A Critical Re-Engagement With Stultifying Gender Binaries in HIV and AIDS Related Shona Novelistic Discourses.
MetadataShow full item record
The paper is an exposition and a critique of selected novelistic voices in Shona whose subject matter also includes HIV/AIDS. Yet, the informing philosophy on Aids in the novels is gender difference as the modus operandi and sine qua non of social existence. Such a conceptual mode leads the writers to place both genders on a grading scale to see which poses the greatest danger to society. The unequivocal position that emerges in the novels is that women are largely responsible for the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, we argue that such a vision is ideologically vapid and pedagogically subversive and disempowering in the contemporary African world where the fight against HIV/AIDS has assumed legendary levels. Creative writers are part of the legendary battle and as such must not duck their social obligations by arguing that their works are mere fiction that has little or no impact on society. Literary creators who discourse on HIV/AIDS cease to be mere ‘writers in fiction’ because these are incontrovertibly matters of life and death.
This paper was presented at a Seminar held in the Department of African Languages, University of Zimbabwe on 8 May 2006.