Sexual Insult and Female Militancy


Ardener, Shirley G. 1973. “Sexual Insult and Female Militancy.” Man 8 (3): 422–40.

Author: Shirley G. Ardener


This article attempts to examine certain manifestations of female militancy in Africa, not only for their own interest, but also to see whether they can throw any light upon the completely independent modern women's liberation movements with which we are now familiar in the West. The African ethnographical material, which is set out first, refers mainly to the Bakweri, the Balong and the Kom of West Cameroon. Besides oral reports collected from Cameroonians about traditional behaviour and on particular occurrences, for the Bakweri there is additional relevant documentation from Court records. For the Kom some published material is available, but I rely here mainly upon information collected by a Kom who had an interest in social anthropology, as well as being the son of one of the principal female actors in the drama which will unfold below. The Cameroon material is followed by some relevant data from other parts of Africa. Discussion is then broadened to include material on the women's liberation movement in America and England.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 1973

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at