The Fallacy of a New Woman in Lola Shoneyi’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

Nafiu Abdullahi, Arbaayah Ali Termizi, Addau Hussaini Magaji


This paper explores the concept of “new woman” as conceived by Nigerian women writers through the lens of Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s snail-sense feminism. Most feminists believe that a woman should be sophisticated, educated, and intelligent, and that she should be able to endure whatever tasks assigned to her at home and in her day-to-day activities, among other things. This idea stemmed from a desire to demonstrate to the world that a woman’s biological make-up should not be the sole criterion used to discriminate against other women in society. To demonstrate to readers that the entire notion of a “new woman” is nothing more than self-deception and a distorted version of the feminist struggle, the article examines Lola Shoneyi’s novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (2015). Shoneyi portrays Baba Segi’s four wives as clever and smart, even though the first three women, Iya Segi, Iya Tope, and Iya Femi, had no formal education. The novelty of this study is that it examines the concept of a new woman as a means of striking back at men who believe they are intellectually superior to women. Despite this, the author has been successful in ridiculing such egos by portraying the female characters as being smarter and more intelligent than the male characters. The finding of this research is that it demonstrates to readers that the issue of the “new woman” is to encourage escapades, as proclaimed by some feminists in most developing countries like Nigeria.


Feminism, Snail-sense, New Woman, Patriarchy, Baba Segi

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