  3. Teachers should expose pupils to counter-stereotypic behaviours.
  4. Teachers should discuss, teach and challenge gender stereotyping and prejudices/harassment.

 

Firstly, I will backed it up with a powerful statements made by FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE  about the gender roles in schools which is been underpinned by teachers.

 

FIRST BACK UP

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

 FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi she says in her book:

“”””””””””    Now here’s a story from my childhood: When I was in primary school in Nsukka, a university town in southeastern Nigeria, my teacher said at the beginning of term that she would give the class a test and whoever got the highest score would be the class monitor. Class monitor was a big deal. If you were class monitor, you would write down the names of noisemakers each day, which was heady enough power on its own, but my teacher would also give you a cane to hold in your hand while you walked around and patrolled the class for noise makers. Of course you were not allowed to actually use the cane. But it was an exciting prospect for the nine-year-old me. I very much wanted to be class monitor. And I got the highest score on the test.  Then, to my surprise, my teacher said the monitor had to be a boy. She had forgotten to make that clear earlier; she assumed it was obvious. A boy had the second-highest score on the test. And he would be monitor. What was even more interesting is that this boy was a sweet, gentle soul who had no interest in patrolling the class with a stick. While I was full of ambition to do so. But I was female and he was male and he became class monitor. I have never forgotten that incident. If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal. If only boys are made class monitor, then at some point we will all think, even if unconsciously, that the class monitor has to be a boy. If we keep seeing only men as heads of corporations, it starts to seem “natural” that only men should be heads of corporations.      “””””””””””””””

 

CONCLUSIONS

Teacher are important contexts for the socialization of young children’s gender attitudes and behaviour. Unfortunately, teachers receive relatively little training in recognizing and combating gender stereotypes and prejudices and as a consequence, teachers often model, expect, reinforce, and lay the foundation for gender differentiation among their pupils.

 

  1. PEERS

Peers are also important contexts for the socialization of young children’s gender attitudes and behaviour.

 

HOW DO PEERS CONTRIBUTE TO GENDER DIFFERENCES?

Like teachers, peers is another agent that contribute to the socialization of gender difference via multiple pathways. Upon entering school, children encounter large numbers of peers, many of them who have being brought up by their parents on the traditional gender behaviour, thereby producing and reinforcing the content of gender stereotypes/norms among themselves.

In addition, in schools when many peers are available, children tend to select same-sex playmates. Children’s gender segregation, in turn, affects their play experiences, leading them to spend more time in stereotypic play.

Peers also contribute to gender differentiation/segregation by teaching their classmates stereotypes (e.g “Short hair is for boys not girls”) and punishing them for failing to conform to stereotypes via verbal harassment and physical aggression.

 

  1. MEDIA-( SOCIAL MEDIA,MOVIES,TELEVISION,MUSIC)

Media has assumed a significant role in the nations of the world in that it not only allows extensive networking but also brings nations closer together by easy dissemination of news and opinions.

As with all forms of media, messages perpetrated through media can have good and bad influences on society and youngsters in particular.

Commercials that appear in social networking sites, as with advertisements in all other forms of media, can be a source of gender stereotyping. Women are more often presented in commercials involving cosmetic and domestic products while adverts for men focus on cars, business products or investments.

Another important distinction is that adverts show entire figures of women (objectifying the female body) and close-up shots for men (evoking positive associations and awareness).

 

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned about the sexualisation of girls on media (marketing strategy)

Here is a backup to that statement of yours from our own popular Nigeria  FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

Here is an interview with her where she talked about how children diaper has been gendered for females.

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/quartzy/1133732/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-talks-about-feminism-and-raising-her-daughter-in-a-gendered-world/amp/

 

Here is the question that was asked her about raising a girl child.

LAUREN ALIX BROWN:  So in terms of teaching people how to be feminists, has raising a girl changed or challenged any of your suggestions for how to raise a feminist?

 

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE:  It hasn’t challenged anything, it’s just that it’s made me realize how difficult it is. Because I think I felt that. I’m only just realizing that sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring against me. Because I am trying to push against ideas and norms that are so ingrained that they can start to feel invisible. And it’s little things. I’m just amazed at how everything is gendered—diapers. I mean baby bodies are the same. But now there are diapers where there’s the girl picture. Some months ago we wanted to get the overnight diapers for Baby because she was starting to wake up quite wet. So we wanted to get the diapers marketed as overnight because they absorb more and there’s girls and boys. I remember saying to my husband, who’s a physician, I said, “Do you think maybe the boys’ has a little thing to hold the penis? I mean, why are they different? He had a good laugh and he’s like, “It’s just marketing.” I remember thinking, there has to be a reason for this because it made no sense to me. But there’s no reason for it. Also, I’m just realizing how early the sexualization of girls starts. Four-year-old girls’ dresses. I find many of them disturbing. It’s sort of like four year olds’ now have to be mini women. I’m noticing these things a lot more just because of my child. And children’s books and cartoons. It does sometimes feel that there’s a conspiracy of the universe. But at the same time, I’m utterly undeterred.

It requires pushing back, but I’m going to push back. I want to equip her with the tools. I’m hoping that she grows up to be the girl who sort of mocks these things—who gets it and who mocks them. That’s my hope, that would be ideal for me.

 

  1. BOOKS

Book is also a major factor that promote gender roles or stereotypes in the society. The last time I check books are made to “expand”, “open” or “broaden” our “minds”, “hearts”, “horizons” or “imaginations”. Sad this days, that many books for children do just the opposite; they peddle or underpin stereotypes, close minds to new experiences and offer limited horizons.

Children are individuals and they are free to choose their own interests, not feel that they’re supposed to like or reject certain things. And anyone who chooses a gift based only on a child’s gender is making some massive, and quite likely wrong assumptions about what that child may like.

 

I will backed it up with some QUOTES/ powerful statements made by FEMINIST/WRITER CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE in terms of children interest and ability.

 

FIRST BACKED UP

According to a popular literature book “” WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST “””

FEMINIST ADICHIE CHIMANMANDA NGOZI she says in her book:

“””” But what matters even more is our attitude, our mind-set. What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?  “”””

 

ANALYSIS OF BOOKS USED FOR CHILDREN

Typical themes for boys in most books include robots, dinosaurs, astronauts, vehicles and football while girls are allowed princesses, fairies, make-up, flowers, butterflies, fashion and cute animals. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but it is wrong when they are repeatedly presented as only for one gender.

Girls can like robots and adventure, boys can like magic, flowers, butterflies and dressing up. Why tell them otherwise? Why tell them that boys and girls should like different things that their interests never overlap.

Separate cookery books seem particularly ridiculous; the suggestion being that boys eat pizza and burgers, while girls prefer pink iced cupcakes and ice creams.

Society has set a lot of duties for men and women alike and it’s even painful to see that in a children’s textbook, the duties of a wife are “to cook for the family and clean the house.” While father /husband are the “head of the house and to provide money for the family.”  It’s a huge shame. We need to wake up and stop this nonsense.

In conclusion it’s accepted to practice target products at one segment of the population, but when it comes to children’s books it’s morally questionable to promote gender stereotypes. Children take messages about what’s “for girls” or “for boys” seriously.

 

I will backed it up with a powerful statement made by FEMINIST/WRITER/ CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE where she mentioned about the sexualisation of girls on books and cartoons.

Here is an interview with her.

For further reading here is the link to convince you.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/quartzy/1133732/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-talks-about-feminism-and-raising-her-daughter-in-a-gendered-world/amp/

 

Here is the question that was asked her about raising a girl child.

LAUREN ALIX BROWN:  So in terms of teaching people how to be feminists, has raising a girl changed or challenged any of your suggestions for how to raise a feminist?

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE: It hasn’t challenged anything, it’s just that it’s made me realize how difficult it is. Because I think I felt that. I’m only just realizing that sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring against me. Because I am trying to push against ideas and norms that are so ingrained that they can start to feel invisible. And it’s little things. I’m just amazed at how everything is gendered.  Also, I’m just realizing how early the sexualization of girls starts. Four-year-old girls’ dresses. I find many of them disturbing. It’s sort of like four year olds’ now have to be mini women. I’m noticing these things a lot more just because of my child. And children’s books and cartoons. It does sometimes feel that there’s a conspiracy of the universe. But at the same time, I’m utterly undeterred. It requires pushing back, but I’m going to push back. I want to equip her with the tools. I’m hoping that she grows up to be the girl who sort of mocks these things—who gets it and who mocks them. That’s my hope, that would be ideal for me.

 

  1. RELIGION

Gender stereotypes and gender roles have been an integral part of history. Studies shows that gender stereotypes go all the way back to Adam and Eve, the idea that Eve was made for Adam, and the instance that Eve persuaded Adam to eat the fruit, it all helps for many people to justify gender roles and stereotypes. Women are significantly more likely to attend church than men and are also much more likely to being religious.

Here are a number of reasons for this in which religion underpinned gender roles and stereotype:

Firstly, from a traditional view, women’s expresses some role (nurturing and caring) which is a good match with religious faith. Raising children in their religion and taking them to church was seen as part of that role. Also women’s proximity to childbirth, childrearing, caring for the sick and caring for the elderly all, it is suggested, gives them reason to pray and seek spiritual support and guidance.

Secondly, women traditionally have been marginalised in domestic roles which give them more time to devote to religion whereas men had little time away from work and therefore were more likely to spend it on leisure pursuits.

Thirdly, men and women are socialised differently and women are socialised to be more compliant and passive. Men are socialised to be more dominant and therefore, while they take leadership positions in churches (indeed in many churches and religions they are the only ones permitted to take leadership positions). Looking at the different roles of women and men in the church- men are to fill the roles of pastors, such as, head pastor and elder of the church while women should primarily work with the children, so they would work in the nursery or as children’s pastor.

 

EXISTENCE OF PATRIARCHY AND ITS IMPACT ON SOCIALIZATION IN PURPLE HIBISCUS

 

 PROVE 1

THE PRIVILEGING/PREFERENCE OF SONS OVER DAUGHTERS

The privileging/preference of sons over daughters is made evident in the novel in the way women are given less value in the family on the basis of their gender. Such sentiments are portrayed for example, when the Achike family travels to Abba, the town where Eugene was born and raised, to spend Christmas with their extended family. When the female relatives gather to cook at the Achike house in Abba, one of the women says:

“””””   Nekene, see the boy that will inherit his father‟s riches!” one woman said, hooting even more loudly, her mouth shaped like a narrow tunnel.  

“If we did not have the same blood in our veins, I would sell you my daughter,” another said to Jaja…

“The girl is a ripe agbogho! Very soon a strong young man will bring us palm wine!” another said. (2005, p. 91-2)    “”””””

EXPLANATION OF PROVE 1

The village women had the mentality that Jaja being a male that he will inherit his father’s wealth. His being male ensures that the money is kept in the family, unlike Kambili who will get married elsewhere. Jaja will also continue the family name and hence the lineage while Kambili will leave the Achike name and adopt that of her husband. One should notice how the woman in the passage above says she would sell her daughter to Jaja.  The people who are responsible for the exchange of the bride are the male members of that society (Patriarchal culture)

 

PROVE 2

THE PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY’S PREFERENCE OF THE MALE CHILD

The patriarchal society’s preference of the male child is also echoed by Papa-Nnukwu, Kambili‟s grandfather, during the same Christmas period that Eugene and his family visits his home village. Kambili‟s widowed aunt Ifeoma and her children also visit Abba at the same time in order to spend time with Papa-Nnukwu. However, because Papa Nnukwu is a traditionalist, Eugene forbids his family to have any close interactions with his own father. Eugene, a member of the educated elite created through missionary education.

Eugene‟s unfair treatment of his father is a source of misery for Papa Nnukwu and he blames the missionaries for leading his son astray. However, when Ifeoma asks him why she does not behave the way Eugene does despite the fact that she also went to a missionary school, Papa Nnukwu responds, “But you are a woman. You do not count” (2005, p. 83).

He replies confirming patriarchal society’s view that males are more valuable than women.

Here is the dialogue:

Eh? So I don‟t count? Has Eugene ever asked about your aching leg?…”

“I joke with you, nwa m. Where would I be today if my chi had not given me a daughter?” Papa Nnukwu paused. “My spirit will intercede for you, so that Chukwu will send a good man to take care of you and the children.”

“Let your spirit ask Chukwu to hasten my promotion to senior lecturer, that is all I ask,” Aunty Ifeoma said. (2005, p. 83)

 

From this dialogue above Papa Nnukwu, reveals his society’s perception of a woman’s as unimportant and non-existent unless they have a man to complete them and to take care of them. This perception is applicable even in the case of Ifeoma who have achievements as university lecturer and independence are not given enough value because she does not have a man in her life.

 

PROVE 3

PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY THAT PLACE VALUE ON MALE CHILDREN

In the novel, Adichie also portrays Beatrice as conforming to the patriarchal dictates of their society that place value on male children. Despite the violence he inflicts on her body and the emotional abuse also, she praises Eugene for not listening to the members of his umunna (extended family) who wanted him to have more male children.

Eugene was able to portray him as a good man to Kambili.

This what she said- “So many people had willing daughters, and many of them were university graduates, too. They might have borne many sons and taken over our home and driven us out…But your father stayed with me, with us” (2005, p. 20).

She observes that other women, who were university graduates (and therefore superior to her since she is not educated), might have performed the role of bearing sons for Eugene even better than her since she only produced one son. She, therefore, feels inferior to these women.

This is a negative societal value which she unconsciously imparts on Kambili.

 

PROVE 4

PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY THAT GIVES PREFERENCES/RESPECT FOR WOMEN WHO ARE MARRIED

In the novel Adichie further portrays Beatrice as conforming to the dictates of a patriarchal society that affords a woman respect only when she is married.

Beatrice internalizes the patriarchal dictates of her society, which views women without husbands as inadequate or incomplete.

 Here is her dialogue with her sister-in-law:

“[Y]ou say a woman with children and no husband, what is that?” (2005, p. 75), Beatrice asks her sister-in-law, Ifeoma, who knows about the abuse and whom she accuses of being unrealistic with her “university talk”. “You have come again, Ifeoma…How can a woman live like that?”

Beatrice is obviously surprise by the idea that a woman can even think of existing without a husband because culturally that is unacceptable and unheard of. In other words, what Beatrice means is that it does not matter even if a woman is being abused in her marriage. As long as she has a “husband to crown her life” (2005, p. 75), she has to endure all the pains in the marriage.

 It is from this ideal “patriarchal society that gives preferences/respect for women who are married” that Beatrice refuses to leave Eugene after he breaks a stool on her belly causing her to miscarry again.

In the novel, she attach more importance to marriage where she said:

Where would I go if I leave Eugene‟s house? Tell me where would I go?” She did not wait for Aunty Ifeoma to respond. “Do you know how many mothers pushed their daughters at him? Do you know how many asked him to impregnate them, even, and not to bother paying a bride price? (2005, p. 250)

 

PROVE 5

PATRIARCHY ALSO UNDERPIN THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EXISTENCE OF WOMEN IN THE SOCIETY

Beatrice, whose social and economic existence is tied to her abusive husband, is trapped in a patriarchal order which does not give her economic and social empowerment to break away from her oppressed status in life.

She sees fault in breaking away from Eugene because of over depending on her husband in everything, whether economic or social. The patriarchal society dictate for Beatrice an over dependence on her husband, therefore placing her as a mini god that she sees no fault in Eugene

In the novel, she attach more importance to marriage and she is also afraid of losing respect as a married woman and also for leaving her prominent husband.

This is what she said:

Where would I go if I leave Eugene‟s house? Tell me where would I go?” She did not wait for Aunty Ifeoma to respond. “Do you know how many mothers pushed their daughters at him? Do you know how many asked him to impregnate them, even, and not to bother paying a bride price? (2005, p. 250)

 

PROVE 6

THE PATRIARCHAL SYSTEM USES SILENCING AS A TOOL TO THEIR VICTIM ESPECIALLY WOMEN

Silencing is a patriarchal weapon of control that is used by the dominant male structure on the subordinate or muted female structure.

The patriarchal aspect of silencing is seen at play in Beatrice who lacks self-confidence and only speaks in low tones as a result of years of abuse, subjection and subjugation. Similarly, her daughter Kambili only speaks when she is spoken to and stammers. The physical and emotional abuse of Beatrice and her children remain a family secret. However, her inability to leave further endangers the lives of her children.

From the novel She so much confined to her marriage that the idea of the patriarchal system using silencing as a tool” to control her emotional and her inability to leave the marriage, she prefer to condole the maltreatment from her husband than leaving. Her silence also affected her and her children.

This is what she said:

Where would I go if I leave Eugene‟s house? Tell me where would I go?” She did not wait for Aunty Ifeoma to respond. “Do you know how many mothers pushed their daughters at him? Do you know how many asked him to impregnate them, even, and not to bother paying a bride price? (2005, p. 250)

Beatrice also finds security in the concept of marriage despite the pain, abuse and maltreatment that come with the kind of marriage she is in. In her mind, she is fortunate to be the one officially carrying Eugene’s last name and to be the mother of his children.

Despite the fact that Eugene causes her to have several miscarriages by beating her, she refuses to leave him and begins to normalize the abuse by keeping silent (the patriarchal system using silencing as a tool” ) and justifying his violent behaviour.

 

PROVE 7

PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY THAT USE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AS A WEAPON IN THE MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN AND WOMEN

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel describes most of the causes of the domestic violence is as a result of the misuse of patriarchal power and control that Eugene uses in the family.

Based on my writing am going to focus on the two form of domestic violence’s recorded on the novel.  Which include:

  1. Physical abuse
  2. Emotional/psychological abuse

For more info about the other forms of domestic violence (sexual abuse, social abuse and financial abuse) you can check using the link below:

Here goes the meaning of physical and emotional/psychological abuse

 

  1. PHYSICAL ABUSE

Physical abuse often begins with less violent assaults such as pushing. As the abuse continues, however, it becomes increasingly violent. Abusers often target areas of the body that are usually covered with clothing because the injuries are less likely to be visible to others. Acts of physical abuse include:

  • Pushing
  • Restraining
  • Shaking
  • Slapping
  • Biting
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Throwing objects at the victim
  • beating
  • Using weapons
  • Strangulation
  • Withholding medications
  • Attempting to force miscarriage
  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Pulling hair
  • Refuse to help when sick, injured or disabled
  • Using or threatening to use weapons

 

In reference to PURPLE HIBISCUS, the physical violence that occur in the novel include:

  • Pushing
  • Slapping
  • Biting
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Throwing objects at the victim
  • beating

 

REFERENCE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

In FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi  popular literature book “”” PURPLE HABICUS “””

Kimbali recounts the throwing of the Catholic missal at her by her father for refusing to receive Holy Communion.

 

REFERENCE 2 (FROM HER BOOK)

In FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi  popular literature book “”” PURPLE HABICUS “””

There is a continuous beatings, Kimbali’s mother received from Eugene that led to several miscarriages. This is as a result from physical abuse received from her by her husband Eugene.

This is how Beatrice recounts her experiences to Aunty Ifeoma, her sister in-law, who lives in Nsukka:

“””” I got back from the hospital today. The doctor told me to rest but I took Eugene‘s money and asked Kevin to take me to the Park. I hired a taxi and came here… You know that small table where we keep the family Bible? [Eugene] broke it on my belly. My blood finished on that floor even before he took me to St. Agnes [Hospital]. My doctor said there was nothing he could do to save [the pregnancy]… (248). “”””

In this incident, Eugene beats his pregnant wife to the point of miscarriage over a domestic dispute. Her inability to bear more children in the marriage she attributes to the constant beating and subsequent miscarriages that follows each beating by her husband. After her discharge from the hospital, Eugene invites the priest to his house for him to cleanse the house from all unrighteousness and pray for the forgiveness of his wife‘s sin of disobedience.

 

 

REFERENCE 3 (FROM HER BOOK)

In FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi  popular literature book “”” PURPLE HABICUS “””

Eugene, who sees himself as a devout catholic sets a standard in his house that does not allow for any flexibility. Rules on appropriate behaviour at home and outside the home are set. When a routine is violated against his instructions, Eugene reacts by acts of violence in which his wife is the principal recipient. An instance in the novel is when his wife is reluctant to visit the priest after mass because of her pregnant status, beats her up, despite being aware of her pregnant status. Kambili describes the scene thus:

“”””” I was in my room after lunch, reading James chapter five, when I heard the sounds. Swift, heavy thuds on my parent‘s hand-carved bedroom door I imagined the door had gotten stuck and Papa was trying to open it. If I imagined it hard enough, then it would be true. I sat down, closed my eyes, and started to count. Counting made it seem not that long, made it seem not that bad. Sometimes it was over before I even got to twenty. I was at nineteen when the sounds stopped. I heard the door open. Papa gait on the stairs sounded heavier, more awkward than usual […] Mama was slung over his shoulder like the jute sacks of rice his factory workers bought in bulk at the Seme border. (32-33) “””””

 

REFERENCE 4 (FROM HER BOOK)

Jaja and Kambili visits to Aunty Ifeoma‟s house offer them with possibilities of seeing the world differently including beginning to question religious dogma that their father had inculcated in them. Instead of viewing their grandfather as a pagan which they own father told them, the time they spend with him before his death at Aunty Ifeoma‟s place draws them closer to him. His death makes them realize how much they had been missing from a close relationship with their grandfather.

 

When Eugene discovers Kambili‟s painting of Papa Nnukwu which her cousin Amaka had given her to remember their grandfather by, he nearly beats Kambili to death when she defiantly clings to the painting instead of giving it up. Kambili is left unconscious in hospital for days, leaving the people around her in suspense, not knowing whether she will live or not.

 Again when Ifeoma tells her sister-in-law to leave, Beatrice, in a zombie like state, keeps on chanting “It has never happened like this before. He has never punished her like this before” (2005, p. 214)

 Typical of somebody who has internalized abuse, Beatrice sees the beating up of her daughter as punishment for her wrong doing. She absolves Eugene from any wrong doing, instead of kicking against the atrocities she calls it as “punishment “.

For example, when Kambili gains consciousness, Beatrice again refuses to acknowledge that her husband is an abuser. She instead says, “Your father has been by your bedside every night these past three days. He has not slept a wink” (2005, p. 214).

Despite the pain he has inflicted on their daughter, Beatrice portrays Eugene as a loving and caring father thus supporting him for in terms of the abuse, and teaching Kambili that it is normal and justified for a father and husband to beat his wife and children as a way of instructing them on proper values.

 

 

2.  EMOTIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE

Emotional/psychological abuse is a tool used by those who want to make their partners feel scared, crazy, worthless, or responsible for the abuse. The abuser’s goal is control over the victim. Emotional abuse may include:

  • Making jokes about the victim
  • threats
  •  isolation
  • unrelenting criticism,
  • constant personal devaluation, and
  • Insults
  • Criticizing the victim’s competence
  • Ignoring the victim’s feelings
  • Withholding affection as a form of punishment
  • Blaming the victim for all problems
  • Yelling at the victim
  • Humiliating the victim in front of others
  • Accusing the victim of being the abusive partner
  • Threatening to take the children away from the victim
  • Threatening physical violence
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Hiding or destroying important belongings
  • Frequent demands to know where she is and with whom
  • Alienation/Separation from family and friends
  • Public humiliation

 

 

REFERENCE 1 (FROM HER BOOK)

In FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi  popular literature book “”” PURPLE HABICUS “””

Eugene who is a violent man in Achike household, subjected his wife Beatrice, Kambili his daughter, and his son Jaja to beatings and psychological abuse.

(MAMA’S FINAL BEATING p. 247-248, Mama arrives in Nsukka in slippers, She takes Eugene’s money, He had broken the family Bible on her belly, “My blood finished on that floor before he took me to St Agnes. My doctor said there was nothing he could do to save it.” She was 6 weeks pregnant and had not told Eugene her act of coming to Nsukka)

 

REFERENCE 2 (FROM HER BOOK)

In FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi  popular literature book “”” PURPLE HABICUS “””

Kimbali and Beatrice as well as Jaja for some time experience high amounts of stress, fear, and anxiety while living with their perpetrator (Eugene)

REFERENCE 3 (FROM HER BOOK)

In FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi  popular literature book “”” PURPLE HABICUS “””

Depression is also common, as victims are made to feel guilty for ‘provoking’ the abuse and are frequently subjected to intense criticism as this could be vividly seen in the novel when it became too unbearable and led to the poisoning of Eugene by Beatrice. The sense of guilt prompted Jaja to take full responsibility for his father’s death and this landed him in the prison walls for three years until he was granted amnesty at the end of Adichie’s narrative thus making him brew differently when he faced prison violence.

(Both she and Jaja claim responsibility, Papa rips up the picture, Kambili hugs painting as she is kicked and beaten by Papa, She wakes up in hospital with broken ribs )

REFERENCE 4 (FROM HER BOOK)

In FEMINIST Adichie Chimanmanda Ngozi  popular literature book “”” PURPLE HABICUS “””

Kambili ordinary life is illuminated through the subtexts of violence, silence and wounded bodies that depict a long-suffering and traumatised existence. Scars left behind by constant torturous punishments, like Jaja’s crooked finger and Mama’s(Beatrice) awkward limp. Father‘s expectations demand absolute perfection and anything less provokes his unpredictable rage and cruel punishments. Kambili summarizes their everyday existence as:

“”””Our steps on the stairs were as measured and as silent as our Sundays: the silence of waiting until Papa was done with his siesta so we could have lunch; the silence of reflection time, when Papa gave us a scripture passage or book by one of the early church fathers to read and meditate on; the silence of the evening rosary; the silence of driving to the church for benediction afterward. (P.31) “”””

 

STRATEGIES USED TO ADDRESS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Here are some key strategies used to address domestic violence based on the novel PURPLE HABICUS”

  1. Counselling strategy (assessment of the presence, extent and types of abuse) 
  2. Prevention and intervention strategies 

 

1. Counselling strategy

This strategy was used by ifeoma in “PURPLE HIBISCUS”, here ifeoma tries to caution and Counsel Beatrice.

“This cannot go on, nwunye m,” Aunty Ifeoma said. “When a house is on fire, you run out before the roof collapses on your head.”  (Aunty Ifeoma, Page 213)

 

2. Prevention and intervention strategies

These includes ways to prevent domestic violence by offering safe shelter, crisis intervention, advocacy, and education and prevention programs as did Aunty Ifeoma in Purple Hibiscus.

(Kambili and Jaja are taken back to Nsukka to be cared for by their aunt. P. 219 , Aunty Ifeoma and Father Amadi visit and convince Eugene to let Kambili go to Nsukka)

 

Thoughtful questions to ask yourself about domestic violence in the novel.

  1. What has made Papa such a violent father?
  2. What kinds of things trigger his violence?
  3. Why don’t his wife and children actively resist his violence earlier?
  4. What do you think of Amaka’s statement “Some people can’t handle stress”?
  5. Do you think Mama’s action was justified?
  6. Why do you think Jaja wanted to take the blame for her crime?
  7. What kind of message does the novel as a whole give us about domestic violence?

 

 

PROVE 8

THE EFFECT OF PATRIARCHAL SOCIAL STRUCTURE IN THE SOCIETY 

Patriarchy has both merit and demerit part. The patriarchy power abuse used by Eugene however becomes intolerable. Beatrice unable to cope with Eugene’s continued violence any longer, Beatrice, like her daughter Kambili, comes to a point where she challenges her husband’s control over the entire family by refusing to be the subject of abuse anymore. At this point it was late, but she has to put a halt to it.

Her measures are drastic. In a bid to protect herself and her children from Eugene’s patriarchy power abuse, she poisons him to death towards the end of the novel thus freeing herself and the children and “fracturing the patriarchal social structure” which sanctions the subordination of women.

 

 

COMPETING INTERESTS

I declare that I have no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced me in writing this article. I write this articles based on my experience with those who have such and also the subjugation/subjection of women and children in the patriachal society.

I will like to ask a simple question  for my fellow readers and viewers.

  1. What is your own views and contributions on this articles?
  2. In your society where you find your self, is there any occurrence or existence  of patriarchy power.
  3. Does socialisation and patriarchy have any relationship? if so elaborate. 
  4. Are you aware of existence of domestic violence in your area? If so, explain
  5. What are your perceptions of  girls/women who experience domestic violence?
  6. Do these girls/women  enjoy these violence perpetrated  in this marriage/relationship? Elaborate.
  7. What in your view is the best way forward to solve this problem of domestic violence?
  8. Does culture and patriarchy  in any way contribute to domestic violence?

Please let me know all your reactions, views and insights in the comment box below!

 

Written by:

Kogwuonye Patrick Onyeka

 

Writer/Blogger/Educator/Tutor

University of Benin

 

Credited to :

Women who fight depression, molestation and thrive to be self independent, and to all feminist who try to fight for there right and inculcate the idea of gender equality through out the world. 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. This was super long. Very interesting I must say. I understand a lot of it bc I went through it myself but at the time I had no children. In a lot of instances though women have children they are are trying to protect. None- the- less men are abused by thier partners as well now a days too. It can happen to men just as well as women. It is something that stays with you long after you manage to get away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the comments. I appreciate your time and effort used in reading my articles. Thanks again.

      Some questions put across you where not answered. I wish to see a good inspirational answer to those questions.

      1. In your society where you find your self, is there any occurrence or existence  of patriarchy power.

      2. Does socialisation and patriarchy have any relationship? if so elaborate. 

      3. Are you aware of existence of domestic violence in your area? If so, explain

      4. What are your perceptions of  girls/women who experience domestic violence?

      5. Do these girls/women  enjoy these violence perpetrated  in this marriage/relationship? Elaborate.

      6. What in your view is the best way forward to solve this problem of domestic violence?

      7. Does culture and patriarchy  in any way contribute to domestic violence?

      Please let me know all your reactions, views and insights in the comment box below!

       
      You are welcome

      #PATRICKSTORIES
      Peace ✌and Love ❤

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.