THE ALPHA PHALLUS AND THE MODERATED SPACE FOR THE IGBO WOMAN: A SOCIOLINGUISTIC APPROACH
No Thumbnail Available
Abraka Humanistic Review: a Journal of the Faculty of Arts
The phallus symbolizes the power of the male reproductive organ. The societal perception of the phallus reflects in language which is one of the crucial factors in the societal construction of the world. It is observed that elevated expressions are used for the phallus while lower ones are used for the female reproductive organ in the Igbo society. The study sets out to examine the alpha phallus and the moderated space for the Igbo woman, with a view to finding out the elevated expressions and their lower counterparts, classifying them according to their meanings, the reason(s) behind them and the societal attitude towards them. A qualitative approach was adopted and primary data was sourced through interviews. Fifty adult male and female respondents from different Igbo communities were purposively sampled and interviewed. The research adopted the muted group theory for analysis of this work. Findings illustrate that the Igbo society is a patriarchal one and women have traditionally been subordinate to men. The imbalance reflects in language, hence, the more names and the exalted position for the phallus and a moderated one for the vagina. While thirty-five percent of the women interviewees see nothing wrong with the moderated space for the vagina, sixty-five percent acknowledge and admit the adverse effect of the slant both in the naming and the meanings for the two reproductive organs has on women. For the men, they see nothing wrong with the names and meanings. The positions given the two organs affect both sexes, men positively and women negatively. The study advocates that equal expressions should be used for the two reproductive organs as they complement each other. More so, Igbo maxims which express the power of the vagina should not only be documented, but should be used in mixed company; this will go a long way in helping the women to see themselves from a positive position and encourage them to contribute maximally to the running of the society.
alpha phallus, power, women, societal attitude and qualitative approach.