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Review: Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men and Ancestral Wives: Female Sex
Practices in Africa
Ruth Morgan and Saskia Wieringa
Reviewed by Msia Kibona Clark,
December 06, 2006
This book is a compilation of articles
on the experiences of lesbian women in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda,
Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. The stories were born out
of the African Women's Life Story Project where researchers and
activists from different parts of Africa came together to document
the life stories of lesbian women in their respective countries.
The result of the project is a book
that takes a grassroots look into the lives of this seldom heard-from
group of women. Often the term grassroots is overused, but in this
case women with little to no interview and/or research experience
were trained in how to collect data and life stories from lesbian
women in their country. The stories they documented are raw and
are not filtered through academic jargon. These are real stories
of real women facing real issues.
The problems facing women in
Africa is not new. The violence and harassment that many women endure
in their homes, in their marriages, and in conflict zones is well
documented. What is less know is the human rights struggles of Africa's
This book tells these stories. It's
a glimpse into lesbian communities in a handful of countries and
the daily struggles and forced silence that these women face on
a daily basis.
Boys, Lesbian Men and Ancestral Wives: Female Sex Practices in Africa
While South Africa has legalized
gay marriage, being gay in Tanzania or Uganda could get you a life
sentence in prison, while being gay in Kenya may earn you 14 years
in jail. There are several human rights groups working on LGBT (lesbian,
gay, bi-sexual, trans gender) issues in Africa. They include Amnesty
International and Human Rights Watch, both of whom have been very
vocal on protecting the basic human rights of Africa's LGBT community.
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Jacana Media; 1st edition
(June 30, 2006)
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.