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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Phallic symbols in politics and war: an African perspective
Author:Mazrui, Ali A.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Studies (UCLA)
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
military sociology
Abstract:This paper places the question of symbols within the wider world of cultural associations involving sex and warfare and then further differentiates the symbols. The genital ones, by definition, relate to the sexual organs and are more direct in their significance. The genderic phallic symbols, on the other hand, refer to the general attributes of the gender in question - the hard values of masculinity, the soft virtues of femininity. Common phallic symbols include the bull, the cock, the arrow, the spear, and the sword, all of which have, throughout history, connected sexual and martial symbolism. The story of phallic symbols in Africa is part of the wider human experience, linking modes of reproduction with modes of destruction, connecting birth with death, fusing vice with virtue and compassion with violence. The sexual organs of the species enter the central stream of cultural imagery and social interaction. Notes, appendices: 1. Political masculinity and General Amin's image; 2. Black nationalism and Mahatma Gandhi.