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Short Essay: Write a complete essay with an introduction and a claim, EVIDENCE in the way of examples from the readings, seen in class, and a conclusion. Please use ONLY material from this course. Everything you need is on the Blackboard site or at the library.
CHOICE OF ONE of the following TWO questions
12 pts. Be sure to list CLEARLY which question you are answering.NOTE: YOU NEED TO WRITE ONLY ONE SHORT ESSAY.
Choose one of the following two questions and answer it:
1. What does writing on/about the body mean in terms of gender? Use course readings, mini-lectures, and videos to give examples in your answer.
2. Discuss why cultures attach negative meanings to women’s bodily functions of breastfeeding and menstruation. What function does this negative meaning serve in culture? Use the readings and mini-lectures, and videos to formulate your answer.
ONLY use the ATTACHED material, NOTHING ELSE.
Short Essay: Write a complete essay with an introduction and a claim, EVIDENCE in the way of examples from the readings, seen in class, and a conclusion. Please use ONLY material from this course. Eve
“Writing on the Body–Lecture #1 Defining terms, you will need to know from this module. Culture: The ways in which people live and organize their lives. The ways in which people assign meanings to their lives. Cultural anthropology is the study of existing peoples, their behaviors, beliefs, practices, and lifeways. Sex: erotic desires, beliefs, and practices and how people think about, enact and engage in them Gender–the cultural meanings assigned to the biological sexes. Gender refers to the cultural construction of sex differences. Gender is not biological. It is cultural. Gender is taken to be an essential expression of people’s underlying sex, but it is a cultural expression of the fact that there are two sexes and that cultures insist on a distinction between males and females. gender roles–the activities a culture assigns as appropriate to each sex (biological) sex: the biological distinction between men and women. We can locate biological sex in the body in the areas of the three primary sex characteristics: Genitals: Vagina, Penis Gonads: Ovaries, Testicles Chromosomes: XX (female) XY (male) Secondary sex characteristics are breasts, voice, hair distribution, average weight, height, strength, and longevity. Participant observation is a method of ethnography[…].”“n order to ‘represent’ people, we must make astute and disciplined observations of their lives, and then we must ‘represent’ them, or render them visible for others to see and understand. All science operates on this notion of ‘making observations’ and ‘representing what we see’. In this module, we will learn how to observe gender and sexuality and then represent it in our work. We will also observe how others see gender and sexuality and how their representations influence the naturalization of these cultural notions and.” “will also observe how others see gender and sexuality and how their representations influence the naturalization of these cultural notions and ideas. CENTRAL CONCEPT TO KEEP IN MIND: SECOND NATURE = CULTURE. Things that feel VERY natural to us, we call ‘second nature,’ but in this class, we will see that we are really talking about the meticulous construction of cutlure. How and what do we write meanings on our bodies? Why do we write meanings on our bodies? ” “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychic, or economic destiny defines the figure that the human female takes on in society, it is civilization as a whole that elaborates this intermediary product between the male and the eunuch that is called feminine. Only the mediation of another can constitute an individual as an Other. Inasmuch as he exists for himself, the child would not grasp himself as sexually differentiated. For girls and boys, the body is first the radiation of a subjectivity, the instrument that bring”“of a subjectivity, the instrument that brings about the comprehension of the world; they apprehend the universe through their eyes and hands, and not their sexual parts.” Simone de Beauvoir’s –The Second Sex, 1949 Thought experiment: Think of the body as a blank slate onto which we ‘write’ meanings and messages. Just as in writing, we have the opportunity to highlight certain points, to exclaim things, to question propositions, to emphasize and to downplay aspects of what we want to say. We emphasize and highlight certain bodily features and downplay and background others. From birth, and sometimes even before, we begin to write messages on human beings’ bodies with both language and symbols. We talk about how little boys will be ‘lady-killers’ and little girls will need to be locked up in a tower. These messages are often gendered and sexualized. We literally begin to write “You are a girl” or “You are a boy” onto humans’ bodies from the beginning of their existence. We use colors such as pink and blue, hair accessories. jewelery, types of clothing (skirts and dresses vs. pants and shorts), and clothing designs (pleats and puckers and smocking vs. no embellishments). If we[…]” “more fluidity in appearances of gender and sexual orientation, most people still tend to subscribe to the binarism (that there are two genders: male and female, even though there are many more possibilities). And as human males and/or human females, people become “men” and “women” according to the rules, conventions and customs of their cultures. Every culture drives toward recognizing a difference between men and women, but how these cultures do this manifests differently. In other words, while the categories “men” and “women” exist universally, meaning in all the world’s cultures, the ways in which “men” are supposed to act and look in one culture varies from the others and the same with women. In your notebooks, create a list of items that we use as humans to suggest we are boys or girls–think about what you carry your books in? What do you carry your keys on? How do you carry your keys? How clean do you have to be? How do you sit? How do you walk? Etc. And then, think about how each part of your body from your eyebrows and armpits to your toenails and bangs says, “I’m a boy!” “I’m a girl[…]” “Now, think about how these messages are reinforced and how they change through the life cycle: Birth, Infant, Toddler, Childhood, Adolescent, Adult, Parent, Middle-aged person, Elderly, Dead Gender is seen as a” “CULTURAL ACHIEVEMENT: So, ‘becoming a man’ is not a ‘natural given’, it is a cultural construction that gets accomplished and achieved through a complex set of practices that people learn as they grow. Gender constructions vary according in time (historical variation) and space (cross-cultural variation). Historical variation: Gender construction varies in different times in history Cross-cultural variation–In different cultures, men and women act differently.”