Malcolm X and the fair sex : representation of women in Malcolm X's autobiography

Source document: Brno studies in English. 2008, vol. 32, iss. 1, pp. [77]-85
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Type: Article
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This paper discusses the attitudes of Malcolm X towards women as they are mirrored in his autobiography (written in cooperation with a renowned African American writer, Alex Haley) from 1965. It explores the extent to which the public image of Malcolm X's gender stance that we get from his political speeches and pronouncements is comparable to the one brought about by his life story. Malcolm X's comments on women in The Autobiography can be divided into two groups – general remarks about women and depictions of particular women from X's life. The first set of Malcolm X's observations on the fair sex is explicitly misogynist and thus in accordance with his public persona's nationalist politics. Even if the second group of comments – that linked with X's mother, sister, wife and two girlfriends from his pre-conversion period – reflects more complexity and ambiguity, it still unfortunately does not fully succeed in overcoming the limits of binary and prejudicial thinking regarding females.
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