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Women, Sex, Role and culture - Essay Example

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In the context of anthropology, students and interested readers would previously obtain information from classical sources. However, increased attention of researchers in sociology has led to development of recent comprehensive literature on gender philosophies across the world…
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Women, Sex, Role and culture
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Women, Sex, Role and culture

Download file to see previous pages... Among the dedicated writers include Brettell and Sargent, who are inclining their work towards modern topics in anthropology. Most of their works are designed in a manner that deems appropriate for scholars at various levels of their studies. In this essay, we will appraise one significant topic within the field of anthropology, and subsequently relate Brettell and Sargent’s work to ideologies contained within the underlying topics. Fortunately, the writers’ work takes an accessible and open-ended approach in covering a subject matter. Therefore, we will have to establish an objective link between theses contained in the primary readings and that of selected essay from the two writers mentioned above. Primary Reading: Cultural Solidarity of Maasai Women In the first primary ethnographic reading, we will explore the role of gender among Maasai women in Kenya. Within the reading, the writer Llewlyn Melissa analyses two contexts of cultural solidarity observed among women in the Maasai community. The underlying thesis statement within this reading is that Maasai women have over the past decades stood in solidarity to defend their gender roles within their societies. Despite infiltration of western ideologies into Kenyan tribes, Maasai have managed to preserve their traditions to date. They are nomadic pastoralists which mean that they move from one place to another in search of water and pasture for their domestic animals, especially cattle. Fortunately, their unique culture and proximity to wildlife reserves attracts tourists and anthropologists. Currently, a small number of Maasai men and moderate women have been absorbed into white collar jobs in the tourism sector (Llewlyn 209). However, majority of Maasai women and men are still subscribing to conventional roles as contained in their cultural norms. At this juncture, it is worth acknowledging the fact that Maasai culture is a patriarchal community dominated by men. Women within the Maasai tribe enjoy minimum opportunities, and faces numerous challenges form decisions made by their communities. As a show of solidarity to their patriarchal cultures, Maasai women still believes in early and forced marriages (Llewlyn 212). Parents show little interest in education of their girl child because these girls will be married immediately after elementary school. In fact older women in the Maasai community participate joyfully in preparing their daughters for forced marriages. This shows that women in this community are in solidarity with the cultural norm of early and forced marriages of their girls. As if forced marriage was not enough, Maasai women still demonstrate cultural solidarity through female genital mutilation. This context relates to women sexuality in the society. In an effort to curb free expression of woman’s sexual desires, the Maasai community chooses to perform this primitive act of mutilating their girls. Unfortunately, older women are the ones at the forefront in organizing for these initiation ceremonies as a show of love for their culture (Llewlyn 230). In this regard, one can appreciate the fact that culture plays a significant role in influencing norms of men and women in different social settings. In this case, a strict solidarity to their culture influences Maasai women into perpetrating primitive and harmful cultural practices. Brettell and Sargent: Culture, Sexuality and the Body The excerpt on Maasai women fits with Brettell and Sargent’s essay on culture, sexuality and the body in inter-cultural perspective. Based on the primary reading, we acknowledged the fact that Maasai community controls sexuality of women in their societies. The aspect of early and forc ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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