Week 2: Making “Women”
- Lecture: 2.1. Making Women (20 min)
- Lecture: 2.2. Rituals and Rites of Passage (10 min)
- Link: 2.1. Gloria Steinem, “If Men Could Menstruate,” Ms. Magazine (Oct. 1978);
- PDF: 2.1. Sievert, Lynnette (2014) “Anthropology and the study of menopause: evolutionary, developmental, and comparative perspectives”
- PDF: 2.2. Buckley, Thomas. Chapter 8 – “Menstruation and the Power of Yurok Women” In Blood Magic (this pdf is the version from American Ethnologist)
- PDF: 2.3. Sommer, M. (2009) “Where the education system and women’s bodies collide: The social and health impact of girls’ experiences of menstruation and schooling in Tanzania”
- PDF: 2.4. Houppert, Karen. Chapters 1 and 2 – “Introduction” and “Advertising: A Culture of Concealment” In The Curse
- Clip: 2.1. Sunrise Dance Watch the 1:40 min video on this page, under the figure “MULTIMEDIA & MORE.”
- Film: 2.1. “Red Moon”
- Activity (500-700 words): The focus of this week’s lectures and readings are on the ideas of ritual and of making women and so, for this activity, I would like you to learn something about the idea of gender within the country you have selected. You can select one of these questions to research an answer or ask and answer one of your own. Make sure you include the question in your answer. Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/) is a great source for academic articles, and, remember to triangulate anything in news media with two other sources—three total sources (one foreign or academic).
What makes a woman a woman in that country? What makes a man a man in that country? How are women and girls treated in the country you have selected? Are they educated? Do they work outside the home? How do women and men in that country divide labor within the home? What about people who are “in-between”? How are transgendered people treated?
Here are some other rituals and rights of passage that you can investigate from a gender perspective within your selected country:
• Reaching puberty
• Religious initiation (e.g. bat/bar mitzvahs, baptisms, Ramadam, etc.)
• First sexual experience
• Moving from parents homes (e.g. difference between men and women, living with in-laws, etc.)
• Getting married
• Having children
You can also ask and answer your own question.
- Blog post (700-900 words):
• Discuss what rituals you think are important in U.S. life (or within the culture you grew up in).
• What rituals of transition have you gone through yourself? How did you feel about going through the ritual at the time? How do you feel about it now, looking back at that moment?
• Discuss the idea of belonging-liminality-belonging (See the “Rituals and Rites of Passage” video) as it relates to your college experience up to this point. What are some of the implicit and explicit messages about how a college woman or man behaves?
Remember, you must respond to all of the points above; the post must be at least 500 words in length; and have the proper heading.
- Blog comment: Comment on another class member’s blog post. Try to find a blog post that answers different questions in Part II than you chose to answer. Aim for a comment that is between 150-200 words. Your comment can extend a classmate’s argument by adding to it (more evidence, another point of view, etc.) or respectfully challenge it.