Masculinity In Maya Angelou And Mala's Roles

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According to role performance people construct their identity through social interactions. Specially the extent to which they do or do not act out the roles that society has given them (Whitehead, Talahite & Moodley, 2013,11-12). Malala did not conform to societal norms or give in to the pressures of the Taliban. Malala refused to become subordinate to the Taliban and its dominant power. When she was told that girls were not allowed to go to school, she opposed this notion. She was not stifled by the Taliban, but instead overcame obstacles of oppression and hegemonic masculinity. She challenged hegemonic masculinity and refused to conform to the docile and passive ideal of a women, that is expected of her. Instead she was able to turn her negative…show more content…
Their stories move away from narratives of victimization, instead they were both able to take on violent, external forces with resiliency and bravery. These characteristics are typically associated with masculinity, however Maya Angelou and Malala have redefined masculinity and who can perform it. Despite the Taliban’s hold over Swat Valley, Malala remained strong and valiant in her pursuit for the right of girls to go to school. This was an atypical performance of femininity, which is normally seen as submissive and unassertive. Malala is a role model to those around her and has continued the fight for children to be given the right to education worldwide. She has the ability to act on and influence the world in which she lives, which is considered social agency (Mann,2012,282). Malala transgresses the boundaries of gendered expectations and refuses to conform to gender roles in…show more content…
A Subaltern is considered a person or class of individuals occupying an inferior and subordinate position in society (Mann,2012, 426). Spivak asks the fundamental question does a subaltern have the agency to speak? According to Spivak, the answer to that question is no because even if space is created for them to speak, they are not heard since according to the intellectual world they are not knowledgeable (Spivak,1988,84). It is impossible for a subaltern or those oppressed to speak for themselves, given that there is no space allotted to them. In particular, subaltern women do not have proper representation, which results in them not being able to voice their ideas or share their personal narratives. Within a patriarchal society women as left vulnerable to becoming subalterns. The subaltern 's voice is muted and accordingly cannot represent him or herself (Svensson,2012,4). The Taliban attempted to mute Malala’s vice, but ultimately her message was to powerful to be suppressed. Malala creates her own space to be heard and voiced her opinion despite being in that inferior position in society. She did not let the lack of space available stop her from building a platform to speak out about the injustices girls were facing.The subaltern is often subordinate to an outside power “but never fully consenting to its rule, never adopting the dominant point of view or vocabulary as expressive of
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