Ender Relations Among the Masai in Comparative Perspective.

Gender Relations Among the Masai in Comparative Perspective.

(Value: 60 points plus up to 20 points extra credit)

One leading topic in anthropology concerns the relative status of the sexes. In some societies, women are equal in status with men, or nearly so. In others, women are in a greatly inferior position. One related question concerns the factors that lead to one or the other outcome. In this assignment, you are to examine some of these factors by watching the videotape Masai Women (known in some editions as Maasai Women) and also consulting Cultural Anthropology: A Concise Introduction (pp. 87-88). Please refer to these sources, watch Masai Women, and answer the following questions.

There are several indications among the Masai of the lower status of women. List and discuss three of them (10 points).
As you know, the Masai are a polygynous society (look up the word polygyny in your glossary). Are the women jealous or do they welcome another co-wife? Explain your answer to the question. (10 points)
Discuss two factors that place women in an inferior status in Masai society and compare these factors with those discussed for the !Kung and the Iroquois women as discussed in Chapter 8 in your text. (10 points)
Often myths give a handle on the operations of a society. What are the Masai womeni??s explanation as to how they became inferior in status to that of the men You will find the explanation at the very end of the film. (10 points)
One of the practices that transform a girl into a woman is clitoridectomy, the cutting off of the clitoris of a female.The narrator loosely translates this as circumcision, which also is done to the males. In what respects are the procedures different? Draw on both the text and the lecture notes to answer this question (10 points)
According to the You Tube presentation Why Sex? from the Evolution series, women are the choosy sex. Do the Masai represent an exception to this pattern, or is there a way they get to choose their own sexual partner? Provide support for your answer.(10 points).
For a further 20 points extra credit, consider the question of jealousy. Are the women really not jealous of their cowives? Read Selection 19 i??Co-Wife Conflict and Co-operation i?? in the Targeted Reader and offer your own conclusions. Amount of points earned depends on how well you make your argument, not on your opinion one way or the other. .