Re: Feminist perspectives

richley crapo (RCRAPO@WPO.HASS.USU.EDU)
Fri, 27 Jan 1995 14:37:28 -0700

The forwarded message from another list might be
of interest to those who have been discussing
gender/language/feminist anthropology.
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Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 14:06:58 -0700
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From: Judy Brink <>
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Subject: Re: looking for classroom activities
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I don't know what discipline you are in but I can give you some examples
from Anthropology. I use a text called Gender in Cross Cultural
perspective. At the beginning of one article there is a quote from
Levi-Strauss "The ENTIRE VILLAGE left the next day in about 30 canoes,
leaving us alone with the WOMEN AND CHILDREN in the abandoned houses."

A quote such as this gets across quickly how women and children were
ignored in the discipline. I use two other articles to illustrate how
feminist research has revolutionized anthropology. Mena and Women in
Prehistory by Margaret Conkey shows how the field of human evolution has
been turned upside down by feminist research. This really impresses the
students and they are outraged that they are still learning the old Man
the Hunter version in high school. The second article I use is
Menstruation and the Power of Yurok Women by Thomas Buckley. This shows
how viewing mentstral taboos from a women's perspective revolutionises our
understanding of everythink about the Yurok (a Californian Indian tribe).
It also points out how he would not believe her female informant until he
read about the same beliefs in Alfred Kroeber's field notes. This article
helps students understand how distorted our understanding is with an
androcentric view.

I guess what you need to do is find a quote and a few short articles in
your field which can do the same thing. I have found it to be very
sucessful. In one class period students who are offended by the word
feminist become passionate advocates of feminist research.

Judy Brink Lock Haven Univeristy