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The Masculinity Crisis in the Wolof Communities and Changes in the Women’s Status Exploratory Essay


During the recent decades, it is possible to observe the signs of the masculinity crisis in the rural Wolof communities, which are associated with changes in the women’s social status. This masculinity crisis is noticed with references to the male frustration and even aggression revealed in men’s attempts to preserve the domination positions and to control women in relation to such aspects as domestic labor, social activities, participation in the trade relations, open sexuality, and financial independence.

Trying to prevent the development of the crisis in the form of decreasing the male authority in the society, the male representatives of the Wolof communities continue to condemn women, ignore women’s complaints and the female rights for expressing individualism. Declaring the principles of the male authority in the society, men intend to prevent the further corruption of the previously patriarchal society.

To understand the observed tendencies, it is necessary to refer to the factors which affected the development of the masculinity crisis within the communities. Thus, the implementation of the post-colonial period’s policies and social principles led to liberalization of the society in relation to expanding the possibilities for active trade and performance within the rural markets.

The society was transformed regarding the changes in the economic relations because women received the right to participate in the social and economic life of the community with references to the petty trade when men started to lose their positions not only as the authorities in the society’s activities but also as the authorities responsible for the agricultural and trade sectors in the rural Wolof communities.

Following the political and social changes in the Senegalese society which are associated with the end of the colonial era, it is possible to refer to the changes in the women’s status basing on the examples provided in such films as Faat Kine, Tableau Ferraille and Moolaade.

The possible developmental schema related to the women’s status in the Senegalese society can be based on the opposition between the principles of the patriarchal society and the modern principles typical for the liberalized society. Thus, the Senegalese were responsible only for the domestic labor and were dominated by men decades ago, and today the female population in the country tries to receive the social privileges traditionally typical only for men.

From this point, although only patriarchal principles worked within the society several decades ago, today two paradigms are followed in the society because patriarchal principles are followed, but women also referred to the aspects of liberalization and freedom in the society.

This idea is reflected in Tableau Ferraille with references to the opposite behavioral patterns followed by the female characters of Gagnesiri and Kine, who have the opposite visions in relation to the role of a woman in the society. Furthermore, the reflections on this idea are also observed in Faat Kine because Faat Kine who is oriented to freedom in actions and thoughts and to economic independence is depicted in opposition to many Senegalese women who have to follow the traditional patriarchal norms and roles.

The problem of controversial opposition is also presented in Moolaade because in spite of Colle’s attempts to protect young women with the help of the moolaade ritual, many women brought up in the patriarchal society are inclined to reject Colle’s vision of the issue because men condemn the idea of moolaade as the protective ritual to avoid genital cutting.

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IvyPanda. (2019, October 10). The Masculinity Crisis in the Wolof Communities and Changes in the Women’s Status. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-masculinity-crisis-in-the-wolof-communities-and-changes-in-the-womens-status/

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"The Masculinity Crisis in the Wolof Communities and Changes in the Women’s Status." IvyPanda, 10 Oct. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/the-masculinity-crisis-in-the-wolof-communities-and-changes-in-the-womens-status/.

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IvyPanda. "The Masculinity Crisis in the Wolof Communities and Changes in the Women’s Status." October 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-masculinity-crisis-in-the-wolof-communities-and-changes-in-the-womens-status/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Masculinity Crisis in the Wolof Communities and Changes in the Women’s Status." October 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-masculinity-crisis-in-the-wolof-communities-and-changes-in-the-womens-status/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Masculinity Crisis in the Wolof Communities and Changes in the Women’s Status'. 10 October.

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