Denise O'Brien (D-OBRIEN@TEMPLEVM.BITNET)
Mon, 3 Apr 1995 11:06:33 EDT
to feminism and anthropology or gender studies and anthropology to a
separate list derives from a recent classroom experience. Setting: an
undergraduate course for anthro. majors, devoted to reading ethnographies
past and present. As a break from the classics and before moving to the
contemporary we read Margery Wolf's A Thrice-Told Tale: Feminism, Post-
Modernism & Ethnographic Responsibility (Stanford 1992). From students,
both male and female, who had complained about the lack of data on women
or stereotypical data re gender in Malinowski and E-P arose a flurry of
complaints about Wolf's occasional use of she/her to refer to persons
who might well be female (or male) as in: "...if the ethnographer can
construct culture in her writings, she can also..." (Wolf 1992:130).
Student comments on our class e-mail list were even more uncensored and
negative re the practice
than their in-class or in-essay remarks.
I was bemused and perhaps too easily surprised given the anxiety
that inclusive or alternating pronoun usage and other language modifica-
tions seem to elicit among some Anthro-L subscribers.
BTW, if you haven't read Wolf's book, I recommend it highly.