Zenning Gender

I consulted with a few of my contacts about the mystery computer problem, and the consensus of opinion is that if a new power supply doesn't fix this problem, we'll have to start doing ritual dances around it. It's a good thing that one of my trusted consultants, and most of my family are members of a ritual dance team, but honestly now. This had better work, because I haven't a clue.

In other news, I had another one of my Anthro Gender/Sex Roles class for the week. It was enjoyable, and I think I'm perhaps a little closer to understanding my distain/problem with this whole anthropology thing. I don't have the right Zen for it. I've been reading these ethnographies about gender roles and relationships in foraging societies, and seeing the potential and beginnings for the development of patriarchy, male dominance, and all the ills that go along with that. But the truth is, that these cultures have a fundamental egalitarianism (or something), and despite idiosyncratic elements of inequality, they're naturally egalitarian.

While not ideal, the anthropologic mode of analysis, or the lens through which cultural critiques are made is this kind of egalitarianism. It's very pragmatic, and I like pragmatism.

Having said that, I suppose I was expecting that this course would contribute to feminist criticism by comparing less patriarchal societies with our own, or by illustrating the various flavors male dominance and patriarchy can take across cultures. But the approach I'm seeing here is the development of, which is helpful, just in a different way, that I wasn't quite expecting. The thought of course being, that if you can't find a culture that developed differently (because there cannot be controls for these studies,) then don't even bother to approach the issue of deconstruction/dismantling from that perspective; but rather from the perspective of, if we know how it developed, then maybe we can undo.

That being said, this week we talked about Gender in Prehistory, so this is more like a "development of culture" type of study, so in order to (in this case) draw conclusions and be sure that your conclusions are well founded, I think a little bit of Zen is required. But even when the cultures aren't Neolithic, it takes a certain leap of faith to make a connection. At least, at this moment, I'm not terribly good at making leaps of faith like that. Maybe that's what I'm supposed to learn from all this.

Another thing this proves, which is a concept that I think I knew, but that I'm learning more completely now is the meaning of cultural construction That is, in terms of the content. On a more cosmic level, I'm learning how to be more Zen.

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