De-Banalisation of Sexual Violence in Baenga Bolya's la Polyandre

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Publication Date

October 2019


In Baenga Bolya's 1998 novel La Polyandre, the main plot revolves around the practice of polyandry (women with multiple husbands) by Congolese immigrants to France. The polyandrous women commit violent acts as punishments against men in their tradition, which therefore inscribes these women in their own legacy of violence, one which is concomitant to colonial and neo-colonial legacies of violence against women. In the scenes of female-on-male violence, the author uses excessively graphic language, seeking to write against the "normalisation" of sexual violence of neo-colonial patriarchal bodies. This paper argues therefore that, by writing this legacy of female-on-male sexual violence, Bolya highlights male sexual dominance and violence against women.

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