Essay about Gender Roles in Society

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Gender Roles in Society Since the beginning of time men have played the dominant role in nearly every culture around the world. If the men were not dominant, then the women and men in the culture were equal. Never has a culture been found where women have dominated. In “Society and Sex Roles” by Ernestine Friedl, Friedl supports the previous statement and suggests that “although the degree of masculine authority may vary from one group to the next, males always have more power” (261). Friedl discusses a variety of diverse conditions that determine different degrees of male dominance focusing mainly on the distribution of resources. In The Forest People by Colin Turnbull, Turnbull describes the culture of the BaMbuti while…show more content…
Turnbull states that “for the net hunters it is impossible to hunt alone. Men, women and children all have to co-operate if the hunt is to be successful” (97). Therefore the BaMbuti do operate somewhat on an egalitarian basis yet the distribution of protein from the male hunters gives them a certain amount of power since the meat is the people’s primary source of food. Friedl expresses how the opinions of hunters in a culture play an important part in many decisions made in within the group. For example, the male hunters of the BaMbuti always make the decision of moving the camp to a different location although the women may give their opinion. In reference to a decision to return to the forest Turnbull states that “Njobo, the great elephant hunter, had the final say” (50). Friedl also states that although there is a “pattern of some degree of male dominance among foragers, most of these societies are egalitarian” since “foragers, as a rule, do not like to give or take orders, and assume leadership only with reluctance” (267-268). This is shown in The Forest People when Turnbull states that “Pygmies dislike and avoid personal authority” and that “everything settles itself with apparent lack of organization. Co-operation is the key to Pygmy society; you can expect it and you can demand it, and you have to give it” (124-125). The

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