Week 2: Making “Women”
- Reminder: Some of this week’s readings are hosted on MSU Google Drive. These are only accessible using your MSU Google Apps account. When you open the link, you’ll be prompted to select which google account you want to open them with – use your MSU Google Apps account (which requires your regular MSU Net ID and password). If you choose your non-MSU google account, you won’t be able to open the file. Do not request access to the files with your non-MSU Google account.
- Lecture: 2.1. Making Women (10 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
- Film: 2.1. Inside an Apache Rite of Passage Into Womanhood
- Film: 2.2. “Red Moon”
- NOTE: This video may require you to login using your MSU netID and password,. Then, it may ask you to click a red button, “Connect Now.” After this the video will load.
Activity post (15 points): 500-700 words, Due Friday, July 13 by 11:59 PM
The focus of this week’s lectures and readings are on the ideas of rituals of transition and of making women. For this activity, I would like you to learn something about the construction of gender within the country you have selected. You can select one of the following questions to research and answer or you can ask and answer one of your own. Make sure you include the question in your answer. You must also include three sources to support your discussion. Please triangulate any sources in the news media with two other sources (at least one foreign news source and one academic source). Google Scholar is a great source for academic articles, as well as the MSU Library online search.
Questions: 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?
You may also ask and answer your own question. Here are some other rituals and rights of passage that you might consider investigating from a gender perspective within your selected country:
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.)
Blog post (15 points): 700-900 words, Due Friday, July 13 by 11:59 PM
Part I: Discuss what rituals of transition you think are important in U.S. life (or within the culture you grew up in).
Part II: 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?
Part III: 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 you have received about how a college woman or man should behave based on their gender?
Remember, you must respond to all of the points above; the post must be at least 700 words in length; and have the proper heading.
Blog comment (15 points): 150-200 words, Due Sunday, July 15 by 11:59 PM
Comment on another class member’s blog post. Try to find a blog post that answers questions in Part II differently from how you chose to answer. Your comment can extend a classmate’s argument by adding to it (more evidence, another point of view, etc.) or you can respectfully challenge it.