Sociocultural perception of sexist Yorùbá proverbs and implications for peace and national cohesion
This chapter explores the use of proverbs as a literary weapon to promote gender inequality and patriarchal domination. Yoruba proverbs are veritable avenues by which the sociocultural norms of the society are communicated and sustained. However, for peace and national cohesion, it is imperative that the society begin to de-emphasize proverbs that put the women down while those that extol the virtues should be emphasized and made more frequently in people national discourse. Yoruba proverbs, like the proverbs of many other African or Asian cultures, are short, pithy expressions with implicit truths. Sociocultural perception represents women as both subservient and too forward. There is no doubting the fact that sexist usage is built into the Yoruba language; however, the context in which women are represented is the major concern. Sexist practices are those that contribute to women demeaning or ignoring women or to stereotyping either sex; sexist is not a matter of intention but of effect.