International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 265


The third sex: A paradox of patriarchal oppression of the weaker man

Rubaya Clemence* and Gonye Jairos
Department of English Literature/Language, Great Zimbabwe University, P. O. Box 1235 Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 January 2011
  •  Published: 31 March 2011



The study explores the paradox of potential patriarchal subjugation of weaker men. The paper is informed by the belief that is contrary to the popular view in some feminist quarters that all men in patriarchal societies enjoy protection under the male-biased society that brutalizes its weaker female members, there is, in fact, a certain class of underrepresented males who are victimized by a system believed to pamper them. Critical analysis of the African and African-American fiction has revealed that some men too, fall victim in their attempt to obey gender expectations or in their failure to satisfy their cultural prescription. The study finds limitations in the view that dismisses all men as beneficiaries of patriarchy and, therefore, without any cause to challenge that order. Thus, the research calls for a more gender inclusive fight against patriarchy for evidence seems to suggest that patriarchy has no respect for sex though more men have benefited by it just as more women have suffered because of it.


Key words: Patriarchy, weaker man, ideal man, emasculation, feminism