Reproducing or Creating a New Male? Bridal showers in the urban space in Botswana
Each society has specific constructed images of acceptable maleness and femaleness and these constructions can happen within social groups which share a common identity and purpose. One such social group is formed within events such as bridal showers. This paper is based on findings of research recently conducted by women researchers from the University of Botswana who sought to explore how the African philosophy of Botho or Ubuntu is manifested through bridal showers in Gabarone, an urban space in Botswana. Although researching masculinities was not necessarily part of our main objective for carrying out the study, it was nevertheless one of the themes that emerged. Bridal showers are gendered spaces where masculinities; old, new and in competition are constructed, reproduced and questioned. This paper therefore, seeks to establish if bridal showers reinforce or reproduce hegemonic masculinities or if they offer space to construct newer forms of masculinities. The analysis of the data is guided by feminist theories of power, and masculinity studies globally.
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