Reading hegemonic masculinities in 2 Samuel 11 in the South African contexts


  • Madipoane Masenya UNISA, Pretoria, South Africa



The present essay will engage the concepts of (hegemonic) masculinities as depicted in the actions of David and Uriah in 2 Samuel 11. It is argued that although Uriah’s character in the preceding text occupies a place on the hegemonic masculinities ladder, his masculinity (which is much akin to that of the majority of men in the two thirds majority world context) is subordinated to those of a more powerful man. Given the social location of the present author (and the scant research from a masculinity study perspective on his character), Uriah’s character will be the focal point of attention in this essay. From a contemporary perspective, it is argued that men in our two thirds majority world context (including African-South African men), who like Uriah, sit at the relatively lower rung of the hegemonic masculinities ladder, and subordinated to more powerful men, still have a sense of agency. Thus, such men are not completely powerless. As a point of departure, I will engage David’s masculinity, basically foregrounding his abuse of power. This will be followed by an elaborate discussion on Uriah’s masculinities and some sections on the agency of subordinated men. In the final analysis, concluding remarks will be made.






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