The way of life in Africa especially that of African women have a strong bearing on the way they are presented African literature. African writers have had different experiences and have all from these obtained their own personal perceptions of what it means to be a woman in Africa and have reflected it in their writings. With reference to ‘The Voice’ and July’s People it is clear that women in African Literature have been portrayed as generally inferior but despite this generalization she is attributed some ‘masculine’ qualities and thus her strengths are highlighted. The writers’ comments on women at times border on subtle condescension, whose roots will be delved into forthwith in this essay.
The male tradition of African literature has come increasingly under attack for the subservient image that the African male writer has given of African women. They have been portrayed as passive, as always prepared to do the bidding of their husbands and family, as having no status of their own and therefore completely dependant of their husbands this is seen when Bam from ‘July’s People’ refers to the women in his family as having to do everything, harvest the food, cook wash and tend to most of their needs. Even tho
She manages to use this to her advantage to scare off Okolo"tms pursuers. Metaphorically, she is of the highest importance; practically she is nothing. The author went into a detailed description of Maureen"tms legs and her difference to the other black women further highlighting the difference in culture and the trials that the character is going through. She has no autonomy, no status as a character, for her person and her story are shaped to meet the requirements of his vision. She is defiant, confident and intelligent. " The poor women of Africa, like those of India, have a hard time. In July"tms people one of the main characters Maureen, is thrown from the womb of a comfortable society in which she was in possession of a cornucopia providing all her emotional and physical needs. Even though July"tms wife suspects that he has another woman she says nothing like a good African wife. One of these requirements is that she provides attractive packaging. Because of the white man"tms status and the power and control he has exerted over the western hemisphere the white women can be seen as "Aphrodite"tms of the world"tm. ""tm "She had been a girl of unusual habits, keeping to herself and speaking to herself. They have to cut and carry all the wood, carry all the water on their heads, plant all the rice. Such representation has promoted what Deidre LaPin has suggested is the "classic and inescapable image of wife-mother at the core of feminine literary persona" . In "The Voice Tuere is labeled as a witch because she does not give in to the norms of her society in that she doesn"tmt yield to their bidding. A great big boy would not bring water for his mother; he would say: "Boy no tote water; that be woman"tms work.