This study examines the social constructions of gender as the encapsulation of reiterated human conducts within varying sites of performance. Contrary to the notion that gender roles are fixed by socio-cultural forces, this paper focuses on the fluidity of human dispositions in differing circumstances. Adopting Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity, the researcher analyses Tess Onwueme’s Then She Said It. This protest play attests to the variability of gender performance. The characters in the drama, especially the protagonists and antagonists, exhibit considerable alterations in gender performance in different situations. Thus, the study argues that the rigid classification of gender roles along sex lines (on both biological and gendered sexuality) in protest drama in Nigeria is incongruous with the characters’ dispositions in the plays. Indeed, characters adopt cross-gendered performances as a strategy of protesting against overbearing conditions.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Achebe C. (1983). The Trouble with Nigeria. Enugu: Fourth Dimension.
Akubor E. O. (2011). The travail of women in the crises in the Niger Delta area. Anthropologist 13(1) 27-31.
Amaefula R. C. (2016). Ideological commitment and portrait of women in the plays of Stella ‘Dia Oyedepo. In Nwabueze E. (Ed.) African Female Playwrights: A Study of Matter and Manner. Enugu: ABIC pp. 258-275.
Aristophanes. (1984). Lysistrata. In: William A Richmond A and Douglas P (Trans) Four Plays. New York: New American Library pp. 342-460.
Asigbo A. (2013). Fighting from the Trenches: Nigerian Playwright and the Task of Nation Building. Awka: UNIZIK press.
Butler J. (1993). Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. New York Routledge.
Butler J. (2013). From interiority to gender performatives. In Richard J. L. (Ed.) Global Literary Theory: An Anthology. Oxon: Routledge pp. 581-587.
Butler J. (1996). Gender as performance. In Osborne. P. (Ed) A Critical Sense: Interviews with Intellectuals. New York: Routledge pp.12-26.
Butler J. (1999). Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.
Butler J. (2007). Imitation and gender insubordination. In Gilbert S. M. & Guber S. (Eds) Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism: A Norton Reader. New York: Norton pp.708-722.
Butler J. (2009). Performativity precarity and sexual politics. AIBR. 4(3) i-xiii.
Butler J. (2004). Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge.
Clark C. A. (2009). To kneel or not to kneel: gendered nonverbal behaviour in Greek ritual. Women Gender and Religion 5 6-20.
Clark J. P. (1977). Song of a Goat. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
Clark J. P. (1991). The Wives’ Revolt. Ibadan: Ibadan UP.
Cuklanz L. M. & Moorti S. (2011). Television’s “new” feminism: prime-time representations of women and victimization. In Dines G. & Humez J. M. (Eds) Gender Race and Class in Media: A Critical Reader. California: SAGE pp.560-589.
De Beauvoir S. (1952). The Second Sex. New York: Vantage Books.
Delphy C. (1993). Rethinking sex and gender. Women’s Studies Int. Forum 16(1) 1-9.
Foucault M. (2013). Scientia sexualis. In Lane R. J. (Ed.) Global Literary Theory: An Anthology. Oxon: Routledge pp. 592-600.
Furman N. (1980). Textual feminism. In MacConnell-Ginet S. (Ed.). Women and Language in Literature and Society. New York: Praeger Publishers pp.45-54.
Gbilekaa S. (1997). Radical Theatre in Nigeria. Ibadan: Caltop.
Jenkins J. (2017). Gender trouble in the workplace: applying Judith Butler’s theory of performativity to news organizations. Feminist Media Studies 18(2) 157-172.
Methuselah J. S. S. (2010). Engendering women in Onwueme’s drama: Then She Said It discussed. Creative Artist: A Journal of Theatre and Media Studies 4(1) 112-128.
Millet K. (2007). Sexual politics. In Gilbert S. M. & Guber S. (Eds.) Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism: A Norton Reader. New York: Norton pp. 336-350.
Mills S. & Mullany L. (2011). Language Gender and Feminism: Theory Methodology and Practice. Oxon: Routledge.
Nwabueze E. (2005). The Dragon’s Funeral. Enugu: ABIC.
Nwosu I. E. (2012). Gender role perceptions and the changing role of women in Nigeria. International Journal of Agric. And Rural Development 15(3) 1240-1246.
Oakley A. (1985). Sex Gender and Society. London: Temple Smith.
Obafemi. O. (2002). Making a difference through theatre in a democracy. In Yekima A. & Akinwale A. (Eds.) Theatre and Democracy in Nigeria. Ibadan: Kraft.
Okoh J. (2000). Edewede. Owerri: Totan.
Onwueme T. O. (2002). Then She Said It. Lagos: African Heritage Press.
Oyedepo S. (2000). My Daughter is an Egg. Ilorin: Delstar.
Oyedepo S. (2002). The Rebellion of the Bumpy-Chested. Ilorin: Delstar.
Salami-Agunloye I. (2006). Emerging trends from the shadows? changing patterns in Edo women’s political participation. Women Theatre and Politics: A Contemporary Perspective. Ibadan: Saniez pp. 89-106.
Tyson L. (2011). Using Critical Theory: How to Read and Write about Literature. 2nd ed. Oxon: Routledge.
Uko I. (2004) Gender and Identity in the Works of Osonye Tess Onwueme. Trenton New Jersey: Africa World Press.