I choose to focus on the feminist theory from all five theoretical perspectives and relate this theory with depression among women in Malaysia. In the writing written by Donald Joralemon, he mentioned a definition of theory in general which is “seek to account for a defined set of regularities or patterns evident in a given phenomenon” (Joralemon 1999). Based on my understanding from his writing, theory can be made when a phenomenon or a behavior is being repeated and become a predictable pattern in life. Therefore, the feminist theory may be means as how female or gender influences the regularities in a phenomenon or situation. Based on the lecture video provided in Week One, the feminist theory is being questioned and understand as “seek to understand on how gender gives impact to a situation or inequalities”.
According to Feminist Anthropology from University of Alabama, there are three waves of feminist anthropology, with one ending triggers the beginning of another, but not so strictly chronological (Dominguez et. al n.d.). Even though the third wave is the recent one since it started in 1980s, but the second wave is still relevant and being accepted. The second wave of feminist anthropology focused on gender; both male and female, the cultural construction, and the relationship between them (Dominguez et. al n.d.). It rejected the believe and stigma about men should work and women should be at home. However, the third wave focused more on class, race, ethnicity, and many more. From the reading, the main point in third wave feminist anthropology is the differences among existing women but not the differences between men and women (Dominguez et. al n.d.).
To relate with the study and research that I made on women in Malaysia, the feminist theory suits the mental illness suffer by women in Malaysia because we focus on women and their differences. I believe that different races and religions face different kind or mental illness or to be specific, the stages of depression. Some questions have been playing in my mind regarding how women in different areas such as in rural area who suffer with depression can get access to health service? Since mental health medication is quite expensive and still not the main concern in most of the people believes, they might ignore the importance of mental illness. In addition, how about the women with different races, religions and cultural background in Malaysia face and handle their depression? How about the relation between socioeconomics and depression in Malaysia? If depression is not being treated immediately, it may cause death or suicide. From one of the Malaysia’s newspaper, New Straits Times, the writer mentioned that the statistics of women suffer depression is more compared to men. Citing from the newspaper article, “The prevalence of depression is in female, younger adults, and those from low income families”. Plus, “The shocking fact is mental illness is expected to be the second highest health problem after heart disease by the year 2020 in Malaysia” (Wan Mustapha 2018). All these relationships show that feminist theory is the suitable option to be chosen as a guideline to study depression on women in Malaysia.
Dominguez et. al. (n.d.). Feminist Anthroplogy. The University of Alabama. Retrieved from https://anthropology.ua.edu/cultures/cultures.php?culture=Feminist%20Anthropology
Joralemon, & Donald. (1999). Chapter 3: Recognizing Biological, Social and Cultural Interconnections. Exploring Medical Anthropology. 30-43
Wan Mustapha, Wan Norliza. (2018). Depression on the rise. New Straits Times. Retrieved from https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/04/361026/depression-rise