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Patriarchy and Women’s Sexual Forces

Kiaribel Gonzalez


This creative project provides a vital interplay between literary and visual art in order to challenge oppressive patriarchal ideologies and offers an empowering image of African women’s sexuality. First, the literary component presents a short story about the life of Nneka, a knowledgeable African female sexual subject. Nneka uses her knowledge to challenge two major patriarchal ideologies—the silencing of female sexual desires in public spaces and the normative female sexual submissiveness status. Overall, she is an empowering figure who is self-assured and makes rational choices about her own sexuality. Second, through the use of photography, this project further incorporates the notion of challenging oppressive patriarchal principles. This visual component embraces the transformative strategy of “stripping away.†The act of stripping oneself clothes-less functions as an aggressive opposition—especially if it is done in public by a woman subject. For instance, a naked female in public—who is radically celebrating her sexuality—directly challenges patriarchal principles that restricts the female sexuality to the private space of the bedroom. In this sense, the act of “stripping away†is confrontational, but also liberating and empowering. In short, the act of “stripping away†calls for the removal of dominant thought, which leads to a state of nakedness that draws out new ways of thinking. Together, these two mediums show how African women negotiate and challenge patriarchal spaces that restrict their sexuality, and in turn, express sexual agency.


Sexuality; Sex; Sexual; Agency; Latina

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ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics and Consciousness. ISSN: 1543-0855 (online).
Editor: Dr. Darlene V. Russell.

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