Re: ANTHRO-L Digest - 29 Mar 1995 to 30 Mar 1995

C. Taylor (cmtaylor@BLUE.WEEG.UIOWA.EDU)
Sat, 1 Apr 1995 10:16:04 -0600

I would like to reply to your comments. First, I am a graduate teaching
assistant, not a professor hell-bent on endoctrinating "drooling
undergraduates." I am in a unique position at this university, however,
in that I have more access to the undergraduates in my classes than the
professors will due to their enormous size. I do not think of these
mostly 18-22 year olds as tabula rasa either. On the contrary, I am more
than aware of the attitudes that they have grown up with. I see nothing
wrong with viewing anthropology as a way to open minds that may never see
any other kind of "difference" in the rest of their liberal arts,
engineering, business, or medical [etc,etc] educations. When first year
students step into an anthropology classroom for the first time, many,
many of them have never even considered the possibility of the vast
difference that exists in the world. Feminist anthropological approaches
happen to be how I relate these differences. Now, to you, that may mean
that I advocate sending all of the men to the moon. It is not, what My
feminist standpoint advocates is equity, for women, for men, for
children, for so-called third world countries and for so-called first
world countries. I even have a question on my student evaluations that
asks them since I am a feminist, and feminism has been construed and used
by many people as a giant man-bashing vehicle, if there was any time
during the semester that they have gotten the impression that I was being
unfair to males. If I am to believe my evaluations, it is a resounding
"NO!" It seems they think I am always fair to both sexes and even minded
in what I tell them and in what I expect them to walk away with. Please
read some feminist anthropology. Some new feminist anthropology. I
highly recommend Micaela Di Leonardo's edited book, Gender at the Cross-
roads of Knowledge.

Chris Taylor /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ /\ Program of Feminist Anthropology
\/ \/ \/ \/ \/ \/ University of Iowa

On Fri, 31 Mar 1995, stephanie m huelster wrote:

> On 3/31 C Taylor writes;
> "We have to remember that the students we attempt to reach in our
> undergraduate classes , especially the intro ones , are those same folks
> that sit in front of their TV's every night believing everything that Dan
> Rather says."
> I thought about ignoring this but then realized that this says alot about
> 1) Taylor's view of the overall ignorance and easily swayed nature of
> undergraduates. I don't ever watch Dan Rather and I'm glad I never had to
> sit through one of these condescending lectures from which I would probably
> emerge totally demoralized. and 2) that Taylor sees anthropology as a
> forum for dispersing her own socio/political views, which the average
> drooling undergraduate may not be aware of before they sign on for a class
> of hers for an entire semester. The thought of a whole generation of
> undergraduates being indoctrinated into the" necessary evil" of feminism,
> especially in an introductory class seems a bit (and it may just be me )
> ominous. In short, as a woman, a recent undergraduate and a continuing
> scholar I feel more oppressed by the thought of a professor who is
> convinced that radical change is the only way and conforming to this
> feminist ideal is essential for my continued advancement of knowledge than
> I ever have by any thing put forth by a male professor in any class I have
> ever had. I'll read feminist theory, I'll even write an exam on it if I
> have to, but please don't imply undergrads are all tabula rasa, waiting for
> the feminist revolution.
> Stephanie M Huelster