Enacting masculinities: Pleasure to men and violence to women.
Naidu, Uma Maheshvari.
Ngqila, Kholekile Hazel.
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Feminist anthropologists have shown how women’s bodies have been appropriated and rendered ‘docile’ by so called cultural or traditional practices, as well as by discourse. The compelled docility of African women (as that of other women in the global south), is perhaps especially visible within subtly coerced performances within a context of ‘traditional’ masculinised practices, such as unprotected sex, that leave many African women vulnerable and forced to negotiate a host of health concerns around sexually transmitted diseases and of course HIV/AIDS. This is to be seen as a form of violence perpetrated by men against their female partners. However, in probing condom use through a qualitative study with a small group of women, we notice that it is not simply a case of discerning patterns of hegemonic masculinities in relation to condom use or non-use, and that masculinities are also propped up and held together by the relational configurations of practice formed by (mutual) gender relations.