Original Research

A womanist theological engagement of triple patriarchy and its implications on (Ejagham) women’s liberation

Tabe J.O.E. Benoni-Wang, Vuyani S. Vellem
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a5601 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.5601 | © 2020 Tabe J.O.E. Benoni-Wang, Vuyani S. Vellem | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 June 2019 | Published: 20 April 2020

About the author(s)

Tabe J.O.E. Benoni-Wang, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Vuyani S. Vellem, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

This article seeks through Ejagham women’s experience in the ritual dances of Ngbokondem and Moninkim to engage the notion of patriarchal control of African women’s sexuality in ‘female genital mutilation’ discourses as postulated by second-wave feminist theorists such as Daly, Koedt, Hosken and so on. A firmly based patriarchy threatens culture, sexuality and identity; the article shows how women use varied coping mechanisms, including aid schemes, sexual insurgency and even breaking of bodies to define their place and identity in a patriarchal society. However, some Ejagham women’s practices are themselves laced with patriarchal violence where women postulate as main participants. The article coins the term ‘triple patriarchy’ to capture this phenomenon. It portrays how Ejagham women, who are interrogating domination, also act in ways that reinforce patriarchy. Using womanist theological lens as the hermeneutic framework, the article concludes that women initiation practices are the foundations through which women grasp the meanings of Christian initiation rituals such as baptism, eucharist, marriage and so on. Hence, they should not be destroyed but fine-tuned; for there is more about the women’s practices that need to be engaged than labelled.

Keywords

patriarchy; ‘female genital mutilation’; Nkim e Nkim; triple patriarchy; womanism; initiation practices; ‘bottom power’ insurgency; liberation

Metrics

Total abstract views: 697
Total article views: 839


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.