Vol 29 No 1 (2020): Nordic Journal of African Studies
Articles Culture

A feminist critical discourse analysis of selected sex-related Yoruba proverbs and their post-proverbials

Adetutu Aragbuwa
Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
Published May 20, 2020
Keywords
  • sex-based Yoruba proverbs,
  • post-proverbials,
  • feminist critical discourse analysis,
  • gender and ideology

Abstract

This article examines a corpus of sex-related Yoruba proverbs and their post-proverbial versions with a view to performing a comparative analysis of the ideological gender-based constructions in the two sets of proverbs. Post-proverbials are alternate variations of conventional proverbs, mostly used humorously by the younger generation. Focusing on 10 purposively selected sex-related Yoruba proverbs with their post-proverbial equivalents, the study conducts a qualitative analysis of the proverbs from the perspective of feminist critical discourse analysis. Findings from the analysis reveal the traditional sex-based Yoruba proverbs with their post-proverbials to be largely sexist. However, some major gender-based ideological shifts can be observed in the post-proverbials, which include: an ideological shift from antiquated notions to more modern and innovative perceptions; a radical ideological shift from the euphemistic and symbolic stance of traditional sex-based proverbials to blunt and direct stances; and a gender-based ideological shift to a discursive stance of solidarity with women. The study, thus, concludes that the assimilation of gender-based modern concepts like female genital circumcision, the reality of HIV/AIDS, and the utilitarian role of condoms into sex-related Yoruba post-proverbials portrays the subtle shift of the Yoruba culture towards more feminist values.