Radikaal versus beskeie: Die vroegste vrouestemme teen patriargie in die Suid-Afrikaanse literatuursisteem





South African literature in English, Afrikaans literature, patriarchy, stereotyping, gender politics


This article explores similar social experiences of South Africa in the English and Afrikaans literary systems respectively. It investigates the reflection of patriarchy as an ideological presupposition of South African society in the earliest writings of two South African writers, Olive Schreiner (1855–1920) and Maria Elizabeth Rothmann (1875–1975) (known as M. E. R.). In doing this, it offers a discussion of how these women’s involvement in South African politics sought to address the situation that political rule during the late 1800s and early 1900s created for South African women in the broader context of the South African War. The practice of gender politics as a response to these social experiences is discussed, while the contribution of Schreiner’s radical voice to the stereotyping of the Afrikaner woman is compared to the modest voice with which M. E. R. fought for the rights of these stereotyped women. The article concludes that the nature of, and similarities and differences between their feminist voices determined Schreiner’s and M. E. R.’s contribution to their respective literary systems, as well as their contribution to English and Afrikaans prose.


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Author Biography

Marian Human-Nel, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Marian Human-Nel is lektor in die Departement Afrikaans en Nederlands, Frans en Duits, Fakulteit Geesteswetenskappe aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, Qwaqwa-kampus, Phuthaditjhaba, Suid-Afrika.


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How to Cite

Human-Nel, M. (2024). Radikaal versus beskeie: Die vroegste vrouestemme teen patriargie in die Suid-Afrikaanse literatuursisteem. Tydskrif Vir Letterkunde, 61(1), 6–15. https://doi.org/10.17159/tl.v61i1.16087



Research articles