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From "sexual antagonism" to "domination" : the discourse of gender in the ethnography of Papua New Guinea Shaw, Pelly R. E 1991

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FROM "SEXUAL ANTAGONISM" TO "DOMINATION": THE DISCOURSE OF GENDER IN THE ETHNOGRAPHY OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA By P e l l y R. E. Shaw B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of A n t h r o p o l o g y and S o c i o l o g y ) We ac c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as con f o r m i n g t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1991 P e l l y Shaw, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Anthropology The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date October 7, 1991 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This thesis i s an examination of the evolution of the anthropological understandings of gender relations and the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l positions of women i n several New Guinea s o c i e t i e s . Since the 1950's the question of sexual inequality and the domination of women has permeated the discourse of gender i n the ethnography of Papua New Guinea, p a r t i c u l a r l y the Highlands. Key pieces of ethnographic l i t e r a t u r e produced from the 1950's to the present were examined, beginning with the "sexual antagonism" model of the 50's and 60's (Read, Meggitt, Langness), followed by the "women as persons" model of the 1970's (Faithorn, F e i l , Strathern), the model of "sexual complementarity" proposed by Lowlands ethnographers (Weiner, Errington and Gewertz), the symbolic "deconstruction" of domination (Strathern, Lederman, Biersack), and the recent neo-marxist "reconstruction" of domination (Josephides, Godelier). A l l the studies examined deal i n some measure with the degree to which women may be said to be dominated by men. Thus, women's exclusion from or p a r t i c i p a t i o n in. p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s , the nature and degree of women's access to "male" p o l i t i c a l power or the i r possession of other sorts of powers, t h e i r state of personhood and the question of whether or not they may be dominated are central themes i n the discussion. The ethnographers who judged that women were not dominated, perceived, i n several instances, female p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n apparently male a c t i v i t i e s (Faithorn, F e i l ) , and i n another instance, female autonomy d e r i v i n g from women's a b i l i t y t o c i r c u m v e n t male p o l i t i c a l advantage and d e n i g r a t i n g gender i d e o l o g y ( S t r a t h e r n ) . The Lowlands e t h n o g r a p h e r s i d e n t i f i e d a male-female c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y produced by equal but d i f f e r e n t gendered i n t e r e s t s and powers (Weiner, E r r i n g t o n and G e w e r t z ) . More r e c e n t l y , e t h n o g r a p h e r s ( e . g . , S t r a t h e r n ) have adopted a h i g h l y c u l t u r a l l y r e l a t i v i s t p e r s p e c t i v e , i n v o k i n g i n d i g e n o u s meanings and symbolisms, and b y p a s s i n g t h e e v i d e n c e of what appears t o a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s as " d o m i n a t i o n " ( e . g . , the e x i s t e n c e of d e n i g r a t i n g i d e o l o g y , women's l a c k of p o l i t i c a l and p r o p e r t y r i g h t s , v i o l e n c e p e r p e t r a t e d by men a g a i n s t women). These i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s s u ggest t h a t " d o m i n a t i o n " i s a c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n dependent on t h e d e f i n i t i o n of p e r s o n . I n a d d i t i o n , gender i d e o l o g y i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be a s y m b o l i c code t h a t s e r v e s as a moral e v a l u a t i o n of s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r s . Thus, t h e d e v a l u a t i o n of "f e m a l e n e s s " , w h i l e p a s s i n g judgement on c e r t a i n forms of s o c i a l a c t i o n , does not enact t h e d e n i g r a t i o n o r the d o m i n a t i o n of women. In c o n t r a s t , n e o - m a r x i s t e t h n o g r a p h e r s i n t h e 1980's ( J o s e p h i d e s , G o d e l i e r ) r e l y on Western-based d e f i n i t i o n s of pe r s o n and d o m i n a t i o n , and i m p l y t h a t t h e s e and t h e concept of a p p r o p r i a t i o n ( o f p r o p e r t y o r p r o d u c t s of l a b o u r and of the q u a l i t i e s of p e r s o n s ) a r e c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y a p p l i c a b l e . They argue t h a t H i g h l a n d women were i n d e e d dominated and t h a t t h i s d o m i n a t i o n was an independent and o b s e r v a b l e r e a l i t y . B o t h r e c e n t views of t h e s t a t u s of H i g h l a n d women ( s y m b o l i c and n e o - m a r x i s t ) a r e l i m i t e d . W h i l e t h e s y m b o l i c s t u d i e s suggest an i n d i g e n o u s model of c u l t u r e as mental s t r u c t u r e , t h e n e o - m a r x i s t s t u d i e s suggest an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l model of power, c o n t r o l and d o m i n a t i o n . I n the c o n c l u s i o n of the t h e s i s I suggest t h a t a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s must devote l e s s a t t e n t i o n t o a p p a r e n t l y permanent i d e o l o g i c a l o r m a t e r i a l s t r u c t u r e s and s t a t e s of i n e q u a l i t y o r f i x e d s t a t u s , and g r e a t e r a t t e n t i o n t o t h e p r o c e s s e s of d o m i n a t i o n and of women's c o n t e s t a t i o n , t a k i n g women's own p e r s p e c t i v e s i n t o a c c o u n t . V TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 1: SEXUAL ANTAGONISM I n t r o d u c t i o n 12 D e f i n i n g t h e Sexual Antagonism Model 14 L e c h e r s and Prudes: A Sexual Antagonism Typology 26 Sexual Antagonism i n t h e E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s 35 C r i t i q u e of Sexual Antagonism 43 C o n c l u s i o n 56 CHAPTER 2: WOMEN AS PERSONS I n t r o d u c t i o n 57 Melpa Women: Domestic Persons 59 Ka f e Women: P o l i t i c a l P e r sons 69 Enga Women's R o l e i n t h e Tee Exchange 74 C r i t i q u e : I n c l u s i o n and E x c l u s i o n 83 C o n c l u s i o n 96 CHAPTER 3: GENDERED DOMAINS AND SEXUAL COMPLEMENTARITY I n t r o d u c t i o n 99 T r o b r i a n d Women's S o c i o - c o s m i c Power 103 Male-Female C o m p l e m e n t a r i t y i n Chambri S o c i e t y 117 v i C o m p lementarity and Personhood 128 C o n c l u s i o n 138 CHAPTER 4: DECONSTRUCTING DOMINATION: PERSON AND GENDER AS IDEOLOGY I n t r o d u c t i o n 141 M e l a n e s i a n and Western Persons 144 The M i s u s e of a Western Concept of Pe r s o n 149 S u b j e c t s , O b j e c t s , Women and P r o p e r t y 155 Gender as a Sy m b o l i c Code 162 Melpa Gender Symbolism 164 P a i e l a and Mendi Gender I d e o l o g i e s 168 The M e l a n e s i a n A e s t h e t i c 175 C r i t i q u e 181 C o n c l u s i o n 196 CHAPTER 5: RECONSTRUCTING DOMINATION: NEO-MARXIST PERSPECTIVES I n t r o d u c t i o n 200 Male Domination and M a t e r i a l A p p r o p r i a t i o n 203 The Kewa 206 The A p p r o p r i a t i o n of Women's P r o d u c t s 208 The P o l i t i c a l P o s i t i o n of Kewa Women 214 Kewa Gender I d e o l o g y 222 C r i t i q u e of J o s e p h i d e s 226 The I d e o l o g i c a l A p p r o p r i a t i o n of R e p r o d u c t i o n 230 The Baruya 232 v i i The P o l i t i c a l P o s i t i o n of Baruya Women 234 I n i t i a t i o n : a Mechanism of Male Domination 237 The I d e o l o g i c a l J u s t i f i c a t i o n of Male Domination 239 C r i t i q u e of G o d e l i e r 243 C o n c l u s i o n 255 CONCLUSION 259 BIBLIOGRAPHY 278 INTRODUCTION 1 The Cultural Construction of Gender M a r g a r e t Mead's e a r l y s t u d i e s of women and gender r o l e s a c r o s s a range of New Guinea s o c i e t i e s made a s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n t o a n t h r o p o l o g y ' s i n q u i r y i n t o c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s , human b e h a v i o u r and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . Mead's d a t a has not escaped c r i t i c a l r e - e x a m i n a t i o n and h e r n a i v e a u t h o r i t y and a h i s t o r i c a l approach have been c r i t i c i z e d ( s ee C l i f f o r d 1988:230-3, E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987, Freeman 1983, Gewertz 1981, 1984). However, her p e r s p e c t i v e on t h e sexes and t h e u n d e r l y i n g premise of Sex  and Temperament i n Three P r i m i t i v e S o c i e t i e s ( 1 9 3 5 ) , t h a t i s , t h a t male and female b e h a v i o u r and gender r e l a t i o n s a r e l a r g e l y s o c i o - c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s , has endured. S u p p o r t e d by many r e c e n t a n a l y s e s more s o p h i s t i c a t e d t h a n Mead's, t h i s p r e m i s e has become a p o w e r f u l a n a l y t i c a l t o o l w i t h which t o examine how men and women i n p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t i e s c o n s t i t u t e t hemselves and t h e i r b e l i e f s about t h e se x e s . The i d e a t h a t "gender" i s c o n s t r u c t e d w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r s e t of c u l t u r a l c o o r d i n a t e s and h i s t o r i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s ( s ee O r t n e r and Whitehead 1981, S t r a t h e r n 1981a) has p r o v i d e d a grounded b a s i s f o r examining t h e s o c i a l p o s i t i o n s of women and men, t h e i r r o l e s and i n t e r -r e l a t i o n s . I n M e l a n e s i a n ethnography, i t has a l s o p r o v i d e d 2 a new perspective for examining these i n r e l a t i o n to production, exchange, forms of s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l action, notions of power, concepts of personhood, gender ideologies and symbols, and ideas of male domination and sexual inequality. In t h i s thesis I examine the discourse of sex and gender i n Melanesian ethnography with a view to illumi n a t i n g anthropological understandings of gender relations and the so c i a l and p o l i t i c a l positions of women i n several New Guinea s o c i e t i e s . I evaluate the anthropological discourse of gender relations and explore ethnographers' adjudications of women's status, attending p a r t i c u l a r l y to notions of power, the question of women's domination and the absence of women's perspectives. In the chapters of thi s thesis, I examine a series of models of gender re l a t i o n s and women's status. Before proceeding to an overview of these models, I b r i e f l y review the problematic ideological bases of anthropological constructions of gender. Androcentrism and the Construction of Gender ... there i s a profound reluctance on the part of the d i s c i p l i n e to come to terms with the s o c i a l contribution of women to t h e i r society and to develop theories which accommodate women as soc i a l actors i n th e i r own right ... we know too l i t t l e of the female half of society to argue for 3 male dominance as an e n d u r i n g , t i m e l e s s r e a l i t y ( B e l l 1983:246). In t h e c o u r s e of t h i s c e n t u r y of modern a n t h r o p o l o g y , b o t h p r i o r t o and subsequent t o Mead's s e m i n a l work i n t h e 1930's, s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c p e r s p e c t i v e s on t h e sexes and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s have been s t r o n g l y moulded by Western b e l i e f s . N i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y s o c i a l t h e o r y and p o s t -V i c t o r i a n c o ncerns w i t h s e x u a l i t y , " n a t u r a l " s e x u a l p o l a r i t y , t h e d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c dichotomy, t h e d e f i n i t i o n of th e f a m i l y and i d e a s of a p p r o p r i a t e s o c i a l r o l e s f o r t h e sexes have a l l h e l d sway over t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l r e a d i n g of gender ( see Coward 1983, R o s a l d o 1980). To d a t e , t h e r e has been v e r y l i t t l e i n t h e way of f e m i n i s t - i n f o r m e d d e s c r i p t i o n s of e n t i r e s o c i e t i e s , and t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l d i s c o u r s e on women and gender has l o n g harboured an a n d r o c e n t r i c b i a s . Recent f e m i n i s t s c h o l a r s have c r i t i c i z e d Western-biased and a n d r o c e n t r i c anthropology and have c l a r i f i e d t h e e x t e n t t o which gender r e l a t i o n s and women's l i v e s have been n e g l e c t e d , u n d e r v a l u e d and m i s r e p r e s e n t e d by the s o c i a l and t h e o r e t i c a l c o n cerns of male-dominated s o c i a l s c i e n c e ( s e e , f o r example, B e l l 1983, Da h l b e r g 1981, Leacock 1981, Sacks 1979, Sanday 1981, T i f f a n y 1982, 1984, T i f f a n y and O'Br i e n 1984, Weiner 1976). A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a t t e m p t s t o a s s e s s t h e s t a t u s of women i n "male-dominated" s o c i e t i e s , and i n d e e d , t h e concept of 4 domination, have been n o t o r i o u s l y p r o b l e m a t i c . A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have tended t o emphasize c l a n o r g a n i z a t i o n and the a m b i g u i t y of women's p o s i t i o n s i n p a t r i l i n e a l s o c i e t i e s , d e p i c t i n g women's l i v e s l a r g e l y i n terms of the s t r u c t u r a l c o n s t r a i n t s imposed upon them by an " e x t e r i o r " (male) s o c i e t y ( see R u b i n 1975). Women have a l s o been i n v i s i b l e i n a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s of p o l i t i c s , seen e i t h e r as n o n - p o l i t i c a l o r p o l i t i c a l l y i n s i g n i f i c a n t ( T i f f a n y 1987). T h i s view of women, i n p a r t a l e g a c y of the V i c t o r i a n i d e a of p u b l i c s o c i e t y and p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n as male, has a l s o been t h e o b j e c t of f e m i n i s t a t t e n t i o n ( e . g . , De B e a u v o i r 1952, Sacks 1979, T i f f a n y 1987, T i f f a n y and Adams 1985). In t h e 1970's, " t h e a n t h r o p o l o g y of women", q u e s t i o n e d not o n l y a n d r o c e n t r i c p o r t r a y a l s of women's l i v e s , but c r o s s -c u l t u r a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s about women's s t a t u s , g e n e r a t i n g a s c h o l a r l y debate about t h e " u n i v e r s a l " s u b o r d i n a t i o n of women (see Leacock 1981, R e i t e r 1975, R o s a l d o 1980, R o s a l d o and Lamphere 1974, Sacks 1979, Weiner 1976). Proponents of the e x i s t e n c e of s e x u a l l y e g a l i t a r i a n s o c i e t i e s (e.g., Leacock 1978, 1981; L e i b o w i t z 1975, 1986; Sacks 1979) c h a l l e n g e d t h o s e who, l i k e R o s a l d o (1974, 1980), c o n c l u d e d t h a t "... human c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l forms have always been male-dominated" (1980:393). The " u n i v e r s a l s u b o r d i n a t i o n " debate h i g h l i g h t e d t h e d i f f i c u l t y t h a t Western s o c i a l s c i e n c e has had i n 5 c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g d i f f e r e n c e i n a n o n - h i e r a r c h i c a l way. G e n e r a l i z a t i o n s about women's s t a t u s and s o c i a l r o l e s have been framed m a i n l y i n terms of r e p r o d u c t i v e c o n s t r a i n t s (see Quinn 1977, Mukhopadhyay and H i g g i n s 1988); t h a t i s , eth n o g r a p h e r s tended t o see women as " l i m i t e d " by t h e i r r e p r o d u c t i v i t y t o "l o w e r " o r d e r s of a c t i v i t y , i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and d o m e s t i c p u r s u i t s . T h i s l o g i c r e s t s on two c u l t u r a l l y s p e c i f i c c o n s t r u c t i o n s t h a t s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d the New Guinea l i t e r a t u r e from th e 1950's t o the 1970's. These a r e : (a) t h e d i c h o t o m i z a t i o n of s o c i a l l i f e i n t o a d o m e s t i c sphere and a more h i g h l y v a l u e d p u b l i c s p h e r e , and (b) t h e p e r c e p t i o n of women as p r i m a r i l y r e p r o d u c e r s . In a d d i t i o n t o these p r e v a i l i n g a n d r o c e n t r i c p e r s p e c t i v e s on s o c i a l forms, the absence of f o r m a l p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e s i n H i g h l a n d New Guinea s o c i e t i e s l e d e a r l y e t h n o g r a p h e r s t o c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e s e s o c i e t i e s as e g a l i t a r i a n , a t the same t i m e as they c h a r a c t e r i z e d H i g h l a n d women as domestic, r e p r o d u c t i v e and o p p r e s s e d . I n the t r a d i t i o n of l i b e r a l n o t i o n s of " s o c i a l e q u a l i t y " o r " e q u a l i t y of o p p o r t u n i t y " t h e " e q u a l " i n d i v i d u a l i s , i n f a c t , a male i n d i v i d u a l (see J o l l y 1987). Thus, t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c a l l y famed M e l a n e s i a n " e g a l i t a r i a n i s m " was, as J o l l y n o t e s , " t y p i c a l l y about equal o p p o r t u n i t i e s between men" (1987:170). Forge (1972) a l s o p o i n t e d t o the unexamined or g e n d e r - n e u t r a l use of t h e term " e g a l i t a r i a n " and has suggested t h a t i t s i n v o c a t i o n i n a d v e r t e n t l y obscured t h e f a c t s 6 of i n e q u a l i t y between men and women, and among men. Moreover, few ethnographers addressed the q u e s t i o n of i n e q u a l i t i e s among women, p e r p e t u a t i n g the p e r c e p t i o n of women as a un i f o r m group and o b j e c t i v e a n a l y t i c a l c a t e g o r y . * The Purpose of t h e T h e s i s The major purpose of t h i s t h e s i s , as I have a l r e a d y i n d i c a t e d , i s t o examine a v a r i e t y of ways i n whi c h ethnographers have understood gender r e l a t i o n s and the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s of women i n New Guinea, p r i m a r i l y t h e H i g h l a n d s , where, n o t i o n s of male e g a l i t a r i a n i s m a s i d e , t h e q u e s t i o n of t h e d o m i n a t i o n of women and s e x u a l i n e q u a l i t y has l o n g permeated t h e d i s c o u r s e . I c o n s i d e r a few key p i e c e s of e t h n o g r a p h i c l i t e r a t u r e produced d u r i n g t h e f o r t y - y e a r p e r i o d from t h e 1950's t o t h e p r e s e n t , t a k i n g t h e " s e x u a l antagonism" model of t h e 1950's ( e . g . , Read 1954) as a p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e , and t h e r e c e n t work of S t r a t h e r n (1988) and some of her c o n t e m p o r a r i e s ( e . g . , E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987, G o d e l i e r 1986, J o s e p h i d e s 1985) as an e n d p o i n t . I n o r d e r t o examine t h e pr e m i s e s b e h i n d t h e d i s c o u r s e of gender i n a manageable f a s h i o n f o r t h e purposes of t h i s t h e s i s , I d i r e c t my d i s c u s s i o n t o f i v e themes t h a t r e f l e c t t h a t changing 1 I r e t u r n t o t h e q u e s t i o n of i n e q u a l i t i e s among women i n my d i s c u s s i o n of G o d e l i e r (1986) i n Chapter 5, and i n the C o n c l u s i o n . 7 d i s c o u r s e . I n Ch a p t e r s 1 t h r o u g h 5, I ad d r e s s each of t h e s e themes i n t u r n . F i v e Gender Themes i n the Ethnography of New Guinea (1) The " s e x u a l antagonism" model, p r e v a l e n t i n t h e Highlands l i t e r a t u r e of t h e 1950's and 1960's, p o r t r a y e d women as oppressed, domestic and dangerous. Ethnographers p r e s e n t e d gender r e l a t i o n s s t r i c t l y i n terms of o p p o s i t i o n and h o s t i l i t y , and s o c i e t y as a p r o d u c t of male e f f o r t (Read 1952, 1954, M e g g i t t 1964, Langness 1967). (2) I n t h e 1970's e t h n o g r a p h e r s i n t r o d u c e d t h e concept of women as per s o n s i n t h e i r own r i g h t . Some s c h o l a r s argue t h a t women p a r t i c i p a t e d i n and w i e l d e d power i n male spheres of a c t i o n ( F a i t h o r n 1976, F e i l 1978a, 1978b). S t r a t h e r n (1972) argues t h a t Melpa women were p o l i t i c a l minors, but f u l l persons i n t h e d o m e s t i c domain. Both v e r s i o n s of "women as p e r s o n s " a r e p a r t of a g e n e r a l i z e d f e m i n i s t c o r r e c t i o n of t h e a n d r o c e n t r i c b i a s e s of " s e x u a l antagonism". (3) Two e x p l i c i t l y f e m i n i s t s t u d i e s , b o t h d e a l i n g w i t h Lowland New Guinea s o c i e t i e s , produced a decade a p a r t , p o s i t complementary gender r e l a t i o n s and s e x u a l e q u a l i t y . The eth n o g r a p h e r s suggest t h a t t h e sexes pursued d i f f e r e n t but complementary i n t e r e s t s , e x e r c i s e d d i f f e r e n t but complementary powers, and f u n c t i o n e d as persons i n d i s t i n c t but equal domains of a c t i v i t y . They suggest t h a t "power", " p e r s o n " and 8 " d o m i n a t i o n " a r e c u l t u r a l l y d e t e r m i n e d and may not be c o n s i d e r e d independent a n a l y t i c a l c a t e g o r i e s (Weiner 1976, E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987). (4) Recent e t h n o g r a p h e r s , i n amove towards even g r e a t e r c u l t u r a l r e l a t i v i s m , i n v o k e i n d i g e n o u s i d e o l o g i e s of p e r s o n and gender, d i s t i n g u i s h i n g t h e s e from s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s and p r o d u c i n g a d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of the male d o m i n a t i o n of women. P e r s o n , s u b j e c t , p r o p e r t y and ownership a r e c o n s i d e r e d t o be Western concepts and t h e r e f o r e not a p p l i c a b l e t o M e l a n e s i a n r e l a t i o n s ( S t r a t h e r n 1984a, 1984b). Gender i d e o l o g y i s c o n s i d e r e d a s y m b o l i c code and s o c i a l i d i o m whose imagery does not mer e l y r e f l e c t what men and women " a r e " , but s t r u c t u r e s o t h e r v a l u e s and s e r v e s as a moral e v a l u a t i o n of s o c i a l b e haviours and a c t i o n s ( B a t t a g l i a 1983, B i e r s a c k 1984, Kahn 1986, Lederman 1980, 1986, S t r a t h e r n 1978, 1980, 1981b, 1988). Thus, these ethnographers argue t h a t Melanesian persons may not be dominated i n t h e Western sense of the term, and t h a t i d e o l o g i e s d e n i g r a t i n g female q u a l i t i e s do not c o n s t r a i n women's l i v e s . (5) I n t h e 1980's n e o - m a r x i s t s have argued t h a t H i g h l a n d women were i n d e e d dominated and t h a t t h i s d o m i n a t i o n was an independent and observable r e a l i t y . These ethnographers re-open t h e s u b j e c t s of p o l i t i c a l power and i d e o l o g i c a l c o n t r o l , c a s t i n g them as p r e v a i l i n g s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s , and s u g g e s t i n g t h a t a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s may i n d e e d make c r i t i c a l assessments 9 of t h e s t a t u s women and a d j u d i c a t i o n s of d o m i n a t i o n based on e m p i r i c a l o b s e r v a t i o n ( G o d e l i e r 1982, 1986, J o s e p h i d e s 1983, 1985). Because t h e s e themes a r e c o m p l e x l y i n t e r - r e l a t e d , t h e i r e l a b o r a t i o n i n t h e M e l a n e s i a n l i t e r a t u r e has p e r f o r c e not o c c u r r e d i n d i s t i n c t and s u c c e s s i v e s t a g e s . However, t h e s e themes do r e p r e s e n t an e v o l u t i o n of d i f f e r e n t t h e o r e t i c a l and p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t s . They r e p r e s e n t s h i f t s i n t h i n k i n g t h a t a r e s i g n i f i c a n t f o r t h e i r r a d i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n u n d e r l y i n g a s s u m p t i o n s , o v e r a l l p e r s p e c t i v e and c h o i c e of o b j e c t of a n a l y s i s (see a l s o , Mead 1935 v s . E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987, Gewertz 1981, 1984 on t h e Chambri; Wedgwood 1937a, 1937b v s . Luktehaus 1982 on t h e Manam I s l a n d e r s ) . The Problem o f Do m i n a t i o n The s u b j e c t s of C h a p t e r s 4 and 5 i n d i c a t e d i f f e r e n c e s i n a n a l y t i c a l assumptions t h a t u l t i m a t e l y r e v o l v e around t h e l e g i t i m a c y of a d j u d i c a t i o n s of domination. In t h e s e c h a p t e r s , I examine two d i s p a r a t e and i n c o m p a t i b l e approaches t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g d o m i n a t i o n w h i c h p r o v i d e t h e ammunition f o r a debate about how t h e s t a t u s of H i g h l a n d women i s t o be u n d e r s t o o d . Those e t h n o g r a p h e r s who adopt a c u l t u r a l l y r e l a t i v i s t p e r s p e c t i v e and i n v o k e i n d i g e n o u s meanings and symbolisms, p a r t i c u l a r l y S t r a t h e r n , d i s m a n t l e t h e e v i d e n c e of what appears t o a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s as domination. "Domination" 10 and " i n e q u a l i t y " , the argument s t a t e s , a r e themselves c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s and must be c o n s i d e r e d i n r e l a t i o n t o a s e t of c u l t u r a l p r e m i s e s about persons and a c t i o n . I n c o n t r a s t , neo-marxist ethnographers i d e n t i f y the p r o d u c t i o n of i n e q u a l i t y t h r o u g h s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s , and t h e c r e a t i o n of s t r u c t u r e s of d o m i n a t i o n . J o s e p h i d e s ( 1 9 8 5 ) , f o r example, views t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between p r o d u c t i o n and exchange as a mechanism producing an o b j e c t i v e l y v e r i f i a b l e economic domination. Power, p e r s o n , d o m i n a t i o n and how t h e s e a r e t o be d e f i n e d dominate t h e d i s c u s s i o n of gender i n t h e 1980's and c h a l l e n g e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l frames of r e f e r e n c e . A Note About Ethnographic Vari a t i o n I n a t t e m p t i n g t o make comparisons and c o n t r a s t s of t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of t h e p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n of women i n New Guinea s o c i e t i e s , e t h n o g r a p h i c v a r i a t i o n must, of c o u r s e , be t a k e n i n t o a c c o u n t . T h i s d i s c u s s i o n f o c u s e s almost e n t i r e l y on H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s , i n whi c h t h e s o c i o -c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s l a r g e l y outweigh t h e d i f f e r e n c e s . The e x c e p t i o n s i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n a r e t h e Lowlands s o c i e t i e s , t h e T r o b r i a n d I s l a n d s (Weiner 197 6) and Chambri ( E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987). I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t i t i s i n t h e s e s o c i e t i e s t h a t ethnographers have d e t e c t e d complementary gender r e l a t i o n s and s e x u a l e q u a l i t y , an assessment t h a t no 11 ethnographer, r e g a r d l e s s of t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e , has made of t h e H i g h l a n d s . 12 CHAPTER 1 SEXUAL ANTAGONISM I n t r o d u c t i o n The New Guinea H i g h l a n d s have been c h a r a c t e r i z e d as an a r e a of rema r k a b l e c u l t u r a l homogeneity i n s p i t e of c o n s i d e r a b l e l i n g u i s t i c d i v e r s i t y and a l a r g e number of s m a l l autonomous p o l i t i c a l u n i t s (Langness 1967:161). E a r l y e t h n o g r a p h e r s produced c u l t u r a l d e s c r i p t i o n s t h a t emphasized common economic, r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l p a t t e r n s . Thus, Langness w r i t e s : A l l of t h e H i g h l a n d e r s a r e h o r t i c u l t u r a l i s t s and p i g r a i s e r s , and h u n t i n g i s a minor a c t i v i t y . The s t a p l e c r o p everywhere i s t h e sweet p o t a t o . . . M a t e r i a l c u l t u r e has o n l y s l i g h t r e g i o n a l v a r i a t i o n s . The g r o s s f e a t u r e s of r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l and economic o r g a n i z a t i o n l i k e w i s e resemble one another . . . The major r i t u a l s a r e a l i k e i n t h e i r fundamentals (Langness 1967:161). Langness does, however, n o t e s i g n i f i c a n t v a r i a t i o n s i n " c o u r t s h i p , m a r r i a g e and s e x u a l b e h a v i o u r " (1967:162). A l l the same, e t h n o g r a p h e r s c o n s i s t e n t l y d e t e c t e d h i g h l y charged r e l a t i o n s between t h e s e x e s , and c h a r a c t e r i s e d H i g h l a n d New Guinea s o c i e t i e s as "male-dominated" and " s e x u a l l y a n t a g o n i s t i c " . A l t h o u g h t h e term " s e x u a l antagonism" appears i n p o s t -V i c t o r i a n l i t e r a t u r e ( e . g . , Heape 1913) and i n e a r l y p s y c h o a n a l y t i c and " c u l t u r e and p e r s o n a l i t y " l i t e r a t u r e (e.g. , 13 Roheim 1926), i t came i n t o wider usage only i n the 1950's and 60's i n the ethnography of the New Guinea Highlands. Read (1952, 1954), Meggitt (1964) and Langness (1967) de f i n e "sexual antagonism" as a p a t t e r n of o p p o s i t i o n and t e n s i o n i n male-female r e l a t i o n s . Ethnographers of "sexually a n t a g o n i s t i c " s o c i e t i e s d e p i c t women as oppressed, s u b j e c t t o measures of male c o n t r o l , and dangerous t o men because of t h e i r a b i l i t i e s t o p o l l u t e and to use s o r c e r y . They p o r t r a y women as engaging mainly i n domestic and s u b s i s t e n c e a c t i v i t i e s , excluded from the p o l i t i c a l and ceremonial a c t i v i t i e s of "male" s o c i e t y . Furthermore, these ethnographers re p r e s e n t the i n t e r e s t s of the sexes as f r e q u e n t l y opposed; i n t e r - s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y between wives and husbands, are c h a r a c t e r i z e d as tense and h o s t i l e . Indeed, some a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s suggested that t h i s sexual p o l a r i t y c r e a t e d two d i s t i n c t s u b c u l t u r e s s u s t a i n e d by an e l a b o r a t e p o l l u t i o n i d e o l o g y , r e s i d e n t i a l s e g r e g a t i o n , s t r i c t gender d i v i s i o n of labour and separate spheres of personal and r i t u a l a c t i o n (Herdt 1981, Meggitt 1964, Read 1954, Wedgwood 1930). In t h i s chapter I examine the use of the concept of "sexual antagonism" i n the work of Read, Meggitt and Langness. T h e i r p o r t r a i t s of Highland s o c i e t i e s w i l l serve as an i n t r o d u c t i o n both to the r e g i o n as a whole, and to c u r r e n t i s s u e s i n the study of gender r e l a t i o n s . 14 D e f i n i n g t h e S e x u a l Antagonism Model Read's two i m p o r t a n t e a r l y a r t i c l e s , "The Nama C u l t of the C e n t r a l H i g h l a n d s , New G u i n e a " (1952) and "The C u l t u r e s of t h e C e n t r a l H i g h l a n d s , New G u i n e a " (1954), c o n s t i t u t e t h e f i r s t i n s t a n c e i n M e l a n e s i a n ethnography of what may be c a l l e d t h e " s e x u a l antagonism" model. The Gahuku-Gama were a group of t r i b e s t h a t , a t t h e t i m e of Read's f i e l d w o r k , numbered r o u g h l y e i g h t thousand p e o p l e l i v i n g i n t h e a r e a around Goroka, i n t h e A s a r o V a l l e y i n t h e C e n t r a l / E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s of New Guinea. Because much of t h e p r e s e n t d i s c u s s i o n i s i n t i m a t e l y concerned w i t h H i g h l a n d s ethnography, Read's general d e s c r i p t i o n of Highlands s o c i e t i e s s e r v e s as an i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the common e t h n o g r a p h i c f e a t u r e s of t h e a r e a : . . . t h e sweet p o t a t o i s t h e i r s t a p l e c r o p , and much th e same s u b s i d i a r y f o o d s t u f f s - bananas, yams, t a r o , p i t - p i t , and v a r i o u s greens a r e c u l t i v a t e d everywhere, though t h e r e a r e some r e g i o n a l v a r i a t i o n s ... The s i m p l e d i g g i n g s t i c k and s t o n e adze a r e the p r i n c i p a l implements . .. G o l d - l i p s h e l l ( p i d g i n E n g l i s h k i n a ) i s an i m p o r t a n t v a l u a b l e throughout t h e r e g i o n . . . Ceremonial d r e s s i s e v e r y where b r i l l i a n t and e l a b o r a t e , but i n g e n e r a l t h e d e c o r a t i v e and p i c t o r i a l a r t s a r e not h i g h l y developed . . . S o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s a r e n o n - c e n t r a l i z e d and segmentary. There i s no rank o r c l a s s system ... h e r e d i t a r y l e a d e r s h i p i s not found anywhere ... There a r e no s p e c i f i c a l l y p o l i t i c a l o f f i c e s . K i n s h i p , economic and r e l i g i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s p r o v i d e t h e framework f o r p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n and o p e r a t e p o l i t i c a l l y when o c c a s i o n a r i s e s ... The economic p a t t e r n i s t h a t of a s u b s i s t e n c e economy i n which t h e r e i s a margin of goods f o r c e r e m o n i a l exchange ... The b a s i c economic u n i t i s t h e f a m i l y , whose members p r o v i d e f o r most of t h e i r j o i n t needs ... 15 Money has r a p i d l y e n t e r e d t h e economy, but f o r t h e most p a r t w e a l t h s t i l l c o n s i s t s p r i m a r i l y of p e r i s h a b l e s . Any a c c u m u l a t i o n of w e a l t h can o n l y be f o r a s h o r t t i m e , and i t does n o t , t h e r e f o r e , g i v e r i s e t o permanent c l a s s d i s t i n c t i o n s though i t c o n f e r s p r e s t i g e ... (1954:7-12 p a s s i m ) . "Gahuku-Gama c u l t u r e " , Read s t a t e s , " i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y M e l a n e s i a n i n r e s p e c t of c e r t a i n s a l i e n t f e a t u r e s " (1952:2). The p e o p l e s of t h e E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s t r a d i t i o n a l l y l i v e d i n s m a l l v i l l a g e s , as opposed t o t h e s c a t t e r e d s e t t l e m e n t s of t h e Western H i g h l a n d s (1954:13). R e s i d e n t i a l s e g r e g a t i o n of the sexes and a s i n g l e men's " c l u b house" were a l s o t y p i c a l f e a t u r e s . The g r e a t p i g exchanges of the West Highlands e x i s t e d on a somewhat s m a l l e r s c a l e i n t h e E a s t but c a r r i e d a s i m i l a r s o c i a l i m p o r t a n c e : Throughout t h e H i g h l a n d s , p i g s a r e t h e most i m p o r t a n t i t e m s of w e a l t h , and t h e g r e a t e s t s o c i a l g a t h e r i n g s a r e concerned w i t h t h e i r exchange between groups (1954:18). Among the Gahuku-Gama, p i g f e s t i v a l s were p r i m a r i l y a group a c t i v i t y , and i n d i v i d u a l p r e s t i g e was more i n t i m a t e l y bound up w i t h group achievement than i n the Western H i g h l a n d s , where complex networks of exchange p r o v i d e d g r e a t e r o p p o r t u n i t y f o r i n d i v i d u a l p r e s t i g e - s e e k i n g . L i k e o t h e r peoples of H i g h l a n d New G u i n e a , th e Gahuku-Gama t r a d i t i o n a l l y engaged w i t h known enemies i n c o o r d i n a t e d w a r f a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by " a s p e c t s of e x p e c t a t i o n and r e g u l a t i o n " (1952:2). Of t h e t y p i c a l s o c i a l f e a t u r e s t h a t Read n o t e s , t h e most n o t a b l e i s " t h e absence of c h i e f t a i n s h i p and of any s u i g e n e r i s p o l i t i c a l machinery o r o f f i c e s " (1952:2). The Gahuku-Gama " t r i b e " was s i m p l y t h e l a r g e s t group w i t h i n which w a r f a r e d i d not o c c u r . T r i b a l t e r r i t o r y was d i v i d e d among s u b - t r i b a l groups composed of p a t r i l i n e a l c l a n s , and t h e r e were no t r i b a l t e r r i t o r i a l r i g h t s as suc h . S t r o n g t r i b a l bonds d i d e x i s t , however, w i t h " t h e g r e a t i d z a nama f e s t i v a l s " f u n c t i o n i n g p r i m a r i l y as "an e x p r e s s i o n of t r i b a l u n i t y " (1952:3). The s u b c l a n ( d z u h a ) , "a s t r i c t l y exogamous, l a n d h o l d i n g and p r e d o m i n a n t l y l o c a l group" (1952:3-4), was t h e f u n c t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l u n i t and, more f r e q u e n t l y i n t h e p a s t t h a n i n Read's t i m e , a l s o formed a r e s i d e n t i a l group. The s u b c l a n was "made up of a number of r e l a t e d p a t r i l i n e a g e s " , each h a v i n g "a depth of between f o u r and f i v e g e n e r a t i o n s " (1952:3-4). Read n o t e s t h a t Gahuku-Gama p a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g y was s t r o n g , but t h a t o t h e r s o c i a l p r i n c i p l e s impinged on i t s supremacy: W h i l e t h e p a t r i l i n e a g e i s , a g a i n , m o s t l y a l o c a l r e s i d e n t i a l group t h e very s t r o n g bonds which e x i s t between age-mates may operate t o modify the i n t e r n a l s t r u c t u r e . Thus, some men p r e f e r t o s e t up house and i d e n t i f y t h e m s e l v e s i n everyday a f f a i r s w i t h t h e members of o t h e r l i n e a g e s w i t h whom they passed t h r o u g h t h e i n i t i a t i o n r i t e s and spent a l o n g a p p r e n t i c e s h i p i n t h e men's house (zagusave) (1952:4). "The c u l t u r e s of t h e e a s t " ( H i g h l a n d s ) , Read s t a t e s , " a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a marked sex dichotomy which f i n d s i t s most o b v i o u s and e l a b o r a t e e x p r e s s i o n i n t h e i n s t i t u t i o n of the men's c l u b house" (1954:12). T h i s " c l u b house" was t r a d i t i o n a l l y t h e c e n t r e of t h e s a c r e d f l u t e (nama) c u l t , 17 and t h e f l u t e s themselves were " e x c l u s i v e l y male p o s s e s s i o n s " and " a p a r t from t h e i r r e l i g i o u s s i g n i f i c a n c e ... (were) p r e -e m i n e n t l y symbols of male dominance" (1954:12). They were used not o n l y i n men's i n i t i a t i o n c e remonies, but a l s o i n th e r e l a t e d i d z a nama f e s t i v a l s ( t h e c e r e m o n i a l p i g k i l l s ) , and i n f e r t i l i t y r i t e s . F l u t e tunes passed down t h r o u g h g e n e r a t i o n s were c o n s i d e r e d " t h e common and t r a d i t i o n a l h e r i t a g e of t h e males" (1952:7). I t was a l s o men's e x c l u s i v e r i g h t t o p l a y t h e f l u t e s ; p u b l i c i d e o l o g y s t a t e d t h a t women knew n o t h i n g whatsoever about t h e f l u t e s , and they were not p e r m i t t e d t o see them, but " a r e c o m p e l l e d t o h i d e whenever the f l u t e s a r e p l a y e d , and the p e n a l t y f o r d i s o b e y i n g i s d e a t h " (1954:25). In h i s 1952 a r t i c l e , Read p r e s e n t s a l e s s dogmatic view of women's r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e s a c r e d f l u t e s . There, he su g g e s t s t h a t t h e c u l t d i d not a p p l y a s t r i c t l y c a t e g o r i c a l view of women. T h i s i s e v i d e n t i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e d r a m a t i c b e g i n n i n g of t h e c u l t ceremonies and t h e p a r a d i n g of t h e f l u t e s : An advance guard goes ahead t o warn t h e w a i t i n g women of what i s coming, and, as t h e p r o c e s s i o n p a s s e s , t h e s e men s t a n d guard, bow i n hand, t o make s u r e no female o r u n i n i t i a t e d male l o o k s a t them ... women e i t h e r t u r n t h e i r backs o r lower t h e i r heads where they s i t ... O l d women, however, a r e  p e r m i t t e d t o s t a n d up and f a c e t h e men, e m i t t i n g a s h r i l l s t y l i z e d shout ... (1952:5, my emp h a s i s ) . 18 Thus, t h e f l u t e s c l e a r l y s y m b o l i z e d not o n l y t h e hegemony of men over women, but of t h e o l d and t h e i n i t i a t e d over t h e young and u n i n i t i a t e d . Women and c h i l d r e n , ( i n c l u d i n g u n i n i t i a t e d b o y s ) , were l e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e sound of t h e f l u t e s was produced by m y t h i c a l b i r d s which appeared i n t h e men's house. Y e t , Gahuku-Gama men f u l l y acknowledged t h a t "human agents produce th e t u n e s " and t h a t " t h e nama b i r d does not e x i s t and was i n v e n t e d f o r t h e e x p r e s s purpose of m i s l e a d i n g t h e women and c h i l d r e n " (1952:6). Women, however, knew of t h e e x i s t e n c e of t h e f l u t e s , and men were e q u a l l y aware of women's knowledge. The d e c e p t i o n was p e r p e t r a t e d on a l l s i d e s . Read s t a t e s t h a t t h e nama f l u t e s were not o b j e c t s m e r e l y "designed f o r t h e g l o r i f i c a t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r sex" (1952:6). While f u n c t i o n i n g as instruments of male hegemony, they c a r r i e d an i m p o r t a n t r e l i g i o u s meaning. The f l u t e s were symbols of u n i t y and " t h e common o r i g i n and c o n t i n u i t y of a p a r t i c u l a r group of men" (1952:7) c o n s t r u e d i n o p p o s i t i o n t o "women" as a c a t e g o r y . Thus, n ot o n l y were t h e f l u t e s " t h e supreme symbol of male hegemony" (1954:25), b u t , Read s u g g e s t s , they a l s o g l o r i f i e d s o c i a l cohesion and t r a n s m o g r i f i e d t h e p r a c t i c a l s o l i d a r i t y of the male group i n t o an e n d u r i n g v a l u e and l i f e p r i n c i p l e . The nama c u l t p r o v i d e d a s p i r i t u a l c o n f i r m a t i o n of " t h e u n i v e r s a l v a l i d i t y of t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s , aims and a s p i r a t i o n s of men" (1952:13). The i n i t i a t i o n r i t e s themselves a f f i r m e d t h e r i g i d sex dichotomy of t h e c u l t u r e and t h e communal n a t u r e of male i n t e r e s t s . These i n i t i a t i o n s i n v o l v e d d i f f e r e n t r i t u a l t r e a t m e n t s f o r boys a c c o r d i n g t o age. Smal l boys were t e m p o r a r i l y s e p a r a t e d from t h e i r mothers and b r i e f l y exposed t o t h e f o r m a l ceremonies of the male w o r l d . They were t h e n r e t u r n e d t o t h e i r mothers, and a few y e a r s l a t e r e n t e r e d t h e nex t phase of t h e fo r m a l s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s . A d o l e s c e n t boys were a d m i t t e d t o t h e men's houses as n o v i c e s . T h e i r s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n c l u d e d d a i l y r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n s ( n ose-bleeding, and cane-swallowing t o i n d u c e v o m i t i n g ) t h a t r i d them of t h e c o n t a m i n a t i n g i n f l u e n c e s of women and guaranteed t h e i r p h y s i c a l and masculine development. F o l l o w i n g these r i t e s , t h e boys underwent a p e r i o d of confinement i n t h e men's house, and sub s e q u e n t l y t h e s e c r e t of t h e f l u t e s was r e v e a l e d t o them. In a l l , i t was a l e n g t h y and arduous p e r i o d of i n d o c t r i n a t i o n t o t h e male w o r l d and male v a l u e s , c a r r i e d on i n i s o l a t i o n from t h e female w o r l d : They a r e a l l o w e d o n l y t h e minimum of c o n t a c t w i t h women and r a c e about i n s m a l l bands p r a c t i s i n g v o m i t i n g and b l o o d - l e t t i n g , and i n g e n e r a l , p r e p a r i n g themselves f o r w i d e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the a f f a i r s of men (1952:11). O l d e r a d o l e s c e n t s , h a v i n g p r e v i o u s l y undergone i n i t i a t i o n r i t e s , r e p e a t e d them, th e n e n t e r e d i n t o a p e r i o d of s e c l u s i o n i n t h e men's house and p r e p a r e d t o assume the s t a t u s of b e t r o t h e d w a r r i o r s . The e n t i r e i n i t i a t i o n p e r i o d l a s t e d f o r s e v e r a l y e a r s and c o n s t i t u t e d a f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n a l and 20 s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s . Boys were i n c u l c a t e d w i t h " t h e sentiments which u n d e r l i e t h e s o l i d a r i t y of the male community" and by means of t h e same p r o c e s s " t h e common i n t e r e s t s of i t s members a r e f o r g e d and cemented" (1952:11). The nama c u l t , Read s u g g e s t s , may l e g i t i m a t e l y be seen as "an a r t i f i c i a l and c o n s c i o u s l y c o n t r i v e d mechanism through which men hope t o demonstrate and p r e s e r v e t h e i r s u p e r i o r s t a t u s " (1952:16). He f u r t h e r d e s c r i b e s i t as "b o t h an i n d e x of male dominance and an i n s t i t u t i o n s e r v i n g t o m a i n t a i n t h e s t a t u s quo of male hegemony" (1952:16) . I n s h o r t , i t i s Read's assessment t h a t , u n d e r l y i n g r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s a s i d e , the nama c u l t , i n o p e r a t i o n a l o r e f f e c t i v e terms, was p r i m a r i l y about the dominance of men over women. Female dependence, s u b m i s s i o n and i n f e r i o r i t y were t r a n s l a t e d i n t o s p i r i t u a l terms, such t h a t male dominance was i n t e g r a t e d i n t o t h e s p i r i t u a l and i d e o l o g i c a l meanings of t h e s o c i e t y . The dominance of men over women became an immutable " f a c t " of l i f e . S e x u a l o p p o s i t i o n i n H i g h l a n d s o c i e t i e s was p e r p e t r a t e d t h r o u g h b o t h i d e o l o g y and c o l l e c t i v e symbolism. I t was most f o r c e f u l l y p e r p e t r a t e d t h r o u g h s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r a c t i c e s , and Read n o t e s t h a t a c r o s s t h e H i g h l a n d s " v a r i a t i o n s i n t h e tr e a t m e n t of a d o l e s c e n c e a r e of ... s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r t h e f o r m a t i o n of a d u l t sex a t t i t u d e s " (1954:31). M a s c u l i n e s o c i a l i z a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y , was t h e key t o t h e p e r p e t r a t i o n 21 of g e n e r a t i o n a l c y c l e s of t e n s i o n and antagonism between t h e 2 s e x e s . One r e s u l t of male s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n Gahuku-Gama s o c i e t y was an e l a b o r a t e d c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of male and female t h a t was f a r more th a n " t h e s i m p l e assignment of complementary r o l e s based on observable o r imputed p h y s i o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s " (1952:14). Deeply i n c u l c a t e d b e l i e f s about th e sexes and t h e psychology s u s t a i n i n g those b e l i e f s were m u t u a l l y r e i n f o r c i n g . "No man", Read s t a t e s , " r e g a r d s a woman or her a c t i v i t i e s as b e i n g equal i n imp o r t a n c e t o h i m s e l f and h i s own a f f a i r s " (1954:24). T h i s m a s c u l i n i s t p u b l i c i d e o l o g y and s o c i a l psychology d i f f e r e n t i a l l y v a l u e d both men and women as persons and t h e m a s c u l i n e and t h e f e m i n i n e as p r i n c i p l e s : Men a r e c o n c e i v e d t o be the more i m p o r t a n t members of s o c i e t y . They a r e , i d e a l l y , a g g r e s s i v e , f l a m b o y a n t , g i v e n t o q u i c k o u t b u r s t s of anger the w a r r i o r s , g u a r d i a n s of custom, and r e p o s i t o r i e s of knowledge on whom t h e c o n t i n u e d w e l f a r e and s e c u r i t y of t h e group depend. Women's r o l e i s seen t o be one of s u b m i s s i o n . A d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e s h a r e of b o t h t h e dru d g e r y and heavy work e n t a i l e d i n d a i l y l i f e f a l l s t o them, w h i l e men a r e f r e e t o g o s s i p , i n d u l g e i n speech-making, and put on t h e i r b r i l l i a n t d e c o r a t i o n s seek d i v e r s i o n e l s e w h e r e . Even i n p r o c r e a t i o n , t h e woman i s a s s i g n e d a secondary p a r t . She i s m e r e l y a r e c e p t a c l e f o r the Read's emphasis on male s o c i a l i z a t i o n i s one of t h e s t r e n g t h s of h i s work, and h i s l a c k of a t t e n t i o n t o female s o c i a l i z a t i o n , one of t h e weaknesses. G e n e r a l l y , s o c i a l i z a t i o n i s a theme t h a t has remained underdeveloped i n M e l a n e s i a n ethnography. I w i l l l a t e r argue t h a t a s t r o n g and h i g h l y c o n s t r u c t e d or i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d o p p o s i t i o n between t h e sexes does not e x i s t p u r e l y as a f o r m a l o r a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e , t h a t i s , as a s t r u c t u r e , but must be seen as r e s u l t i n g i n and from t h e i n t e r a c t i o n of s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s . man's semen. W i t h o u t a man, i t i s s a i d , a woman i s n o t h i n g ; but t h e c o n v e r s e does not a p p l y , f o r a man, as a member of t h e male s e x , a l w a y s , as i t were, c a r r i e s around w i t h him the p o t e n t i a l i t y of f a t h e r h o o d , r e q u i r i n g o n l y t h e s u b m i s s i v e n e s s of a woman t o a c h i e v e e x p r e s s i o n . (1952:14). I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o n o t e here t h a t t h i s was the male view of t h e s o c i a l order. Read r e p o r t s t h a t Gahuku-Gama men b e l i e v e d t h a t they had t o " m a i n t a i n a c o n s t a n t v i g i l a n c e t o p r e s e r v e t h e i r s u p e r i o r i t y " and t h a t women, " g i v e n t h e o p p o r t u n i t y , a r e p r e p a r e d t o c h a l l e n g e i t " (1952:14). F o r i n s t a n c e , men c o n t r a s t e d t h e i r own d e s i r e t o have c h i l d r e n w i t h women's d e s i r e s , b e l i e v i n g ( q u i t e r i g h t l y a c c o r d i n g t o Read) t h a t women " d i s l i k e b e a r i n g c h i l d r e n " and " t a k e s t e p s t o p r e v e n t or t e r m i n a t e pregnancy" (1952:14). Male s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n Gahuku-Gama s o c i e t y c l e a r l y i n v o l v e d a k i n d of p s y c h o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n i n g , and Read's e x p l a n a t i o n of "sexual antagonism" a c c o r d i n g l y ventures i n t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l t e r r i t o r y . He i d e n t i f i e s a r e l a t i o n s h i p between " s e x u a l a ntagonism" and t h e " a g g r e s s i v e " H i g h l a n d c h a r a c t e r , e m p h a s i z i n g t h a t " p h y s i c a l a g g r e s s i o n and v i o l e n c e i s t h e dominant o r i e n t a t i o n of t h e H i g h l a n d c u l t u r e s " (1954:22). He r e l a t e s t h i s tendency t o t h e p e r p e t u a l s t a t e of war i n which t h e s e c u l t u r e s , e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e of t h e E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s , e x i s t e d u n t i l r e l a t i v e l y r e c e n t l y . However, Read c l a i m s t h a t p h y s i c a l a g g r e s s i o n was not s i m p l y a r e s u l t of i n t e n s e i n t e r - g r o u p h o s t i l i t y , but was "a more fundamental 23 t r a i t " (1954:23). A g g r e s s i v i t y and t e n d e n c i e s t o v i o l e n c e , Read s u g g e s t s , c h a r a c t e r i z e d most Gahuku-Gama i n t e r a c t i o n s : P h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e and antagonism a r e t h e warp of th e c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n ; p r e s e n t t o some e x t e n t i n most i m p o r t a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s , they r e c e i v e innumerable forms of symbolic and i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d e x p r e s s i o n (1954:23). Read's e x p l a n a t i o n r e f e r s t o men, but he a l s o n o t e s t h a t women were no l e s s a g g r e s s i v e among themselves. Co-wives o f t e n fought v i c i o u s l y , but t h e s e f i g h t s were t y p i c a l l y viewed by men as s e m i - s e r i o u s and were l i k e l y t o be t e r m i n a t e d by male i n t e r v e n t i o n . The i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d e x p r e s s i o n of p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e i n c l u d e d v i o l e n c e p e r p e t r a t e d by men a g a i n s t t h e i r w ives as punishment f o r v a r i o u s misdeeds. W h i l e th e punishment of male or female wrongdoers g e n e r a l l y i n v o l v e d " p u b l i c b e a t i n g s " and " v i c i o u s h u m i l i a t i o n s " (1954 : 23), men s p e c i f i c a l l y d i r e c t e d t h e i r v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t female s e x u a l i t y : Women suspected of a d u l t e r y have s t i c k s t h r u s t i n t o t h e i r v a g i n a , o r s t r i p p e d naked, t h e y a r e t i e d t o a p o s t w h i l e men throw d i r t and u r i n a t e on them. B e a t i n g s a c r o s s t h e b r e a s t s and s h o u l d e r s w i t h l e n g t h s of r a t t a n cane a r e common f o r l e s s f o r s e r i o u s o f f e n s e s (1954:23). A t h i r d i m p o r t a n t element of male s o c i a l i z a t i o n was t h e c u l t u r a l b e l i e f t h a t " t h e female p r i n c i p l e i s i n i t s e l f ... i n i m i c a l t o men" (1952:14) and t h e r e f o r e t o t h e p r o d u c t i o n of m a s c u l i n i t y . Gahuku-Gama m a s c u l i n i t y and male s u p e r i o r i t y were consequently c o n s t r u c t e d on the p r e c a r i o u s b a s i s of men's s e l f - a c k n o w l e d g e d p h y s i o l o g i c a l i n f e r i o r i t y . G i r l s were b e l i e v e d t o mature " n a t u r a l l y " i n t o women, as b r e a s t s b e g i n t o grow and m e n s t r u a t i o n o c c u r s w i t h o u t p r o v o c a t i o n ; n o t h i n g was r e q u i r e d t o e n g i n e e r t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l p r o c e s s . I t was b e l i e v e d t h a t boys, however, i f l e f t t o t h e i r own d e v i c e s , would not become men. Manhood had t o be a c h i e v e d . The o b v i o u s s i g n s of the female process of m a t u r a t i o n a r e " w i t h o u t obvious p a r a l l e l " (1952:15) i n boys, and men's i n i t i a t i o n r i t e s were d e s i g n e d t o i n d u c e m a t u r a t i o n t h r o u g h i m i t a t i v e p r a c t i c e s s uch as c y c l i c a l b l o o d - l e t t i n g . I n i t i a t i o n r i t e s and m e n s t r u a t i o n were t h e r e f o r e thought t o s e r v e s i m i l a r purposes. Thus, men saw themselves as b o t h s u p e r i o r t o and i n f e r i o r t o women. Indeed, t h e i r p h y s i o l o g i c a l i n f e r i o r i t y demanded t h a t they c o n s t r u c t f o r themselves a c u l t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y . The b e l i e f t h a t the female p r i n c i p l e was i n i m i c a l t o m a s c u l i n i t y r e s u l t e d i n a view of s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s as " f r a u g h t w i t h d a n g e r s " (1954:27). I n i t i a t e s were s e p a r a t e d from women, c l o s e c o n t a c t w i t h whom would sap m a s c u l i n e s t r e n g t h and t h r e a t e n b u r g e o n i n g manhood. Sexual i n t e r c o u r s e was d e b i l i t a t i n g and p o l l u t i n g , even f o r mature m a r r i e d men. W h i l e a danger t o men from w i t h i n , as a s o u r c e of p o l l u t i o n and a t h r e a t t o m a s c u l i n i t y , Gahuku-Gama women as wive s posed a t h r e a t t o men from w i t h o u t . I n - m a r r i e d women d i d not become members of t h e i r husbands' c l a n s , and thus were always r e g a r d e d as s t r a n g e r s . T h i s permanent o u t s i d e r 25 s t a t u s , what S t r a t h e r n (1972) has r e f e r r e d t o as " i n -betweenness", was, from t h e husband's p o i n t of view and t h a t of h i s c l a n , a p o t e n t i a l danger. The r e s u l t i n g m i s t r u s t between spouses not o n l y c r e a t e d m a r i t a l t e n s i o n , but a l s o a l l o w e d women what may be i n t e r p r e t e d as a c e r t a i n p o l i t i c a l "power". Read argues t h a t women's p o l i t i c a l "power" c o n s i s t e d of r e s i s t a n c e and r e c a l c i t r a n c e i n t h e f a c e of i n e v i t a b l e male domination. To escape the r e s t r i c t i v e parameters of t h e i r i d e o l o g i c a l l y a s s i g n e d p o s i t i o n , women r e s o r t e d t o "extreme" t a c t i c s : t h e use of s o r c e r y and t h e d e s e r t i o n of husbands. Por a Gahuku-Gama man t o a c h i e v e s o c i a l a d u l t h o o d , he had t o marry and produce c h i l d r e n and "no one has a h i g h o p i n i o n of him i f he i s u n a b l e t o do s o " (1954:29). Thus, by l e a v i n g m a r r i a g e s , women i n c o n v e n i e n c e d t h e i r husbands. Read s t a t e s t h a t " i n most cases a woman's l e a v i n g a man r e s u l t s i n a " v i o l e n t r e a c t i o n " and " c e a s e l e s s l i t i g a t i o n " (1954:28). Y e t , women p o s s e s s e d no l e g i t i m a t e powers o r r i g h t s c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e i d e o l o g i c a l l e g i t i m a c y a s c r i b e d t o male s u p e r i o r i t y . In a d d i t i o n , women posed an even g r e a t e r t h r e a t t o men as " t h e p r i n c i p a l agents t h r o u g h w h i c h a s o r c e r e r works" (1954:27). Young men were warned t o s t e e r c l e a r of s e x u a l o f f e r s t h a t c o u l d be a t t e m p t s on t h e p a r t of women t o p r o c u r e But see my c r i t i q u e of S t r a t h e r n ' s s i m i l a r argument i n C h a p t e r s 2 and 4. 26 semen f o r use i n s o r c e r y . Thus, a man's w i f e was, i n one sense, h i s most d e a d l y enemy. Por a young man t h e paradox of sex was t r u l y a d o u b l e bind. The s o c i a l p r e s s u r e s of masculine values impressed deeply upon him t h e paramount im p o r t a n c e of m a r r i a g e t o h i s s o c i a l p o s i t i o n , and y e t women posed a t h r e a t t o h i s v e r y s u r v i v a l . In t h e e s s e n t i a l p r o c e s s e s of c o u r t s h i p and m a r r i a g e , h i s p e r s o n a l w e l l - b e i n g and h i s s o c i a l w e l l - b e i n g came i n t o c o n f l i c t . Read's a n a l y s i s of t h e s e x u a l p o l i t i c s of Gahuku-Gama s o c i e t y h i g h l i g h t s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between i d e o l o g y and p r a c t i c e . He f o c u s e s on t h e " p a r t i a l and l a r g e l y f o r m a l r e a l i z a t i o n of t h e male i d e a l ..." (1954:30), n o t i n g t h a t t h e i d e a l r e s t s on a c o n t r a d i c t i o n : "men f e e l t h a t women c h a l l e n g e t h e i r a u t h o r i t y and oppose t h e i r i n t e r e s t s , and ... one of t h e i r p r i n c i p a l c o n cerns i s t o demonstrate and p r e s e r v e t h e i r s u p e r i o r i t y " (1954:30). " L e c h e r s " and "Prudes": A Se x u a l Antagonism Typology Read argued t h a t male-female h o s t i 1 i t y p r o b a b l y o c c u r r e d throughout the Highlands i n a v a r i e t y of forms. H i s d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e E a s t e r n and Western Highlands suggested t o M e g g i t t t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of " c o n s i s t e n t r e g i o n a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e p a t t e r n of r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men and women" ( M e g g i t t 1964:205). M e g g i t t s u b s e q u e n t l y proposed a c o m p a r a t i v e measure of the t e n s i o n and o p p o s i t i o n between t h e sexes a c r o s s H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s . M e ggitt was not concerned w i t h the causes of i n t e r - s e x u a l h o s t i l i t y ; h i s model i s l a r g e l y d e s c r i p t i v e and c l a s s i f i c a t o r y , and aims t o show t h a t the v a r i a t i o n s i n i n t e r - s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s were " c o r r e l a t e d w i t h t h e pr e s e n c e o r absence of p a r t i c u l a r k i n d s of men's p u r i f i c a t o r y c u l t s , w i t h d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e s t a t u s of women i n everyday l i f e and the degree of h o s t i l i t y e x i s t i n g between a f f i n a l l y r e l a t e d groups" (1964 : 20 6). M e g g i t t s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e r e e x i s t e d two i d e n t i f i a b l e t y p e s of i n t e r -s e x u a l o p p o s i t i o n : t h e Mae t y p e (men as "prudes") and t h e Kuma t y p e (men as " l e c h e r s " ) . I n a d d i t i o n , he s u g g e s t s t h a t a t h i r d t y p e of " s e x u a l antagonism", a c o m b i n a t i o n of t h e Mae and Kuma t y p e s , e x i s t e d i n t h e E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s . Meggitt focuses p r i n c i p a l l y on male s o c i a l i z a t i o n , g i v i n g l i t t l e d i r e c t a t t e n t i o n t o women, d e t a i l i n g t h e e f f e c t s of f e m i n i n i t y on m a s c u l i n i t y and male b e l i e f s about women. Indeed, we n o t e t h a t h i s i d e n t i f i e d t y p e s , " p r u d e s " and " l e c h e r s " , r e f e r t o male a t t i t u d e s , r e a c t i o n s and b e h a v i o u r s towards women. M e g g i t t t a k e s t h e Mae Enga of the Western H i g h l a n d s as h i s p r i n c i p a l case s t u d y . The Mae Enga numbered about 30,000 out of a t o t a l Enga p o p u l a t i o n of 100,000 i n 1964. L i k e o t h e r H i g h l a n d e r s , t h e Mae Enga were s e d e n t a r y h o r t i c u l t u r a l i s t s who grew sweet p o t a t o e s , r a i s e d p i g s and p a r t i c i p a t e d i n an 28 e l a b o r a t e system of c e r e m o n i a l exchange ( t h e t e e ) . The important s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l groups were t h e l o c a l i z e d p a t r i c i a n and i t s s u b c l a n s , composed of p a t r i l i n e a g e s . R e s i d e n t i a l s e p a r a t i o n of t h e sexes was t h e common p r a c t i c e a t t h e ti m e of M e g g i t t ' s f i e l d w o r k , but t h e men's house was n o t , as i n Gahuku-Gama s o c i e t y , t h e c e n t r e of any r i t u a l a c t i v i t y , but s i m p l y a meeting and s l e e p i n g p l a c e . From an e a r l y age, c h i l d r e n , e s p e c i a l l y boys, a c t i v e l y i n t e r n a l i z e d c u l t u r a l b e l i e f s i n t h e fundamental d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e s e x e s . A d u l t men a d v i s e d young boys a g a i n s t s p e n d i n g e x c e s s i v e amounts of ti m e i n t h e company of women. At around f i v e y e a r s of age, boys began s l e e p i n g i n t h e men's houses and s p e n d i n g t h e m a j o r i t y of t h e i r t ime w i t h o t h e r boys. Under t h e s u p e r v i s i o n of o l d e r youths and a d u l t men, they were i n s t r u c t e d i n a s e t of r i g i d b e l i e f s about t h e female sex. L i k e Gahuku-Gama boys, t h e y were t a u g h t t h a t women were p o l l u t i n g and dangerous, and t h a t m e n s t r u a t i o n and b i r t h were unclean p r o c e s s e s , dangerous and d e b i l i t a t i n g t o m a s c u l i n i t y . Thus, much l i k e Gahuku-Gama s o c i e t y , Mae Enga s o c i e t y p e r p e t r a t e d t h r o u g h s o c i a l i z a t i o n an " e n d u r i n g complex of b e l i e f s , a t t i t u d e s and usages co n n e c t e d w i t h t h e assumption t h a t women a r e i n t r i n s i c a l l y u n c l e a n " (1964:208). Given t h e s e b e l i e f s , Mae Enga men's angst about s e x u a l i t y i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e ; they were a c t i v e l y i n c u l c a t e d w i t h b e l i e f s t h a t r e p r o d u c e d a c u t e gynephobia. "There i s a f e a r " , M e g g i t t 29 s t a t e s , " t h a t c o p u l a t i o n i s i n i t s e l f d e t r i m e n t a l t o male w e l l - b e i n g " (1964:210). As a r e s u l t , " t h e o r d i n a r y husband c o p u l a t e s w i t h h i s w i f e o n l y as o f t e n as he t h i n k s n e c e s s a r y t o beget c h i l d r e n and, n a t u r a l l y enough, r e g a r d s w i t h a b h o r r e n c e any e r o t i c p r e l i m i n a r i e s t o t h e s e x u a l a c t " (1964:210). To what degree Mae men's s t a t e m e n t s about sex r e f l e c t t h e i r f e e l i n g s when engaged i n t h e a c t i s not c l e a r from M e g g i t t ' s a n a l y s i s . Mae women thus posed a t h r e a t t o m a s c u l i n i t y . The male i n i t i a t i o n r i t u a l ( s a n q q a i ) was c o n s e q u e n t l y d e s i g n e d t o c l e a n s e and s t r e n g t h e n young u n m a r r i e d men, and t o p r o t e c t them from the o n s l a u g h t of d e b i l i t a t i n g female i n f l u e n c e s t o w hich a d u l t l i f e i n e v i t a b l y exposed them. The s a n q q a i i n v o l v e d a s h o r t p e r i o d of s e c l u s i o n and p u r i f i c a t o r y r i t u a l s , but i t d i d not e n t a i l t h e b l o o d - l e t t i n g o r v o m i t i n g of t h e Gahuku-Gama r i t u a l . R a t h e r , s a n g g a i p u r i f i c a t i o n s were based on v a r i o u s d i e t a r y r e s t r i c t i o n s and o t h e r p r o h i b i t i o n s "which aim a t c o m p l e t e l y s h i e l d i n g ... ( t h e i n i t i a t e s ) from f e m i n i n i t y , s e x u a l i t y and i m p u r i t y " . Thus, "not o n l y must they a v o i d women", but a l s o " t h ey may not use a n y t h i n g a l r e a d y p o l l u t e d by women's v i e w i n g " (1964:213). When t h e young men emerged from t h e r i t u a l house a f t e r s e v e r a l days of a c t i v i t i e s , t h e y j o i n e d a p u b l i c c e l e b r a t i o n t h a t i n c l u d e d t h e s i n g i n g of b l a t a n t l y s e x u a l songs, r i t u a l t e a s i n g , and t h e s e l e c t i o n of b a c h e l o r s by p a r t i e s of g i r l s . 30 These a c t i v i t i e s t r i g g e r e d a c y c l e of c o m p e t i t i v e s i n g i n g performed by groups of young men, and on t h e f o l l o w i n g day, s i n g i n g , d a n c i n g , f e a s t i n g and speech-making proceeded. I t was a g e n e r a l c e l e b r a t i o n of t h e emergence of t h e b a c h e l o r s as "new men". The whole a f f a i r c u l m i n a t e d i n s e v e r a l days of pompous p a r a d i n g : . . . t h e armed and d e c o r a t e d b a c h e l o r s perambulate the t e r r i t o r i e s of t h e i r own and n e i g h b o u r i n g c l a n s t o show o f f t h e i r "new s k i n " and t h e i r f i n e r y . They h a l t f r e q u e n t l y t o chant t o p i c a l songs and a t n i g h t s l e e p i n men's houses wherever they a r e v i s i t i n g ; t h e y must not e n t e r women's houses or a c c e p t f o o d from women. On t h e l a s t morning t h e y go back t o the s e c l u s i o n houses and remove t h e i r ornaments and change i n t o o r d i n a r y d r e s s . Then they cook and s h a r e a meal of pork or f o w l b e f o r e r e t u r n i n g t o everyday l i f e where, s t r e n g t h e n e d by t h e r i t u a l s , t h e y f a c e once more t h e i n s i d i o u s i n f l u e n c e of u n c l e a n women (1964:216-217). Prom M e g g i t t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n , i t i s c l e a r t h a t Mae women were a c t i v e l y and f o r m a l l y i n v o l v e d i n t h i s ceremony: Throughout the p r e c e d i n g a f t e r n o o n p a r t i e s of g i r l s a r r i v e , and t h e mothers and s i s t e r s of t h e b a c h e l o r s o f f e r them h o s p i t a l i t y . At dusk the g i r l s assemble i n groups on t h e dance-ground, and t h o s e who have s w e e t h e a r t s or f r i e n d s among th e b a c h e l o r s l e a d the s i n g i n g , which r e f e r s i n d e l i c a t e l y t o the young men's a t t r i b u t e s .... These songs g r e a t l y embarrass the m a r r i e d men, who o s t e n t a t i o u s l y l e a v e the dance ground ... At dawn the g i r l s g a t h e r on t h e danceground and, s t i l l c h a n t i n g , s e t o f f f o r t h e s e c l u s i o n a r e a . There they a l l s i n g by t h e o u t e r gateway, then t h o s e who f a n c y p a r t i c u l a r b a c h e l o r s s i n g a t t h e i n n e r gateways of t h e s e c l u s i o n houses (1964:214-215 p a s s i m ) . In s p i t e of women's o b v i o u s l y a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e male i n i t i a t i o n c e r e m o n i e s , M e g g i t t c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h e y 31 " r a r e l y p a r t i c i p a t e ( s ) i n p u b l i c a f f a i r s except t o p r o v i d e f o o d f o r men or t o g i v e e v i d e n c e i n c o u r t c a s e s " (1964:221). Mae men, he a r g u e s , "have won t h e i r b a t t l e and have r e l e g a t e d women t o an i n f e r i o r p o s i t i o n " (1964:220). Thus, he c h a r a c t e r i z e s Mae women's s t a t u s as r e l a t i v e l y low, and women themselves as " j u r a l m i n o r s " , " p a s s i v e " and " l e s s m o b i l e " (1964:221). Women, he c l a i m s , " m a i n t a i n a much narrower range of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s " (1964:221). I n a d d i t i o n , male f e a r of female s e x u a l i t y d e t e r m i n e d i n t e r - s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s c o n s i d e r a b l y more r e s t r a i n e d t h a n t h o s e among t h e Kuma of the C e n t r a l H i g h l a n d s . M e g g i t t ' s d i s t i n c t i o n between t h e Mae and Kuma t y p e s of s o c i e t i e s and types of i n t e r s e x u a l c o n f l i c t i s based m a i n l y on d i f f e r e n c e s i n male a t t i t u d e s and behaviours towards women. Thus, Mae men were "p r u d e s " who e x h i b i t e d an o v e r r i d i n g f e a r of female s e x u a l i t y and a v o i d e d c o n t a c t w i t h women, w h i l e Kuma men were " l e c h e r s " who sought f r e q u e n t s e x u a l a c c e s s t o women: The one r e f l e c t s t h e a n x i e t y of prudes t o p r o t e c t t h emselves from c o n t a m i n a t i o n by women, the o t h e r t h e a g g r e s s i v e d e t e r m i n a t i o n of l e c h e r s t o a s s e r t t h e i r c o n t r o l o v er r e c a l c i t r a n t women (1964:221). M e g g i t t t h u s c o n s t r u c t s h i s model of Mae Enga "p r u d e s " on a " c o n s t e l l a t i o n of t r a i t s w hich i n c l u d e s f e a r of s e x u a l i t y and of p o l l u t i o n , emphasis on a male c u l t and f r e q u e n t c o n f l i c t between a f f i n a l l y r e l a t e d groups" (1964 : 21 9-2 2 0 ) . I n c o n t r a s t , among t h e Kuma, "men have l i t t l e o r no f e a r of c o n t a m i n a t i o n by women" and " p r e m a r i t a l s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e i s common and uncondemned". F u r t h e r m o r e , "Kuma do not a t t r i b u t e e n d u r i n g h o s t i l i t y t o a f f i n e s " (19 6 4 : 220). M e g g i t t concludes t h a t t h e s e f e a t u r e s a r e c o r r e l a t e d : ... i n H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s , where t h e r e i s no p e r s i s t i n g a n i m o s i t y between a f f i n a l l y c onnected g r o u p s , t h e r e i s a l s o l i t t l e o r no f e a r of f e m i n i n e p o l l u t i o n and s e x u a l i t y (1964:220). The p r i n c i p l e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Kuma " l e c h e r s " were t h e i r l a c k of g e n e r a l i z e d f e a r of female s e x u a l i t y and t h e i r d e s i r e t o e x e r c i s e c o n t r o l o v er women. Men's e f f o r t s t o dominate women i n Kuma s o c i e t y t h u s produced "a d e e p - r o o t e d antagonism between t h e s e x e s " (1964:220). M e g g i t t ' s a n a l y s i s of Kuma s o c i e t y r e l i e s on Reay's ethnography i n which she judges t h a t " r e l a t i o n s between men and . . . women . . . a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a fundamental antagonism" (Reay 1959:161), and t h a t , a l t h o u g h s e x u a l antagonism " i s not s t r e s s e d i n r i t u a l " , i t i s " b a s i c t o Kuma l i f e " (1959:162). Kuma women, she n o t e s , d i s p l a y e d " u n d i s g u i s e d r e c a l c i t r a n c e " (1959:162) fo r b e a r i n g c h i l d r e n and m a r r i a g e s were " f r a u g h t w i t h t e n s i o n " (1959:162): Women who a r e pampered and sought as young g i r l s r e s e n t p o l y g y n y , o p e n l y envy t h e i r husbands' s a n c t i o n e d p r o m i s c u i t y and a r e g e n e r a l l y d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e p l a c e a s s i g n e d t o them by the men (1959:162). 33 M e g g i t t , however, m i n i m i z e s t h e s e s e x u a l t e n s i o n s i n f a v o u r of e m p h a s i z i n g Kuma women's " r e l a t i v e l y h i g h s o c i a l s t a t u s " (1964:220). While "men c o n t i n u a l l y s t r i v e t o dominate women", M e g g i t t s t a t e s , women " o b s t r u c t men's aims by e x e r c i s i n g c h o i c e s t h e men t r y t o deny them" ( M e g g i t t 1964:220, Reay 1959:23). Indeed, M e g g i t t a s s e s s e s Kuma women's s t a t u s p r i m a r i l y i n r e f e r e n c e t o t h e f a c t t h a t men a r e not always s u c c e s s f u l i n t h e i r a t t e m p t s " t o combat t h o s e e x p r e s s i o n s of f e m i n i n e " u n r e l i a b i l i t y " t h a t would undermine male p r e t e n s i o n s t o s u p e r i o r i t y " (1964:220). At the same t i m e , as I have a l r e a d y n o t e d , he a d j u d i c a t e s women's s t a t u s on the b a s i s of t h e l e s s e r degree of f e a r of female p o l l u t i o n and s e x u a l i t y . 4 The t h i r d t y p e of " s e x u a l antagonism", t h e E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s t y p e , was, M e g g i t t s u g g e s t s , a c o m b i n a t i o n of the Reay's own c o n c l u s i o n s about Kuma women's s o c i a l s t a t u s , however, c l e a r l y s u ggest t h a t i t was an u n e n v i a b l e one. She d e s c r i b e s " t h e w a r r i n g of t h e s e x e s " (p.192) and women's b r u t a l c o n d i t i o n i n g t o "a most unequal s o c i a l p o s i t i o n " ( p . 1 9 2 ) , n o t i n g t h a t "male dominance i s m a n i f e s t i n e v e r y i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t e x t " ( p . 2 3 ) . However, w h i l e s t r e s s i n g male dominance, Reay a l s o i d e n t i f i e s women's " d i s t i n c t i v e " v a l u e s , t h e i r " d i s t u r b i n g ways" of i n t e r p r e t i n g male v a l u e s ( p . 2 3 ) , and t h e i r a b i l i t y t o " o b s t r u c t t h e men's achievement" (p.156). I would argue t h a t i f women's "freedom" i s p e r c e i v e d t o de t e r m i n e t h e i r " s t a t u s " , " s t a t u s " i t s e l f becomes p r o b l e m a t i c , dependent on the degree t o w h i c h women may e x e r c i s e t h e i r freedom. W i t h r e s p e c t t o the Kuma, we may ask: t o what e x t e n t d i d women's d i s t i n c t i v e v a l u e s t r a n s l a t e i n t o r e a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r c o n t r o l l i n g t h e i r l i v e s ? Kuma women's freedom, Reay, i m p l i e s , d i d e x i s t , but was c o n s t r u c t e d w i t h i n t h e parameters of the p r e v a i l i n g i d e o l o g y , one t h a t l e g i t i m a t e d male dominance. L a t e r i n t h e d i s c u s s i o n I r e t u r n t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between g e n e r a l i z e d male dominance and female autonomy. 34 Mae and Kuma t y p e s . Moreover, t h i s antagonism d e f i n e d women's s t a t u s : "... t h e p o s i t i o n of women i n t h e E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s f a l l s somewhere between t h a t of women of the C e n t r a l H i g h l a n d s and t h a t of women of the Western Highlands" (Meggitt 1964:222). Thus, E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s women were b o t h h i g h l y p o l l u t i n g and the o b j e c t s of c o n s t a n t s e x u a l conquest. A l t h o u g h young men were admonished t o a v o i d c o n t a c t w i t h women and p a r t i c u l a r l y to a b s t a i n from s e x u a l a c t i v i t y , "most men, m a r r i e d o r s i n g l e , a r e engaged i n a c o n s t a n t s e x u a l s t r u g g l e " (1964:221). C i t i n g B e r n d t ' s s t u d y of the Kamano of the E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s ( 1 9 6 2 ) , M e g g i t t p o i n t s out t h a t t h e more s e x u a l a c t i v i t y a man engaged i n , " t h e more h i g h l y a r e h i s s t r e n g t h and powers a s s e s s e d . H i s s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s w i t h women a r e re g a r d e d as a k i n d of armed combat" (1962:129; M e g g i t t 1964:221-222). M e g g i t t c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h e p o s i t i o n of women i n t h e s e s o c i e t i e s was "ambiguous" and t h a t t h e i r l i v e s were a t t i m e s " s e v e r e l y r e s t r i c t e d " and t h e i r s t a t u s " d e p r e s s e d " . However, they s i m u l t a n e o u s l y " e n j o y c o n s i d e r a b l e s e x u a l freedom and a c t u a l p h y s i c a l m o b i l i t y " (1964:222). M e g g i t t ' s model e s t a b l i s h e d a t y p o l o g y w i t h which t o judge both th e degree of " s e x u a l antagonism" and the p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s of women i n any H i g h l a n d s o c i e t y . Thus, h i s c o n c l u s i o n : ... women's s t a t u s i s h i g h e s t i n t h o s e s o c i e t i e s w h i c h do not s h a r p l y c o n c e p t u a l i z e l o n g - t e r m h o s t i l i t y between a f f i n a l l y r e l a t e d groups and do not s t r e s s t h e i n i t i a t i o n of youths i n t o male a s s o c i a t i o n s (1964:222). 35 Sexual Antagonism i n the E a s t e r n Highlands Langness's essay (1967) on " s e x u a l antagonism" among the Bena Bena of t h e E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s was d i r e c t l y i n s p i r e d by M e g g i t t ' s s u g g e s t i o n t h a t , i n a d d i t i o n t o the Mae ("prudes") and t h e Kuma ( " l e c h e r s " ) t y p e s of H i g h l a n d i n t e r s e x u a l h o s t i l i t y , a t h i r d t y p e of s e x u a l antagonism e x i s t e d m a i n l y i n t h e E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s . U s i n g t h e Bena Bena as a case s t u d y , Langness examines t h i s E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s t y p e . He s u r p a s s e s M e g g i t t ' s d e s c r i p t i v e model by p o s i t i n g "a genuine and/or f u n c t i o n a l nexus between f o u r d i s p a r a t e phenomena, namely: w a r f a r e , male s o l i d a r i t y , sex and dependency needs, and h o s t i l i t y between the s e x e s " (1967:163). H i s b a s i c p r o p o s i t i o n i s as f o l l o w s : . . . l i v i n g i n a h o s t i l e environment and f a c e d w i t h the almost c o n s t a n t t h r e a t of a n n i h i l a t i o n by enemy groups, has r e s u l t e d i n or i s r e l a t e d t o a d i s t i n c t i v e p a t t e r n of male s o l i d a r i t y which o f f e r s what the Bena Bena p e r c e i v e as a b e t t e r chance f o r s u r v i v a l (1967:163). In t h e 1960's, th e Bena Bena numbered r o u g h l y 14,000 people b e l o n g i n g to some s i x t y - f i v e independent t r i b e s . These c o n s i s t e d of exogamous p a t r i l i n e a l c l a n s t h a t had t r a d i t i o n a l l y c o - o p e r a t e d i n w a r f a r e and conducted j o i n t i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies and annual p i g exchanges. W a r f a r e had p r e v i o u s l y been endemic, and defence of primary importance. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , men s l e p t i n s e p a r a t e houses and were always p r e p a r e d f o r d e f e n s i v e a c t i o n . T h i s p a t t e r n of male d e f e n s i v e s o l i d a r i t y was c l o s e l y l i n k e d t o male p s y c h o l o g i c a l a m bivalence about female s e x u a l i t y . A l t h o u g h Bena Bena men were wary of t h e dangers of f e m i n i n i t y , they v a l u e d a t t r a c t i n g women and h a v i n g many wives and c h i l d r e n . W i t h i n t h e i r own groups men d i d not f e a r female s o r c e r y , nor d i d they e x p r e s s t h e c a t e g o r i c a l f e a r s of menstrual, blood expressed by Gahuku-Gama men. Indeed, s e x u a l m a t t e r s were f r e q u e n t l y t h e s u b j e c t of j o k i n g ; p r e - m a r i t a l sex was encouraged and a l l - n i g h t p a r t i e s d u r i n g w h i c h young p e o p l e made l o v e w i t h s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t p a r t n e r s were h e l d e v e r y few weeks i n t h e men's houses. N e v e r t h e l e s s , male f e e l i n g s towards women were ambiguous, and t h i s was r e f l e c t e d i n what Langness c a l l s t h e " c u r i o u s c o n t r a d i c t i o n " (1967:166) of male i n i t i a t i o n : men were s o c i a l i z e d t o a t t r a c t and pursue t h a t w h i c h was most dangerous t o m a s c u l i n i t y - t h e female sex. Through r e l i g i o u s e x p r e s s i o n , of which the male i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies were a p a r t , Bena Bena men e x c l u s i v e l y m a i n t a i n e d t h e i r own v a l u e s : p r e s t i g e , male f e r t i l i t y and p a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g y . As among the Gahuku-Gama, "the men's c u l t c o n s t i t u t e s t h e r e l i g i o u s system, which o p e r a t e s on the p r i n c i p l e of male s u p e r i o r i t y " (1967:175). Male i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies thus e x p l i c i t l y r e i n f o r c e d t h e v a l u e of male s o l i d a r i t y and p e r p e t r a t e d a m a s c u l i n i s t i d e o l o g y . 37 Bena Bena male i n i t i a t i o n p r o c e d u r e s and r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n s c l o s e l y resembled those of the Gahuku-Gama (Read 1952, 1954). A f t e r a p e r i o d of p r a c t i s i n g nose- and p e n i s -b l e e d i n g and c a n e - s w a l l o w i n g , i n i t i a t e d youths were i n d u c t e d i n t o t h e nama c u l t . Once a g a i n , t h e i n i t i a t i o n p r o c e s s was "d e s i g n e d t o imp r e s s upon t h e youths t h e im p o r t a n c e of male s o l i d a r i t y and t h e e v i l s of a s s o c i a t i n g t o o much w i t h women" (1967:165). I m p l i c i t i n Bena Bena r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s was a paradox r e f l e c t i n g a m b i v a l e n t i n t e r - s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s : t h e " s e c r e t " nama f l u t e s and t h e c u l t c o n s t r u c t e d around them were n ot t h e c l o s e l y guarded male s e c r e t s t h a t men p u b l i c l y c l a i m e d them t o be. Langness c l a i m s t h a t women a c c e p t e d t h e nama c u l t as a r i t u a l e x p r e s s i o n of male dominance. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , he a l s o q u e s t i o n s why women a c c e p t e d t h e s i t u a t i o n as i t was, s u g g e s t i n g t h a t they must have b e l i e v e d t h a t male dominance was e s s e n t i a l t o t h e i r s u r v i v a l : ... b o t h men and women a c c e p t t h e s i t u a t i o n f o r what i t i s - a r i t u a l e x p r e s s i o n of t h e r e l a t i o n s t h a t o b t a i n between males and f e m a l e s , a means whereby males can e x e r t t h e i r dominance o v e r , and s o l i d a r i t y a g a i n s t , f e m a l e s . I t i s an e x p r e s s i o n of c l a n s t r e n g t h and u n i t y ... I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o un d e r s t a n d how t h e f a r c e can p e r p e t u a t e i t s e l f , and why women i n p a r t i c u l a r c o n t i n u e t o a c c e p t i t , i f t h e r e i s not some f e l t r e a l i z a t i o n on t h e p a r t 38 of a l l p e o p l e t h a t t h i n g s must be the way they a r e , t h a t male s o l i d a r i t y i s a n e c e s s i t y (1967:174). Whether Bena Bena women c o n s i s t e n t l y a c c e p t e d male dominance o r n o t , s o c i a l i z a t i o n t o a d u l t r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s p r e p a r e d g i r l s and young women f o r p o l i t i c a l l y r e s t r i c t e d l i v e s . As c h i l d r e n , g i r l s p a r t i c i p a t e d more i n d o m e s t i c work and f u n c t i o n e d as " r e l a t i v e l y i m p o r t a n t a d j u n c t s t o female economic a c t i v i t i e s " (1967:167). Then, f o l l o w i n g f i r s t m e n s t r u a t i o n , they were a l l o w e d a p e r i o d of r e l a t i v e freedom be f o r e m a r r i a g e . Upon m a r r i a g e t h e p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n of women was a l t e r e d , and sub s e q u e n t l y d i f f e r e d d r a m a t i c a l l y from t h a t of m a r r i e d men. At an e a r l y age, g i r l s showed r e l u c t a n c e t o e n t e r i n t o t h e c o n f i n e s of m a r r i a g e , and Langness n o t e s t h a t , g e n e r a l l y , Bena Bena g i r l s a c t i v e l y r e s i s t e d m a r r i a g e and r e s e n t e d t h e i n c r e a s e d r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and more r e s t r i c t e d l i f e - s t y l e t h a t m a r r i a g e p r e s e n t e d . Running away was common, but " i n v a r i a b l y they a r e l o c a t e d and brought back, o f t e n by v i o l e n t means" (1967:169). The d i f f e r e n c e s between Bena Bena women's p o s i t i o n i n m a r r i a g e and t h a t of men a p p l i e d e q u a l l y t o s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s . Young wives undertook a c o n s i d e r a b l y a l t e r e d l i f e s t y l e , l i v i n g The n o t i o n t h a t t h e r e e x i s t e d a " f e l t r e a l i z a t i o n on t h e p a r t of a l l p e o p l e t h a t t h i n g s must be t h e way they a r e " i s p r o b l e m a t i c because of i t s f a i l u r e t o account f o r women's p e r s p e c t i v e s . I r e t u r n l a t e r i n the d i s c u s s i o n t o t h e q u e s t i o n of women's " a c c e p t a n c e " of male dominance and t h e problem of d e c o n s t r u c t i n g p o w e r - n e u t r a l t e r m i n o l o g y . w i t h t h e i r m o t h e r s - i n - l a w and assuming t h e a d u l t r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of t h e i r new s t a t e . Newly m a r r i e d men, however, c o n t i n u e d i n t h e j u v e n i l e and i r r e s p o n s i b l e p a t t e r n of t h e i r a d o l e s c e n c e : "Young men", Langness s t a t e s , " c o n t i n u e t o c o u r t whether m a r r i e d o r n o t " (1967:169). However, i f an unhappy new b r i d e became s e x u a l l y i n v o l v e d w i t h one of her new husband's r e l a t i v e s , she was " i n v a r i a b l y blamed" and s e n t back t o her own pe o p l e i n d i s g r a c e . D i v o r c e was common, and m a r r i a g e s were t e n s e : . . . even i n t h e b e s t m a r r i a g e s t h e r e a r e c o n t i n u i n g t e n s i o n s having t o do w i t h a t t i t u d e s towards women, r u l e s r e g a r d i n g s e x u a l b e h a v i o u r , and t h e amount of t i m e a man can c o m f o r t a b l y spend w i t h a woman (1967:170). Langness makes h i s s t r o n g e s t argument about the r e s t r i c t e d p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n of Bena Bena women i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of t h e i r c l a n s t a t u s . F i r s t l y , p a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g y m a r g i n a l i z e d women w i t h i n the c l a n s i n t o which they m a r r i e d . Thus, Langness no t e s t h a t women were by n a t u r e " e x t r a - g r o u p " and had l i t t l e i n p u t i n t o major group d e c i s i o n s : Men make a l l major d e c i s i o n s as t o when and where t o garden, when and where t o move, when t o h o l d p i g exchanges, when t o buy b r i d e s , when t o f i g h t e t c . Women have n o t h i n g t o do w i t h d e c i s i o n s about major a c t i v i t i e s , whether they be r i t u a l , s o c i a l , r e l i g i o u s or p o l i t i c a l ; and th e y have o n l y s l i g h t d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e on economic t a s k s (1967:166). C o n s e q u e n t l y , men t r e a t e d female r e l a t i o n s h i p s , f o r example, t h o s e between c o - w i v e s , w i t h a l a c k of s e r i o u s n e s s i n d i c a t i v e of t h e i r b e l i e f i n women's l e s s e r i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e group. 40 The f o l l o w i n g commentary about f i g h t s between co-wives and the p o t e n t i a l f o r n e g a t i v e impact on c l a n w e l f a r e s u g g e s t s t h a t men were s e r i o u s l y concerned w i t h women's i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s o n l y i n s o f a r as t h e s e d i s r u p t e d men's own c l a n - r e l a t e d i n t e r e s t s : Q u a r r e l s between co-wives o c c u r ... a t t h e r a t e of about one per week and a r e o f t e n v i o l e n t .-. . Men s t a n d around l a u g h i n g , u n l e s s they s t r u g g l e becomes t o o v i o l e n t , when they i n t e r v e n e . F i g h t s between co-wives a r e d i s r u p t i v e , and even though t h e men p r o f e s s t o be i n d i f f e r e n t , they a r e conc e r n e d , as t h e t r o u b l e a f f e c t s t h e w e l l b e i n g of t h e c l a n , p i g - r a i s i n g , g a r d e n i n g , and o t h e r economic p u r s u i t s , a l l of t h e t h i n g s t h a t must be tended t o i f men a r e t o g a i n p r e s t i g e and be s u c c e s s f u l . The men must have d o m e s t i c peace, t h e y need c h i l d r e n , g a r d e n s , p i g s and so on, but they a l s o r e c o g n i z e th e n a t u r e of women and th e f e e l i n g s of a n i m o s i t y between co-wives (1967:171). Here, i t i s apparent t h a t mens' dependence on women was a f a c t o r c o n t r i b u t i n g t o t h e i r a m b i v a l e n t f e e l i n g s . I n a d d i t i o n t o r e s e n t i n g a c t i v e female d i s r u p t i o n of t h e i r a f f a i r s , men d i s l i k e d h a v i n g t o c a r e f o r t hemselves when t h e i r wives were absent o r d i s t r a c t e d by t h e i r own c o n c e r n s . Thus, w h i l e men p e r c e i v e d women t o be p o l i t i c a l l y n e c e s s a r y w i t h r e s p e c t t o r e l a t i o n s between and w i t h i n p a t r i c i a n s , they a c c o r d e d women l i t t l e i n t r i n s i c v a l u e : ... even from t h e b e g i n n i n g , women cause t r o u b l e and h o s t i l i t y w i t h i n t h e c l a n - but not as much as one might suppose, because women t e n d , i d e o l o g i c a l l y , t o be v a l u e l e s s , and none i s u l t i m a t e l y w o r t h s e r i o u s d i s s e n t i o n between males of t h e same c l a n (1967:169). The p o l i t i c a l o r c l a n s t a t u s of Bena Bena women was e q u a l l y a f f e c t e d by " t h e im p o r t a n c e of w a r f a r e i n s h a p i n g l i f e " (1967:166). F o r example, Bena Bena e x p l a i n e d t h e p r a c t i c e of female i n f a n t i c i d e ( w h i c h may be i n t e r p r e t e d as a measure of t h e v a l u e of women) i n p r a c t i c a l terms: g i r l s d i d not become w a r r i o r s and were t h e r e f o r e l e s s v a l u a b l e t o t h e group. I n s p i t e of women's l e s s e r v a l u e t o t h e group, a man r e l i e d on h i s w i f e ' s c o - o p e r a t i o n and "... would not t h i n k of k i l l i n g a p i g o r a r r a n g i n g a m a r r i a g e f o r h i s son or adopted daughter w i t h o u t c o n s u l t i n g h i s w i f e " (1967:172). W h i l e t h i s suggests a hidden measure of complementarity, Langness p o i n t s out t h a t " u l t i m a t e l y ... i n a b a t t l e of w i l l s , a husband wins o u t " (1967:172). The Bena Bena p a t t e r n of male and c l a n s o l i d a r i t y i n c l u d e d men's b e l i e f t h a t " i t (was) ... t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o keep women i n l i n e " (1967:165-166). Bena Bena women were, Langness b e l i e v e s , e x t r e m e l y r e s e n t f u l of t h i s i n f e r i o r s t a t u s , and t h e i r f r u s t r a t i o n was bo t h p o l i t i c a l and s e x u a l . Langness s t a t e s t h a t i n c o n f l i c t s between husbands and wives "no m a t t e r what t h e p r e c i p i t a t i n g cause of t h e f i g h t . . . t h e woman a t some p o i n t i n t h e argument says s p e c i f i c a l l y t h a t her husband does not have i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h h e r " (1967:174). I n a d d i t i o n , women were "ashamed of m e n s t r u a t i o n " and " w i s h t o be men"; they agreed t h a t men were s u p e r i o r because they d i d not bear c h i l d r e n . 42 On one hand, Langness argues t h a t Bena Bena women accepted male dominance, w h i l e on the o t h e r , he argues t h a t they " f r e e l y admit t h e i r d i s c o n t e n t " (1967:175) and i n d i r e c t l y e x p r e s s e d " r e s e n t m e n t " t h r o u g h " a t t e m p t s t o a b o r t , u n c o o p e r a t i v e n e s s , n a g g i n g , d e l i g h t over i n c i d e n t s t h a t f r u s t r a t e men ... and so on" (1967:175). Concurrence w i t h an i d e o l o g y of male dominance and acceptance of male s u p e r i o r i t y appear t o c o n c e a l envy of male p o l i t i c a l advantage. Bena Bena men s t r o v e t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r p o s i t i o n of s e x u a l s u p e r i o r i t y and s o l i d a r i t y i n t h e f a c e of c o n s i d e r a b l e s o c i a l change. F o r example, w h i l e some men were keen t o l i v e w i t h t h e i r w i v e s , o t h e r s r e j e c t e d g r e a t e r s e x u a l i n t e g r a t i o n . The major o b s t a c l e t o g r e a t e r s e x u a l e q u a l i t y was t h e p e r s i s t e n c e of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and the c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e of the nama f l u t e s . Yet women's p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n had improved. Langness n o t e s , f o r example, t h a t women no l o n g e r committed s u i c i d e a t t h e d e a t h of husbands out of f e a r f o r t h e i r own t r e a t m e n t a t t h e hands of new husbands. By 1967 Bena Bena men had become f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e n o t i o n t h a t "a woman has c e r t a i n r i g h t s and freedoms . . . t h a t she d i d not p o s s e s s b e f o r e " (1967 :176). Langness c o n c l u d e s t h a t a l t h o u g h Bena Bena men f e a r e d female p o l l u t i o n , t h e " h i g h l y e l a b o r a t e d p u r i f i c a t o r y c u l t " (1967:176) t h a t e x i s t e d among t h e Mae Enga was s e v e r e l y a t t e n u a t e d . Thus Bena Bena women's s t a t u s ( t h e degree of p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o l over t h e i r own l i v e s ) , was h i g h e r than t h a t 43 of Mae Enga women. The degree t o which s e x u a l antagonism d i d e x i s t i n Bena Bena s o c i e t y was, Langness s t a t e s , due t o a complex p s y c h o l o g y t h a t r e q u i r e d b o t h male s o l i d a r i t y and a p r e c i s e measure of s e x u a l h o s t i l i t y : .. . the e x i g e n c i e s of w a r f a r e have made i t n e c e s s a r y to s a c r i f i c e t h e s a t i s f a c t i o n of c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l needs. T h i s a f f e c t s males d i f f e r e n t l y from females but r e s u l t s i n mutual h o s t i l i t y and antagonism . . . Bena Bena b e l i e f s and r i t u a l s appear t o attempt t o c o n t r o l t h e e x p r e s s i o n of h o s t i l i t y between t h e sexes but s i m u l t a n e o u s l y t o b e t r a y an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e n e c e s s i t y f o r i t (1967:176-177). I n s h o r t , Langness i n t e r p r e t s Bena Bena " s e x u a l antagonism" and t h e a m b i v a l e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between men and women as meeting t h e s u r v i v a l needs of t h e group. Because i t c o u l d not accommodate " i n d i v i d u a l needs", t h i s s e x u a l o p p o s i t i o n took i t s t o l l i n human or i n d i v i d u a l terms. S o c i a l l y v a l u e d male s o l i d a r i t y thus o b s t r u c t e d any " n a t u r a l " p o t e n t i a l f o r harmonious r e l a t i o n s between men and women. C r i t i q u e of Se x u a l Antagonism The concept of " s e x u a l antagonism" has o n l y r e c e n t l y been c r i t i c a l l y examined. Herdt and P o o l e (1982) suggest t h a t i n i t s heyday i t s e r v e d as a c o v e r term f o r a m y r i a d of b e l i e f s and behaviours, and became a " f i c t i o n a l i z e d e t h o s " (1982:21-22) imposed on the Highlands, used as a "metaphoric l i n k " (1982:22) t o d e f i n e an o t h e r w i s e d i v e r s e a r e a . "Sexual antagonism", 44 they s u g g e s t , was a c o n c e p t u a l u m b r e l l a , s h e l t e r i n g a m u l t i p l i c i t y of s o c i a l f e a t u r e s : ... t h e t r a d i t i o n f o l l o w i n g Read's (1954) use of t h e term has c o v e r e d a l l of t h e f o l l o w i n g : r i t u a l r h e t o r i c ; c u l t u r a l b e l i e f s ; e t h o s ; i d e o l o g y ; r i t u a l a c t i v i t i e s ; gender c o n s t r u c t s i n r i t u a l and domestic d i s c o u r s e ; i n d i g e n o u s models of m a r r i a g e ; n o t i o n s of c o n c e p t i o n and p a r t u r i t i o n ; personhood and s e l f h o o d ; m o r a l i t y ; t h e t e n o r of b o t h f o r m a l and i n f o r m a l b e h a v i o u r ; i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s ; sex and age a s p e c t s of s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n ; t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n of group boundaries and e t h n i c i d e n t i t i e s ; p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e ; i n t r a -p s y c h i c and i n t e r - p e r s o n a l c o n f l i c t ; e r o t i c f e e l i n g s and e x c i t e m e n t ; t h e dynamics of f a m i l y l i f e ; m a s c u l i n i t y and f e m i n i n i t y i n i n d i v i d u a l development; and o t h e r t o p i c s (1982:21). The i n c l u s i o n i n " s e x u a l antagonism" of a wide v a r i e t y of t o p i c s r e s u l t e d i n an advantageous b r e a d t h of coverage. E t h n o g r a p h e r s d i d not c o n c e i v e of " s e x u a l antagonism" as a s e t of s p e c i f i c f e a t u r e s , but r a t h e r as a p e r v a s i v e o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e , and c o n s e q u e n t l y i t f u n c t i o n e d as a broad framework of g e n d e r - r e l a t e d i s s u e s from which d e t a i l e d p o r t r a i t s of H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s emerged. Herdt and P o o l e a l s o n o t e t h a t " s e x u a l antagonism" s e r v e d a u n i f y i n g purpose w i t h r e s p e c t t o a n t h r o p o l o g y ' s concern w i t h the " c u l t u r e a r e a " and s e r v e d t o i n t e g r a t e a n a l y s e s i n a c o m p a r a t i v e framework. "Sexu a l antagonism" d i d i n d e e d p r o v i d e a common theme l i n k i n g H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s and e s t a b l i s h e d a t h r e a d of a n a l y t i c a l c o n t i n u i t y , s uch as we see i n t h e c h a i n of a n a l y s i s t h a t c o n n e c t s t h e works of Read (1952, 1954), M e g g i t t (1964) and Langness (1967). 45 In a d d i t i o n , " s e x u a l antagonism" s e r v e d t h e i m p o r t a n t purpose of d i r e c t i n g a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a t t e n t i o n t o gender r e l a t i o n s and g e n d e r - r e l a t e d i s s u e s . E t h n o g r a p h e r s produced p o r t r a i t s of H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s r e p l e t e w i t h d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n s of s e x u a l d i v i s i o n s of l a b o u r , i n t e r - s e x u a l b e h a v i o u r s , male i n i t i a t i o n s , gender i d e o l o g i e s , and male b e l i e f s about women and female s e x u a l i t y . Langness has sug g e s t e d t h a t i n i t s time " s e x u a l antagonism" was i n f a c t a r e a s o n a b l y a p p r o p r i a t e g l o s s f o r H i g h l a n d gender r e l a t i o n s (Langness 1982:79), and i n d e e d , s i m p l y by p u t t i n g women and gender r e l a t i o n s on t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c agenda, t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s of " s e x u a l antagonism" l a i d t h e groundwork f o r f u t u r e c r i t i c a l s t u d i e s t h a t would i d e n t i f y t h e i r e t h n o c e n t r i c and a n d r o c e n t r i c b i a s e s . H erdt and P o o l e ' s assessment t h a t t h e concept of " s e x u a l antagonism" " i m p o r t a n t l y b e l o n g s t o our own s o c i a l d i s c o u r s e and y e t seems to address M e l a n e s i a n c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n s as w e l l " (1982:22-23) p r o v i d e s an i n s i g h t i n t o t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l p r o d u c t i o n of e t h n o c e n t r i c and a n d r o c e n t r i c p o r t r a i t s of H i g h l a n d women. The " s i m p l e , vague and i n c o n s i s t e n t " term (Herdt and P o o l e 1982:4), " s e x u a l antagonism", r e f l e c t e d p r e v a i l i n g Western concerns about the sexes and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s as much as i t m i r r o r e d H i g h l a n d s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s . In g r a f t i n g Western s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c c o n s t r u c t s , such as t h e " d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c " dichotomy and " p o l i t i c s " , onto M e l a n e s i a n 46 s o c i a l forms, ethnographers produced a dreary p o r t r a i t of Highland women as downtrodden, domestic, s o c i a l l y p e r i p h e r a l and n o n - p o l i t i c a l . At the same time, these e t h n o c e n t r i c views were a n d r o c e n t r i c . The v a r i e t y of forms of sexual animosity, male domination and female r e s i s t a n c e t o male c o n t r o l that were e m p i r i c a l l y evident i n Highlands s o c i e t i e s were not examined through women's s o c i a l i z a t i o n , experiences and p e r s p e c t i v e s ( c f . , Reay 1959). For example, as I have suggested with regard to Read's work, "sexual antagonism" di d not adequately consider women's s o c i a l i z a t i o n to t h e i r sex r o l e s . Discussions of c h i l d -r e a r i n g and s o c i a l i z a t i o n to s e x u a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e behaviours are g e n e r a l l y l i m i t e d i n t h i s l i t e r a t u r e to male-focused d e s c r i p t i o n s of the d e b i l i t a t i n g e f f e c t s of female s e x u a l i t y on men, e x p l a n a t i o n s of the s e p a r a t i o n of young boys from women, and d e t a i l s of male i n i t i a t i o n and p u r i f i c a t i o n r i t u a l s . The weaknesses of "sexual antagonism" f a l l i n t o two major c a t e g o r i e s . "Sexual antagonism" h i g h l i g h t e d and, indeed, exaggerated: (1) c u l t u r a l e l a b o r a t i o n of d i f f e r e n c e s between the sexes ( p a r t i c u l a r l y i n physiology), male anxiety associated with female s e x u a l i t y , and i n t e r - s e x u a l c o n f l i c t ; (2) the e s s e n t i a l "maleness" of p u b l i c c u l t u r e , women's "acceptance" of masculinist ideology, and women's secondary p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s and t h e i r s u b j u g a t i o n to male c o n t r o l , i n c l u d i n g p h y s i c a l c o e r c i o n . I w i l l d i s c u s s these two c a t e g o r i e s of i s s u e s i n 47 o r d e r t o c l a r i f y t h e e t h n o c e n t r i c and a n d r o c e n t r i c n a t u r e of t h e model, and t h e r e b y i d e n t i f y t h e bases on whi c h l a t e r c r i t i c i s m i s founded. Read, M e g g i t t and Langness f o c u s h e a v i l y on the c u l t u r a l e l a b o r a t i o n of t h e p h y s i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s between the s e x e s , but most s i g n i f i c a n t l y , t h ey emphasize t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s of th e s e d i f f e r e n c e s f o r men. M e g g i t t , f o r example, p r o v i d e s l e n g t h y d e s c r i p t i o n s of t h e e f f e c t s of female persons and female s u b s t a n c e s on men, w i t h l i t t l e d i s c u s s i o n of women's s t r a t e g i c o r p o l i t i c a l use of t h e i r p o l l u t i n g powers ( M e g g i t t 1964:207). These e t h n o g r a p h e r s a l s o f o c u s p r i m a r i l y on men's views of women and the m a s c u l i n i s t a s p e c t s of the c u l t u r a l i d e o l o g y , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e b e l i e f t h a t women were p o l l u t i n g , dangerous and d e p l e t i n g of m a s c u l i n e energy. M e g g i t t s t a t e s : Females, they s a y , a r e b a s i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from males, f o r t h e i r f l e s h i s l a i d " v e r t i c a l l y " a l o n g t h e i r bones and not " h o r i z o n t a l l y " a c r o s s them; t h u s they mature more q u i c k l y than do males and a r e ready f o r m a r r i a g e e a r l i e r . Whereas youths a r e s t i l l v u l n e r a b l e because t h e y a r e not y e t f u l l y a d u l t , a d o l e s c e n t g i r l s have a l r e a d y a c q u i r e d through t h e menarche t h e i r most dangerous a t t r i b u t e , t h e a b i l i t y t o p o l l u t e males ... Men r e g a r d m e n s t r u a l b l o o d as t r u l y dangerous. They b e l i e v e t h a t c o n t a c t w i t h i t or a m e n s t r u a t i n g woman w i l l , the absence of counter-magic, s i c k e n a man and cause p e r s i s t e n t v o m i t i n g , t u r n h i s b l o o d b l a c k , c o r r u p t h i s v i t a l j u i c e s so t h a t h i s s k i n darkens and w r i n k l e s as h i s f l e s h w a s t e s , permanently d u l l h i s w i t s , and e v e n t u a l l y l e a d t o a slow d e c l i n e and de a t h (1964:207). 48 M e g g i t t d i r e c t s h i s a t t e n t i o n almost e x c l u s i v e l y t o men's views of t h e e f f e c t s of m e n s t r u a t i o n on men, and t o t h e " r e q u i r e m e n t s " t h a t men a p p a r e n t l y imposed on women d u r i n g m e n s t r u a t i o n . He d e s c r i b e s t h e s e " p r e s c r i p t i o n s " i n g r e a t d e t a i l : women were o b l i g e d t o a v o i d a l l a c t i o n s t h a t r i s k e d c o n t a m i n a t i n g a n y t h i n g male, f o r example, men and "male" c r o p s such as t a r o . W h i l e M e g g i t t p r e s e n t s t h e r e a d e r w i t h e v e r y d e t a i l of what women d i d not do d u r i n g the p e r i o d of s e c l u s i o n , he g i v e s no i n f o r m a t i o n whatsoever about what they a c t i v e l y d i d i n t h e i r m e n s t r u a l h u t s , and d e s c r i b e s o n l y what women d i d upon emerging from s e c l u s i o n . I t i s s t r i k i n g t h a t a l t h o u g h t h e New Guinea l i t e r a t u r e i s o v e r l o a d e d w i t h e l a b o r a t e d e s c r i p t i o n s of what men and i n i t i a t e s d i d i n men's houses, t h e r e i s l i t t l e s p e c u l a t i o n about m e n s t r u a l hut a c t i v i t i e s . Can we assume t h a t Mae women s a t i n s e c l u s i o n i n a m e n s t r u a l hut f o r f o u r days d o i n g s t r i c t l y n o t h i n g ? M e n s t r u a t i o n i s not an i l l n e s s , but a u s u a l event i n women's l i v e s , and i t would be erroneous t o assume th a t m e n s t r u a t i n g women were i n v a r i a b l y i l l o r n o n - f u n c t i o n a l . Y e t , M e g g i t t i m p l i e s t h a t women's s e c l u s i o n i n m e n s t r u a l h u t s s e r v e d t h e e x c l u s i v e purpose of a v o i d i n g t h e p o l l u t i n g of men. T h i s i s a male view t h a t f a i l s , perhaps i n e v i t a b l y , g i v e n * M e g g i t t was no doubt unable t o t a l k f r e e l y w i t h female informants about t h e s e m a t t e r s . A c c e s s i b i l i t y of i n f o r m a t i o n was an i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r i n d e t e r m i n i n g b i a s and i n w e i g h t i n g t h e r e s u l t i n g e t h n o g r a p h i c p o r t r a i t more h e a v i l y w i t h i n f o r m a t i o n about men and men's vi e w s . 49 the l a c k of i n f o r m a t i o n , t o i n c l u d e women's e x p e r i e n c e s ; t h e more s e r i o u s a n a l y t i c a l d e f e c t i s t h a t i t i s not i d e n t i f i e d as s u c h , but i s p r e s e n t e d a complete and a c c u r a t e p i c t u r e of s o c i a l r e a l i t y . Read, M e g g i t t and Langness p l a c e a s i n g u l a r emphasis on c o n f l i c t and d i s c o r d i n g e n e r a l , and i n i n t e r s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s . " P h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e and antagonism", Reads s t a t e s , " a r e t h e warp of the c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n " ; "dominance and s u b m i s s i o n , r i v a l r y and c o e r c i o n a r e c o n s t a n t l y r e c u r r i n g themes, man i f e s t a l i k e i n day-to-day contexts and i n ceremonial ( c o n t e x t s ) " (Read 1954:23). T h i s " u n d e r l y i n g t e n o r " of "foutual s u s p i c i o n and s c a r c e l y v e i l e d antagonism" (1954:23-24) f i r m l y i m p r e s s e d the e t h n o g r a p h e r s of t h e t i m e . T h e i r e t h n o g r a p h i c evidence of i n t e r - s e x u a l disharmony so dominated th e p o r t r a i t of gender r e l a t i o n s t h a t " s e x u a l antagonism" e f f e c t i v e l y e l i m i n a t e d t h e a n a l y t i c a l p o s s i b i l i t y of any p o s i t i v e v iews of male-female r e l a t i o n s . Thus, c o - o p e r a t i o n and harmony between wives and husbands, which must c e r t a i n l y have e x i s t e d i n some measure, i s e c l i p s e d by t h e o v e r r i d i n g view t h a t " p h y s i c a l a g g r e s s i o n and v i o l e n c e i s the dominant o r i e n t a t i o n of t h e H i g h l a n d c u l t u r e s " (Read 1954:22) . 7 In c o n t r a s t , l a t e r Read's d e s c r i p t i o n of H i g h l a n d e r s i s t y p i c a l of t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c p o r t r a i t of the p e r i o d . In t h e space of one page, he c h a r a c t e r i z e s H i g h l a n d e r s (men) as " d i f f i c u l t t o l i v e w i t h " , " f l a m b o y a n t " , " a g g r e s s i v e , "proud", "q u i c k t o take o f f e n c e " , "quarrelsome", " f l o r i d and t h e a t r i c a l t a l k e r s " , " d e m o n s t r a t i v e " , "seldom ... r e l a x e d " and " c o n t i n u a l l y on t h e v e r ge of some more or l e s s v i o l e n t and unexpected 50 e t h n o g r a p h e r s ( e . g . , F e i l , Lederman, E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz) e x p l o r e the harmonious, c o - o p e r a t i v e and complementary aspects of gender r e l a t i o n s i n such a way as t o c o u n t e r b a l a n c e t h i s n e g a t i v e image. The second major weakness i n t h e " s e x u a l antagonism" model i s i t s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of t h e p u b l i c w o r l d as male and i t s i n a d e q u a t e t r e a t m e n t of t h e p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n of women. Ethn o g r a p h e r s o v e r l o o k women's r o l e s as s o c i a l a c t o r s and p r o d u c e r s of s o c i e t y . S e x u a l l y a n t a g o n i s t i c s o c i e t i e s thus appeared t o r e v o l v e around male and p a t r i c i a n a c t i v i t i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y c l a n s o l i d a r i t y and t h e a g g r e s s i v e c o m p e t i t i o n among groups of men. Read, M e g g i t t and Langness use t h e s o l i d a r i t y of t h e p a t r i c i a n as an a n a l y t i c a l l e n s through which to view r e l a t i o n s between t h e s e x e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l a t i o n s between husbands and w i v e s . Women c o n s e q u e n t l y appeared t o e x i s t almost e x c l u s i v e l y i n o p p o s i t i o n t o men g e n e r a l , and s p e c i f i c a l l y t o husbands as members of o t h e r c l a n s . F o r example, Langness (1967) views m a r r i a g e as an i n s t i t u t i o n p r i m a r i l y s e r v i n g t h e needs of men and t h e p a t r i c i a n . The f o l l o w i n g passage i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s p o i n t : I f a man has a good w i f e , one who works h a r d and c o - o p e r a t e s w i t h him, does not run away or have a f f a i r s w i t h o t h e r men or cause t r o u b l e and so on, he wants to keep her happy. T h i s e n t a i l s m a i n t a i n i n g o u t b u r s t " (1954:5-6). 51 adequate s e x u a l c o n t a c t w i t h her as w e l l as d o i n g t h e v a r i o u s jobs he i s o b l i g e d t o do, such as b u i l d i n g and r e p a i r i n g her garden f e n c e s , f e t c h i n g f i r e w o o d , and h e l p i n g w i t h t h e f e e d i n g and c a r e of p i g s ... I f a man does not l i k e h i s w i f e , he has d i f f e r e n t problems. I f he i s t o have p r e s t i g e and a "name" he must have many p i g s and gardens (1967:172). The i m p l i c a t i o n i s t h a t women " c o o p e r a t e d " ( o r chose not t o c o o p e r a t e ) i n t h e male p r o d u c t i o n of s o c i e t y . T h i s p o r t r a y s women, i n an unexamined way, as p o l i t i c a l "non-persons", and v a l i d a t e s t h e Western n o t i o n of women as pawns i n s o c i e t i e s made by men. However, w h i l e t h e s e e t h n o g r a p h e r s p o r t r a y women as p e r i p h e r a l t o "male" p o l i t i c a l and r i t u a l a c t i v i t i e s , t h ey i n a d v e r t e n t l y suggest f o r m a l l y recognized female p a r t i c i p a t i o n t h a t , when examined, c a s t s a d i f f e r e n t l i g h t on p o l i t i c a l and r i t u a l p r o c e s s e s . Read, f o r i n s t a n c e n o t e s women's r o l e i n t h e making of d e c i s i o n s p e r t a i n i n g t o p i g s : P i g s a r e re g a r d e d as t h e i r s p e c i a l c h a r g e , and i t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t a husband w i l l c o n s u l t h i s w i f e b e f o r e he u n d e r t a k e s t o k i l l an a n i m a l . S o c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n i s a l s o a c c o r d e d t h e wives of th o s e who s u p p l y t h e l a r g e s t p i g s . Such women a r e perm i t t e d t o decorate themselves w i t h male ornaments and t o dance w i t h t h e men on t h e c o n c l u d i n g day of t h e f e s t i v a l (1952:22). W h i l e t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n h i n t s a t a f o r m a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g r o l e f o r women, i t e x p l o r e s women's powers i n a v e r y minimal way. Indeed, i t i m p l i e s t h a t c e r t a i n women were granted an honourary male s t a t u s , or " a l l o w e d " some s m a l l measure of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s t h a t remained f i r m l y "male". Note, f o r example, 52 t h a t " s o c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n i s ... ac c o r d e d the wives of t h o s e who s u p p l y t h e l a r g e s t p i g s " (1952:22). Read i m p l i e s here t h a t men's s u p p l y i n g of p i g s o v e r r o d e women's p r o d u c t i o n of p i g s , and t h a t women's e x c e p t i o n a l p r e s e n c e s e r v e d o n l y t o r e i n f o r c e t h e m a s c u l i n e e x c l u s i v i t y of t h e event. He e x c l u d e s t h e p e r s p e c t i v e s of t h e women p a r t i c i p a t i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s , i . e . , ownership and c o n t r o l of p i g s . Read's d i s c u s s i o n of male i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies a l s o l a r g e l y e x c l u d e s women's r e l a t e d a c t i v i t i e s . A l t h o u g h Gahuku-Gama women were not p r e s e n t a t i n i t i a t i o n or o t h e r p u b l i c c e remonies, they t r a d i t i o n a l l y a t t a c k e d t h e male group as i t r e t u r n e d t o th e s e t t l e m e n t a f t e r p e r f o r m i n g p u r i f i c a t i o n r i t e s . Read o n l y b r i e f l y mentions t h i s female p o l i t i c a l and r i t u a l a c t i v i t y : The women, armed w i t h a v a r i e t y of weapons, from bows and arrows t o s t o n e s and heavy p i e c e s of wood, s e t upon t h e company when th e y r e t u r n t o t h e s e t t l e m e n t s (1952:14). M e g g i t t a l s o i m p l i e s t h a t women had l i t t l e f o r m a l i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h e male i n t i a t i o n ceremony ( s a n q q a i ) , y e t h i s own d a t a p r o v i d e s a f a i r l y d e t a i l e d p o r t r a i t of women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h a t r i t u a l , w h i c h appears t o be b o t h s u b s t a n t i a l and f o r m a l l y r e c o g n i z e d : Throughout the p r e c e d i n g a f t e r n o o n p a r t i e s of g i r l s a r r i v e and th e mothers and s i s t e r s of the b a c h e l o r s o f f e r them h o s p i t a l i t y , and t h o s e who have s w e e t h e a r t s or f r i e n d s among t h e b a c h e l o r s l e a d 53 the s i n g i n g , which r e f e r s i n d e l i c a t e l y t o the young men's a t t r i b u t e s . . . These songs g r e a t l y embarrass t h e m a r r i e d men, who o s t e n t a t i o u s l y l e a v e t h e danceground (1964:214). Read, M e g g i t t and Langness a l l n o t e t h a t H i g h l a n d b e l i e f systems v a l u e d male i d e n t i t y and s o l i d a r i t y , and c o n s t r u c t e d t h e s e i n c a t e g o r i c a l o p p o s i t i o n t o female a t t r i b u t e s and t o women as a s o c i a l group. A l l t h r e e e t h n o g r a p h e r s suggest t h a t women accepted t h e s e m a s c u l i n i s t p u b l i c i d e o l o g i e s ; Langness, argues w i t h p a r t i c u l a r c o n v i c t i o n t h a t Bena Bena women w i l l i n g l y s h a r e d t h e dominant v a l u e s of t h e i d e o l o g y . The i m p l i c i t a n d r o c e n t r i s m of t h i s view subsumes women's views and f e e l i n g s under the n o t i o n of " a c c e p t a n c e " . A l t h o u g h ample r e f e r e n c e s t o r e c a l c i t r a n t and r e s i s t a n t women appear i n the l i t e r a t u r e , t h e s e e t h n o g r a p h e r s do not e x p l o r e women's u n d e r s t a n d i n g s of m a s c u l i n i s t i d e o l o g y i n any g r e a t d e t a i l , but choose r a t h e r t o emphasize women's s u b j u g a t i o n and t h e d i s r u p t i v e impact on male a c t i v i t y of female r e s i s t a n c e , f o r example, t o m a r r i a g e and c h i l d - b e a r i n g . The ethnographic evidence suggests t h a t women's p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s i n t h e s e s e x u a l l y a n t a g o n i s t i c s o c i e t i e s were c o n s t r a i n e d by m a s c u l i n e i d e o l o g y i n ways t h a t men's powers and r i g h t s were n o t . Women's p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s , t h e degree to which t h o s e r i g h t s were e x e r c i s a b l e and the r o l e of i d e o l o g y i n d e f i n i n g t h e c o n t e x t s i n which l e g a l r i g h t s were o r were not e x e r c i s a b l e are i s s u e s t h a t l a t e r ethnographers have t a k e n 54 up. I n S t r a t h e r n ' s work (1972) on Melpa women of t h e Western H i g h l a n d s , p a s s i v e " a c c e p t a n c e " of a m a s c u l i n i s t i d e o l o g y i s t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a c t i v e "autonomy", t h e p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c a b i l i t y of i n d i v i d u a l women t o circumvent p o l i t i c a l c o n s t r a i n t s and a ct as persons i n the domestic domain. F e i l (1978a, 1978b), i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of gender r e l a t i o n s i n Enga s o c i e t y , s e v e r s t h e c o n n e c t i o n between t h e d e p r e c a t i n g , m a s c u l i n i s t i d e o l o g y and s o c i a l p r a c t i c e ( s ee Chapter 2 ) . The " s e x u a l antagonism" model a l s o h i g h l i g h t e d t h e male use of v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t women, but t h e approach was l a r g e l y d e s c r i p t i v e and s i m p l y n o t e d t h e l e g i t i m a c y of men's use of p h y s i c a l c o e r c i o n t o c o n t r o l women. F o r example, i n d e s c r i b i n g an a l t e r c a t i o n between a husband and w i f e , Read s t a t e s : The d o m e s t i c t a n g l e was e x h i b i t e d w i t h f u l l p u b l i c i t y i n t h e s t r e e t o u t s i d e my house, t h e s h o u t s and i m p r e c a t i o n s of i t s p r o g r e s s o f t e n d r awing me t o t h e door t o f i n d Gotome s p r a w l e d i n t h e dust w i t h t h e i m p r i n t of her husband's f o o t on her stomach, t h e o t h e r v i l l a g e r s w a t c h i n g t h e q u a r r e l i n s i l e n c e , perhaps prepared t o i n t e r f e r e i f matters became t o o v i o l e n t , but r e c o g n i z i n g t h e r i g h t of husbands t o beat t h e i r w i v e s (1965:88) Read has r e c e n t l y r e i t e r a t e d t h a t " f o r c e o r t h e t h r e a t t o use f o r c e was a r e c o g n i z e d i n s t r u m e n t of male c o n t r o l over women i n d o m e s t i c and p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s " and t h a t " i t s l e g i t i m a c y as a s a n c t i o n was not q u e s t i o n e d " (1986:231-232). D i d " s e x u a l antagonism" e x a g g e r a t e t h e e x t e n t , i n terms of f r e q u e n c y , of v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t women? How f r e q u e n t were v i o l e n t i n c i d e n t s of t h e k i n d t h a t Read d e s c r i b e s ? Langness 55 has wondered whether "men (Bena Bena) more or l e s s t y p i c a l l y t r e a t e d women b a d l y " (1982:81) and has c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h i s i s u n l i k e l y . He s t a t e s : A l t h o u g h men i n t h e n e i g h b o u r i n g Bena Bena group c e r t a i n l y could and sometimes d i d t r e a t women b a d l y , t h i s b e h a v i o u r was not i n my o p i n i o n v e r y t y p i c a l (1982:81). The s i g n i f i c a n t word i n t h i s s t a tement i s " c o u l d " . A l t h o u g h t r e a t i n g women b a d l y may not have been " t y p i c a l " , i t was n e v e r t h e l e s s a l e g i t i m a t e , i d e o l o g i c a l l y v a l i d a t e d male beh a v i o u r , and the o n l y l e g i t i m a t e i n t r a - g r o u p use of p h y s i c a l f o r c e i n H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s . The d o m i n a t i o n of women v i a m a s c u l i n i s t i d e o l o g i e s t h a t l e g i t i m a t e d t h e use of v i o l e n c e i s a m a t t e r t h a t l a t e r ethnographers have a l s o c o n s i d e r e d , y e t t h i s i s s u e has remained l a r g e l y unexamined from women's p e r s p e c t i v e s . Whereas the " s e x u a l antagonism" model abandons t h e q u e s t i o n a f t e r a c k nowledging t h a t t h e use of f o r c e was "a r e c o g n i z e d i n s t r u m e n t of male c o n t r o l over women i n d o m e s t i c and p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s " (Read 1986:231), t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s i n the 1970's who produced t h e concept of "women as p e r s o n s " address the i s s u e s of male c o n t r o l and the p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n of women more d i r e c t l y . 56 C o n c l u s i o n The e x c l u s i v e focus of e a r l y ethnographers on the r e a d i l y o b s e r v a b l e f e a t u r e s of gender r e l a t i o n s and t h e i r e t h n o c e n t r i c and a n d r o c e n t r i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of t h e s e o b s e r v a t i o n s a r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e weaknessess of " s e x u a l antagonism" as an e x p l a n a t o r y framework f o r gender r e l a t i o n s and the s t a t u s of H i g h l a n d women. L a t e r a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , as I have p o i n t e d o u t , d i r e c t l y a d d r e s s many of t h e s e weaknesses. Proponents of t h e " a n t h r o p o l o g y of women" of t h e 1970's, which I d i s c u s s i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l i n Chapter 2, r e a c t e d v i g o r o u s l y t o t h e g e n e r a l l y n e g a t i v e p o r t r a i t s of women and of gender r e l a t i o n s t h a t "sexual antagonism" produced. These a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s argue t h a t , l a r g e l y because of Western b i a s e s , " s e x u a l antagonism" d i d not a d e q u a t e l y r e p r e s e n t t h e f u l l range of female s o c i a l r o l e s , and d i d not acknowledge, i n one i n s t a n c e , women's l e g a l personhood ( S t r a t h e r n 1972), i n o t h e r s , women's a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p u b l i c and p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s ( F a i t h o r n 1975, 1976, F e i l 1978a, 1978b), and f i n a l l y , t h e c a p a c i t y of s u b s t a n c e s c a r r i e d by b o t h women and men t o p o l l u t e i n c e r t a i n c o n t e x t s and a t c e r t a i n s t a g e s of l i f e ( F a i t h o r n 1975, 1976, Meigs 1976, 1984). 57 CHAPTER 2 WOMEN AS PERSONS I n t r o d u c t i o n As e a r l y as the 1930's a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s were c r i t i c a l of the a n d r o c e n t r i c and Western b i a s e s i n ethnographic d e s c r i p t i o n s of Melanesian women and non-Western women i n general (e.g. , Blackwood 1935, Kaberry 1939, Powdermaker 1933, Wedgwood 1937a, 1937b). In t h i s chapter I consider more recent analyses i n a s i m i l a r v e i n , S t r a t h e r n (1972), F a i t h o r n (1975, 1976) and F e i l (1978a, 1978b), i n the context of the r e a c t i v e , or c o r r e c t i v e "anthropology of women" of the 1970's. These s c h o l a r s commit themselves t o f e m i n i s t c r i t i q u e s of a n d r o c e n t r i c p e r s p e c t i v e s i n Melanesian ethnography and s h i f t the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l focus away from men, "sexual antagonism" and the e x c l u s i o n of women, towards women's r o l e s and t h e i r d i s t i n c t c o n t r i b u t i o n s to a c t i v i t i e s p r e v i o u s l y c o n s i d e r e d e x c l u s i v e l y male. Yet, i n so doing, they a r r i v e at d i f f e r e n t c o n c l u s i o n s i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e case s t u d i e s . W r i t i n g about the Melpa of Mount Hagen i n the Highlands, Strathern suggests that female personhood was generated w i t h i n and l i m i t e d by a s o c i a l world s t r u c t u r e d and c o n t r o l l e d by men. Melpa women, S t r a t h e r n argues, were persons without p o l i t i c a l power. What "power" they possessed d e r i v e d from t h e i r "autonomy" as j u r a l or l e g a l persons. Yet, n e i t h e r t h e i r 58 p r o d u c t i v e a c t i v i t i e s , nor t h e i r l i n k i n g r o l e s i n the c r e a t i o n of exchange " r o a d s " between p a t r i c i a n s nor t h e i r s t a t u s as autonomous persons p r e c l u d e d t h e i r s t a t u s as " j u d i c i a l m i n o r s " i n r e l a t i o n t o the male-dominated p o l i t i c a l domain. W r i t i n g about t h e K a f e and Enga i n the H i g h l a n d s , F a i t h o r n and F e i l argue t h a t women p a r t i c i p a t e d i n and shaped s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s t r a d i t i o n a l l y p r e s e n t e d by et h n o g r a p h e r s as domains of male c o n t r o l . They c l a i m t h a t "women a r e "persons' i n New Gui n e a , whatever t h e r e c e i v e d n o t i o n and whether o r not they appear so i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e " ( F e i l 1978a:220). Thus, F e i l argues t h a t i t was e m p i r i c a l l y e v i d e n t t h a t Enga women were a c t i v e i n t h e male p o l i t i c a l a r e n a ; i n t h e t e e c e r e m o n i a l exchange women m a n i p u l a t e d t h e i r i n t e r s t i t i a l p o s i t i o n s by "shaping the content of the exchange r e l a t i o n s h i p " (1978a:221). These s t u d i e s thus y i e l d two d i s t i n c t models of female personhood: (1) as a c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n d i s t i n c t from t h e p o l i t i c a l personhood of men i n a male-dominated s o c i a l o r d e r ; t h a t i s , women were pe r s o n s w i t h m i n i m a l and c o n t i n g e n t i n f l u e n c e on male-dominated p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y ; (2) as an e x p r e s s i o n of autonomy e x e r c i s e d i n p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s shared by men and women; t h a t i s , women were persons whose involvement i n p u b l i c l i f e e q u a l l e d t h a t of men. 59 Melpa Women: Domestic P e r s o n s In Women i n Between: Female Role s i n a Male World (1972), a s t u d y of the Melpa of Mount Hagen i n t h e Western H i g h l a n d s , S t r a t h e r n examines women's l i v e s and r o l e s i n a male-dominated s o c i e t y . Melpa s o c i e t y t r a d i t i o n a l l y c o n s i s t e d of exogamous p a t r i c i a n s , r e s i d i n g v i r i l o c a l l y . D i s p e r s e d s e t t l e m e n t groups cooperated i n c l e a r i n g gardens, b u i l d i n g houses and p r e p a r i n g f e a s t s . Men and women o c c u p i e d s e p a r a t e d w e l l i n g s ; p i g s were s t a l l e d i n t h e women's houses. Women were " r e g a r d e d as h a v i n g a p o l l u t i n g or weakening i n f l u e n c e on males" (1972:11) and c o n f i n e d themselves t o d e s i g n a t e d h u t s d u r i n g m e n s t r u a t i o n and c h i l d b i r t h (1972:10-11). Melpa women's in v o l v e m e n t i n exchange was a p p a r e n t l y m i n i m a l , whereas t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n g a r d e n i n g and p i g - r a i s i n g was e x t e n s i v e . A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y d e s c r i b e d t h e Melpa as a c l a s s i c M e l a n e s i a n big-man s o c i e t y ; t h e c e r e m o n i a l exchange of goods was a preeminent s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n i n which o t h e r s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , s uch as k i n s h i p , p r o d u c t i o n , p o l i t i c s and p r e s t i g e , converged: Big-men ... c o o r d i n a t e a c t i v i t i e s which i n v o l v e group p a r t i c i p a t i o n , a c t as spokesmen i n s e t t l i n g d i s p u t e s , and from p u r s u i t of t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s and r e p u t a t i o n as w e a l t h y men a l s o b r i n g p r e s t i g e t o t h o s e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h them ... i t i s l a r g e l y t h r o u g h c e r e m o n i a l exchange (moka) t h a t big-men b u i l d t h e i r r e p u t a t i o n s today (1972:9-10). In s o c i e t i e s w i t h p a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g i e s t h e p o s i t i o n of women, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n - m a r r i e d women, i s det e r m i n e d i n 60 p a r t by t h e i r r e l a t i o n s t o t h e i r c l a n s of o r i g i n and t o t h e i r husbands' c l a n s . The p a t r i l i n e a l n a t u r e of Melpa s o c i e t y , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , a f f e c t e d the p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s of women. "Hagen s o c i e t y " , she n o t e s , " f i t s Barnes c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of New Guinea H i g h l a n d s systems i n which "a m a r r i e d woman n e i t h e r remains f u l l y a f f i l i a t e d t o her n a t a l group n or i s c o m p l e t e l y t r a n s f e r r e d t o her husband's group but r a t h e r s u s t a i n s an i n t e r e s t i n b o t h ' , and where "the d i v i s i o n of r i g h t s i n and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s towards the woman i s not e x c l u s i v e ' (Barnes 1962:6)" ( 1 9 7 2 : v i i ) . S t r a t h e r n thus d e p i c t s Hagen women as "not i n c o r p o r a t e d " i n t o the p a t r i l i n e a l s t r u c t u r e i n t o which they have m a r r i e d : "women cannot unambiguously p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e p o l i t i c a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n of c l a n s , f o r t hey r e p r e s e n t t h e i n t e r p e r s o n a l l i n k s between them" (1972:154). 8 In many Highlands s o c i e t i e s , because of women's s t r u c t u r a l m a r g i n a l i t y w i t h r e s p e c t t o c l a n s , men t r a d i t i o n a l l y viewed women as p o t e n t i a l l y h o s t i l e t o male i n t e r e s t s . I n Melpa s o c i e t y , f o r example, women's own i n t e r e s t s l a y e q u a l l y w i t h t h e i r husbands' c l a n s and t h e i r n a t a l c l a n s . Men a l s o 8 The q u e s t i o n of women's i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n t o p a t r i c i a n s i s p r o b l e m a t i c . I f male groups a r e t a k e n as t h e b a s i s f o r a n a l y s i s , women ar e a x i o m a t i c a l l y m a r g i n a l o r i n t e r s t i t i a l . However, Melpa men and women l i k e l y e x p e r i e n c e d and c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e i r r e l a t i o n s t o p a t r i c i a n s d i f f e r e n t l y . S t r a t h e r n ' s view may c o i n c i d e w i t h a male p e r s p e c t i v e on p a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g y . She p r e s e n t s no c l e a r e v i d e n c e t h a t Melpa women p e r c e i v e d t hemselves t o be " l i n k s " between groups of men. 61 c o n s i d e r e d t h a t women i n t e r f e r e d w i t h men's p r e s t i g e - s e e k i n g manoeuvres, c r e a t i n g not o n l y l i n k s i n male exchange networks, but a l s o p o t e n t i a l f i s s u r e s o r weak p o i n t s ; women had t h e c a p a c i t y t o sever exchange r e l a t i o n s . F o r i n s t a n c e , i f a woman abandoned her husband, h i s exchange r e l a t i o n s were d i s r u p t e d . However, Melpa men and women, l i k e the Tombema Enga and ot h e r Western H i g h l a n d e r s , g r e a t l y v a l u e d the " r o a d s " ( a f f i n a l c o n n e c t i o n s ) c r e a t e d by m a r r i a g e ; t h e s e " r o a d s " c r e a t e d " c h a n n e l s f o r w e a l t h " (1972:65). From t h e p e r s p e c t i v e of men, Melpa women d i d not mer e l y r e p r e s e n t exchange p o t e n t i a l i n an a b s t r a c t way, but they embodied exchange path s and a c t u a l l y produced exchange r e l a t i o n s . Thus, a p r a c t i c a l r e l a t i o n e x i s t e d between marriage and exchange; because marriage c r e a t e d af f i n e s and a f f i n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s were i m p o r t a n t i n moka exchange, " k i n on both s i d e s a c q u i r e a v e s t e d i n t e r e s t i n i t s c o n t i n u i t y " (1972:198). In s p i t e of her emphasis on p a t r i l i n e a l i t y , S t r a t h e r n remains f i r m l y f o c u s e d on Melpa women and t h e i r r o l e s i n t h e s o c i e t y . She p r e s e n t s a d e t a i l e d p i c t u r e , unique i n i t s t i m e , of t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men and women, and between exchange and p r o d u c t i o n . A l t h o u g h she c l a i m s t h a t male v a l u e s e x c l u d e d women from " s o c i e t y " and t h a t women were t h e r e f o r e p e r i p h e r a l , r a t h e r t h a n s t r i c t l y u n e q u a l , she c o n s i s t e n t l y argues t h a t Melpa women e x e r c i s e d a c e r t a i n autonomy o r independence. However s m a l l Melpa women's r o l e s may have been 62 i n p u b l i c and p o l i t i c a l l i f e , S t r a t h e r n e x p l o r e s t h e s e f u l l y , l a r g e l y because p r e v i o u s e t h n o g r a p h e r s had n e g l e c t e d them. In judging the s o c i e t y to be male-dominated, S t r a t h e r n confirms th e s t e r e o t y p e of t h e s e x u a l antagonism model: women were d o m e s t i c . Y e t , i n s c r u t i n i z i n g women's a c t i v i t i e s she a l s o c h a l l e n g e s t h e s t e r e o t y p e : women were not merely downtrodden drudges, but p o s s e s s e d t h e r i g h t s of " p e r s o n s " . Hence, her c l a i m t h a t Melpa women were persons i n t h e do m e s t i c domain. S t r a t h e r n ' s i n v o c a t i o n of a d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c d i s t i n c t i o n i s a f a m i l i a r s o c i a l s c i e n t i f i c d e v i c e , one t h a t a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have r e p e a t e d l y used t o e x p l a i n the e x c l u s i o n of women from t h i s o r t h a t k i n d of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y . The d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c o p p o s i t i o n , as Western thought has unde r s t o o d i t , i m p l i e s a h i e r a r c h y of v a l u e s ; t h o s e who do not o p e r a t e i n t h e p u b l i c domain a r e n e c e s s a r i l y e x c l u d e d from i t , and t h e i r a c t i o n s l e s s s o c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t i v e and i n f e r i o r t o t h o s e of p e r s o n s a c t i n g p u b l i c l y . Although S t r a t h e r n r e l i e s on t h i s h i e r a r c h i c a l dichotomy, c l a i m i n g i t i s i n d i g e n o u s t o Melpa t h o u g h t , she p o i n t s out t h a t " t h e n a t u r e of d o m e s t i c t i e s between spouses cannot . . . be u n d e r s t o o d w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e t o t h e p o l i t i c a l domain" (1972:50) and t h a t " o b l i g a t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n t h e husband-wife r e l a t i o n s h i p a r e ... r e l a t e d t o t h e p o l i t i c o - j u r a l domain" (1972:259). T h i s s t atement i n f a c t b l u r s the d o m e s t i c ( p e r s o n a l ) / p u b l i c ( c l a n ) d i s t i n c t i o n and s u g g e s t s t h a t i t 63 was not h i e r a r c h i c a l . Thus, we may equally assume that the nature of the p o l i t i c a l domain and clan relations i n Melpa society could not be understood without reference to domestic t i e s and personal relations between spouses. In Melpa society the "maleness" of the exchange i n s t i t u t i o n , the moka, derived primarily from men's apparently exclusive p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n public transactions. In addition, i t derived from men's claims of the moral superiority of th e i r exchange transactions and prestige-seeking a c t i v i t i e s over and above the productive and domestic a c t i v i t i e s of women. Women's lesser involvement i n transaction and exchange was id e o l o g i c a l l y transformed by men into evidence of female i n f e r i o r i t y . Moreover, men i d e o l o g i c a l l y extended male pre-eminence i n exchange into other areas, creating what appears to the anthropologist as a generalized "male dominance": Prom their actual dominance in the p o l i t i c a l domain, men claim superordination i n any sphere of importance (1972:288). This claimed superordination was an ideological practice; i t was a moral incorporation of women into a value system that elevated male a c t i v i t i e s , p r i o r i t i e s and perceptions of s o c i a l forms, for example, clans, marriage and a f f i n a l r e l a t i o n s . Melpa men's deprecating judgements of women, as weak persons owning no valuables, " l i t t l e nothing things", provided further evidence of the moral incorporation of women into 64 a male p u b l i c v a l u e system. These judgements were c o u n t e r -b a l a n c e d by o t h e r s t r a t e g i c a l l y used c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s of women as s t r o n g and a b l e t o produce f o o d and c h i l d r e n . Men used t h e s e dogmas c o n t e x t u a l l y , r e f l e c t i n g t h e ambivalence i n t h e i r s t e r e o t y p e s of women. Thus women were "weak" i n some c i r c u m s t a n c e s and " s t r o n g " i n o t h e r s . S t r a t h e r n ' s assessment of Melpa women's " r o l e s i n a male w o r l d " i s an attempt t o demonstrate t h a t i n s p i t e of male p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l d o m i n a t i o n , Melpa women were i n d e e d p e r s o n s . The q u e s t i o n s t h a t I w i l l a d d r e s s a r e : How does S t r a t h e r n u n d e r s t a n d male p o l i t i c a l dominance and t h e g e n e r a l i z e d s e x u a l i n e q u a l i t y t h a t was b o t h cause and e f f e c t of women's e x c l u s i o n from t h e p o l i t i c a l sphere? How does she simult a n e o u s l y c o n s t r u c t Melpa women's "autonomy" and "genuine independence" (1972:314) as pe r s o n s ? S t r a t h e r n ' s v e r s i o n of "women as p e r s o n s " i s complex; on one hand, she s u g g e s t s t h a t Melpa women s u b s c r i b e d t o p u b l i c (male) v a l u e s t h a t d e n i g r a t e female p r o d u c t i o n , d i d not t r a n s a c t p u b l i c l y , were p e r i p h e r a l t o male p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s and s u b j e c t t o v a r i o u s measures of male c o n t r o l , i n c l u d i n g p h y s i c a l d o m i n a t i o n ; on the o t h e r hand she c l a i m s autonomy and personhood f o r women. T h i s argument i s b u i l t on t h e concept of "domestic personhood". Even though Melpa women d i d not p a r t i c i p a t e i n "male" p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s , they were s t i l l v e r y much " p e r s o n s " . The q u e s t i o n 65 i s : what s o r t of persons are domestic persons and how do they d i f f e r from p o l i t i c a l persons?' Using both p a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g y and the d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c dichotomy to e x p l a i n women's i n t e r m e d i a r y , s e m i - i n c o r p o r a t e d s t a t e , S t r a t h e r n examines women's a c t i v i t i e s , the extent of t h e i r autonomy and the k i n d of c o n s t r a i n t s that bound them i n t o a "male world". She d e p i c t s t h i s world as dominated by a m a s c u l i n i s t i d e o l o g y and by male p u b l i c values to which women a l s o g e n e r a l l y s u b s c r i b e d . T h i s male i d e o l o g y v a l u e d male t r a n s a c t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s , a g n a t i c s o l i d a r i t y and c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n over female p r o d u c t i v e and domestic a c t i v i t i e s . While women valued t h e i r own c o n t r i b u t i o n s as producers to the exchange system, men undervalued p r o d u c t i o n and o f t e n n e g l e c t e d t h e i r own p r o d u c t i v e a c t i v i t i e s i n favour of d e v o t i n g g r e a t e r a t t e n t i o n to t r a n s a c t i o n s and to moka a f f a i r s i n general . Men devalued p r o d u c t i v e a c t i v i t i e s because these d i d not o f f e r the kinds of o p p o r t u n i t i e s to i n f l u e n c e others t h a t t r a n s a c t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s a f f o r d e d ; renown came not from p r o d u c t i o n but from t r a n s a c t i o n . Thus, p e a r l s h e l l s , both more numerous and more v a l u a b l e i n the exchange system The n o t i o n of "domestic personhood" i s an e s s e n t i a l concept i n S t r a t h e r n ' s l a t e r attempt to step o u t s i d e a s e t of r e l a t e d Western n o t i o n s i n c l u d i n g "person", " s u b j e c t " , " o b j e c t " , " e q u a l i t y " and "dominance". I t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n her l a t e r analyses of male-female r e l a t i o n s and the "Melanesian a e s t h e t i c " (1988). I d i s c u s s these themes i n Chapter 4. 66 than p i g s , were not be produced as such, but were a c q u i r e d through male t r a n s a c t i o n s . Melpa men e x e r c i s e d dominance over women most prominently through t h e i r c o n t r o l of exchange. S t r a t h e r n argues t h a t women were "producers" of c e r t a i n exchange goods ( p i g s ) and that men were " t r a n s a c t o r s " of those goods. Exchange was a p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , and the p r e s t i g e accruable through i t was a p o l i t i c a l outcome for men. In contrast, women's p o l i t i c a l non-involvement r e s u l t e d i n p o l i t i c a l m i n o r i t y . However, women were not a x i o m a t i c a l 1y non-persons. C o n c e p t u a l l y , t h i s argument accommodates both "women as persons" and male p o l i t i c a l dominance. Dominance thus becomes pre-eminence, not domination of persons i n the sense of c o n t r o l . Melpa men d i d not t o t a l l y c o n t r o l women, but s t r o v e to use t h e i r p o l i t i c a l pre-eminence to dominate women g e n e r a l l y . But, S t r a t h e r n suggests, men were only p a r t i a l l y s u c c e s s f u l , i n s o f a r as they c o u l d prevent women from f u n c t i o n i n g as t r a n s a c t o r s . 1 0 S t r a t h e r n has more f u l l y developed her t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n on personhood i n recent works (1984a, 1984b, 1988), but i t s a n a l y t i c a l underpinnings are q u i t e c l e a r l y v i s i b l e i n two h e u r i s t i c d i s t i n c t i o n s that she d e f i n e s i n t h i s e a r l y work: (1) p r o d u c e r / t r a n s a c t o r ; and (2) j u r a l m i n o r / j u d i c i a l 1 U Here (1972), but not i n her l a t e r work, she s t a t e s that men d i d i n some measure " c o n t r o l " women. 67 minor. S t r a t h e r n uses t h e s e c o n t r a s t i n g p a i r s t o c o n s t r u c t t h e parameters of female ( d o m e s t i c ) personhood. In making t h e important d i s t i n c t i o n between " j u r a l m i n o r " and " j u d i c i a l m i n o r " S t r a t h e r n r e c o n c i l e s women's i n a b i l i t y t o e x e r c i s e r i g h t s w i t h t h e i r a b i l i t y t o a c t as p e r s o n s . Thus, j u r a l m i nors a r e l e g a l non-persons, whereas j u d i c i a l m i nors a r e p o l i t i c a l non-persons, o r more p r o p e r l y " n o n - a c t o r s " . Western thought has c o n f l a t e d j u r a l and j u d i c i a l m i n o r i t y , i m p l y i n g that an i n f r i n g e m e n t on p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s i s tantamount t o an a t t a c k on t h e fundamental r i g h t s of the p e r s o n , i . e . , r i g h t s w i t h o u t which personhood i s d e n i e d . S t r a t h e r n a p p l i e s t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between j u r a l r i g h t s , w hich e x i s t i n t h e o r y , and j u d i c i a l r i g h t s , w hich a r e p r a c t i c a l l y e x e r c i s a b l e , t o the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n of Melpa women: " R i g h t s and d u t i e s e n t a i l e d i n v a r i o u s r o l e s may r e c e i v e g e n e r a l acknowledgement but t h e e x t e n t t o which r i g h t s can be e x e r c i s e d i s an o t h e r m a t t e r " (1972:259). S t r a t h e r n ' s assessment of Melpa women's s o c i a l p o s i t i o n thus i n c l u d e s b o t h personhood and j u d i c i a l m i n o r i t y . To what e x t e n t , t h e n , were Melpa women p e r s o n s , t h a t i s not j u r a l m i n o r s , and t o what e x t e n t were they "non-persons", i . e . , j u d i c i a l m i n o r s ? 1 1 Both sexes b e l i e v e d women t o po s s e s s noman S t r a t h e r n has e x p l o r e d M e l a n e s i a n c o n c e p t s of personhood i n l a t e r works (1984a, 1987, 1988). I d i s c u s s her t r e a t m e n t of the n a t u r e of M e l a n e s i a n persons i n Chapter 4. 68 (mind, h e a r t , w i l l ) , t h e d e f i n i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of "persons". Because women met th e c u l t u r a l c r i t e r i o n f o r personhood, they were persons. So, f o r example, women, l i k e other l e g a l persons, were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e i r a c t i o n s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , they were a b l e t o a c t as p r i n c i p a l s i n c o u r t c a s e s , b u t , i m p o r t a n t l y , " t h e e x t e n t t o which they themselves can make c l a i m s , t h e i r j u d i c i a l s t a t u s , i s r e l a t e d t o t h e f a c t t h a t they a r e i n a way " p o l i t i c a l m i n o r s " (1972:260). Melpa women's p o l i t i c a l m i n o r i t y e n t a i l e d : (1) e x c l u s i o n from c l a n and l i n e a g e a f f a i r s , i . e . , women d i d not r e p r e s e n t t h e i r c l a n s , ( t h e y r e p r e s e n t e d c o n n e c t i o n s between p a t r i c i a n s ) ; (2) women d i d not have t h e same l i a b i l i t y i n r e s p e c t of t h e i r l i n e a g e k i n t h a t t h e i r husbands had; (3) husbands e x e r c i s e d j u r a l a u t h o r i t y i n p r a c t i c e , e.g., i n r e l a t i o n t o d i s p o s i t i o n of p r o p e r t y , (men c o n s i d e r e d women t o be p r o p e r t y l e s s ( k o r p a = " r u b b i s h " ) ) ; (4) women c o u l d o n l y s e t t l e minor g r i e v a n c e s themselves and n e g o t i a t e l i m i t e d compensations (1972:262-264, 270); t h e y r e q u i r e d male s u p p o r t t o do o t h e r w i s e . S t r a t h e r n summarizes women's j u d i c i a l m i n o r i t y : " I n s h o r t , women cannot p a r t i c i p a t e t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t men do i n t h e a f f a i r s of t h e i r l i n e a g e o r c l a n and cannot r e p r e s e n t i t ..." (1972:261). I t i s e v i d e n t from t h i s l i s t of l i m i t a t i o n s on women's p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s t h a t t h e r e was more a t s t a k e than r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the c l a n or l i n e a g e . Women were a p p a r e n t l y p e r s o n s i n t h e o r y , but not always i n p r a c t i c e . I f i n d e e d women 69 l a c k e d p r o p e r t y r i g h t s and were unable t o p r e s s t h e i r c l a i m s , t o t h e Western o b s e r v e r and c e r t a i n l y from a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e , Melpa women were p o l i t i c a l l y dominated t o such a degree t h a t t h e "autonomy" and "genuine independence" S t r a t h e r n s u g g e s t s they p o s s e s s e d become s u s p e c t . K a f e Women: P o l i t i c a l P e r s o n s W h i l e S t r a t h e r n ' s a n a l y s i s l e a v e s H i g h l a n d women f i r m l y i n t he do m e s t i c a r e n a , P a i t h o r n c l a i m s t h a t K a f e women i n the E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s were persons i n a d i f f e r e n t sense: autonomous p o l i t i c a l a c t o r s . Both F a i t h o r n (1976) and F e i l (1978a, 1978b) a r e c r i t i c a l of t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l n e g l e c t and s t e r e o t y p i n g of H i g h l a n d women. They argue t h a t H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s d i d n o t c o n s i s t of s e x u a l l y d i s t i n c t s u b - c u l t u r e s i n w hich a s t a t i c female w o r l d s e r v e d as a n e u t r a l backdrop f o r the a c t i v e d r a m a t i c s of the male wor l d . Y e t , as F e i l p o i n t s o u t , t h i s was the predominant view u n t i l r e l a t i v e l y r e c e n t l y : ... women have b a r e l y been mentioned i n works on the H i g h l a n d s , and t h e i r i n v i s i b i l i t y i n exchange a c t i v i t i e s i s a symptom of t h e i r a l l e g e d l a c k of power and i n t e r e s t i n t h e s e s u p p o s e d l y male-dominated a f f a i r s . H i g h l a n d women have been p o r t r a y e d s i m p l y as thos e who, w i t h c h i l d s l u n g overhead, d a i l y t r u d g e back and f o r t h t o the gardens t o f e t c h sweet p o t a t o e s w h i l e t h e men a l o n e engage i n ceremony, exchange and t h i n g s p o l i t i c a l (1978b:265). F a i t h o r n a l s o notes that a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s s t u d y i n g t h e Highlands f o c u s e d p r i m a r i l y on women as wives and on the m a r r i a g e 70 r e l a t i o n s h i p . The r e s u l t was a u n i - d i m e n s i o n a l p o r t r a i t of women and t h e e x t r a p o l a t i o n of m a r i t a l d i s c o r d i n t o a g e n e r a l i z e d h o s t i l i t y between the sexes as groups. F a i t h o r n ' s work s e r v e s as a convenient p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e because i t was she who i n t r o d u c e d the n o t i o n of "women as p e r s o n s " (1976) i n an attempt t o c o r r e c t t h e e r r o n e o u s , g e n e r a l i z e d b e l i e f t h a t H i g h l a n d s o c i e t i e s were s i m p l y " s e x u a l l y a n t a g o n i s t i c " and H i g h l a n d women mer e l y d o m e s t i c drudges. Her two essays (1975, 1976) on the Kafe of the E a s t e r n H i g h l a n d s d e a l w i t h s u b s t a n t i a l l y s i m i l a r i s s u e s : women's s t a t u s and female p o l l u t i o n . Here, I f o c u s on "Women as P e r s o n s ; A s p e c t s of Female L i f e and Ma l e - f e m a l e R e l a t i o n s Among t h e K a f e " (1976), i n which F a i t h o r n argues t h a t , u n t i l t h e 1970's, t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c l i t e r a t u r e g r o s s l y o v e r s i m p l i f i e d women's l i v e s by f o c u s i n g e x c l u s i v e l y on t h e themes of se x u a l s e g r e g a t i o n , male dominance and female p o l l u t i o n (1976:86-87). The " s e x u a l antagonism" theme o r model, used t o d e s c r i b e i n t e r s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s e l s e w h e r e i n t h e H i g h l a n d s , i s n o t , F a i t h o r n s u g g e s t s , u s e f u l f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g K a f e b e h a v i o u r o r i d e o l o g y . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e t y p i c a l p o r t r a y a l of downtrodden H i g h l a n d women, F a i t h o r n demonstrates t h a t K a f e women were " f u l l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n s beyond the h o u s e h o l d " and t h a t K a f e men were " c a p a b l e of N p o l l u t i n g ' or endangering o t h e r s i n t h e same ways as . . . women" (1976:87). 71 In K a f e s o c i e t y , t h e n , t h e r e was no c l e a r d i v i s i o n between male and female w o r l d s , and "Kafe men and women do not i n t e r a c t w i t h one an o t h e r i n ways p a t t e r n e d p r i m a r i l y by s e x - c l a s s d i f f e r e n c e " (1976:93). F a i t h o r n f i r s t d emonstrates t h e i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e of K a f e men and women by examining t h e s e x u a l d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r i n the p r e p a r a t i o n of gardens. W h i l e c e r t a i n t a s k s were a s s i g n e d by s e x , husbands and wives f r e q u e n t l y worked t o g e t h e r p e r f o r m i n g " t h e same o r d i f f e r e n t , but i n t e r d e p e n d e n t , t a s k s " (1976:89). C l a i m i n g c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y i n t h e s e x u a l d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r as e v i d e n c e of some s o r t of e q u a l i t y or absence of male d o m i n a t i o n was undoubtedly not a new i n s i g h t , but i t b e a r s r e p e t i t i o n even t o d a y ; we have o n l y t o c o n s i d e r G o d e l i e r ' s r e c e n t p r e s e n t a t i o n of Baruya women as v i r t u a l d rudges, p e r f o r m i n g d u l l , u n s k i l l e d and r e p e t i t i v e l a b o u r , somehow p r e v e n t e d by men from d o i n g a n y t h i n g more i n t e r e s t i n g ( G o d e l i e r 1986) . 1 2 F a i t h o r n ' s p o i n t i s t h e r e f o r e w e l l - t a k e n . F a i t h o r n t h e n demonstrates women's s u b s t a n t i a l , but l e s s v i s i b l e , p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n m a r r i a g e n e g o t i a t i o n s , which e t h n o g r a p h e r s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y p r e s e n t e d as a male p r e r o g a t i v e i n H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s (1976:90). Male p u b l i c d i s c u s s i o n s of marriage appeared, s u p e r f i c i a l l y , to c o n s t i t u t e 1 2 G o d e l i e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of Baruya women's t a s k s i n t h e d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r (1986:14) r e v i v e s o l d f a m i l i a r arguments t h a t women's work was more monotonous and r e q u i r e d l e s s c o - o p e r a t i o n , and t h e r e f o r e bestowed a l e s s e r s t a t u s ( s ee D a h l b e r g 1981, Slocum 1975). 72 a complete p r o c e s s of m a r r i a g e n e g o t i a t i o n and t r a n s a c t i o n . I n f a c t , women, i n c l u d i n g t h e p r o s p e c t i v e b r i d e , her mother and c l a s s i f i c a t o r y "mothers", were i n v o l v e d i n major s t e p s of t h e m a r r i a g e t r a n s a c t i o n t h a t " ( o c c u r ) t h r o u g h numerous s m a l l e r debates and c o n s u l t a t i o n s " (1976:91), f o r example, i n t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n of an a c c e p t a b l e b r i d e - p r i c e and a p p r o p r i a t e t ime t o d e l i v e r t h e b r i d e t o her new v i l l a g e . M a r r i a g e n e g o t i a t i o n s t h u s i n v o l v e d b o t h sexes i n a complementary way. D e s p i t e such evidence of women's p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , e t h n o g r a p h e r s c o n s i s t e n t l y o v e r l o o k e d " i n f o r m a l " d i s c u s s i o n s and "no n - p u b l i c " d e c i s i o n s . F a i t h o r n ' s work c l e a r l y shows t h a t t h e i n c l u s i o n and a c c u r a t e d e s c r i p t i o n of women's n e g o t i a t o r y a c t i v i t i e s are e s s e n t i a l t o an adequate p o r t r a y a l of K a f e s o c i a l dynamics. Com p l e m e n t a r i t y a l s o e x i s t e d , F a i t h o r n s u g g e s t s , i n t h e domain of c u l t u r a l knowledge (1976:92). K a f e men c l a i m e d e x c l u s i v e knowledge of s o r c e r y , w h i l e women cl a i m e d e x c l u s i v e knowledge of c o n t r a c e p t i o n . In p r a c t i c e , however, men and women were w e l l - i n f o r m e d of each o t h e r ' s e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l t e r r i t o r y , i n c l u d i n g s o - c a l l e d s e c r e t knowledge. Moreover, p e r s o n s of each sex c o u l d p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e a c t i v i t i e s of the o t h e r ; f o r example, women were a b l e t o a t t e n d d i v i n a t i o n s to determine s o r c e r y as a cause of d e a t h , and some men i n g e s t e d c o n t r a c e p t i v e bark. I n the case of c u l t u r a l knowledge, t h e n , 73 an i d e o l o g y of s e x u a l d i f f e r e n c e masked t h e p r a c t i c a l r e a l i t y of c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y . F a i t h o r n makes her most i m p r e s s i v e a t t a c k on t h e s t e r e o t y p e of H i g h l a n d women w i t h her a n a l y s i s of p o l l u t i o n b e l i e f s among t h e K a f e . She argues t h a t p o l l u t i o n - r e l a t e d b e h a v i o r a l t a b o o s , once b e l i e v e d t o p l a c e r e s t r i c t i o n s o n l y on women i n r e l a t i o n t o men, a c t u a l l y a p p l i e d t o d i f f e r e n t c a t e g o r i e s of p e r s o n s , i n c l u d i n g men, i n d i f f e r e n t r e l a t i o n s and c o n t e x t s (1976:93). F o r i n s t a n c e , because semen belonged t o t h e same c l a s s of dangerous s u b s t a n c e s as m e n s t r u a l b l o o d , F a i t h o r n s u g gests t h a t " i t appears t h a t men a r e as p o t e n t i a l l y " p o l l u t i n g ' or dangerous t o o t h e r s as a r e women" (1976:92). She n o t e s t h a t men had t o e x e r c i s e extreme c a u t i o n i n c o n t r o l l i n g semen " i n o r d e r not t o endanger themselves or o t h e r s " (1975:137) . Women f e a r e d a c c i d e n t a l c o n t a c t w i t h semen l e f t on men's c l o t h i n g , and men as w e l l as women were p r o h i b i t e d from s t e p p i n g over f o o d o r people (1975:137). Thus, the a b i l i t y t o p o l l u t e d e r i v e d from "dangerous s u b s t a n c e s " (1976: 92) and d i d not s i m p l y i n h e r e i n a l 1 women a t a l 1 t i m e s . The d e p r e c a t i n g p o l l u t i o n i d e o l o g y a f f e c t e d b o t h s e x e s , and the " p o l l u t i n g woman" was no more a M e l a n e s i a n t y p e than t h e " p o l l u t i n g man". W h i l e K a f e s o c i e t y was i n many ways u n i q u e , much of F a i t h o r n ' s a n a l y s i s i s c l e a r l y a p p l i c a b l e t o o t h e r H i g h l a n d s o c i e t i e s . Thus, she suggests that a r e - a n a l y s i s of male-female 74 r e l a t i o n s i n t h e H i g h l a n d s would l i k e l y r e v e a l women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p u b l i c a f f a i r s and i n major group d e c i s i o n s , and t h e r e f o r e , the i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e and e q u a l i t y of the s e x e s . D e c o n s t r u c t i n g t h e unexamined e q u i v a l e n c e of "male" and " p o l i t i c a l " i s a c e n t r a l p o i n t i n F a i t h o r n ' s argument. To t h i s end, she argues t h a t Western views of indigenous p o l i t i c a l p r a c t i c e a r e b i a s e d and fragmented, and t h a t "when t h e p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s i s viewed as a whole ... women can be seen as f u l l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n p o l i t i c a l i s s u e s t h a t t r a n s c e n d t h e do m e s t i c l e v e l " (1976:94). A l t h o u g h F e i l (1978a, 1978b) adopts a s i m i l a r approach i n a t t e m p t i n g t o prove t h e e x t e n t of women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n "male" a c t i v i t i e s , h i s i n - d e p t h s c r u t i n y of a s i n g l e i n s t i t u t i o n , exchange, p r o v i d e s a more f o c u s e d p i c t u r e of women's s o c i a l l i v e s and p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . Enga Women's R o l e s i n t h e Tee Exchange F e i l (1978a, 1978b), l i k e F a i t h o r n , has argued t h a t t h e s t e r e o t y p i c a l image of c o n t a m i n a t i n g and d e s p i s e d M e l a n e s i a n women does not c o r r e c t l y p o r t r a y Enga women i n t h e Western H i g h l a n d s , nor does i t a d e q u a t e l y d e s c r i b e t h e i r l i v e s ; i n p a r t i c u l a r , i t masks t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e s o c i e t y ' s c e n t r a l c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y , t he t e e exchange. The t e e c e r e m o n i a l exchange system i s a complex s o c i o -economic s t r u c t u r e i n v o l v i n g r e l a t i o n s of c r e d i t and debt based on a " c u r r e n c y " of p i g s and o t h e r v a l u a b l e s . S i m i l a r i n many r e s p e c t s t o o t h e r H i g h l a n d exchange systems such as the Melpa moka and t h e Mendi mok i n k , t h e t e e extends over a l a r g e g e o g r a p h i c a l a r e a and i n v o l v e s as many as 150,000 people ( F e i l 1978b: 264). Men g e n e r a l l y e s t a b l i s h t e e exchange p a r t n e r s h i p s on the b a s i s of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s through women such t h a t they "... a r e p l a c e d i n a web of female l i n k a g e s " (1978b:272). F e i l c h a r a c t e r i z e s t h e s e t e e p a r t n e r s h i p s as " r e l a t i o n s h i p s of c h o i c e " (1978b:267), s o l i d i f i e d by t h e exchange of v a l u a b l e s ; t h e t e e i t s e l f , he a r g u e s , i s " a t l e a s t i n i t s p o l i t i c a l s e n s e , an a l l i a n c e of f r i e n d s h i p among i n d i v i d u a l s who a r e o t h e r w i s e members of enemy gr o u p s " (1978b:267). F e i l notes t h e " c u r i o u s l a c k of i n f o r m a t i o n " about women's exchange a c t i v i t i e s ; p a r t i c u l a r l y c u r i o u s "when we note t h a t i n Enga s o c i e t y , as el s e w h e r e i n t h e H i g h l a n d s , women a r e i n charge of r a i s i n g and c a r i n g f o r the most v a l u a b l e exchange i t e m s , p i g s ; and t h a t a man's most v a l u a b l e exchange p a r t n e r s a r e most o f t e n men r e l a t e d t o him t h r o u g h some l i v i n g f e m a l e " (1978b:264). He argues t h a t t h e c o n n e c t i n g r o l e of women was c r u c i a l i n the e s t a b l i s h m e n t and maintenance of t e e r e l a t i o n s : Women a c t i n g between men c r e a t e o b l i g a t i o n s , s a n c t i o n t h e p a r t n e r s h i p , and a r e i n s t r u m e n t a l i n s h a p i n g the c o n t e n t of i t and i n b r i n g i n g o f f t h e t r a n s a c t i o n s i n many cases (1978b:268). 76 Because tee p a r t n e r s were f e m a l e - l i n k e d "women become e s s e n t i a l p o l i t i c a l p e r s o n s " (1978b:267). E a r l y m a s c u l i n i s t s o c i a l a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s of t h e H i g h l a n d s dominated by t h e j u r a l model of s o c i e t y and by t h e concept of des c e n t groups as p o l i t i c o - j u r a l e n t i t i e s f a i l e d t o c o n s i d e r women i n t h i s way. M e g g i t t (1964, 1965), f o r example, emphasized t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between a woman's s t a t u s and her s t r u c t u r a l e x c l u s i o n from t h e p a t r i c i a n i n t o which she had m a r r i e d , "her i n a b i l i t y t o ever be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o one of t h e s e a n d r o c e n t r i c u n i t s " ( F e i l 1978b:265). F e i l , however, p o i n t s t o t h e imp o r t a n c e of n o n - a g n a t i c r e l a t i o n s ( r e l a t i o n s through women) and th e r o l e of k i n s h i p i n p r o v i d i n g c r u c i a l s o c i a l i d e n t i t i e s ; he c r i t i c i z e s t h e d e v a l u a t i o n of k i n s h i p as " n o n - s t r u c t u r a l " (1984a:52-53). "Women", he p o i n t s o u t , " p r o v i d e t h e c r u c i a l r e l a t i o n s which d e f i n e and l i n k i n t e r g r o u p exchange" (1984a:53). Thus, F e i l c h a l l e n g e s t h e view of c e r e m o n i a l exchange as a s t r i c t l y p u b l i c , p o l i t i c a l e n t e r p r i s e from w h i c h women, as non-group members, were a x i o m a t i c a l l y o r d e f i n i t i o n a l l y e x c l u d e d : Our c o n c e n t r a t i o n on t h e p u b l i c s i d e of p o l i t i c s has h i d d e n t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a t women may have i n p r i v a t e n e g o t i a t i o n s t h a t a f f e c t p u b l i c p r o c e e d i n g s (1978a:228). He goes on t o c h a l l e n g e t r a d i t i o n a l v iews of male-female r e l a t i o n s : ... our over-concern with the seemingly obvious aspects of male-female relations has dulled our appreciation for the less obvious ones (1978a:228). Appreciating the less obvious aspects of inter-sexual relations includes unveiling the hidden power that women actually exercised i n the tee. F e i l argues that i n order to recognize Enga women's power i t i s imperative to d i s c r e d i t "the more ideological statements that men make of women i n sit u a t i o n a l vacuums" (1978b:263). "Men's statements about women's performance and a b i l i t i e s i n the tee", he notes, "bear l i t t l e r e l a t i o n to th e i r more programmatic ones when women are viewed i n a si t u a t i o n a l vacuum" (1978b:275). Enga men, 1 ike men in many other Highland s o c i e t i e s , made " i d e o l o g i c a l " or "programmatic" statements about women (as women also did of men, and both sexes of themselves); these statements contributed to an ethnographic portrait of Highlands societies fraught with "intersexual anxiety and c o n f l i c t " and "inherent sexual h o s t i l i t y " (1978b: 263). Anxiety, conflict and h o s t i l i t y between the sexes were imputed to such c u l t u r a l features as "the s t r i c t separation of the sexes i n sleeping arrangements, the elaborate sexual and menstrual taboos, and the presence of male cult s and secret i n i t i a t i o n s i n which boys and bachelors are taught the harmful ef f e c t s l i k e l y to occur from prolonged contact with females" (1978b:263). This i s the familiar "sexual antagonism" model of the Highlands ethnography of the 1950's and 60's. F e i l argues that this p o r t r a i t of 78 i n t e r - s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s , i n f a c t , r e v e a l s v e r y l i t t l e about Enga women's " s t a t u s " o r t h e d a i l y i n t e r a c t i o n s of men and women (1978b:263). Most i m p o r t a n t l y , men's programmatic statements about the other sex obscured the c o n s i d e r a b l e s o c i o -13 p o l i t i c a l and economic power t h a t women w i e l d e d . In r e c o n s t r u c t i n g Enga gender r e l a t i o n s , F e i l c h a l l e n g e s the p a t r i l i n e a l model of t h e t e e , t h a t i s , t h e assumption t h a t i t was l a r g e l y an i n t e r a c t i o n between p a t r i c i a n s , i n which i n d i v i d u a l s had l i t t l e p e r s o n a l s t a k e . The t e e , F e i l c o u n t e r s , i n v o l v e d "men competing f o r power and renown through t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n and m a n i p u l a t i o n of p r o c e e d i n g s " (1978b:264). A l t h o u g h t h e s e men were M e l a n e s i a n "big-men" i n t h e f a m i l i a r sense of t h e term, they r e p r e s e n t e d themselves as i n d i v i d u a l s , not t h e i r groups. Thus the t e e was e s s e n t i a l l y made by i n d i v i d u a l s , not c l a n s : "the major nexus of c o m p e t i t i o n i s not between h o s t i l e enemy descent groups, but r a t h e r between i n d i v i d u a l s v y i n g f o r p r e s t i g e among t h e i r c l o s e s t agnates w i t h i n t h e i r v e r y own group" (1978b:266). T h i s a n a l y s i s i m p o r t a n t l y s u g g e s t s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l t r a n s a c t i o n s were not u l t i m a t e l y under the c o n t r o l of big-men, such t h a t " t h e c l a n ' s As I argue l a t e r i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , i d e o l o g i c a l s t a t e m e n t s about gender o r about men and women a r e c l e a r l y imbued w i t h not o n l y s y m b o l i c , but s t r a t e g i c , v a l u e . T h i s s t r a t e g i c v a l u e d e r i v e s from the f a c t t h a t t h e q u a l i t i e s o r s y m b o l i c meanings a t t r i b u t e d t o "maleness" and " f e m a l e n e s s " a r e a l s o judgements of r e l a t i v e v a l u e t h a t may be s e l e c t i v e l y a p p l i e d t o persons and a c t i o n s , i . e . , used m a n i p u l a t i v e l y . o r s u b c l a n ' s s t a k e i n t e e p r o c e e d i n g s i s e x c e e d i n g l y s m a l l " (1978b:266). Thus, exchange was not s i m p l y a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of h o s t i l i t y and c o n f r o n t a t i o n between c o r p o r a t e groups (see M e g g i t t 1965). The c o n f l i c t model judged t h e p a t r i l i n e a l group and i t s i d e n t i t y t o be primary t o t h e e x p l a n a t i o n of ce r e m o n i a l exchange, and thus p r e c l u d e d the i n c l u s i o n of women, p r e c i s e l y because women a c t e d i n d i v i d u a l l y and d i d not r e p r e s e n t p a t r i l i n e a l groups. By s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h e t e e was an i n d i v i d u a l e x p r e s s i o n , F e i l opens up t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of i n c l u d i n g women's i n d i v i d u a l a c t i v i t i e s i n t h e sphere of t h e t e e . In s h o r t , he proposes a r e - d e f i n i t i o n of the t e e t h a t does not p e r i p h e r a l i z e women. P i g s were of c r u c i a l i m p o r t a n c e i n t h e t e e and t h e i r p r o d u c t i o n and c o n t r o l l a y l a r g e l y i n t h e hands of women. Enga women b o t h c a r e d f o r " f i n a n c e d " p i g s , t h o s e a c q u i r e d t h r o u g h t r a n s a c t i o n s o r t e m p o r a r i l y h e l d w h i l e a w a i t i n g u l t i m a t e d e l i v e r y e l s e w h e r e , and r a i s e d exchange p i g s . Men d i s t r i b u t e d b o t h k i n d s of p i g s t o t h e i r t e e p a r t n e r s l i n k e d a c r o s s c l a n s t h r o u g h t h e s e women. Yet women d i r e c t l y produced the "house" (home-raised) p i g s , "owned" them and had f i n a l j u r i s d i c t i o n over them: A woman w i l l i n most cases d i r e c t t h e s e p i g s t o persons r e l a t e d t o h e r , or t o exchange p a r t n e r s t o whom she i s t h e l i n k . Exchange p a r t n e r s whose l i n k s t o her husband a r e o t h e r than t h r o u g h her ( f o r example, t h r o u g h h i s mother o r h i s s i s t e r ) may t a k e p i g s o n l y by d e a l i n g d i r e c t l y w i t h h e r . She o f t e n e n t e r s i n t o " s p e c i a l " r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h 80 t h e s e p e r s o n s , c h a r a c t e r i z e d by name taboos t h a t a r e a mark of f r i e n d s h i p and mutual i n t e r e s t i n exchange m a t t e r s . Requests f o r t h e s e "house p i g s " ... a r e m a l e - t o - f e m a l e t r a n s a c t i o n s r a t h e r than male-to-male ones. She not only r e l e a s e s these p i g s but i s e n t i t l e d t o t a k e t h e r e c i p r o c a t i o n f o r them t h a t w i l l come i n subsequent t r a n s a c t i o n s (1978b:270). Other t r a n s a c t i o n a l f e a t u r e s a l s o demonstrated women's ownership of p i g s . Por i n s t a n c e , t h e p i g h o l d i n g s of wives i n polygamous marriages were kept s e p a r a t e , e n s u r i n g c o r r e c t l y a l l o t t e d r e t u r n s f o r t r a n s a c t i o n s (1978b:270). I n t h e case of d i s p u t e s , b o t h wives and husbands were o b l i g e d t o p r o v i d e t h e o f f e n d e d p a r t y w i t h a p i g t h a t t he l a t t e r was then f r e e t o d i s p o s e of as he or she p l e a s e d (1978b: 270). Women c o u l d t h e r e f o r e use p i g s they had r e c e i v e d from t h e i r husbands i n compensation f o r t h e w r o n g f u l d i s t r i b u t i o n of house p i g s t o c r e a t e t h e i r own exchange networks (1978a:222, 1978b:270): Women i n v e s t e d t h e s e compensatory p i g s i n t h e t e e w i t h men who were not e x i s t i n g exchange p a r t n e r s of t h e i r husbands, t h u s c r e a t i n g exchange t i e s of t h e i r own, independent and a p a r t from t h e i r husband's exchange networks (1978b:270). Women's ownership of p i g s was f u r t h e r r e f l e c t e d i n the c u l t u r a l a s s o c i a t i o n of women and p i g s . Both Enga men and women imputed a s p e c i a l d i m e n s i o n t o women's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h p i g s : women were b e l i e v e d t o e x e r c i s e a " c o e r c i v e a b i l i t y " (1978b:269) over b o t h p i g s and men i n m a t t e r s i n v o l v i n g p i g s . Moreover, Enga men b e l i e v e d t h a t women were a b l e t o make p i g s u n c o n t r o l l a b l e and t o cause them t o s t r a y (1978b:270). Thus, 81 men acknowledged "women's c o n t r o l over the b e a s t s " and c l a i m e d t h a t they gave women p i g s " q u i c k l y and w i t h o u t argument "whenever a woman a s k s ' " (1978:269). A l t h o u g h women d i d not have as many t e e p a r t n e r s as men d i d , they were n o n e t h e l e s s a b l e t o g a i n p r e s t i g e and i n f l u e n c e among t h e i r own r e l a t i v e s by d i r e c t i n g g i f t s t o them. Through the t e e , Enga women e x e r c i s e d s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l power i n t h e f o l l o w i n g ways: [1] They produced w e a l t h . [2] They had c o n t r o l over t h e d i r e c t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n of t h e p r o d u c t s of t h e i r l a b o u r . [3] They were c a r e t a k e r s of t h e i r husbands' herds of p i g s ; i n t h i s c a p a c i t y they p o s s e s s e d "a p o t e n t i a l power s o u r c e " (1978a:223), i . e . , they i n f l u e n c e d p i g d i s t r i b u t i o n . [4] They c r e a t e d t h e i r own exchange networks. The i m p l i c a t i o n of Enga women's s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l power i s c l e a r : t h e t e e was not a m a l e - c o n t r i v e d i n s t i t u t i o n based s t r i c t l y on exchange r e l a t i o n s between men. S t r a t h e r n ' s (1972) a n a l y s i s of Hagen s o c i e t y s u g g e s t s t h a t Melpa women p l a y e d a more i n t e r s t i t i a l r o l e i n t h e moka exchange than d i d Enga women i n t h e t e e . T h i s d i f f e r e n c e r e f l e c t s t he d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e s o c i a l o r i e n t a t i o n s of the two exchange systems. W h i l e t h e t e e and the moka appear s u p e r f i c i a l l y t o be i n same g e n e r a l H i g h l a n d mold, F e i l s u g g e s t s t h a t c l o s e r e x a m i n a t i o n shows t h a t they c o n s t i t u t e d q u i t e d i f f e r e n t forms of s o c i a l i t y . Where the "major p o l i t i c a l 82 nexus" of t h e t e e was l o c a t e d " a t the l e v e l of i n t r a - g r o u p a f f a i r s and . . . between i n d i v i d u a l p a r t n e r s " , " t h e p o l i t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e moka ... r e s t s i n t h e w i d e r c o n t e x t of i n t e r - g r o u p a f f a i r s , where women have no p l a c e " (1978a:225) . The d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e o r i g i n s of t h e v a l u a b l e s c i r c u l a t e d i n t h e moka and t h e t e e b o t h d e t e r m i n e d and r e f l e c t e d women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e exchange i n s t i t u t i o n . Por example, t h e pea r l s h e l l s t h a t t r a d i t i o n a l l y dominated t h e moka ( n u m e r i c a l l y and i n terms of t h e i r g r e a t e r v a l u e ) o r i g i n a t e d i n men's t r a n s a c t i o n s . Tee p i g s , on t h e o t h e r hand, were produced by women; even f i n a n c e d p i g s o r i g i n a t e d i n t h i s way. Enga women were more ab l e t o manipulate t h e i r i n t e r s t i t i a l p o s i t i o n by "shaping t h e content of th e exchange r e l a t i o n s h i p " (1978a:221). They a c t e d i n t e e p l a n n i n g , d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g , i n f o r m a t i o n p a s s i n g , and i n t h e i n i t i a t i o n and c e s s a t i o n of p a r t n e r s h i p s . Thus t e e a c t i v i t i e s , F e i l a r g u e s , were complementary and s e x u a l l y n o n - c o m p e t i t i v e ; a husband and w i f e had d i s t i n c t but not i n c o m p a t i b l e i n t e r e s t s : He i s concerned w i t h i t s s i z e as a c h a l l e n g e t o h i s a g n a t i c c o m p e t i t o r s ; she i s more i n t e r e s t e d i n d i r e c t i n g p i g s t o l i n k e d p a r t n e r s and th o s e p e r s o n s i m p o r t a n t t o h e r . Thus, t h e i r m o t i v e s a r e not i n c o n f l i c t and t h e r e i s no c o m p e t i t i o n i n a t e e between w i f e and husband (1984b:114-15). P e i l ' s model s u g g e s t s c o o p e r a t i v e i n v o l v e m e n t of b o t h sexes i n a n o n - c o m p e t i t i v e way. Thus, w i t h i n a common a c t i v i t y ( t h e t e e ) t h e i n t e r e s t s of t h e sexes were c l e a r l y d i s t i n c t . I n 83 c o n t r a s t , In Women i n Between (1 9 7 2 ) , S t r a t h e r n s u g g e s t s t h a t Melpa women and men d i d compete, and t h a t women s t r o v e t o a c h i e v e " q u a s i - p a r t i c i p a n t " s t a t u s i n moka exchanges (1972: Chapter 6) . P e i l n o t e s , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h a t S t r a t h e r n p o r t r a y s women and men "as p i t t e d a g a i n s t each o t h e r f o r t h e same s c a r c e commodities" ( F e i l 1978b:275). Thus, S t r a t h e r n ' s model suggests g r e a t e r i n t e r - s e x u a l s t r i f e and c o m p e t i t i o n ; w h i l e the spheres of a c t i v i t y of t h e sexes were more c l e a r l y d i s t i n c t ( i . e . , p r o d u c t i o n and t r a n s a c t i o n ) , t h e s i m i l a r i n t e r e s t s of t h e sexes i n a t t a i n i n g t r a n s a c t i o n a l c o n t r o l f r e q u e n t l y r e s u l t e d i n c o n f l i c t . C r i t i q u e : I n c l u s i o n and E x c l u s i o n The n o t i o n of "women as p e r s o n s " , whether women a r e seen t o be i n c l u d e d i n male p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s o r e x c l u d e d from t h o s e a c t i v i t i e s , i s n e c e s s a r i l y p r e d i c a t e d on t h e e q u a t i o n of t h e do m e s t i c and the n o n - p o l i t i c a l . The p o l i t i c a l i s t h e n , by d e f i n i t i o n , t h e p u b l i c w o r l d , e x t e r n a l t o and encompassing of the h o u s e h o l d and d o m e s t i c r e l a t i o n s . The d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c h i e r a r c h y s e r v e s F a i t h o r n ' s and F e i l ' s i n c l u s i o n arguments and S t r a t h e r n ' s e x c l u s i o n argument e q u a l l y w e l l . I w i l l b r i e f l y c o n s i d e r each e t h n o g r a p h e r ' s argument w i t h r e s p e c t t o h i s or her use of t h i s dichotomy and t h e e t h n o c e n t r i c and a n d r o c e n t r i c i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s a p p l i c a t i o n . 84 In P a i t h o r n ' s c a s e , t h i s t a k e n - f o r - g r a n t e d n o t i o n of the p o l i t i c a l forms a frame of r e f e r e n c e f o r h e r c o n t e n t i o n K a f e women d i d i n d e e d p a r t i c i p a t e i n p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n : "women may be f u l l p a r t i c i p a n t s i n s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n s beyond the household l e v e l " (1976:87). I n c o n t r a s t , a common r e f r a i n i n t h e H i g h l a n d s l i t e r a t u r e of t h a t t i m e , and one which Langness echoes i n h i s c r i t i q u e of F a i t h o r n , was t h e view t h a t "... women i n t h e New Guinea H i g h l a n d s seem never to have engaged i n p o l i t i c s " (1976:101). T h i s r e a f f i r m s , as I have sugg e s t e d , the p a r t i c u l a r c o n s t r u c t of the p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s t h a t "women as p e r s o n s " adopts s t r i c t l y as a frame of r e f e r e n c e . Langness s t a t e s : I f i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o t a k e i n t o account the "numerous s m a l l - s c a l e c o n s u l t a t i o n s as w e l l as t h e l a r g e - s c a l e d i s c u s s i o n t y p i c a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e H i g h l a n d s p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s " , a r e you not acknowledging t h a t women a r e not t r u l y " f u l l p a r t i c i p a n t s " ? The whole p o i n t of t h e argument up t o now i s not t h a t women have n o t h i n g t o say about p o l i t i c s b u t , r a t h e r , t h a t what they say i s s a i d i n " s m a l l - s c a l e " r a t h e r than " l a r g e - s c a l e " c o n s u l t a t i o n s . They do n o t , t h a t i s , h o l d p u b l i c o f f i c e o r engage i n " p o l i t i c s " (1976:101). Langness t a k e s i s s u e w i t h F a i t h o r n ' s term " f u l l p a r t i c i p a n t s " , a r g u i n g t h a t "no one has ever s u g g e s t e d t h a t women were not p a r t i c i p a n t s i n some way; they have argued e s s e n t i a l l y t h a t they were not " f u l l ' p a r t i c i p a n t s " (1976:101). Because K a f e s o c i e t y d i d not produce "big-women" i n t h e same mold as "big-men", and because "big-men were c l e a r l y a b o r i g i n a l p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e s and a r e p r e s e n t - d a y p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e s " , 85 i t i s o b v i o u s , Langness b e l i e v e s , " t h a t women were not and are not engaged i n p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y i n t h e same way as men" (1976:101). The o b v i o u s q u e s t i o n h e r e , and t h e i s s u e t h a t F a i t h o r n d i r e c t l y c o n f r o n t s , i s : I f K a f e and o t h e r H i g h l a n d women d i d not a c t p o l i t i c a l l y i n t h e same ways as men, can we c h a r a c t e r i s e t h e i r a c t i o n s a s , i p s o f a c t o , n o n - p o l i t i c a l ? ^ Langness c l e a r l y s u s p e c t s F a i t h o r n of c l a i m i n g e q u a l i t y o r personhood f o r women by p l a c i n g whatever i t was t h a t women d i d i n t h e domain of p o l i t i c s . Y e t , h i s assessment t h a t women d i d not p a r t i c i p a t e i n "male" p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y d e f l e c t s a t t e n t i o n away from t h e s u b s t a n c e of women's a c t i o n s , and d i r e c t s i t towards a w o r l d of p o l i t i c s p r e - d e f i n e d as male. F a i t h o r n , i n c o n t r a s t , d i r e c t s our a t t e n t i o n towards b o t h the s u b s t a n c e of women's a c t i o n s , and the r e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of t h e s e a c t i o n s as " p o l i t i c a l " . F e i l ' s c o r r e c t i v e approach, l i k e F a i t h o r n ' s , aims t o remove women from t h e d o m e s t i c domain by d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h a t t hey were " e s s e n t i a l p a r t i c i p a n t s , making key p o l i t i c a l d e c i s i o n s " (1978b:265). In o r d e r t o prove t h a t women p l a y e d ^ Lederman (1986, 1989), has examined Mendi (Southern H i g h l a n d s ) forms of s o c i a l i t y and has demonstrated the complex a r t i c u l a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l exchange networks (twem) and l a r g e r c l a n exchange events (sem). Lederman c h a r a c t e r i s e s twem a c t i v i t i e s , i n which women p a r t i c i p a t e d autonomously and e x t e n s i v e l y , as no l e s s p o l i t i c a l t h a n sem onda ( c l a n ) a c t i v i t i e s , i n which women d i d not d i r e c t l y p a r t i c i p a t e . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , f o r t h e d e f i n i t i o n of p o l i t i c s , twem exchanges f e d i n t o , but d i d not e x i s t s o l e l y f o r , c l a n exchanges. 86 i m p o r t a n t p o l i t i c a l r o l e s , F e i l f i r s t i d e n t i f i e s t h e t e e as "the c e n t r a l i n s t i t u t i o n of Enga s o c i e t y " (1984b:237), and then demonstrates women's i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n . " P e r s o n a l " or " d o m e s t i c " d e c i s i o n s , he a r g u e s , d i r e c t l y a f f e c t e d " p u b l i c " and " p o l i t i c a l " t e e exchange a c t i v i t i e s . Yet t h e i n i t i a l a s s o c i a t i o n of women w i t h t h e p e r s o n a l and do m e s t i c remains, and, i n f a c t , he t o o s i m p l y r e c l a s s i f i e s women's a c t i v i t i e s . W h i l e g r a n t i n g equal i m p o r t a n c e t o "the p a r t t h a t women p l a y " (Weiner 1976:11) i s a e s s e n t i a l f i r s t s t e p , i t may r e s u l t i n l i t t l e more than th e i n c l u s i o n of women i n a "male" c a t e g o r y i f t h e e s s e n t i a l "maleness" of the components of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n i s not c h a l l e n g e d . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , F e i l approaches a p r e l i m i n a r y i n t e r r o g a t i o n of t h e p r e - d e f i n i t i o n of p o l i t i c s as "male" and the v a l i d i t y of t h e d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c d i s t i n c t i o n i n s t a t i n g t h a t " t h e p u b l i c tee arena i s not a s e p a r a b l e sphere of a c t i v i t y i n which unique and p r e c i p i t o u s p r e s t a t i o n s and d e c i s i o n s a r e made ..." (1978b:273). F e i l l a t e r (1984a) a t t e m p t s t o examine Enga women's p e r c e i v e d a b i l i t y t o a c t i n the t e e i n t h e c o n t e x t of t h e t r a d i t i o n a l o p p o s i t i o n between k i n s h i p and d e s c e n t , which p a r a l l e l s o t h e r t r a d i t i o n a l a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l d i c h o t o m i e s : d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c , p e r s o n a l / p o l i t i c a l , and i n d i v i d u a l / c l a n . He q u e s t i o n s t h e e x c l u s i v e a s s o c i a t i o n of exchange w i t h t h e p u b l i c or p o l i t i c a l domain, and of k i n s h i p w i t h t h e d o m e s t i c 87 or p e r s o n a l domain. He no t e s t h a t " c u m u l a t i v e , i n t e r p e r s o n a l exchange r e l a t i o n s " (1984a:58), ( i . e . , k i n s h i p r e l a t i o n s t h r o u g h women) c a r r i e d p o l i t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e : P a r t n e r s h i p s a r e based on m a t r i l a t e r a l k i n s h i p and a f f i n i t y . These, not t i e s of d e s c e n t , form the " p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e " of Tombema Enga s o c i e t y ... The domestic domain of i n t e r p e r s o n a l k i n s h i p shades i n t o the p u b l i c , j u r a l domain of descent (1984a:58). This d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of c a t e g o r i e s i s c r u c i a l t o F e i l ' s argument about the p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n of Enga women: "... r e l a t i o n s t h r o u g h women become fundamental economic r e l a t i o n s " (1984a:66). Out of t h e do m e s t i c domain of k i n s h i p , women produced economic r e l a t i o n s of exchange which were e x t r a -d o m e s t i c , b l u r r i n g t h e b o u n d a r i e s of the "economic" such t h a t " t h e r e i s no e a s i l y i s o l a t e d s u b s i s t e n c e - o r i e n t e d o r p u r e l y d o m e s t i c - f o c u s e d economy" (1984a:67). T h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s i n t o economic r e l a t i o n s gave " s t r u c t u r a l s i g n i f i c a n c e " t o t i e s t h r o u g h women; women became " h i g h l y v a l u e d members of s o c i e t y " . Thus, because women's r e l a t i o n s were k i n s h i p (and not d e s c e n t ) , and k i n s h i p was , i n a d d i t i o n , " s t r u c t u r a l " , women were u n e q u i v o c a l l y " s t r u c t u r a l " themselves, i . e . , p a r t of what a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s c a l l s " s o c i e t y " . T h e r e f o r e , p r e c i s e l y because F e i l s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y removes women from t h e domain of k i n s h i p ( t h e d o m e s t i c w o r l d ) and p l a c e s them i n t h e domain of c l a n s t r u c t u r e ( t h e p u b l i c w o r l d ) , h i s argument remains a c l a s s i c i n c l u s i o n argument. 88 F a i t h o r n ' s and F e i l ' s works p o i n t to m a s c u l i n i s t and h i e r a r c h i c a l assumptions underlying the d e f i n i t i o n of p o l i t i c s . However, i n c h a l l e n g i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l view of women as non-p o l i t i c a l , they suggest only that women be i n c l u d e d i n "masculine" s o c i a l forms which themselves remain unexamined. Thus, beyond suggesting that " s m a l l " and " i n f o r m a l " d e c i s i o n s are as much a par t of the p o l i t i c a l process as are " l a r g e " and " f o r m a l " d e c i s i o n s , they do not c h a l l e n g e a pro b l e m a t i c e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l stance, that i s , the i n c l u s i o n of women i n a "male" world. In c o n t r a s t to F a i t h o r n ' s and F e i l ' s i n c l u s i o n of women i n p o l i t i c s , S t r a t h e r n p r e s e n t s Melpa women as excluded from male p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . S t r a t h e r n ' s ethnographic focus i n Women i n Between i s i n f a c t women, and t h e i r presence i n the ethnography i s s u b s t a n t i a l . However, i n s p i t e of t h i s t o p i c a l focus, the work i s proble m a t i c from a f e m i n i s t perspective f o r two reasons: (1) Strathern's frame of reference r e l i e s h e a v i l y on p a t r i c i a n o r g a n i z a t i o n , male p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y and male dominance over women; she does not adequately account f o r women's p e r s p e c t i v e s ; ( 2 ) The author w r i t e s power and c o n t r o l out of the a n a l y s i s by equating women's p o l i t i c a l m a r g i n a l i t y with independence and autonomy. She does not s u f f i c i e n t l y c o n s i d e r the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of women's j u d i c i a l m i n o r i t y , f o r example, women's experiences of domination, t h e i r f e e l i n g s of la c k of c o n t r o l over t h e i r l i v e s and the 89 t r a d i t i o n of v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t women ( s e e , f o r example, 1972:187), but f o c u s e s r a t h e r on women's a b i l i t i e s t o ci r c u m n a v i g a t e s t r u c t u r a l c o n s t r a i n t s . I w i l l b r i e f l y d i s c u s s t h e s e two p o i n t s of c r i t i q u e . The t i t l e of t h e work, Women i n Between: Female R o l e s  i n a Male World, e s t a b l i s h e s from t h e o u t s e t that a p a t r i l i n e a l model i s t h e b a s i s of a n a l y s i s , and i n f a c t S t r a t h e r n f i r s t d i s c u s s e s m a r r i a g e and the p o s i t i o n of m a r r i e d women v i s - a - v i s t h e i r husbands' c l a n s (see v i i - i x ) . She argues t h a t a l t h o u g h the s e x u a l d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r was complementary and c r e a t e d "a r e c i p r o c a l dependence" (1972:132), " ( a woman's) work i n r a i s i n g p i g s , a major exchange v a l u a b l e , i s t h e p o i n t a t which her economic r o l e most c l e a r l y f e e ds i n t o her s t a t u s as an  i n t e r m e d i a r y i n the exchange system" (1972:131, my emphasis). Melpa men, she argues , l a r g e l y c o n t r o l 1 ed exchange a c t i v i t i e s , and i n r e l a t i o n t o men's t r a n s a c t i o n s , women f u n c t i o n e d p r i m a r i l y as p r o d u c e r s of t r a n s a c t a b l e goods, i . e . , as i n t e r m e d i a r i e s . A l t h o u g h she does n o t e t h a t "women see themselves ... as more th a n p a s s i v e l i n k s between g r o u p s " (1972:280), S t r a t h e r n adopts t h e term " p a r t i c i p a n t i n t e r m e d i a r i e s " (1972:280), c o n s i d e r s women l a r g e l y i n r e l a t i o n t o s t r u c t u r e s and a c t i v i t i e s " p r e - d e f i n e d " as male and i s r e l u c t a n t t o a c c e p t women's views of t h e s e "male" r e a l i t i e s . The most noteworthy example of S t r a t h e r n ' s f a i l u r e t o account f o r women's p e r s p e c t i v e s i s h er t r e a t m e n t of women's 90 views of the moka exchange. S t r a t h e r n argues t h a t Melpa women's p r i n c i p a l s p h ere of a c t i o n was p r i v a t e , d o m e s t i c and non-p o l i t i c a l , and t h a t d e s p i t e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the a f f a i r s of t h e i r husbands' groups, t h e f o c u s of female i n t e r e s t was t h e ho u s e h o l d . Melpa women, she s t a t e s , " a c c e p t the major domain of t h e i r r o l e s as d o m e s t i c and n o n - p o l i t i c a l " (1972:146). C o n s e q u e n t l y , S t r a t h e r n p l a c e s women's m o k a - r e l a t e d a c t i o n s i n t h e d o m e s t i c sphere because men s a i d t h i s was so: A man needs a w i f e t o a d v i s e him on how many s h e l l s he s h o u l d r e t u r n f o r pork o r l i v e p i g s , (women) say. But w h i l e a husband may i n p r i v a t e g r a n t t h i s , from h i s p o i n t of view i n t e r n a l d e c i s i o n s a r e a do m e s t i c m a t t e r : women have no p o l i t i c a l r o l e i n t r a n s a c t i o n s (1972:140). S t r a t h e r n appears t o accept men's p e r s p e c t i v e s on the domestic and p u b l i c s pheres and t h e i r a s s i g n a t i o n of women's a d v i c e -g i v i n g r o l e s t o t h e d o m e s t i c sphere as r e a l i t y . She does not c o n s i d e r how women p e r c e i v e d t h e i r r o l e s as g i v e r s of a d v i c e t h a t was c l e a r l y as much " p o l i t i c a l " as " d o m e s t i c " . Melpa men may have i n v o k e d t h e d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c d i s t i n c t i o n s t r a t e g i c a l l y , and f a i l i n g t o s t a t e t h i s e x p l i c i t l y causes women's d i f f e r e n t c o n s t r u c t i o n s of t h e i r r o l e s t o d i s a p p e a r i n t h e a n a l y s i s . Melpa women's v e r s i o n of moka was, i n f a c t , d i f f e r e n t from men's. Women a s s e r t e d t h a t men c o u l d not make moka wit h o u t them (1972:140), demanded r e c o g n i t i o n f o r t h e i r p r o d u c t i v e e f f o r t s and t h e i r moka c o n t r i b u t i o n s , and f r e q u e n t l y t r i e d 91 t o i n t e r f e r e i n men's t r a n s a c t i o n s (1972:146). Melpa men, on t h e o t h e r hand, a t t r i b u t e d a l l t r a n s a c t i o n a l c o n t r o l t o themselves and "... c l a i m they can conduct t h e i r a f f a i r s o v e r (a woman's) head" (1972:142). G i v e n t h e s e o b v i o u s l y d i f f e r e n t c l a i m s and v i e w s , S t r a t h e r n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of gender i n t e r e s t s f o c u s e s , p r e d i c t a b l y , on female f r u s t r a t i o n s and i n t e r - s e x u a l c o n f l i c t s c o n c e r n i n g t h e d i s p o s i t i o n of p i g s . 1 5 C o m p e t i t i o n between spouses was common, women s t r i v i n g t o i n f l u e n c e t r a n s a c t i o n s and r e t a i n p i g s . The f r u s t r a t i o n s , g r i e v a n c e s and anger t h a t men s a i d women kept i n t h e i r h e a r t s , i n S t r a t h e r n ' s words, " a r i s e from t h e ... d e s i r e t o assume a q u a s i - t r a n s a c t i o n a l r o l e " (1972:144). In f a c t , i n S t r a t h e r n ' s own d a t a t h e r e i s ample e v i d e n c e t h a t Melpa women saw themselves as p l a y i n g , r a t h e r than d e s i r i n g t o p l a y , a t r a n s a c t i o n a l r o l e . F o r example, S t r a t h e r n passes r a p i d l y over t h e p o i n t t h a t women " a r e most c e r t a i n l y l i k e l y t o demand t h a t the r e t u r n f o r t r a n s a c t i o n s w i t h " t h e i r " p i g s a r e made t o them and not ano t h e r w i f e . Women l i s t exchanges w h i c h have i n v o l v e d t h e i r h e r d as moka which they have made" (1972:151). There a r e two p o i n t s of i n t e r e s t i n t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n : f i r s t , women ( s u r p r i s i n g l y , i t seems) ^ D i f f e r e n t p e r c e p t i o n s of ownership and c o n f l i c t over t h e d i s p o s i t i o n of p i g s were problems t h a t a p p a r e n t l y arose more f r e q u e n t l y i n Melpa s o c i e t y than i n Enga s o c i e t y . The t e e , F e i l s u g g e s t s i n s p i r e d g r e a t e r s p o u s a l c o o p e r a t i o n and l e s s c o m p e t i t i o n . 92 r e f e r r e d t o t h e i r p i g s as " t h e i r " p i g s , thus c l a i m i n g ownership of t r a n s a c t a b l e goods. S e c o n d l y , women i d e n t i f i e d t h e i r own a c t i o n s as b e i n g m o k a - r e l a t e d , t h a t i s , p o l i t i c a l . S u r e l y , t h i s i n d i c a t e s t h a t women a t t r i b u t e d t o themselves an a c t i v e r o l e i n t h e moka. I t i s c o n c l u s i v e t h a t a l though Melpa women were, f o r the most p a r t , e f f e c t i v e l y p e r i p h e r a l i z e d from p u b l i c exchange, they d i d not see themselves as s t r u c t u r a l l y e x c l u d e d from moka a c t i v i t y and consequently d e s c r i b e d t h e i r involvement i n i t d i f f e r e n t l y . I n S t r a t h e r n ' s a c c o u n t , which i s c l e a r l y a n d r o c e n t r i c i n t h i s r e s p e c t , Melpa women's d i f f e r e n t views of the exchange system a r e m i n i m i z e d i n r e l a t i o n t o the male view t h a t d e r i v e s from p a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g y . C o n s i d e r t h e f o l l o w i n g passages: (1) Men a r e ready t o r e c o g n i z e t h e importance of the w i f e ' s p r o d u c e r c o n t r i b u t i o n , but w h i l e they a p p r e c i a t e l i n k s t h r o u g h her k i n , t h e s e a r e o n l y one of many p o t e n t i a l avenues t o moka p a r t n e r s h i p . The w i f e ' s i n s i s t e n t s u p p o r t f o r her k i n i s s h o r t -s i g h t e d , exchanges w i t h them seeming more i m p o r t a n t  t o her than they a c t u a l l y a r e i n the wi d e r c o n f i g u r a t i o n of her husband's network (1972:140, my emphasis). S t r a t h e r n ' s use of language g i v e s g r e a t e r c r e d i b i l i t y and a w e i g h t e r r e a l i t y t o men's p e r s p e c t i v e s on exchanges w i t h women's k i n t h a n t o women's p e r s p e c t i v e s . Because S t r a t h e r n p r o v i d e s s u p p o r t i n g e v i d e n c e , we a r e c o m p e l l e d t o ac c e p t t h e argument t h a t men d i d n o t p l a c e t h e s e exchanges a t t h e same l e v e l of imp o r t a n c e as women d i d . But t o c l a i m t h a t t h e s e exchanges "seem" more i m p o r t a n t t o women than they " a c t u a l l y 93 a r e " i s t o deny t h e r e a l i t y of women's e x p e r i e n c e s and p o i n t s of view. The "wider c o n f i g u r a t i o n " of men's exchange networks d i d not c o n s t i t u t e an e x c l u s i v e s o c i a l r e a l i t y . (2) F o r a l l t h a t women a r e i n v o l v e d i n men's exchanges and may f e e l p o s s e s s i v e over t h e ite m s t r a n s a c t e d , men a r e t h e formal donors and r e c i p i e n t s (1981a: 675). T h i s statement i s b i a s e d i n f a v o u r of the f o r m a l and a s s i g n s a l e s s e r i m p o r t a n c e t o women's i n v o l v e m e n t and f e e l i n g s . What women "may f e e l " i s g i v e n l e s s c r e d i b i l i t y than what men o b j e c t i v e l y " a r e " . I n v e r t i n g t h e key grammatical f e a t u r e s of the statement t o g i v e f i r s t p l a c e , and thus g r e a t e r c r e d i b i l i t y , t o women, changes t h e r e a l i t y p r e s e n t e d . The a l t e r e d passage r e a d s : F o r a l l t h a t men a r e t h e f o r m a l donors and r e c i p i e n t s , women a r e i n v o l v e d i n men's exchanges and f e e l p o s s e s s i v e over t h e ite m s t r a n s a c t e d . A few s m a l l l i n g u i s t i c changes c o l o u r t h e r e a l i t y of exchange such t h a t the r o l e s of men and women and t h e meaning of exchange to the p a r t i c i p a n t s a r e d i f f e r e n t l y p r e s e n t e d . Women ar e not m a r g i n a l i z e d and t h e i r f e e l i n g s a r e not d e n i e d . T h e i r i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h e " f o r m a l " p r o c e s s i s u n d o u b t e d l y a l e s s e r one, but an a c c u r a t e p o r t r a i t of men's e x p e r i e n c e s cannot l e g i t i m a t e l y o bscure women's e x p e r i e n c e s . The changes a r e g r a m m a t i c a l l y and s t y l i s t i c a l l y m i n i m a l : t h e d i f f e r e n c e between the s u b j u n c t i v e "may f e e l " and the i n d i c a t i v e s " f e e l " and " a r e " , and the s w i t c h t h a t p u t s "men" i n t o t h e s u b o r d i n a t e , c o n c e s s i v e c l a u s e ( " f o r a l l t h a t " ) and "women" i n t o the independent c l a u s e . 94 In Women i n Between S t r a t h e r n c o n c l u d e s t h a t Melpa women re p r e s e n t e d o u t s i d e o r i g i n s , r e t a i n e d d i v i d e d c l a n l o y a l t i e s , were p o l i t i c a l l y p o w e r l e s s p e r s o n s , " j u d i c i a l m i n o r s " , and e x e r c i s e d l e s s c o n t r o l i n t h e d i s p o s a l of v a l u a b l e s ; t h e s e c o n c l u s i o n a r e not i n d i s p u t e . But these are male p e r s p e c t i v e s t h a t s i t u a t e women o n l y i n r e l a t i o n t o male-dominated s p h e r e s of a c t i o n . T h i s p e r s p e c t i v e i s j u s t i f i e d , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , because Melpa women g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d the dominant male i d e o l o g y , v a l u e d t h e ethos of exchange e q u a l l y and d i d not frame t h e i r s t a t e m e n t s about men and moka i n g e n e r a l terms (1972:145-6). Women's ac c e p t a n c e of the i d e o l o g y of exchange i s not e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h a t i t does not e l i m i n a t e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s on such a " s h a r e d " ethos o r i d e o l o g y . W h i l e women undoubtedly v a l u e d exchange, acknowledging o n l y t h i s does not address how they may have c o n s t r u c t e d i t d i f f e r e n t l y . C o n f l i c t s over t r a n s a c t i o n a l d e c i s i o n s p r o v i d e an a p p r o p r i a t e example of t h e o m i s s i o n of women's views of t h e dominant i d e o l o g y . These c o n f l i c t s , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , a r e sug g e s t i v e of a congruence of values (1972:150), but, I suggest t h a t they a l s o i n d i c a t e the e x t e n t of women's i n v o l v e m e n t i n moka m a t t e r s , a p o i n t t h a t S t r a t h e r n n e g l e c t s . She c i t e s the s p e c i f i c i t y of women's complaints a g a i n s t men, p a r t i c u l a r l y husbands, (1972:145) as e v i d e n c e t h a t women sh a r e d the b a s i c male v a l u e s of t h e s o c i e t y . Women's c o m p l a i n t s , she n o t e s , 95 d i d not focus on t h e i r " e x c l u s i o n " from p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s . In a d d i t i o n , because women d i d not as f r e q u e n t l y make programmatic, d i s p a r a g i n g statements about men, S t r a t h e r n judges t h a t they p a i d l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n t o the male i d e o l o g y that d e n i g r a t e d women as a category. However, two other e x p l a n a t i o n s may be co n s i d e r e d here: (1) i f women d i d not see themselves as c a t e g o r i c a l l y "excluded" from p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s , i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t the general " e x c l u s i o n " of t h e i r sex would become a p o i n t of i n t e r - s e x u a l c o n t e n t i o n ; (2) i f women were i n f a c t oppressed by the dominant i d e o l o g y i s i t u n l i k e l y t h at they would frame t h e i r d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s i n general terms; "shared" values may a l s o be "dominant" v a l u e s , and women may only have been ab l e to subvert t h e i r " j u d i c i a l m i n o r i t y " i n p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c ways. The f a c t t h a t the p o s i t i v e values of exchange ( r e c i p r o c i t y , p r e s t i g e e t c . ) were shared by both sexes does not preclude women's harbouring of negative views of other aspects of p u b l i c i d e o l o g y . S t r a t h e r n concludes t h a t Melpa women were n e i t h e r j u r a l minors nor any l e s s persons because of t h e i r d o m e s t i c i t y . Yet the f a c t t h at they were able to e x e r c i s e some measure of f r e e w i l l and press t h e i r c laims to some degree does not negate the f a c t they were f o r m a l l y powerless persons. It would seem t h a t the degree of personal freedom that Melpa women e x e r c i s e d from a p o s i t i o n of p o l i t i c a l m i n o r i t y would n e c e s s a r i l y be tenuous and u n r e l i a b l e because i t was e n t i r e l y 96 dependent on s p e c i f i c c o n t e x t u a l f a c t o r s . Domestic personhood, f o r a l l t h a t i t p r o v i d e d , d i d not p r o v i d e Melpa women w i t h the same p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s as men. C o n c l u s i o n The works of S t r a t h e r n , F a i t h o r n and F e i l i n t h e 1970's c l e a r l y s e r v e d a c o r r e c t i v e purpose w i t h r e s p e c t t o s e x u a l antagonism. These a u t h o r s ' c o n c e p t s of "women as p e r s o n s " emphasized women's p r o d u c t i v e and d o m e s t i c ( S t r a t h e r n ) o r p u b l i c and p o l i t i c a l ( F a i t h o r n , F e i l ) c a p a c i t i e s and t h e i n t r i c a c i e s of gender r e l a t i o n s i n s o c i e t i e s p r e v i o u s l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d as s i m p l y " s e x u a l l y a n t a g o n i s t i c " o r "male-dominated". The p e r c e p t i o n of women as c r u c i a l i n day-to-day s o c i a l a f f a i r s and t h e r e c o g n i t i o n of t h e i r a c t i v e s o c i a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n was a welcome new p e r s p e c t i v e . Women were no lon g e r downtrodden drudges and p o l l u t i n g p a r i a h s , but persons w i t h s o c i a l g o a l s . S t r a t h e r n ' s , F a i t h o r n ' s and F e i l ' s v e r s i o n s of "women as p e r s o n s " a l l r e l y on a t r a d i t i o n a l a s sumption of the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s , t h e d i c h o t o m i z a t i o n of s o c i a l l i f e i n t o two d i s t i n c t spheres, a domestic or p r i v a t e w o r l d of women and a more h i g h l y v a l u e d , p u b l i c o r p o l i t i c a l world of men. These a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s adopt t h e d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c dichotomy t o d i s p r o v e women's p o l i t i c a l involvement, i n S t r a t h e r n ' s case, and t o s u b s t a n t i a t e i t , i n F a i t h o r n ' s and F e i l ' s . 97 S t r a t h e r n argues t h a t Melpa women s i m u l t a n e o u s l y d i d not p a r t i c i p a t e i n p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s and e x e r c i s e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e degree of p e r s o n a l "autonomy". Thus, as I have n o t e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r , she c o n c l u d e s t h a t Melpa women's p o l i t i c a l m i n o r i t y d i d not i n any way d i m i n i s h t h e i r j u r a l and domestic personhood. F a i t h o r n and F e i l , on the other hand, argue t h a t e m p i r i c a l e v i d e n c e proves t h a t K a f e and Enga women a c t e d p o l i t i c a l l y i n "mal e" domains. Thus, F e i l , f o r example, demonstrates t h a t Enga women d i d i n f a c t p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e t e e exchange. These two d i s t i n c t v e r s i o n s of "women as p e r s o n s " r e f l e c t t h e b e g i n n i n g s of two fundamental p r o c e s s e s of r e d e f i n i t i o n : (1) S t r a t h e r n ' s n o t i o n t h a t Melpa women were j u r a l p e rsons and p ersons w i t h i n t h e d o m e s t i c domain p r e f i g u r e s l a t e r arguments ( S t r a t h e r n 1984a, E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987) t h a t a n a l y s e s of gender r e l a t i o n s and d o m i n a t i o n must t a k e 17 i n d i g e n o u s o r emic d e f i n i t i o n s of personhood i n t o account ; (2) F a i t h o r n ' s and F e i l ' s arguments t h a t women d i d i n d e e d p a r t i c i p a t e i n p o l i t i c a l and p a t r i c i a n a c t i v i t i e s p r e f i g u r e a more p r o f o u n d q u e s t i o n i n g of "power", " p o l i t i c s " and t h e d i c h o t o m i z a t i o n of the d o m e s t i c ( o r p e r s o n a l ) and the p u b l i c 17 The argument t h a t Melpa women were pe r s o n s a c t i n g o n l y i n the d o m e s t i c domain s u g g e s t s an i m p o r t a n t d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t o t h e r H i g h l a n d s s c h o l a r s d i d not a p p l y a t t h e t i m e : i t i s p o s s i b l e t o c o n c e i v e of personhood o u t s i d e t h e terms of Western i n d i v i d u a l i s m and the p r o p r i e t a r y assumptions of "commodity l o g i c " (see B a r n e t t and S i l v e r m a n 1979, Gregory 1982, S t r a t h e r n 1984b, 1987, 1988). 98 ( o r c o l l e c t i v e ) (see Weiner 1976, F e i l 1984, Lederman 1986, 1989). The r e d e f i n i t i o n of "power" and " p e r s o n " t o account f o r i n d i g e n o u s or emic views of gender r e l a t i o n s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s a l i e n t i n t h e works of Weiner, and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz, which I d i s c u s s i n Chapter 3. These a u t h o r s f i r s t examine th e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i n t e r p l a y of Western assumptions and i n d i g e n o u s n o t i o n s of t h e n a t u r e of personhood and t h e n a t u r e of power, and se c o n d l y , t h e i n t e r - s e x u a l complementarity t h a t appears t o e x i s t when gender r e l a t i o n s a r e c o n s i d e r e d i n the l i g h t of t h e s e emic c o n s t r u c t i o n s . In a d d i t i o n , t h e s e s t u d i e s d i v e s t t h e d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c dichotomy, as a h i e r a r c h i c a l framework, of i t s a n a l y t i c a l s a l i e n c e . Weiner's r e - d e f i n i t i o n of power i n the c o n t e x t of T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y suggests t h a t t h e s i g n i f i c a n t complementary s o c i a l domains were the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l (male) and the s o c i o -cosmic ( f e m a l e ) . E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's a n a l y s i s of gender i n t e r e s t s , based on a r e - d e f i n i t i o n of p e r s o n , e x p l i c i t l y s u g g e s t s t h a t i n Chambri s o c i e t y , the p u b l i c w o r l d and t h e d o m e s t i c w o r l d d i d not c o - e x i s t i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l r e l a t i o n , but p r o v i d e d equal o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r male and female p e r s o n s , and were t h e r e f o r e complementary. W h i l e "women as p e r s o n s " r e l i e s on t h e d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c h i e r a r c h y f o r i t s terms of r e f e r e n c e , t h e concept of complementarity t r a n s p o r t s the s t u d y of gender r e l a t i o n s beyond h i e r a r c h y . 99 CHAPTER 3 GENDERED DOMAINS AND SEXUAL COMPLEMENTARITY I n t r o d u c t i o n Those a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s concerned with demonstrating women's personhood draw v e r y d i f f e r e n t c o n c l u s i o n s from t h e i r case s t u d i e s . S t r a t h e r n emphasizes Melpa women's almost e x c l u s i v e l y d o m e s t i c r o l e , w h i l e F a i t h o r n and F e i l , emphasize K a f e and Enga women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n "male" p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . Thus, as we have seen, S t r a t h e r n demonstrates women's e x c l u s i o n from the "male" p o l i t i c a l w o r l d , and F a i t h o r n and F e i l d emonstrate women's i n c l u s i o n i n t h a t w o r l d . I n b o t h c a s e s , a d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c d i s t i n c t i o n i s used, i n t h e f i r s t i n s t a n c e , t o d i s p r o v e , and i n t h e second, t o demonstrate, women's in v o l v e m e n t i n p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y . The d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c d i s t i n c t i o n r a i s e s the f u r t h e r p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t t h e s e a r e gendered domains w i t h i n which women and men r e s p e c t i v e l y enjoy autonomy. However, t h e s e a u t h o r s do not e x p l i c i t l y i n v o k e t h e n o t i o n of s e x u a l l y d i s t i n c t s p h e r e s of a c t i v i t y , t h a t i s , gendered domains, e x i s t i n g i n a complementary 18 r e l a t i o n s h i p . 1 8 S t r a t h e r n ' s n o t i o n s of Melpa women's "autonomy" and " j u r a l personhood" may indeed i m p l y a k i n d of complementarity, i n t h a t women's a b i l i t y t o a c t i n t h e d o m e s t i c domain p a r a l l e l e d or c o r r e s p o n d e d t o men's a b i l i t y t o a c t i n the p o l i t i c a l o r p u b l i c domain. Moreover, F a i t h o r n and F e i l a l s o s t r e s s t h e complementarity of men's and women's a c t i v i t i e s , w i t h o u t , however, i d e n t i f y i n g s e p a r a t e spheres o r d i s t i n c t 100 In c o n t r a s t , Weiner, i n her landmark work on the T r o b r i a n d s ( 1 9 7 6 ) , and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz i n t h e i r r e c e n t s t u d y of Chambri s o c i e t y ( 1 987), a p p l y t h e n o t i o n t h a t the sexes e x e r c i s e d d i f f e r e n t , but complementary, powers and f u n c t i o n e d as persons i n d i s t i n c t , but e q u a l , domains of a c t i v i t y . These s t u d i e s t h u s p r e s e n t gender r e l a t i o n s i n terms 19 of e q u a l i t y and complementary c u l t u r a l domains. The T r o b r i a n d I s l a n d s and Chambri a r e b o t h Lowlands s o c i e t i e s , and they d i f f e r i n a number of r e s p e c t s from t h e H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s d e s c r i b e d i n e a r l i e r c h a p t e r s . The T r o b r i a n d s a r e a group of c o r a l a t o l l s i n th e Massim S t r a i t , between t h e i s l a n d of New Guinea and t h e Solomon I s l a n d s . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y d i f f e r e d from H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s i n i t s s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , which i n c l u d e d h e r e d i t a r y c h i e f s and ranked c l a n s . However, T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y d i d not resemble a P o l y n e s i a n - s t y l e c h i e f d o m , and a t the time powers. 1 9 Por a d i s c u s s i o n of t h e concept of c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y , see McDowell's essay on Bun s o c i e t y (1984). McDowell n o t e s t h a t " t h e fr e q u e n c y w i t h w h i c h t h e concept i s i n v o k e d s u g g e s t s . . . t h a t i t encompasses many of t h e i s s u e s we c o n f r o n t i n the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l s t u d y of women" (1984:32). I n a d d i t i o n , she i d e n t i f i e s t h e d i f f e r e n c e between Weiner's concept of complementarity and t h e common assumption t h a t " t h i n g s t h a t a r e d i f f e r e n t must i n some sense be u n e q u a l " . Forge ( 1 9 7 2 ) , f o r example, l i n k s c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y and h i e r a r c h y . The d e f i n i t i o n of complementarity t h a t McDowell proposes i s the same n o t i o n t h a t Weiner and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz i n v o k e . McDowell s t a t e s t h a t " i f ... t h i n g s a r e complementary", not o n l y a r e they " r e l a t e d o r somehow connected" and " d i f f e r e n t i n c h a r a c t e r o r c o n t e n t " , but " t h e s e d i f f e r e n c e s are r e c i p r o c a l , as each complements or completes the o t h e r i n some e s s e n t i a l way t o form a whole" (1984:32-33). 101 of Weiner's f i e l d w o r k i t had r e t a i n e d the dynamics of a big-man s o c i e t y (1976:45). The fundamental s o c i a l dynamic of exchange and t h e ethos of r e c i p r o c i t y bound T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y , much i n the same way t h a t t h e s e v a l u e s s e r v e d t o b i n d H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s . However, T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y was m a t r i l i n e a l , and the i d e o l o g i c a l i m p o r t a n c e of women i n m a i n t a i n i n g c l a n c o n t i n u i t y was w i t h o u t p a r a l l e l i n H i g h l a n d s s o c i e t i e s . Yet ano t h e r major d i f f e r e n c e between t h e T r o b r i a n d s and t h e H i g h l a n d s was t h e absence, i n t h e former, of s e c r e t male s o c i e t i e s ( e . g . , t h e nama c u l t ) , of i n i t i a t i o n r i t e s and of el a b o r a t e p o l l u t i o n b e l i e f s and taboos. M a t r i l i n e a l i t y , women's p r o d u c t i v i t y and r e p r o d u c t i v i t y , and t h e s t a t u s o r " v a l u e " of women a r e c e n t r a l t o Weiner's a n a l y s i s of complementary domains i n T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y . The Chambri l i v e on Chambri I s l a n d and i n t h e area around Chambri Lake, i n t h e S e p i k R i v e r b a s i n . L i k e t h e T r o b r i a n d s , Chambri s o c i e t y was " t y p i c a l l y " M e l a n e s i a n i n t h a t exchange and r e c i p r o c i t y were pre-dominant s o c i a l v a l u e s . A l t h o u g h the s o c i e t y was n o m i n a l l y p a t r i l i n e a l and pat r i e l an membership of g r e a t i m p o r t a n c e t o s o c i a l i d e n t i t y , a f f i n a l r e l a t i o n s and male i n d e b t e d n e s s t o a f f i n e s (who p r o v i d e d wives and mothers) c o n s t i t u t e d an e q u a l l y p o w e r f u l s o c i a l dynamic. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between Chambri men's o n t o l o g i c a l debt and women's " n a t u r a l " a b i l i t y t o produce c h i l d r e n i s c e n t r a l t o E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's a n a l y s i s of complementarity i n Chambri s o c i e t y . 102 The e t h n o g r a p h i c d i f f e r e n c e s between the T r o b r i a n d s and Chambri s o c i e t y , on one hand, and the H i g h l a n d s , on the o t h e r , are not i n s i g n i f i c a n t , and t h e degree t o which t h e a u t h o r s i n v o k e c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y i n e x p l a i n i n g t h e p o s i t i o n of women i s due b o t h t o e t h n o g r a p h i c r e a l i t y and t o t h e i r t h e o r e t i c a l agendas. In s h o r t , i t appears t h a t T r o b r i a n d and Chambri women had t h e i r own domains of "power", and a more " e q u a l " s t a t u s than H i g h l a n d women, and t h a t f e m i n i s t a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i n t e r e s t i n these s o c i e t i e s d e r i v e s from t h i s f a c t . The apparent absence i n these s o c i e t i e s of s e x u a l p o l a r i t y , antagonism, c o m p e t i t i o n and domination p r e s e n t s a f e r t i l e f i e l d f o r r e - d e f i n i n g "power" i n o t h e r than p o l i t i c a l terms, and " p e r s o n " i n terms o t h e r t h a n t h o s e of Western i n d i v i d u a l i s m . B o t h W e i n e r and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz suggest t h a t t h e s e r e - d e f i n e d terms may be a p p l i e d f u r t h e r a f i e l d i n M e l a n e s i a . I f comparisons of M e l a n e s i a n s o c i e t i e s , Weiner a r g u e s , were "based on t h e d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e s o c i o - c o s m i c d i s t r i b u t i o n s of power and c o n t r o l " (1976:15), we would f i n d t h a t i n a v a r i e t y of m a t r i l i n e a l and p a t r i l i n e a l s o c i e t i e s , women po s s e s s e d a form of cosmic power and e x e r c i s e d a s i g n i f i c a n t measure of c o n t r o l over t h e r e g e n e r a t i o n of a n c e s t o r s . S i m i l a r l y , E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz emphasize t h e c u l t u r a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of women's power t o produce c h i l d r e n and t h e impo r t a n c e of m a t r i l a t e r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n of Chambri i d e n t i t i e s . More i m p o r t a n t l y , they use t h e i r 103 c u l t u r a l 1 y-contexted reassessments of "person" and "domination" t o argue t h a t " i t i s not i n e v i t a b l e t h a t male s t r a t e g i e s f o r a c h i e v i n g worth r e s u l t i n the do m i n a t i o n of women" (1987:140). T h i s c l e a r l y r a i s e s t he p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s of o t h e r M e l a n e s i a n s o c i e t i e s as "male-dominated" may be e r r o n e o u s l y based on unexamined c o n c e p t s of " p e r s o n " and " d o m i n a t i o n " . T r o b r i a n d Women's S o c i o - c o s m i c Power Women of V a l u e ; Men of Renown: New P e r s p e c t i v e s i n T r o b r i a n d Exchange (1976) i s a r e - e x a m i n a t i o n of T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y from a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . As t h e t i t l e c l e a r l y s u g g e s t s , Weiner d i r e c t s her a t t e n t i o n t o T r o b r i a n d women and t o t h e c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y of female and male domains and powers. Gender r e l a t i o n s i n T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a c l e a r d i v i s i o n of powers, n o n - c o m p e t i t i o n and a b a l a n c e d c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y . T r o b r i a n d women's e x c l u s i v e ownership of c e r t a i n w e a l t h i t e m s and t h e i r pre-eminence i n the i d e o l o g y of s o c i a l r e p r o d u c t i o n d e f i n e d two areas of female power d i s t i n c t from male power. Women's autonomy as p e r s o n s , The c o n t r a s t between Weiner's t i t l e , Women of V a l u e ; Men of  Renown: New P e r s p e c t i v e s i n T r o b r i a n d Exchange, and S t r a t h e r n ' s t i t l e Women i n Between: Female R o l e s i n a Male World (1972) i s i n s t r u c t i v e . Weiner's t i t l e f o c u s e s our a t t e n t i o n on women f i r s t and on complementary domains and powers; where women have v a l u e , men g a i n renown. S t r a t h e r n ' s t i t l e , however, f o c u s e s a t t e n t i o n on women's p o s i t i o n between p a t r i c i a n s and t h e degrees to which women are i n c l u d e d i n and e x c l u d e d from a p r e d o m i n a n t l y male s o c i e t y . 104 Weiner a r g u e s , d e r i v e d from t h e e x c l u s i v i t y of t h e s e a r e a s of female c o n t r o l . A l t h o u g h , i n t h e work as a whole, Weiner b r i n g s female and male a c t i v i t i e s and powers i n t o equal a n a l y t i c a l f o c u s , she b e g i n s by examining the s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of women's a c t i v i t i e s and powers: t h e i r c o n t r o l of w e a l t h i t e m s and of m a t r i l i n e a l c o n t i n u i t y . I n s h o r t , r a t h e r than b e g i n n i n g w i t h a system of exchange o r p o l i t i c s p r e - d e f i n e d as male and a t t e m p t i n g t o de t e r m i n e i f and where women f i t i n t o t h a t system, Weiner chooses as her p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e women's a c t i v i t i e s and t h e meanings of t h o s e a c t i v i t i e s i n t h e Trob r i a n d i d e o l o g y of s o c i a l c o n t i n u i t y . Beginning the a n a l y s i s of T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y w i t h women i s a c o r r e c t i v e measure t h a t undermines two t r a d i t i o n a l a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a s sumptions: (1) Exchange, p o l i t i c s and p u b l i c a c t i v i t i e s a r e i n h e r e n t l y male. Although a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have i d e n t i f i e d women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n or degree of i n c l u s i o n i n male a c t i v i t i e s , they have not q u e s t i o n e d t h e " i n h e r e n t " maleness of t h o s e a c t i v i t i e s . (2) P o l i t i c a l power, i n the t r a d i t i o n a l p u b l i c sense of the term, i s t h e o n l y c u l t u r a l l y r e c o g n i z e d form of power. Thus, a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have tended t o a s s e s s t h e r e l a t i v e " p o w e r l e s s n e s s " of women i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e unexamined c o n f l a t i o n of power and p o l i t i c a l or p u b l i c a c t i o n . H i s t o r i c a l l y , e a r l y a n d r o c e n t r i c e t h n o g r a p h e r s of t h e T r o b r i a n d s d i r e c t e d t h e i r a t t e n t i o n p r i m a r i l y t o men's 105 a c t i v i t i e s , n e g l e c t i n g s o c i a l f e a t u r e s t h a t Weiner, as a f e m i n i s t , deems e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t : women's a c t i v i t i e s , t h e i d e o l o g i c a l i m p o r t a n c e of women and t h e c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y of male and female domains. These e a r l y e t h n o g r a p h e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y M a l i n o w s k i (1929) and P o w e l l (1956), f a i l e d t o i n v e s t i g a t e two i m p o r t a n t f a c t s about T r o b r i a n d women: (1) Women p l a y e d s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e s i n exchange and had p a r t i c u l a r s t r u c t u r a l i m p o r t a n c e i n mortuary ceremonies; (2) Women po s s e s s e d s o c i a l r e p r o d u c t i v e powers, c u l t u r a l l y r e c o g n i z e d as t h e " v a l u e " of women. These f a c t s , Weiner a r g u e s , demonstrate t h a t T r o b r i a n d women were persons who e x e r c i s e d b o t h s o c i o - e c o n o m i c and cosmic or t r a n s c e n d e n t a l power. Weiner thus contends t h a t power and c o n t r o l o p e r a t e "not m e r e l y w i t h i n t h e ^ p o l i t i c s ' of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s " but " e x t e n d ( i n g ) beyond t h e s o c i a l t o co n c e p t s c o n c e r n i n g a r t i c u l a t i o n w i t h cosmic and t r a n s c e n d e n t a l phenomena" (1976:12). The cosmic t h e r e f o r e e q u a l l e d t h e p o l i t i c a l i n im p o r t a n c e , and where e a r l y a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s had f a i l e d t o do so, T r o b r i a n d e r s themselves gave f u l l r e c o g n i t i o n t o women's s o c i o - c o s m i c power. T h i s b r o a d e n i n g of t h e d e f i n i t i o n of "power" i s t h e t h e o r e t i c a l key t o Weiner's argument, and i t r e p r e s e n t s an a n a l y t i c a l i n n o v a t i o n . She c l e a r l y does not p r i v i l e g e p o l i t i c a l power as p r e v i o u s ethnographers have done; n e i t h e r does she argue t h a t women were a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n a male p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s , but r a t h e r demonstrates t h a t 106 T r o b r i a n d women were p o w e r f u l i n d i s t i n c t i v e and "non-p o l i t i c a l " ways (1976:228) . 2 1 When we r e d e f i n e power as e x i s t i n g i n a v a r i e t y of forms, women's n o n - p o l i t i c a l power becomes s e l f - e v i d e n t . T h i s r e - d e f i n i t i o n of power p r e c l u d e s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of women's p o l i t i c a l " e q u a l i t y " , o r even t h e i r p o l i t i c a l i n v o l v e m e n t (1976:13). The argument f u r t h e r i m p l i e s t h a t autonomy and e q u a l i t y were l i n k e d not t o p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , but t o s e x u a l l y s p e c i f i c forms of c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n , which i n c l u d e d the growing of yams and t h e making of banana l e a f s k i r t s and b u n d l e s , o b j e c t s of exchange which i n t u r n s y m b o l i z e d s o c i a l i d e n t i t i e s and gendered powers. These p r o c e s s e s of exchange, Weiner a r g u e s , were based not on r e c i p r o c i t y a l o n e , but on s e l f - i n t e r e s t and c o n t r o l ; exchange i s "a p r o c e s s t h a t h o l d s a system of power r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n 55 b a l a n c e " (1976:227)." I n c l u d e d i n t h e s e power r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e t h o s e t h a t e x i s t e d between men and women. Thus, t h e 2 1 Weiner q u e s t i o n s t h e d e f i n i t i o n of power and i t s c o n f l a t i o n w i t h p o l i t i c s ; she does n o t , i n f a c t , q u e s t i o n t h e d e f i n i t i o n of p o l i t i c s . Thus, she argues t h a t women's p o s s e s s i o n of w e a l t h and t h e i r c o n t r o l of p r o p e r t y d i d not c o n s t i t u t e p o l i t i c a l powers, but r a t h e r t h a t t h e s e powers were s o c i o - e c o n o m i c . The d i s t i n c t i o n i s perhaps m e a n i n g l e s s . From F e i l or F a i t h o r n ' s p e r s p e c t i v e , T r o b r i a n d women p r o b a b l y d i d have some p o l i t i c a l power. However, t h i s does n o t , i n f a c t , a f f e c t Weiner's argument t h a t women's p r i n c i p a l power was t r a n s c e n d e n t a l and a h i s t o r i c a l , w h i l e men's p r i n c i p a l power was p o l i t i c a l and g e n e r a t i o n a l . 1 Weiner's p e r s p e c t i v e on exchange d i f f e r s from c l a s s i c a n a l y s e s of exchange based on a l t r u i s m , r e c i p r o c i t y and n o n - e x p l o i t a t i o n ( e . g . , M a l i n o w s k i , Mauss, L e v i - S t r a u s s , S a h l i n s ) . 107 a n a l y s i s i s u l t i m a t e l y based on a concept of s e p a r a t e s p h e r e s , " t h e d i v i s i o n of s o c i e t y i n t o two s e p a r a t e but a r t i c u l a t i n g female and male domains"; " w i t h i n t h e i r own domains, men and women c o n t r o l d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of r e s o u r c e s and hence a f f e c t d i f f e r e n t degrees and k i n d s of power over o t h e r s " (1976:18). However, T r o b r i a n d men and women were not c o m p l e t e l y independent of each o t h e r ; they were n ot " f r e e a g e n t s " , and w h i l e women's and men's l i v e s were e q u a l l y a f f e c t e d by t h e powers of the o t h e r s e x , Weiner emphasizes t h e degree t o which men's l i v e s were a f f e c t e d by women's powers: No woman or man becomes a s t r o n g p e r s o n ( e . g . , p o w e r f u l , b e a u t i f u l , w e a l t h y ) w i t h o u t i n v e s t m e n t s made i n him or her by o t h e r s . At i s s u e i s t h e way men must work ... around ... the l i m i t a t i o n s s e t up by women's c o n t r o l i n c e r t a i n c o n t e x t s (1976:14). T h i s i s a r e v e r s a l of more t r a d i t i o n a l a n d r o c e n t r i c and e a r l y f e m i n i s t approaches i n which a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s a t t e m p t e d t o c o r r e l a t e female s t a t u s w i t h degrees of male c o n t r o l over r e s o u r c e s (Weiner 1976:15). Weiner, however, b e g i n s h er a n a l y s i s w i t h female c o n t r o l of r e s o u r c e s , a r g u i n g not t h a t a l l female o b j e c t s were w e a l t h i t e m s , but r a t h e r t h a t " g i v e n t h a t women c o n t r o l some k i n d s of c u l t u r a l r e s o u r c e s d e f i n e d as t h e i r own, i t f o l l o w s t h a t t hey m a i n t a i n some degree of power t h a t d i f f e r s from male power" (1976:14). Tr o b r i a n d women had power p r e c i s e l y because they produced, a c q u i r e d and t r a n s f e r r e d o b j e c t s of s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l i m p o r t a n c e : they p o s s e s s e d t h e i r own exchange w e a l t h . More 108 i m p o r t a n t l y , t h e i r r e d i s t r i b u t i o n of t h o s e w e a l t h i t e m s a t mortuary ceremonies was s i g n i f i c a n t b o t h i n a s o c i o - e c o n o m i c sense, and i n a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l sense, w i t h r e s p e c t t o the r e g e n e r a t i o n of m a t r i l i n e a l a n c e s t o r s . Only T r o b r i a n d women po s s e s s e d t h e power t o r e g e n e r a t e s o c i e t y t h r o u g h the t r a n s -g e n e r a t i o n a l c o n t r o l of c l a n p r o p e r t y and t h e c o n t i n u a l 23 t r a n s m i s s i o n of m a t r i c l a n ( s u b c l a n or d a l a ) substance. W e a l t h exchange was the m a t e r i a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the i d e o l o g y of m a t r i l i n e a l c o n t i n u i t y . Thus, women's power d e r i v e d not o n l y from the concept of women's r e g e n e r a t i v e " v a l u e " , but from the m a t e r i a l r e a l i t y of t h e i r s o c i a l a f f a i r s : But women, b e s i d e s s e r v i n g m e r e l y as c o n d u i t s of m a t r i l i n e a l i d e n t i t y , a r e a c t i v e l y engaged i n v a r i o u s c e r e m o n i a l and economic a c t i v i t i e s which f u n c t i o n t o m a i n t a i n t h a t i d e n t i t y (1976:16). The most s i g n i f i c a n t of t h e s e c e r e m o n i a l and economic a c t i v i t i e s was t h e mortuary ceremony, which t r a d i t i o n a l l y i n c l u d e d a s e r i e s of w e a l t h d i s t r i b u t i o n s o r g a n i z e d by t h e k i n of the deceased. During t h e s e ceremonies women d i s t r i b u t e d l a r g e numbers of u n i q u e l y female w e a l t h i t e m s : banana l e a f s k i r t s and l e a f b u n d l e s . The d i s t r i b u t i o n s of women's w e a l t h I f Weiner had begun her a n a l y s i s , as S t r a t h e r n (1972) does, w i t h male p o l i t i c a l and p r e s t i g e - s e e k i n g a c t i v i t i e s , ( e . g . , yam p r o d u c t i o n and exchange, the k u l a and men's exchange of o t h e r v a l u a b l e s ) , men themselves would l i k e l y have appeared dominant by v i r t u e of b e i n g c o n s t i t u t e d t h e f i r s t o b j e c t of a n a l y s i s . I n b e g i n n i n g a s o c i a l a n a l y s i s w i t h women, t h e u n c o n s c i o u s o m i s s i o n of men i s f a r l e s s l i k e l y t h a n t h e u n c o n s c i o u s o m i s s i o n of women t h a t r e s u l t s from the unexamined e q u a t i o n of " s o c i e t y " w i t h "men". 109 g e n e r a l l y consumed many hours, c i r c u l a t e d thousands of bundles and dozens of s k i r t s , and i n v o l v e d hundreds of exchanges. A major purpose of the mortuary ceremony was the n e g o t i a t i o n of death through exchange, and only women were able to re-work the f a b r i c of s o c i a l c o n t i n u i t y rent apart by death. For T r o b r i a n d e r s , death was s o c i a l l y d i s r u p t i v e i n t h a t s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s e s t a b l i s h e d through the deceased were i n immediate danger of d i s i n t e g r a t i n g . M u l t i p l e exchanges l i b e r a t e d the deceased from a l l worldly o b l i g a t i o n s (197 6 : 84-85) and c l o s e d the s o c i a l r i f t occasioned by h i s or her death. These c i r c u l a r exchanges kept s o c i a l d i s i n t e g r a t i o n i n check, while simultaneously maintaining necessary s o c i a l oppositions. Thus, the mortuary ceremony dramatized s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , eased t h e i r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and compensated f o r t h e i r d i s r u p t i o n . Women took c e n t r e stage d u r i n g these r i t u a l d i s t r i b u t i o n s of wealth, demonstrating t h e i r own economic r o l e , and a f f i r m i n g the symbolic meanings of the s k i r t s and bundles: dala (subclan) c o n t i n u i t y and the value of women's r e g e n e r a t i v e power. The mortuary ceremony thus presented the a p p r o p r i a t e o c c a s i o n f o r T r o b r i a n d women to r e c l a i m d a l a land i f the deceased was a member of another d a l a and had simply e x e r c i s e d g e n e r a t i o n a l u s u f r u c t u a r y r i g h t s over that land. Land, l i k e a n c e s t r a l essence, was thus r e c y c l e d through women, and the r e l a t i o n s h i p between persons as subc l a n members , on one hand, and land and other s o r t s of d a l a p r o p e r t y , on the other, 110 provides evidence of women's c o n t r o l over the dynamic movement of c l a n p r o p e r t y . A c c o r d i n g to the m a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g y , a T r o b r i a n d e r was born i n t o h i s or her mother's d a l a . At some time d u r i n g a d u l t l i f e , he or she l i k e l y l i v e d on and made use of h i s or her f a t h e r ' s d a l a land. Because men's yam exchange gardens belonged to the r e c i p i e n t of the yams, a boy's f i r s t yam garden belonged to the man with whom he r e s i d e d , p o s s i b l y , but not n e c e s s a r i l y , h i s f a t h e r . By g i v i n g yams to h i s f a t h e r he i n v e s t e d i n f u t u r e r i g h t s to h i s f a t h e r ' s p r o p e r t y , i . e . , the r i g h t to use h i s f a t h e r ' s d a l a land. The r e s u l t was a system i n which most men worked land that was not t h e i r own d a l a land, but was the p r o p e r t y of t h e i r f a t h e r ' s d a l a . Thus, although each d a l a c l e a r l y owned i t s own land, the use of land by persons belonging to other subclans was such t h a t the r e a l i t y of land tenure was extremely complex. Men c o n t r o l l e d the d i s t r i b u t i o n of d a l a p r o p e r t y , i n c l u d i n g land, throughout the " h i s t o r i c a l time" of one g e n e r a t i o n . However, land or other p r o p e r t y l e n t out by men on a g e n e r a t i o n a l b a s i s was never permanently l o s t to the d a l a that was i t s o r i g i n a l owner because women possessed the power to r e c l a i m such p r o p e r t y . T h i s process of r e c l a m a t i o n represented an a h i s t o r i c a l or t i m e l e s s c o n t i n u i t y , such that the u l t i m a t e ownership of d a l a p r o p e r t y was not a f f e c t e d by temporary, g e n e r a t i o n a l d i s p e r s a l . The women of that d a l a I l l r e t a i n e d u l t i m a t e c o n t r o l of the land. In t h i s way, complementarity between the sexes e x i s t e d i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s to land and other d a l a p r o p e r t y : while men l e n t out land f o r immediate, g e n e r a t i o n a l power-building, women maintained the c o n t i n u i t y of the land by c o n t i n u a l l y c a l l i n g i t back as t i m e l e s s d a l a p r o p e r t y . The r e c y c l i n g or dynamic movement of c l a n p r o p e r t y i n c l u d e d the t r a n s m i s s i o n of m a t r i l i n e a l substance. Thus, the second and e q u a l l y important aspect of T r o b r i a n d women's power was t h e i r r e g e n e r a t i o n of a n c e s t o r s . The t r a d i t i o n a l c o n ception i d e o l o g y a t t r i b u t e d to women the power to conceive independently of men. Only through women d i d m a t r i l i n e a l substance pass on to f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s : . . . m a t r i l i n e a l i t y i s experienced p r i m a r i l y as the c u l t u r a l f a c t that women impart a s i g n i f i c a n t aspect of s o c i a l i d e n t i t y , t h a t i s , a n c e s t r a l essence, to t h e i r c h i l d r e n (1976:16). In c o n t r a s t to women, whose power was both s o c i a l and cosmic, Trobriand men exercised power on a purely s o c i a l plane, c o n t r o l l i n g h i s t o r i c a l time and m a i n t a i n i n g the c o n t i n u i t y of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h i n and between g e n e r a t i o n s . As i n d i v i d u a l seekers of renown, men strove to achieve immortality through temporary c o n t r o l over v a l u a b l e o b j e c t s and land. The i d e o l o g i c a l balance of female and male had p r a c t i c a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s , and complementarity c h a r a c t e r i z e d T r o b r i a n d marriage. Because a woman l i k e l y married a member of her 112 f a t h e r ' s d a l a , m a r r i a g e r e i n f o r c e d her p o s i t i o n i n t h a t d a l a. Y e t , m a r r i a g e e q u a l l y s o l i d i f i e d a woman's p o s i t i o n i n her own d a l a by t r i g g e r i n g a s e r i e s of exchanges between her k i n and h er husband's k i n . Thus, a t m a r r i a g e , a woman's f a t h e r made a yam garden f o r her and gave yams t o her husband i n her name, c r e a t i n g an o b l i g a t i o n on t h e p a r t of t h e husband t o h e l p h i s w i f e t o accumulate women's w e a l t h . The husband the n r e l i e d on h i s own w e a l t h and k i n c o n n e c t i o n s i n o r d e r t o accumulate banana l e a f s k i r t s and bundles which h i s w i f e e v e n t u a l l y used i n mortuary d i s t r i b u t i o n s . Yam p r o d u c t i o n and exchange, along w i t h the a c c u m u l a t i o n of v a l u a b l e s , was the most i m p o r t a n t male a c t i v i t y . A l t h o u g h women a l s o grew yams, t h e i r yams were s t r i c t l y f o r consumption, d i d not re p r e s e n t w e a l t h and were not exchanged. Men's c o n t r o l of major r e s o u r c e s and the absence of i n t e r - s e x u a l c o m p e t i t i o n f o r t h e c o n t r o l of yams no doubt s t r e n g t h e n e d m a r i t a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y . Moreover, a l t h o u g h male and female w e a l t h items appeared t o be c i r c u l a t i n g i n v e r y d i f f e r e n t domains, they were i n t e r - c o n n e c t e d ; men's p r o v i s i o n i n g of m a r r i e d women w i t h yams r e q u i r e d t h a t women produce and d i s t r i b u t e w e a l t h when a d e a t h o c c u r r e d . There was thus an i m p l i c i t c u l t u r a l l i n k between yams and women's w e a l t h t h a t r e f l e c t e d the complementary n a t u r e of male-female r e l a t i o n s : S u p e r f i c i a l l y , yams and t h e i r d i s t r i b u t i o n appear t o be c o m p l e t e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h male domains of economics and p o l i t i c s . But t h e p r o d u c t i o n of yams 113 e q u a l l y concerns t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between women and men (1978:180). W i t h i n t h i s c u l t u r a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y , men and women e x e r c i s e d d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of powers. C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , b o t h sexes b e l i e v e d men and women t o c o n t r i b u t e d i f f e r e n t l y , y e t c o m p l e m e n t a r i l y , t o r e p r o d u c t i o n : women c o n t r o l l e d t h e t r a n s m i s s i o n of t i m e l e s s d a l a s u b s t a n c e and men e x e r c i s e d temporal i n t e r v e n t i o n . D a l a s u b s t a n c e was thus female i n o r i g i n . The male i n f l u e n c e on t h e c h i l d d e v e l o p i n g i n the womb was an e n t i r e l y e x t e r i o r , temporal process. The d i f f e r e n c e between female and male c o n t r i b u t i o n s was s y m b o l i c a l l y rendered i n t h e b e l i e f t h a t c h i l d r e n were of t h e i r mothers' d a l a substance, but p h y s i c a l l y resembled t h e i r f a t h e r s . In a d d i t i o n , the naming of a c h i l d w i t h two names r e f l e c t e d the d i f f e r e n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s of the sexes t o r e p r o d u c t i o n . Names were s i g n i f i c a n t l y connected t o t h e c u l t u r a l concepts of h i s t o r i c a l t i m e ( m a l e / f a t h e r ) and cosmic time ( f e m a l e / m o t h e r ) : Names g i v e n by women a r e always t h e p r o p e r t y of women, but names g i v e n by men can never be reu s e d beyond t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s g e n e r a t i o n . S i m i l a r l y t h e name t h a t a woman g i v e s her son ( h i s t r u e d a l a name) cannot be reused beyond h i s c h i l d ' s l i f e t i m e (1976:128). T r o b r i a n d i d e o l o g y d i d not o n l y a s s i g n c u l t u r a l v a l u e t o t h e r e g e n e r a t i v e power of women; i n a d d i t i o n , i t d e f i n e d the fundamental d i f f e r e n c e between women themselves and t h e s o c i a l value of t h e i r r e g e n e r a t i v e power or "womanness". Weiner has a p p r o p r i a t e l y r e f e r r e d t o t h e " r e p r o d u c t i v e model" i n 114 T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y (1978, 1979, 1980) and has viewed r e p r o d u c t i o n as "a t o t a l o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e " (1978:175). T r o b r i a n d " r e p r o d u c t i o n " , she c l a i m s , was a b l e n d of the b i o l o g i c a l and the s o c i a l , and as such , was tantamount t o a c u l t u r a l achievement. Thus, she u l t i m a t e l y p r e s e n t s T r o b r i a n d women as c u l t u r a l l y p r o d u c t i v e p e r s o n s ; they a r e not " o b j e c t s but . . . i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h some measure of c o n t r o l " (1976:228). The r e d e f i n i t i o n of r e p r o d u c t i o n as a c u l t u r a l achievement and t h e d i f f e r e n c e between women and t h e i r v a l u e ("womanness") a r e c r u c i a l t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of m a r r i a g e . Weiner argues t h a t i n marriage T r o b r i a n d men d i d not a c q u i r e women as o b j e c t s of exchange ( c f . , L e v i - S t r a u s s ) , but r a t h e r a c q u i r e d "womanness", t h a t i s , t h e r e g e n e r a t i v e power of women and the p o t e n t i a l f o r s o c i a l c o n t i n u i t y . Men, t h e r e f o r e , d i d not exchange women; a t t h e h e a r t of exchange l a y t h e s o c i a l i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e of spouses and a t the h e a r t of m a r r i a g e "exchange" l a y t h e p r o c e s s of s o c i a l r e p r o d u c t i o n . Through economic a c t i v i t y ( a c c u m u l a t i o n and c i r c u l a t i o n of w e a l t h ) 2* Here, as S t r a t h e r n (1984a) s u g g e s t s , t h e r e i s an i m p l i c i t l i n k between c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n and i n d i v i d u a l autonomy. Weiner's model i s a l s o i n f o r m e d by t h e Western dichotomy between n a t u r e and c u l t u r e ; she removes r e p r o d u c t i o n from t h e n a t u r a l domain and p l a c e s i t i n the c u l t u r a l domain. T h i s p a r a l l e l s F a i t h o r n ' s and F e i l ' s endeavours to remove c e r t a i n female a c t i v i t i e s from t h e domestic domain and p l a c e them i n t h e p u b l i c / p o l i t i c a l domain. See Chapter 4 f o r my re v i e w of S t r a t h e r n ' s c r i t i q u e of F e i l ' s and Weiner's a t t e m p t s t o demonstrate female personhood v i a the t r a n s f e r of female a c t i v i t i e s from a d e v a l u e d t o a v a l u e d s p h e r e . 115 and cosmic a c t i v i t y ( c o n t r o l of d a l a c o n t i n u i t y ) , women were an autonomous f o r c e ; "... men m a i n t a i n o p e r a t i v e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s d i r e c t l y w i t h women, and ... women a r e not 'one of the o b j e c t s i n exchange' as L e v i - S t r a u s s c l a i m e d " (Weiner 1978:178). T h e r e f o r e , as S t r a t h e r n p o i n t s out i n her c r i t i q u e of Weiner, t h e n o t i o n of "womanness" i s not "mere b i o l o g y " ( S t r a t h e r n 1984a :18) . T r o b r i a n d men d i d not s i m p l y a p p r o p r i a t e women's b i o l o g i c a l p r o c r e a t i v i t y , but g a i n e d a c c e s s t o i t s s o c i a l r e p r o d u c t i v e v a l u e . F o l l o w i n g Weiner's argument, we can summarize the key f e a t u r e s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e p o s i t i o n of women i n T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y : (1) Through t h e i r p r o d u c t i o n , a c q u i s i t i o n and t r a n s f e r of o b j e c t s of s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l s i g n i f i c a n c e (banana l e a f s k i r t s and b u n d l e s ) , T r o b r i a n d women c o n t r o l l e d r e s o u r c e s and t h e r e f o r e e x e r c i s e d s o c i a l power. (2) Through t h e i r t r a n s m i s s i o n of m a t r i c l a n ( d a l a ) s u b s t a n c e and t h e i r r e c l a m a t i o n of d a l a p r o p e r t y ( l a n d , names e t c . ) , women po s s e s s e d a c u l t u r a l l y v a l u e d r e g e n e r a t i v e power. (3) W h i l e men's v a l u a b l e o b j e c t s and m a n i p u l a t i o n s of p r o p e r t y w i t h i n one l i f e t i m e d i d n o t t r a n s c e n d m o r t a l i t y , women's c o n t r o l over cosmic or a h i s t o r i c a l t i me a l l o w e d such t r a n s c e n d e n c e . Thus, i t appears t h a t complementary gender r e l a t i o n s and T r o b r i a n d women's e q u a l i t y were d e t e r m i n e d l a r g e l y by: (a) women's immediate c o n t r o l of wealth items and long-term c o n t r o l 116 of d a l a p r o p e r t y ; (b) the c u l t u r a l l y - v a l u e d a s s o c i a t i o n of women w i t h t h e t i m e l e s s c o n t i n u i t y of t h e m a t r i l i n e . Weiner c l a i m s t h a t she does not propose a u n i v e r s a l model f o r a s s e s s i n g t h e r o l e s and s t a t u s of women, nor even one t h a t embraces a l l k i n d s of male-female i n t e r a c t i o n i n t h e T r o b r i a n d s (1976:12). N e v e r t h e l e s s , she i m p l i e s a d i f f e r e n t i a l l y r e c o g n i z e d u n i v e r s a l v a l u e t h a t she v a r i o u s l y denotes as female r e g e n e r a t i v e power, "womanness" or t h e " v a l u e " of women. The supposed u n i v e r s a l i t y of "womanness" i n s p i r e s Weiner's u n f o r t u n a t e l y polemical c r i t i c i s m of Western s o c i e t i e s i n which, she c l a i m s , p e o p l e u n d e r v a l u e t h e r e g e n e r a t i v e power of women, and o v e r v a l u e t h e temporary p o l i t i c a l power of men. In a t t e m p t i n g t o u n i v e r s a l i z e a p a r t i c u l a r s e t of et h n o g r a p h i c f a c t s , e x t r a p o l a t i n g from what appears t o be a good account of T r o b r i a n d s o c i a l r e p r o d u c t i o n , Weiner e s t a b l i s h e s T r o b r i a n d Woman as the equal of M a l i n o w s k i ' s T r o b r i a n d Man (see S t r a t h e r n 1981a). In so d o i n g , she l e a v e s h e r s e l f open t o the c r i t i c i s m t h a t h er work i s e s s e n t i a l i s t . Weiner's a n a l y t i c a l s t a n c e i s f e m i n i s t and c o r r e c t i v e . Her most s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n i s the r e d e f i n i t i o n of power: power e x i s t s i n a v a r i e t y of forms, and l a c k of p o l i t i c a l power i s not e q u i v a l e n t t o a l a c k of power of any k i n d . As we have seen, she s i t u a t e s power b o t h i n s i d e and o u t s i d e p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y . 117 W h i l e she d i r e c t s her d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of power m a i n l y t o t he a n t h r o p o l o g y of M a l i n o w s k i , she a l s o a d d r e s s e s i n p a s s i n g t h e more r e c e n t a n t h r o p o l o g y of Andrew and M a r i l y n S t r a t h e r n (1971, 1972). The S t r a t h e r n s , Weiner a r g u e s , have f a i l e d t o c o n s i d e r a d e q u a t e l y t h e i d e o l o g i c a l i m p o r t a n c e of Hagen women's " d i s t r i b u t i o n of netbags a c r o s s a f f i n a l , consanguineal and i n t e r - g e n e r a t i o n a l l i n e s " and t h e i r "dancing i n c e r e m o n i a l a t t i r e a t p i g f e a s t s " (1976:13). Weiner poses the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n : . . . when a Melpa woman dance i n s p l e n d i d c e r e m o n i a l a t t i r e a t a p i g f e a s t , i s she mer e l y b e i n g g r a n t e d a f a v o u r by her husband, as Andrew and M a r i l y n S t r a t h e r n (1971) suggested? Or, r e g a r d l e s s of what Melpa men say about her a c t i v i t i e s , i s she a c t i n g out an aspect of her own power which i s s t r u c t u r a l l y c e n t r a l t o t h e s o c i o - c o s m i c d i m e n s i o n of Melpa r e a l i t i e s ? (1976:14). T h i s s tatement e x p l i c i t l y q u e s t i o n s the n a t u r e of "power" and s u g g e s t s t h a t T r o b r i a n d e r s may not be unique i n v a l u i n g s o c i o - c o s m i c power. Weiner appears t o c l a i m t h a t the pre s u m p t i o n t h a t power and p o l i t i c s a r e one has obsc u r e d a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s ' a b i l i t i e s t o p e r c e i v e s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s . M a l e - f e m a l e C o m p l e m e n t a r i t y i n Chambri S o c i e t y In C u l t u r a l A l t e r n a t i v e s and a F e m i n i s t A n t h r o p o l o g y :  An A n a l y s i s of C u l t u r a l l y C o n s t r u c t e d Gender I n t e r e s t s i n  Papua New Guinea ( E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987) the a u t h o r s examine two c u l t u r a l f e a t u r e s of Chambri s o c i e t y : (1) how 118 t h e d i f f e r e n c e s between Chambri women's and men's s o c i a l s t r a t e g i e s r e s u l t e d i n n o n - c o m p e t i t i o n and c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y , and (2) how these complementary gender r e l a t i o n s were dependent on a concept of the person as a s o c i a l b e i n g , d e r i v i n g p e r s o n a l worth and i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y from s o c i a l r e l a t e d n e s s . E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's p r i n c i p a l t h e o r e t i c a l argument i s t h a t any a n a l y s i s of gender r e l a t i o n s must t a k e c u l t u r a l premises about personhood i n t o account. Indeed, they e x p l i c i t l y q u e s t i o n the use of a Western concept of " p e r s o n " i n the s t u d y of non-Western gender r e l a t i o n s , and s p e c i f i c a l l y c r i t i c i z e Mead's unexamined use of " p e r s o n " i n her 1935 a n a l y s i s of Tchambuli (Chambri) gender r e l a t i o n s . The Chambri concept of " p e r s o n " , they argue, i s a c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n fundamental 1 y d i f f e r e n t from t h e Western concept of " p e r s o n " as i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t i v i t y : The concept of the person by which i n d i v i d u a l s shape t h e i r sense of s e l f , t he d e f i n i t i o n of t h e i n d i v i d u a l worth and the s t r a t e g i e s of men and women a r e ... s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t f o r Chambri than f o r o u r s e l v e s and form v e r y d i f f e r e n t s o r t s of i n d i v i d u a l s i n each case ( E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987:131). U s i n g Mead's work as a p o i n t of d e p a r t u r e , t h e a u t h o r s c o n t r a s t Western " s u b j e c t i v i t y " and c o m p e t i t i o n between the sexes w i t h Chambri " p o s i t i o n a l " personhood and non-competitive ^ The concept of " i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y " d e r i v e s from Western i d e a s of i n d i v i d u a l i s m and a p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y and e m o t i o n a l l y c o n s t i t u t e d s u b j e c t i v i t y . S i n c e t h i s i s not pa r t of the Chambri concept of personhood, I use the term a d v i s e d l y . i n t e r - s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s . They consider Chambri men's and women's s o c i a l i n t e r e s t s i n r e l a t i o n to a c u l t u r a l l y p a r t i c u l a r concept of " p e r s o n a l w o r t h " (1987:139) which e x i s t e d w i t h i n a s e t of c u l t u r a l b e l i e f s o r " p r e m i s e s " (1987:13) about p e r s o n s and t h e i r s o c i a l g o a l s . These premises were "embodied i n ( t h e ) s o c i a l a c t i o n " (1987:13) of men and women. The c u l t u r a l l y d e f i n e d i n t e r e s t s of Chambri men and women de t e r m i n e d t h e i r d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l s t r a t e g i e s : men engaged i n c o n t i n u o u s s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h o t h e r men, p r a c t i s i n g p o l i t i c a l s t r a t e g i e s " t o succeed a t t h e expense of o t h e r s " (1987:13); women d i d not engage i n p o l i t i c a l s t r u g g l e s t o the same degree, but adopted "more r e l i a b l e and l e s s c o m p e t i t i v e " (1987:13) methods of a c h i e v i n g s o c i a l w o r t h , p u r s u i n g l a r g e l y " d o m e s t i c " g o a l s . From t h e s e "gender i n t e r e s t s " emerged s e x u a l l y d i s t i n c t , complementary s p h e r e s of a c t i o n , or domains. As a r e s u l t , Chambri s o c i e t y , t h e a u t h o r s argue, was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by s e x u a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y , s e x u a l e g a l i t a r i a n i s m and t h e absence of d o m i n a t i o n . " E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz e x p l o r e the r e l a t i o n s h i p of Chambri " p o s i t i o n a l " personhood and concept of p e r s o n a l worth t o "gender i n t e r e s t s " . As I have s u g g e s t e d (see Chapter 2 ) , t h i s f r e e s t h e a n a l y s i s from the d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c dichotomy and i t s u s u a l i m p l i c a t i o n of u n i v e r s a l female s u b o r d i n a t i o n (see R o s a l d o 1974, 1980). A l t h o u g h Chambri men appeared t o be a c t i n g i n " p u b l i c " o r " p o l i t i c a l " ways, w h i l e Chambri women appeared t o be a c t i n g i n more " d o m e s t i c " ways i n t h a t they were l i t t l e c o ncerned w i t h the p o l i t i c s of a f f i n a l exchange, women were not s u b j e c t t o d o m i n a t i o n because, l i k e men, they were f u l l y a b l e t o a c h i e v e p e r s o n a l w o r t h w i t h i n the terms s e t out by t h e i r c u l t u r e . 120 In h i s a n a l y s e s of Enga s o c i e t y , F e i l (1978a, 1978b) n o t e s men's and women's d i f f e r e n t , but complementary and non-c o m p e t i t i v e , i n t e r e s t s i n t h e tee. E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz extend t h i s form of argument t o suggest t h a t i n Chambri s o c i e t y men and women m a i n t a i n e d g e n e r a l l y d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l i n t e r e s t s , and t h a t m a r r i a g e was t h e " e s s e n t i a l c o n t e x t " i n which they pursued t h e s e " r e s p e c t i v e i n t e r e s t s " (1987:99). W h i l e b o t h sexes owed t h e i r l i v e s t o t h e w i f e - g i v e r s who had p r o v i d e d them and t h e i r c l a n s w i t h t h e i r mothers, Chambri men a l o n e were e t e r n a l l y i n d e b t e d t o af f i n e s . B e g i n n i n g w i t h b r i d e w e a l t h payments, men c o n t i n u a l l y s t r o v e t o repay t h i s o n t o l o g i c a l d e b t ; however, th e debt c o u l d never be f u l l y a c q u i t t e d and e x e r c i s e d a l i f e - l o n g h o l d over Chambri men. Men's l i v e s c o n s i s t e d of t h e r e l e n t l e s s p u r s u i t of e q u a l i t y w i t h t h o s e af f i n e s who, by p r o v i d i n g t h e mothers of men, had caused men's e x i s t e n c e : Only w i t h r e l u c t a n c e do men a c t t o g e t h e r i n c l a n s t o educate t h e i r agnates i n r i t u a l knowledge and t o compensate t h e i r a f f i n e s : they l o n g t o be a b l e t o a c h i e v e e q u a l i t y t h r o u g h g a i n i n g r e l e a s e from t h e i r s o c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s (1987:66). Through th e p o l i t i c s of a f f i n a l exchange, Chambri men a l s o s t r o v e t o dominate o t h e r men, t o a c h i e v e " e f f e c t s " as they competed " t o become equal t o t h o s e who have caused them" (1987:48) and " t o r e p l i c a t e t h e power of t h o s e who have produced them" (1987:52). The c u l t u r a l b e l i e f i n t h e i n e q u a l i t y of men thus undermined a g n a t i c s o l i d a r i t y , and b o t h i n t e r -121 and i n t r a - c l a n r e l a t i o n s i n v o l v i n g t h e a c q u i s i t i o n of t o t e m i c names were, f o r men, " m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of r e l a t i v e power" (1987:47): The t o t e m i c names . . . men h o l d p r o v i d e the p o s s i b i l i t y of g a i n i n g power over o t h e r s and a r e th e f o c u s and b a s i s of p o l i t i c a l c o m p e t i t i o n . Men seek t o augment t h e i r own power t h r o u g h g a i n i n g c o n t r o l of t h e names of o t h e r s , as when one c l a n subsumes a n o t h e r and so a c q u i r e s i t s r i t u a l e s t a t e ... men d e f i n e t hemselves p r i m a r i l y i n terms of r e l a t i v e c o n t r o l over names, over t h a t which g i v e s them power (1987:47). W h i l e Chambri men became p o w e r f u l e x c l u s i v e l y t h r o u g h th e p o s s e s s i o n of p o w e r f u l t o t e m i c names, Chambri women drew power from two major s o u r c e s , one of which was t o t e m i c knowledge. Chambri women "know as much about t h e g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h i s immanent totemism as do t h e i r husbands s i n c e they t o o a r e r e c i p i e n t s of t o t e m i c names and (some) o b j e c t s of t o t e m i c s i g n i f i c a n c e " (1987:79). Women knew of the e x i s t e n c e of t h e " s e c r e t " f l u t e s and water-drums used i n male i n i t i a t i o n s ; i n a d d i t i o n , they became powerful through knowledge of men's t o t e m i c names. Women's p r i m a r y power, however, l a y i n t h e i r a b i l i t y to repay t h e i r " o n t o l o g i c a l debts" by g i v i n g b i r t h to c h i l d r e n . Although Chambri women d e f i n e d themselves as men d i d , by t h e i r t o t e m i c names, the power of women's names was r e l a t e d t o r e p r o d u c t i o n ; p o w e r f u l names engendered r e p r o d u c t i v e power: . . . t h e power conveyed by t h e i r names cannot shape s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s as does the power of the names men h o l d but, i n s t e a d , ensures r e p r o d u c t i o n . Because 122 t h e power of women cannot be t r a n s f e r r e d i n t o t he male sphere of p o l i t i c s , women do not compete w i t h men f o r p o l i t i c a l eminence (1987:47). Thus, Chambri women e x e r c i s e d t h e power of t h e i r names i n the r e p r o d u c t i v e and o n t o l o g i c a l s p h e r e , and c o n s e q u e n t l y , were s c a r c e l y i n t e r e s t e d i n male p o l i t i c a l i n t r i g u e s . Women were f u l l y a b l e t o a c t as ca u s e s , i n an o n t o l o g i c a l sense, i n a c u l t u r e t h a t Gewertz says "profoundly b e l i e v e s t h a t causes a r e more i m p o r t a n t t h a n e f f e c t s " (1984:627). The s e x u a l b a l a n c e of powers i n Chambri s o c i e t y i s r e m i n i s c e n t of the c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y of female and male powers i n T r o b r i a n d s o c i e t y . The d i s t i n c t i o n between men's l i f e t i m e s t r i v i n g s t o buy back t h e i r e x i s t e n c e echoes T r o b r i a n d men's g e n e r a t i o n a l p u r s u i t s of renown. Chambri women's r e p r o d u c t i v i t y , l i k e T r o b r i a n d women's r e g e n e r a t i v e c a p a c i t y , a c q u i r e d the s i g n i f i c a n c e of a " c u l t u r a l " achievement (Weiner 1976) and l i b e r a t e d women from the e n d l e s s m a t e r i a l c y c l e of debt repayment. Chambri women's g r e a t e r value ( i . e . , g r e a t e r than b r i d e w e a l t h v a l u a b l e s ) and t h e i r " n a t u r a l " a b i l i t y t o a c q u i t t h e i r own i n d e b t e d n e s s t h r o u g h p r o d u c t i o n of c h i l d r e n g r a n t e d them t h e i r o n t o l o g i c a l advantage. S i s t e r s a l s o p o s s e s s e d an o n t o l o g i c a l i m p o r t a n c e , assuming " t h e r o l e of t r a n s f o r m e r i n a l l major r i t e s of passage f o r Chambri males" (1987:92). The p a r a l l e l h ere speaks f o r i t s e l f : T r o b r i a n d women e x e r c i s e d a " t r a n s c e n d e n t a l " power; Chambri women e x e r c i s e d a s i m i l a r " o n t o l o g i c a l " power. Weiner s p e c u l a t e d 123 t h a t t h e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l o r cosmic power of women r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e t r a n s m i s s i o n of i d e n t i t i e s was l i k e l y not r e s t r i c t e d to m a t r i l i n e a l s o c i e t i e s (1976:15). T h i s has been demonstrated ( B e l l 1983), and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's a n a l y s i s c o n f i r m s 27 t h e s p e c u l a t i o n . F o r a l l t h a t mal e t o t emic names and p a t r i l i n e a l i d e n t i t y f i g u r e d p r o m i n e n t l y i n Chambri c o n s c i o u s n e s s and i n t h e We may a l s o s p e c u l a t e t h a t s e x u a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y i n b o t h s o c i e t i e s , Chambri and T r o b r i a n d , was r e l a t e d t o the absence of a s t r o n g e t h i c of male e g a l i t a r i a n i s m . E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz argue t h a t Chambri men employed s t r a t e g i e s of dominance t o compete w i t h each o t h e r , but women and men d i d not compete, and we have seen t h a t i n the s e x u a l l y p o l a r i z e d w o r l d of Melpa s o c i e t y , women competed w i t h men f o r c o n t r o l of p i g s d e s t i n e d f o r moka exchange. The moka masked i n e q u a l i t i e s among men, p e r p e t r a t e d t h e i d e o l o g i c a l v a l u a t i o n of male over f e m a l e , and thus p r o v i d e d a s u i t a b l e t e r r a i n f o r the seeds of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d male d o m i n a t i o n . Here, o v e r t c o m p e t i t i o n between the s e x e s , t h e m i n i m i z a t i o n of i n e q u a l i t i e s among men and the d o m i n a t i o n of women appear c o - r e l a t e d . C o n v e r s e l y , d rawing on t h e Chambri e v i d e n c e , we may p o s t u l a t e a r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h r e e f a c t s : (1) c u l t u r a l 1 y e x p l i c i t c o m p e t i t i o n and i n e q u a l i t i e s among men, e s p e c i a l l y a g n a t e s ; (2) weak p a t r i c i a n s o l i d a r i t y ; and (3) s e x u a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y and non-domination. The q u e s t i o n a r i s e s : when c o m p e t i t i o n between the sexes was tempered by c o m p e t i t i o n among men t h a t was not s o l i d l y masked by an i d e o l o g y of e g a l i t a r i a n i s m , was t h e r e l e s s room f o r the p o l i t i c a l d o m i n a t i o n of women? Overt c o m p e t i t i o n between men, i n t h e Chambri c a s e , and remnants of a h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e of ranked c l a n s p e r m i t t i n g i n e q u a l i t i e s among men, i n t h e T r o b r i a n d c a s e , may have c o n s i g n e d men i n t h e s e s o c i e t i e s t o t h e p r o s a i c t a s k of v a l i d a t i n g t h e i r g e n e r a t i o n a l e x i s t e n c e , t h a t i s , p r o v i n g themselves v i s - a - v i s o t h e r men. In t h e T r o b r i a n d c a s e , the p r o o f was renown; i n the Chambri c a s e , i t was the power of t o t e m i c names t o prove men's e q u a l i t y . The e t h n o g r a p h i c f a c t s of i n t e r - s e x u a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y and weak p a t r i c i a n s o l i d a r i t y i n Chambri s o c i e t y were m u t u a l l y r e i n f o r c i n g . T h i s was c l e a r l y not a si m p l e sequence of cause and e f f e c t , and women's t r a n s c e n d e n t a l and o n t o l o g i c a l powers cannot s i m p l y be c o n s t r u e d as a b y - p r o d u c t of male i n t r a - s e x p o l i t i c a l m a c h i n a t i o n s . However, Weiner's and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's d a t a do suggest a c o r r e l a t i o n of o v e r t o r s t r u c t u r a l r e c o g n i t i o n of i n e q u a l i t i e s among men and co m p l e m e n t a r i t y i n i n t e r - s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s . 124 c o n s t i t u t i o n of t h e p e r s o n , the pre-eminence of p a t r i l i n e a l i d e n t i t i e s by no means p r e c l u d e d t h e e x i s t e n c e of m a t r i l a t e r a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d i d e n t i t i e s ( i n a d d i t i o n t o B e l l 1983, see F e i l 1984a, Schwimmer 1973). I n f a c t , Chambri f u l l y acknowledged b o t h p a t r i l i n e a l and m a t r i l a t e r a l i d e n t i t i e s , and the f o l l o w i n g passage i n d i c a t e s the importance t h a t Chambri g r a n t e d t o a f f i n a l r e l a t i o n s and t h e t r a n s m i s s i o n of t o t e m i c names t h r o u g h women: Each Chambri i s g i v e n t o t e m i c names by h i s o r her p a t r i l i n e a l and m a t r i l a t e r a l r e l a t i v e s . Men a c q u i r e more of th e s e names, as w e l l as names which a r e more p o w e r f u l , t h a n do women. Both men and women r e c e i v e more, as w e l l as more p o w e r f u l names, from t h e i r p a t r i l i n e a l t h a n from m a t r i l a t e r a l k i n . N o n e t h e l e s s , a l l Chambri d e r i v e much of t h e i r i n i t i a l i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n of th e s e t o t e m i c names. They become i n s u b s t a n t i a l measure the i n c a r n a t i o n of t h e i r p a t r i l i n e a l and m a t r i l a t e r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s (1987:31). W i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n of i d e n t i t i e s , E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz adopt an e x p l i c i t l y f e m i n i s t approach. That i s , they a r e committed t o p r e s e n t i n g women's views of the s o c i a l o r d e r , and t h e r e f o r e do not f a i l t o i n c l u d e women's p e r s p e c t i v e s on p a t r i l i n e a l i d e o l o g y and on the pre-eminence of p a t r i l i n e a l i d e n t i t i e s : S i n c e women produce c h i l d r e n f o r a c l a n o t h e r than t h e i r own, they a r e u n l i k e l y t o t a k e w i t h male s e r i o u s n e s s the p r i n c i p l e t h a t c l a n i d e n t i t y g e n e r a t e s a b s o l u t e d i f f e r e n c e s (1987:102). T h i s passage u n e q u i v o c a l l y i n d i c a t e s t h a t Chambri women un d e r s t o o d p a t r i 1 i n e a l i t y d i f f e r e n t l y from the ways i n which 125 men u n d e r s t o o d the same s o c i a l " s t r u c t u r e " . T h i s d i f f e r e n t u n d e r s t a n d i n g i s f u r t h e r i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h e f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n of a Chambri wedding i n which t h e a u t h o r s c l e a r l y acknowledge women's p e r s p e c t i v e s on a g n a t i c and a f f i n a l r e l a t i o n s : So w h i l e Pekur and h i s kinsmen u n i t e d as s o l i d a r y w i f e - t a k e r s t o accumulate t h e money n e c e s s a r y t o a c q u i r e a woman from t h e i r w i f e - g i v e r s , t h e i r s i s t e r s and wives were u p r o a r i o u s l y i g n o r i n g not o n l y t h e d i s t i n c t i o n of g e n e r a t i o n but the s t r u c t u r a l d i s t i n c t i o n between af f i n e s by d e s c r i b i n g t hemselves as merged daughter-mothers and mother-d a u g h t e r s . Even t h o s e c l a n s i s t e r s who c o n t r i b u t e d t o the b r i d e - p r i c e and who d i d d e r i v e a measure of s t a t u s and p r e s t i g e from t h e game of a f f i n a l exchange . . . were thus d i s c o u n t i n g t h e importance of a g n a t i o n and a f f i n a l o p p o s i t i o n as t h e fundamental b a s i s of i d e n t i t y (1987:102). Not o n l y d i d Chambri p e o p l e acknowledge m a t r i l a t e r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and not o n l y d i d Chambri women d i s c o u n t the s t r u c t u r a l bases of i d e n t i t y c o n s t r u c t i o n , but i n a d d i t i o n , t h e r e were echoes of m a t r i 1 i n e a l i t y o r b i - l i n e a l i t y i n Chambri k i n s h i p o r g a n i z a t i o n . Men passed names to t h e i r s i s t e r s ' sons. Although E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz note t h a t t h i s was a f u n c t i o n a l d e v i c e p r e v e n t i n g sons from competing d i r e c t l y w i t h f a t h e r s , i t f u r t h e r s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e p a t r i l i n e a l " s t r u c t u r e " was not r i g i d and may i n f a c t have been d i f f e r e n t l y c o n s t r u c t e d by women. C o n s i d e r the f a c t t h a t d a u g h t e r s were e q u a l l y endowed w i t h c l a n v a l u a b l e s which they e v e n t u a l l y gave t o t h e i r s ons, who i n t u r n used them t o repay t h e i r m a t e r n a l u n c l e s . That t h i s f o r e s t a l l e d f a t h e r s ' r i v a l r y w i t h sons or s e r v e d as a 126 d e l a y e d bequest t o sons (1987 : 96) i s a s t r u c t u r a l e x p l a n a t i o n t h a t does not account f o r t he p r a c t i c e s of t h e system from the p e r s p e c t i v e of women. Women may have viewed t h e i r r o l e i n t h i s p r o c e s s d i f f e r e n t l y ; t h a t i s , t hey may not have seen themselves as i n t e r m e d i a r i e s i n a p a t r i l i n e a l p r o c e s s . Here, E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz do not f a i l t o note women's r o l e s , but they do not f u l l y r e c o g n i z e t h a t women may have u n d e r s t o o d b o t h t h e i r own r o l e s and the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e d i f f e r e n t l y . In t h i s i n s t a n c e , the a u t h o r s e x p l o r e n e i t h e r the p o t e n t i a l f o r female c o n t r o l of c l a n v a l u a b l e s , nor women's p e r c e p t i o n s of t he c i r c u m s t a n c e s . I n s p i t e of t h e f a c t t h a t Chambri women were g e n e r a l l y d i s i n t e r e s t e d i n men's p o l i t i c a l m a c h i n a t i o n s , t h e i r own "d o m e s t i c " l i v e s were i n f a c t f a r from a p o l i t i c a l . Because they had knowledge of t h e i r husbands' t o t e m i c names and r i t u a l o b j e c t s "women can, i f they choose ... a c t as p o l i t i c a l c a t a l y s t s " (1987:80). Women were a b l e t o use knowledge of t o t e m i c names f o r t h e i r own p u r p o s e s , t o undermine b o t h t h e i r 78 husbands' power and t h e power of t h e i r husbands' c l a n s . Women's p o l i t i c a l p o t e n t i a l , t h a t i s , t h e a b i l i t y t o e x e r c i s e some form of s o c i a l power, c l e a r l y e x i s t e d i n Chambri s o c i e t y i n s o f a r as male s e c u r i t y depended on women's p o l i t i c a l T h i s l a t e n t female p o l i t i c a l power was perhaps what Mead d e t e c t e d when she su g g e s t e d t h a t Chambri men were " l e g a l l y dominant", but " e m o t i o n a l l y s u b s e r v i e n t " ( E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987:79). 127 disengagement. B u t, t h i s disengagement was not e q u i v a l e n t t o t h e p o l i t i c a l m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n e x p e r i e n c e d by Melpa women. W h i l e Melpa women were unable t o a c t as p o l i t i c a l or j u d i c i a l p e r sons ( S t r a t h e r n 1972) , Chambri women were a b l e t o v a l i d a t e t h emselves f u l l y as persons w i t h o u t a c t i v e r e c o u r s e t o the k i n d s of " p o l i t i c a l " a c t i o n s p r a c t i s e d by men. Thus, Chambri s o c i e t y , as I have a l r e a d y s u g g e s t e d , d i d not e x h i b i t the s o c i a l dynamics of Melpa s o c i e t y , i n which men's a c t i v i t i e s masked male i n t r a - s e x c o m p e t i t i o n b e h i n d t h e smokescreen of an e g a l i t a r i a n i d e o l o g y and r e i n f o r c e d women's " j u d i c i a l m i n o r i t y " ( S t r a t h e r n 1972). Melpa men drew on heavy s y m b o l i c ammunition t o r e a s s e r t t h e i r c l a i m s t o pre-eminence i n t h e p u b l i c sphere of p o l i t i c s , and t h e o p p o s i t i o n of the sexes had f a r g r e a t e r c u l t u r a l s a l i e n c e than t h e c o m p e t i t i o n among men. B u t, as we have seen, Chambri men's s i t u a t i o n was p r i m a r i l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d not by t h e i r s u p e r i o r i t y over o r o p p o s i t i o n t o women, but by t h e i r unequal a b i l i t i e s t o a c q u i t t h e i r o n t o l o g i c a l d e b t s , and thus by t h e i n e q u a l i t i e s among men th e m s e l v e s . These i n e q u a l i t i e s a c q u i r e d the s t a t u s of s o c i a l f a c t s . Gewertz a s k s : How can men r e g a r d themselves as equal t o women when they are produced by women?; how can men r e g a r d themselves as equal t o o t h e r men when they r e c e i v e t h e i r w ives from o t h e r men? (1984:627). Consequently, t h e e q u a l i t y t h a t men sought through t h e p u r s u i t of p o l i t i c a l power and p r e s t i g e was s t r i c t l y s y m b o l i c and 128 produced an i d e o l o g i c a l i n v e r s i o n t h a t " u l t i m a t e l y d e f i n e s women as s u b s e r v i e n t " (1984 : 627 ) . 2 9 The i d e o l o g i c a l i n v e r s i o n a s i d e , E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz s u s t a i n the argument t h a t Chambri s o c i e t y was s e x u a l l y e g a l i t a r i a n . I f men and women were not o n t o l o g i c a l l y e q u a l , and i f , on a p s y c h o l o g i c a l l e v e l men d e a l t w i t h t h e i r c u l t u r a l l y e s t a b l i s h e d " i n e q u a l i t y " t h r o u g h i d e o l o g i c a l i n v e r s i o n s , gender r e l a t i o n s were n e v e r t h e l e s s complementary and n e i t h e r men nor women were s o c i a l l y dominant. C o m p l e m e n t a r i t y and Personhood E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's a n a l y s i s of Chambri s o c i a l a c t i o n p o s t u l a t e s t h a t men and women a c t e d i n s e x u a l l y d i s t i n c t or gendered domains. F u r t h e r m o r e , d i s t i n c t gender i n t e r e s t s p e r m i t t e d t h e achievement of p e r s o n a l worth f o r b o t h s e x e s , and t h e complementary g o a l s of th o s e i n t e r e s t s produced non-c o m p e t i t i o n and s e x u a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y . The " s t a t u s " t h a t men a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h p o l i t i c a l means, women a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h d o m e s t i c and r e p r o d u c t i v e means. Because n e i t h e r sex posed T h i s p o r t r a i t of women as s u b s e r v i e n t l e a d s us i n t o the r e a l m of gender i d e o l o g y and symbolism. F a m i l i a r , u n p l e a s a n t q u e s t i o n s r e a p p e a r : What do we make of y e t a n o t h e r gender i d e o l o g y t h a t d e v a l u e s and d e n i g r a t e s women? How do we r e c o n c i l e such an i d e o l o g y w i t h the s o c i a l r e a l i t y of Chambri women's g r e a t e r a b i l i t y t o pay back t h e i r o n t o l o g i c a l d e b t s ? How ar e we t o u n d e r s t a n d the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a gender i d e o l o g y t h a t d e n i g r a t e s women and a p u r p o r t e d l y e g a l i t a r i a n p r a c t i c e ? I address t h e s e q u e s t i o n s more d i r e c t l y i n Ch a p t e r s 4 and 129 a t h r e a t t o the p e r s o n a l or s o c i a l worth of the o t h e r , t h e r e was no d o m i n a t i o n of one sex by the o t h e r . The r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz e s t a b l i s h between c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y and non-domination d e r i v e s d i r e c t l y from t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of Chambri personhood, and from t h e n o t i o n of v a l i d a t i o n of p e r s o n a l w o r t h , and how t h i s i s accomplished d i f f e r e n t l y f o r Chambri as " p o s i t i o n a l " persons, w i t h equal o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r b o t h genders, and f o r W e s t e r n e r s (Americans) as " s u b j e c t i v e " p e r s o n s . At i s s u e h e r e , w i t h r e s p e c t t o the t h e o r e t i c a l argument, i . e . , t h a t Chambri women cannot be s a i d t o be dominated, i s f i r s t l y , t he n a t u r e of personhood, and s e c o n d l y , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e achievement of personhood ( o r r e c o g n i z e d worth) and non-do m i n a t i o n . I n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d how the i d e a of pe r s o n f u n c t i o n e d t o e l i m i n a t e the p o s s i b i l i t y of d o m i n a t i o n and produce c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y , we must examine how the Chambri concept of " p e r s o n " d i f f e r s from Western n o t i o n s of personhood, and how, p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r women, p e r s o n a l or s o c i a l worth i s a c h i e v e d i n Chambri s o c i e t y . v The c o n c l u s i o n that r e l a t i o n s of d o m i n a t i o n d i d not e x i s t i n Chambri s o c i e t y c h a l 1 e n g e s Mead's (1935) c o n c l u s i o n t h a t Chambri women, t h r o u g h t h e i r economic o r p u b l i c a c t i v i t y , j 0 I r e t u r n t o t h e q u e s t i o n of personhood and t h e " v a l i d a t i o n of s u b j e c t i v i t y " ( E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987) i n Western s o c i e t i e s i n my l a r g e r d i s c u s s i o n of M e l a n e s i a n personhood i n Chapter 4. 130 dominated Chambri men, whose i n t e r e s t s f o c u s e d on p e r s o n a l and d o m e s t i c c o n c e r n s . I n her 1935 s t u d y of t h e Tchambuli (Chambri) p e o p l e , Mead c o n c l u d e s t h a t the s t e r e o t y p i c a l , b i o l o g i c a l l y - b a s e d Western c o n f i g u r a t i o n of the p a s s i v e female and the dominant male was s i m p l y r e v e r s e d (1972:216) . Mead's a n a l y s i s i m p l i e s , t h a t t h e Chambri were b o t h s i m i l a r t o and d i f f e r e n t from Americans. I n s o f a r as gender t r a i t s and r o l e s were r e v e r s e d , Chambri " d e v i a t e d " from t h e s t e r e o t y p i c a l American gender p a t t e r n . On t h e o t h e r hand, Mead s u g g e s t s t h a t Chambri c o n s t r u c t e d gender i d e n t i t i e s and r o l e s from f a m i l i a r fundamental b u i l d i n g b l o c k s , t h a t i s , r e c o g n i z a b l y American t r a i t s and p o l a r o p p o s i t i o n s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h gender, such as p a s s i v e / a c t i v e and s u b m i s s i v e / d o m i n a n t . Gewertz (1981, 1984) and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz (1987) propose t h a t the Chambri were even more d i f f e r e n t than Mead s u s p e c t e d . Her a n a l y s i s , t hey argue, i s i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y p r e d i c a t e d on a Western concept of " p e r s o n " . I n Gewertz's view, Mead's attempt t o demonstrate t h a t Chambri men were l i k e Western women and Chambri women l i k e Western men i s a d i s t o r t e d p r o j e c t i o n , "New Guineans ... e x h i b i t i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t a r e but p e r m u t a t i o n s of e s t a b l i s h e d Western c a t e g o r i e s " (1984:616). E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz f u r t h e r suggest t h a t Mead viewed Chambri men and women " i n Western terms as s u b j e c t i v e i n d i v i d u a l s s eeking s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n through an e c o n o m i c a l l y d e r i v e d i n d i v i d u a l i s m " (1987:45). Chambri 131 men, Mead a r g u e s , l a c k e d c o n t r o l over r e s o u r c e s , were c o n t r o l l e d by women and even s u f f e r e d from i n d i v i d u a l i z e d p s y c h o s e x u a l c o n f l i c t s (1987:46, see Mead 1935:290-309). 3 1 E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz contend t h a t Mead m i s t a k e n l y r e l i e s on a s t r i c t l y Western n o t i o n of t h e i n d i v i d u a l person " c r e a t e d by e m o t i o n a l 1 y f o r m a t i v e i n f l u e n c e s over t i m e " (1987:43) and t h a t Chambri persons do not f i t t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n . A " p e r s o n " , i n Chambri terms, was a p r i m a r i l y a s o c i a l b e i n g whose e x i s t e n c e was d e f i n e d by the parameters of t h e c l a n . A Chambri was, by d e f i n i t i o n , a member of a p a t r i c i a n , embodying b o t h m a t r i l a t e r a l and p a t r i l i n e a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h r o u g h t h e p o s s e s s i o n of totemic names passed through the f a t h e r ' s a f f i n e s (1984:619, 1987:31). " P e r s o n " thus i m p l i e d and embodied a set of a g n a t i c and a f f i n a l r e l a t i o n s (1984:618-9; 1987:25-26) such t h a t Chambri were not autonomous i n d i v i d u a l s , but r a t h e r " t h e i n c a r n a t i o n of t h e i r p a t r i l i n e a l and m a t r i l a t e r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s " (1987:31). They were not " s u b j e c t i v i t i e s " but " r e p o s i t o r i e s of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s " (1987:41). In the Chambri c o n t e x t , the c o n c e p t u a l d i f f e r e n c e between " i n d i v i d u a l " and " p e r s o n " was c r i t i c a l , and the two s h o u l d not be c o n f u s e d . As an " i n d i v i d u a l " o r s o c i a l l y autonomous i l The same s e t of Western p s y c h o l o g i c a l , (and l a r g e l y F r e u d i a n ) , assumptions u n d e r l i e Mead's work and the work of Chodorow (e . g . , 197 4) th e p s y c h o a n a l y t i c f e m i n i s t . E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz t a k e b o t h Mead and Chodorow t o t a s k f o r f a i l i n g t o c o n s i d e r a non-Western concept of s e l f i n t h e i r e x p l a n a t i o n s of gender d i f f e r e n c e s and r e l a t i o n s . 132 b e i n g , no Chambri c o u l d a c h i e v e v i a b i l i t y as a " p e r s o n " . Only through s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s d i d the i n d i v i d u a l human a c h i e v e personhood, and o n l y by way of t h e s o c i a l c o n t e x t were h i s or her a c t i o n s m e a n i n g f u l and e x p l i c a b l e . I n d i v i d u a l i z e d , i n n e r m o t i v a t i o n s d i d not e x i s t . To i l l u s t r a t e t h e absence of r e c o g n i t i o n of i n n e r m o t i v a t i o n and s u b j e c t i v i t y , t h e a u t h o r s c o n s i d e r t h e case of Y a b o l i , a man who drank and beat h i s w i f e : ... no one . . . had s p e c u l a t e d as t o why he had drunk so much and why he had beaten h i s w i f e ... No one . . . s p e c u l a t e d on what we might r e g a r d as the u n d e r l y i n g reasons f o r h i s conduct ... ( t h i s man) ... was not t o them a s u b j e c t i v i t y , e x p r e s s i n g d i s c o n t e n t and a l i e n a t i o n t h r o u g h a n t i - s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r , t o be u n d e r s t o o d as perhaps a n o v e l consequence of h i s own f o r m a t i v e e x p e r i e n c e s (1987:34-35). The Chambri e x p l a n a t i o n of t h i s t y p e of b e h a v i o u r addressed the s t a t e of the man's s o c i a l t r a n s a c t i o n s and t h e i r r o l e i n h i s a b i l i t y to a c t as a person: "... because h i s s o c i a l t r a n s a c t i o n s had become as they were he c o u l d no l o n g e r c o n s t i t u t e h i m s e l f as a v i a b l e p e r s o n " (1987:35). This example s u g g e s t s t h a t Chambri proposed s o c i a l e x p l a n a t i o n s f o r i n d i v i d u a l b e h a v i o u r s . There were no i n d i g e n o u s e x p l a n a t i o n s of b e h a v i o u r t h a t r e f e r r e d t o an " " u n d e r l y i n g ' s u b j e c t i v i t y " or t o an " i n t e r n a l l y i n t e g r a t e d " (1987:35) p e r s o n a l i t y o r c h a r a c t e r : Chambri do have emotion, i n t e n t i o n and e x p e r i e n c e but they do not u n d e r s t a n d t h e s e as c o n s t i t u t i n g t h emselves as s u b j e c t i v i t i e s : t h a t i s , t hey do not 133 see themselves as having an i n d i v i d u a l l y d i s t i n c t i v e p a t t e r n of d i s p o s i t i o n s , c a p a c i t i e s and p e r s p e c t i v e s (1987:35). T h i s passage n o t e s a b l e n d i n g of what We s t e r n e r s p e r c e i v e as d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , and f r e q u e n t l y o p p o s i n g , f e a t u r e s : r o l e or s o c i a l p e r s ona and i n n e r essence or " t r u e " , i n d i v i d u a l i z e d s e l f ( see L u t z 1988). In Western t h i n k i n g , t he two a r e q u i t e d i s t i n c t , but " i n Chambri s o c i e t y ... the d i s t a n c e between what we ... would c o n s i d e r someone ' r e a l l y i s ' and h i s or her s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s ... v a n i s h e s " (1987:37-38). The a u t h o r s a l s o suggest t h a t t h e Chambri e x p e r i e n c e of s e l f l a r g e l y c o r r e s p o n d e d t o t h e c u l t u r a l d e f i n i t i o n of personhood. Chambri e x p e r i e n c e d and p r e s e n t e d themselves as the sum t o t a l of t h e i r s o c i a l t r a n s a c t i o n s . I d e n t i t y was thus the p r o d u c t of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and d i m i n i s h e d or i n c r e a s e d i n tandem w i t h t h e t r a n s a c t i o n s t h a t c r e a t e d s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . P e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y , i n Chambri t h i n k i n g , was t h e r e f o r e formed m a i n l y , i f not e n t i r e l y , from o u t s i d e the s e l f : To be a pe r s o n among the Chambri . . . , i s t o b e l o n g t o a p a t r i c i a n , whose members assume c o r p o r a t e i n t e r e s t s i n a f f i n a l d e b t s and c r e d i t s and a s s e r t common ownership of t o t e m i c names. These names a r e the b a s i s and i n d i c a t o r s f o r b o t h men and women of t h e s o c i a l networks which a f f o r d them and t h e i r c h i l d r e n b a s i c i d e n t i t y ... Of most i m p o r t a n c e , t o t e m i c names a l l o w b o t h men and women t o pursue, r e s p e c t i v e l y , t h e i r c u l t u r a l l y d e f i n e d p r e o c c u p a t i o n s of p o l i t i c a l c o m p e t i t i o n and the b e a r i n g of c h i l d r e n (1987:47). 134 As we have a l r e a d y seen, p o l i t i c a l c o m p e t i t i o n i n Chambri s o c i e t y , s e t t i n g men a g a i n s t men, d e r i v e d from men's d e s i r e s to possess powerful t o t e m i c names and d i d not i n any way impede women's a c c e s s t o t o t e m i c names or women's a b i l i t y t o a c q u i t t h e i r s o c i a l d e b t s by p r o d u c i n g c h i l d r e n . Thus, t h e absence of i n t e r - s e x u a l c o m p e t i t i o n r e s u l t e d from the absence of competing male and female s u b j e c t i v i t i e s . The u l t i m a t e r e s u l t was an absence of d o m i n a t i o n ; men and women had equal a c c e s s t o t h e means of a c h i e v i n g p e r s o n a l worth and were e q u a l l y r e c o g n i z e d as p e r s o n s . Chambri s o c i e t y has not remained s t a t i c and i t s economy has been s u b j e c t t o g r a d u a l m o n e t i z a t i o n . W i t h the merging of two economic systems (market/money and g i f t exchange), money has become more tha n a f u n c t i o n a l e q u i v a l e n t of the s h e l l s and o t h e r v a l u a b l e s used i n t r a d i t i o n a l exchange. E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz note t h a t because money can be used t o buy a n y t h i n g , u n l i k e t r a d i t i o n a l o b j e c t s of exchange, i t i s or becomes a n y t h i n g . The a u t h o r s p r e d i c t t h a t t h i s r e c e n t change i n t h e meaning of money may encourage i n e q u a l i t i e s , not o n l y between men and women, (as Chambri men have been i n v o l v e d i n wage l a b o u r t o a g r e a t e r e x t e n t t h a n have Chambri women), but a l s o among men (see a l s o A. S t r a t h e r n 1982, and th e s u b s t a n t i a l l i t e r a t u r e on women, wage l a b o u r and development). As r e l a t i o n s h i p s become m o n e t i z e d and as money t a k e s on a u n i t a r y meaning ( i . e . , i t i s used not o n l y t o buy 135 t h i n g s , but a l s o as b r i d e w e a l t h ) , women may become commoditized. I n the case of t h e Chambri, t h e p o t e n t i a l t h u s e x i s t s t o a l t e r t h e p r o c e s s of e s t a b l i s h i n g p e r s o n a l w o r t h , f o r b o t h women and men: To the e x t e n t t h a t s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s become s u b s t a n t i a l l y m o n e t i z e d ... , t h e concept and e x p e r i e n c e of o n t o l o g i c a l debt and, c o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e way i n which p e r s o n a l worth i s d e f i n e d and e s t a b l i s h e d are l i k e l y t o undergo s u b s t a n t i a l change (1987:111). The s h i f t from a t o t a l c u l t u r a l emphasis on " s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s " t o a g r e a t e r emphasis on r e l a t i o n s between persons and t h i n g s i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e d i s a p p e a r a n c e of t h e l a r g e men's and women's houses t h a t e x i s t e d i n t o t h e 1970's (1987:119). W i t h the g r a d u a l i n f i l t r a t i o n of a money economy, Chambri have found i t more d i f f i c u l t t o l i v e t o g e t h e r and t o m a i n t a i n the v a l u e s of exchange: . . . tho s e who do ea r n money w i s h t o a s s e r t d i s p o s a l r i g h t s over t h a t which they have p u r c h a s e d , such as r a d i o s , t a p e - r e c o r d e r s and watches and a r e r e l u c t a n t f o r these p o s s e s s i o n s t o c i r c u l a t e f r e e l y w i t h i n the c l a n (1987:120-121). Money "can a l l o w Chambri t o l e a d v i a b l e l i v e s q u i t e a p a r t from o t h e r Chambri" (1987:125) and " l e a d s t o a s h i f t from p o s i t i o n a l t o a p r i v a t e , s u b j e c t i v i s t d e f i n i t i o n of p e r s o n (and) a s h i f t i n the c r i t e r i a and s t r a t e g i e s f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g w o r t h " (1987:126). T h i s d i r e c t l y echoes S t r a t h e r n ' s argument t h a t commodity r e l a t i o n s engender a t y p e of "person" unknown i n g i f t exchange r e l a t i o n s , i . e . , a s u b j e c t 136 who may be o b j e c t i f i e d . W h i l e S t r a t h e r n does not e x p l o r e t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s of change f o r Melpa women, E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz suggest t h a t money and Western n o t i o n s of p r o p e r t y w i l l r e d e f i n e t h e Chambri p e r s o n and a l o n g w i t h i t , t h e co m p l e m e n t a r i t y t h a t has e x i s t e d between the s e x e s . In d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h e e x i s t e n c e of complementary gendered domains of a c t i o n s i n Chambri s o c i e t y , E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz examine gender r e l a t i o n s almost e x c l u s i v e l y t h r o u g h s o c i a l p r a c t i c e , not t h r o u g h i d e o l o g y . They a r e concerned w i t h men's and women's s o c i a l a c t i o n s , b e h a v i o u r s and s t r a t e g i e s , t h e i r "gender i n t e r e s t s " , not w i t h Chambri i d e a s of "maleness" and "f e m a l e n e s s " , or t h e i r i d e o l o g i c a l b e l i e f s about t h e se x e s . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , Chambri gender i d e o l o g y a p p a r e n t l y d i d not i n c l u d e t h e s y m b o l i c a s s o c i a t i o n of "maleness" w i t h p r e s t i g e and s o c i a l good, and " f e m a l e n e s s " w i t h d o m e s t i c i t y and s e l f -i n t e r e s t t h a t S t r a t h e r n (1981b) has found i n Melpa s o c i e t y (see a l s o Lederman 1986, 1989, on Mendi s o c i e t y ) . A s i m i l a r e v a l u a t i o n was n e v e r t h e l e s s echoed i n t h e a s s o c i a t i o n of men w i t h a c t i v i t i e s o s t e n s i b l y s e r v i n g p u b l i c and c l a n p u r p o s e s , and of women w i t h domestic and personal g o a l s . This d i s t i n c t i o n d i d n o t , however, t a k e t h e Melpa form of c r o s s - s e x o p p o s i t i o n ; i d e o l o g i c a l e v a l u a t i o n s d i d not c h a r a c t e r i z e Chambri women In Chapter 4 I d i s c u s s i n some d e t a i l S t r a t h e r n ' s d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e s u b j e c t - o b j e c t dichotomy and her a n a l y s i s of the n a t u r e of persons i n g i f t exchange economies (1984b, 1987, 1988). 137 as p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c and s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d i n c o n t r a s t t o men. Lack of c o m p e t i t i o n i n c r o s s - s e x r e l a t i o n s l i k e l y c o n t r i b u t e d t o the absence of the t ype of e x a g g e r a t e d moral and e v a l u a t i v e c o n t r a s t of t h e sexes t h a t e x i s t e d i n Melpa s o c i e t y . However, i n s p i t e of the absence of a s t r o n g c r o s s - s e x o p p o s i t i o n i n i d e o l o g y , e v i d e n c e s u g g e s t s t h a t even i n t h i s s e x u a l l y e g a l i t a r i a n p r a c t i c e and complementarity, t h e r e were u n d e r c u r r e n t s of male d o m i n a t i o n , c o n t r o l and t h e e x e r c i s e of f o r c e . The a u t h o r s r e f e r t o men b e a t i n g t h e i r w i v e s , and i n the case of t h e wedding mentioned e a r l i e r i n the d i s c u s s i o n , the groom's younger b r o t h e r , r e f e r r i n g t o the s u b s t a n t i a l b r i d e w e a l t h , p o i n t e d out t h a t t h e b r i d e ' s " f a t h e r and b r o t h e r had, i n l a r g e measure, a l r e a d y been compensated i f she were t o be k i l l e d by her husband d u r i n g a f i g h t " (1987:105) . W h i l e the a u t h o r s i n t e r p r e t t h i s s tatement as a r h e t o r i c a l show of s t r e n g t h on the p a r t of a c l a n a s s e r t i n g i t s e l f i n t h e f a c e of i t s w i f e - g i v e r s , i t i s d i s c o n c e r t i n g and s u g g e s t i v e of o t h e r s e x u a l dynamics, i n c l u d i n g p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e , t h a t t h e a u t h o r s do not f u l l y e x p l o r e . They do, however, l i n k t h i s s t atement t o t h e m o n e t i z a t i o n of a f f i n a l r e l a t i o n s and t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r the c o m m o d i t i z a t i o n of women (1987:162, note 6 ) . 138 C o n c l u s i o n Weiner, and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz e x p l i c i t l y i n v o k e t h e concept of s e x u a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y i n t h e i r a t t e m p t s t o s t u d y men and women i n an equal way, w i t h o u t presuming t h e n a t u r e of "power" or of " p e r s o n " . From S t r a t h e r n ' s (1972) assessment of Melpa women's l a c k of b o t h p o l i t i c a l power and " j u d i c i a l personhood", t o F e i l ' s (1978a, 1987b) and F a i t h o r n ' s (1976) assessments of Enga and K a f e women's p o s s e s s i o n of p o l i t i c a l power and f u l l personhood i n the Western sense of t h e term, Weiner and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz have d e c o n s t r u c t e d b o t h "power" and " p e r s o n " . T r o b r i a n d women's s o c i o - c o s m i c power e q u a l l e d men's p o l i t i c a l power, and produced a complementarity i n gender r e l a t i o n s s i m i l a r t o t h e c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y c r e a t e d i n Chambri s o c i e t y by t h e equal a c c e s s of b o t h women and men to s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t means of a c h i e v i n g personhood, as i t was d e f i n e d i n Chambri terms. E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's " f e m i n i s t a n t h r o p o l o g y " s t a n d s i n o p p o s i t i o n t o e a r l i e r u n i v e r s a l i s t f e m i n i s t p o s i t i o n s (e.g. , Rosa l d o 1974). The a u t h o r s ' a n a l y s i s of Chambri personhood aims e x p l i c i t l y t o demonstrate t h a t i t i s not i n e v i t a b l e t h a t male s t r a t e g i e s f o r a c h i e v i n g w o r t h r e s u l t i n the d o m i n a t i o n of women. Where Western s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s see h i e r a r c h y , t h e r e may be o n l y a k i n d of d i f f e r e n c e t h a t i s d i f f i c u l t t o gr a s p w i t h o u t a deep u n d e r s t a n d i n g of c u l t u r a l p r e m i s e s , i n c l u d i n g p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f s about p e r s o n s , and as we have seen w i t h 139 r e s p e c t t o the T r o b r i a n d s , b e l i e f s about power. As a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , we a r e c o m p e l l e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e r e e x i s t c u l t u r a l a l t e r n a t i v e s t o the e q u a t i o n of p o l i t i c s and power, and t h e e q u a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t and p e r s o n , and t h a t t h e s e a r e not mer e l y re-arrangements of Western c u l t u r a l f e a t u r e s . Weiner, and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz demonstrate the s o c i a l mechanics of two d i s t i n c t c u l t u r a l a l t e r n a t i v e s . They a v o i d t h e h i e r a r c h i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e d o m e s t i c - p u b l i c model, and y e t a t the same time c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h the d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of a c t i o n s or modes of b e i n g e x e r c i s e d by men and women and t h e c u l t u r a l m o t i v a t i o n s f o r t h o s e a c t i o n s . They c o n c l u d e t h a t t h e s e gendered modes p e r m i t t e d a s i m i l a r achievement of p e r s o n a l worth ( C h a m b r i ) , v a l u e or renown ( T r o b r i a n d s ) f o r b o t h s e x e s , and y e t were s u f f i c i e n t l y d i f f e r e n t so as t o e l i m i n a t e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of " d o m i n a t i o n by or even i n t e r f e r e n c e from members of t h e o t h e r group" ( E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987:13). Both Weiner's and E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's arguments r e s t on a c u l t u r a l l y r e l a t i v i s t i c s c r u t i n y of indigenous d e f i n i t i o n s and c a t e g o r i e s ; i n t e r - s e x u a l c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y emerges from th e r e d e f i n i t i o n of "power" and " p e r s o n " . From a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e , t h e s e a r e a p p e a l i n g a n a l y s e s . Y e t , i n t h e case of Chambri s o c i e t y , E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's t h e o r y of s o c i a l a c t i o n n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , i t i s apparent t h a t a gender i d e o l o g y 140 t h a t d e n i g r a t e d women by d e f i n i n g them as s u b s e r v i e n t and the p h y s i c a l d o m i n a t i o n of women d i d e x i s t , a t l e a s t i n some measure. C o n s e q u e n t l y , we a r e l e f t w i t h the problem t h a t Chambri gender i d e o l o g y cannot s i m p l y be e x p l a i n e d away by examining why i t e x i s t e d , i . e . , by a r g u i n g i t was a p s y c h o l o g i c a l consequence of men's s t r u c t u r a l p o s i t i o n and t h e i r " n a t u r a l i n f e r i o r i t y " t o women. R a t h e r , an adequate e x p l a n a t i o n must a l s o examine the e f f e c t s of t h a t i d e o l o g y on t h o s e who a r e i m p l i c a t e d i n i t , i . e . , those whose b e i n g s and q u a l i t i e s become t h e key s y m b o l i c c a t e g o r i e s . Weiner's s t u d y , on t h e o t h e r hand, d e a l s s u b s t a n t i a l l y w i t h gender i d e o l o g y , i n a d d i t i o n t o s o c i a l p r a c t i c e , and the d e n i g r a t i o n of women as a c a t e g o r y was a p p a r e n t l y not p a r t of t h i s i d e o l o g y . In C hapter 4, I d i s c u s s i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l t h e problems of c u l t u r a l l y r e l a t i v i s t i c views of personhood, gender i d e o l o g y , gender symbolism and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e d o m i n a t i o n of women. 141 CHAPTER 4 DECONSTRUCTING DOMINATION: PERSON AND GENDER AS IDEOLOGY I n t r o d u c t i o n I n t h i s c h a p t e r I e x p a n d a theme i n t r o d u c e d i n C h a p t e r 3: t h e c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f p e r s o n h o o d and i t s r e l e v a n c e t o g e n d e r r e l a t i o n s . I n a d d i t i o n , I e x a m i n e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g s o f H i g h l a n d New G u i n e a g e n d e r i d e o l o g i e s a n d t h e i r r o l e i n t h e d o m i n a t i o n o f women. Mo r e p r e c i s e l y , I am c o n c e r n e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r w i t h t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between n o t i o n s o f p e r s o n a n d t h e i d e o l o g i c a l a n d s y m b o l i c u s e s o f g e n d e r c a t e g o r i e s , on one h a n d , a n d t h e e t h n o g r a p h i c e x i s t e n c e o f g e n d e r h i e r a r c h i e s a n d t h e d o m i n a t i o n o f women, on t h e o t h e r . A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s s t u d y i n g t h e New G u i n e a H i g h l a n d s have r e c e n t l y e x a m i n e d i d e o l o g i e s o f " p e r s o n " a n d " g e n d e r " , d i s t i n g u i s h i n g t h e s e f r o m s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s a n d p r o d u c i n g what a p p e a r s a s a " d e c o n s t r u c t i o n " o f t h e m a l e d o m i n a t i o n o f women ( s e e S t r a t h e r n 1981b, 1 9 8 4 a , 1984b, 1 9 88, Lede r m a n 1986, 1 9 8 9 ) . T h i s c h a p t e r i s t h e r e f o r e p r i m a r i l y an e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n i d e o l o g i e s o f p e r s o n and g e n d e r a n d t h e p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s o f women. A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s h a v e r e c e n t l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e c o n c e p t of d o m i n a t i o n a s h i g h l y e t h n o c e n t r i c . I n C h a p t e r 3, I d i s c u s s e d E r r i n g t o n a n d G e w e r t z ' s ( 1 9 8 7 ) r e - d e f i n i t i o n o f p e r s o n a n d 142 d e c o n s t r u e t i o n of domination i n Chambri s o c i e t y . Chambri women a c t i n g i n a domestic domain t h a t g r a n t e d them " p e r s o n a l w o r t h " were i n no sense a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a d e v a l u e d d o m e s t i c w o r l d . N e i t h e r were they " s u b j e c t s " , and t h e r e f o r e , c o u l d not be dominated as such. P r e d a t i n g E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz, S t r a t h e r n (1984a, 1984b) makes the i d e n t i c a l c l a i m t h a t Melpa women were n e i t h e r l e s s f u l l y p e rsons because of t h e i r d o m e s t i c s t a t u s , nor s u b j e c t t o d o m i n a t i o n as s u b j e c t s . Melpa women were " j u d i c i a l m i n o r s " ( 1 9 7 2 ) , " d o m e s t i c p e r s o n s " (1984a) and " w e a l t h " (1984b), but were n e i t h e r a s s i g n e d the s t a t u s of " j u r a l m i n o r s " , nor 33 d e n i g r a t e d , nor o b j e c t i f i e d . In g e n e r a l , S t r a t h e r n argues t h a t Melpa women can be shown t o be a c t i n g as p e r s o n s , and yet not s u b j e c t t o Western forms of the d o m i n a t i o n of p e r s o n s . Thus, she t o o demonstrates th e r e l e v a n c e of c u l t u r a l c o n c e p t s of the pe r s o n t o t h e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of gender r e l a t i o n s , i m p l y i n g t h a t d o m i n a t i o n as a p e r c e i v e d r e a l i t y i s d i r e c t l y dependent on t h e assumed d e f i n i t i o n of personhood. A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have a l s o used gender symbolism and i d e o l o g y t o d e c o n s t r u c t d o m i n a t i o n ( S t r a t h e r n ) , o r a t v e r y l e a s t , t o examine t h e i d e o l o g i c a l r o o t s of h i e r a r c h i c a l d i s c o u r s e s ( B i e r s a c k , Lederman). These s c h o l a r s contend t h a t In Western thought, l e g a l m i n o r i t y , d e n i g r a t i o n or d e v a l u a t i o n , and o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n a r e t h r e e key forms of the d o m i n a t i o n of persons (see E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz, 1987). 143 i f gender i s r e c o g n i z e d as a s y m b o l i c code t h a t i s not o n l y about i t s e l f , but about a g r e a t many o t h e r t h i n g s , i t f o l l o w s t h a t the s y m b o l i c meanings of gender, the v a l u e s a t t r i b u t e d t o "maleness" and " f e m a l e n e s s " , have l i t t l e m a t e r i a l e f f e c t on women's s t a t u s or s o c i a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s , and do n o t , t h e r e f o r e , c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e i r d o m i n a t i o n . Thus, S t r a t h e r n and Lederman suggest t h a t the d e v a l u a t i o n of " f e m a l e n e s s " , w h i l e p a s s i n g judgement on c e r t a i n forms of s o c i a l a c t i o n , does not enact t h e d e n i g r a t i o n or the d o m i n a t i o n of women. In t h i s c h a p t e r , I f i r s t c o n s i d e r a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i d e a s of M e l a n e s i a n personhood, i . e . , what E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz (1987) r e f e r t o as " p o s i t i o n a l " personhood. Secondly, I examine S t r a t h e r n ' s use of M e l a n e s i a n personhood t o r e - e v a l u a t e what she p e r c e i v e s as t h e m i s a p p l i c a t i o n of Western i d e a s of d o m e s t i c i t y , s u b j e c t i v i t y and the domination of women. T h i r d l y , I d i s c u s s gender i d e o l o g y i n t h r e e H i g h l a n d s o c i e t i e s , Melpa, P a i e l a and Mendi, and examine t h e ways i n whi c h t h e ethnographers of these s o c i e t i e s have s e p a r a t e d b e l i e f s about gender from g e n d e r - r e l a t e d p r a c t i c e s i n o r d e r t o e s t a b l i s h t h a t gender f u n c t i o n s p r i m a r i l y as a soc i o - m o r a l or e v a l u a t i v e framework. I then examine S t r a t h e r n ' s concept of the " M e l a n e s i a n a e s t h e t i c " , which encompasses the i n t e r n a l l o g i c In C h apter 2, I d i s c u s s e d S t r a t h e r n ' s argument t h a t Melpa women e x e r c i s e d autonomy as " j u r a l persons" and were a b l e t o cir c u m v e n t the gender s t e r e o t y p e t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d women as weak and s e l f -i n t e r e s t e d . 144 of M e l a n e s i a n g i f t exchange s o c i e t i e s and the r e l a t e d l o g i c of personhood and gender symbolism. F i n a l l y , i n a c r i t i c a l r e v i e w , I suggest t h a t t h e s e views of p e r s o n and gender a r e a b s t r a c t i n t h e extreme and produce a r e l a t i v i s t i c assessment of d o m i n a t i o n i n i t s most m a n i f e s t forms: women's d e p r i v a t i o n of p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s and men's " l e g i t i m i z e d " use of p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e . The r o l e of s o c i a l i z a t i o n t o b e l i e f s about gender and t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d i n the p e r p e t r a t i o n of t h e s e forms of d o m i n a t i o n do not e n t e r i n t o the a n a l y s i s . M e l a n e s i a n and Western " P e r s o n s " A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l i n t e r e s t i n c u l t u r a l l y d i s t i n c t concepts of p e r s o n and personhood p r e d a t e s the work of E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz, and S t r a t h e r n , by some years (see, f o r example, Dumont 1970, G e e r t z 1966, Lee 1959, Mauss 1938, Read 1955). Recent i n t e r e s t i n t h e s e i d e a s , i n s p i r e d i n p a r t by G e e r t z ' s now c l a s s i c e s s a y , " P e r s o n , Time and Conduct i n B a l i " ( 1 9 66), has f o c u s e d on the c o n t e x t u a l d e f i n i t i o n of non-Western persons. "Person", these s c h o l a r s argue, i s a r e l a t i o n a l s t a t u s t h a t does not i m p l y the e x i s t e n c e o r p o s s e s s i o n of a unique s u b j e c t i v i t y . Thus, " p e r s o n " i s not an independent c a t e g o r y i n t o which any human i n d i v i d u a l a u t o m a t i c a l l y f a l l s . T h i s r e l a t i o n a l view of p e r s o n s , " t h e oc c a s i o n - b o u n d , s o c i a l l y c o n t e x t u a l i z e d person concept" (Shweder and Bourne 1984:192), 145 is quite different from the Western idea of persons as uniquely constituted s u b j e c t i v i t i e s and d i s t i n c t i v e wholes. The moral implications of the differences between Western and other ideas of personhood were subject to early examination by K.E. Read i n "Morality and the Concept of the Person Among the Gahuku-Gama" (1955). Read contends that the Gahuku-Gama did not perceive an ethical or moral category of the person. He suggests that i n the Western "person-configuration" such an ethical category allows for a "perceived disjuncture" between the individual and his or her status (1955:255). Thus, Western persons are persons, i r r e s p e c t i v e of the so c i a l relations from which they derive p a r t i c u l a r status. In contrast, i n Gahuku-Gama society, the lack of an independent ethical category implied that no separation of individual from s o c i a l context existed, and that no i n t r i n s i c moral value was perceived i n the i n d i v i d u a l . By d e f i n i t i o n , a person was a member of a so c i a l group. Thus, people "are not conceived to be equals i n a moral sense; th e i r value does not reside i n themselves as individuals or persons; i t i s dependent on the position they occupy within a system of interpersonal and inter-group relationships" (1955:250). The Gahuku-Gama person was not a unique centre of i n d i v i d u a l i t y , but a primarily s o c i a l being to whom "moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s devolve" by virtu e of his/her being a member of a group, "rather than by virtue of any q u a l i t i e s which are i n t r i n s i c 146 t o h i s p s y c h o p h y s i c a l n a t u r e " (1955:280). Thus, the Western concept of t h e autonomous, s e l f - c o n s c i o u s s u b j e c t , c h a r a c t e r i s e d by G e e r t z as a "bounded, u n i q u e , more or l e s s i n t e g r a t e d , m o t i v a t i o n a l and c o g n i t i v e u n i v e r s e " (1973:48), may w e l l be unique t o the Western w o r l d , and Western persons 35 may alone be viewed as c o n t a i n e r s of an a b s t r a c t human v a l u e . In t h e i r e x a m i n a t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e s between Chambri and Western i d e a s of personhood, E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz (1987) argue t h a t a d i f f e r e n t s t a t e or c o n d i t i o n of personhood i m p l i e s a d i f f e r e n t p r o c e s s of g a i n i n g r e c o g n i t i o n as a p e r s o n . W i t h r e s p e c t t o Western s o c i e t i e s , t h e a u t h o r s suggest t h a t personhood i s a s t a t e achieved through a process of " v a l i d a t i o n of s u b j e c t i v i t y " (1987:131-141) which engenders c o m p e t i t i o n between women and men. T h i s v a l i d a t i o n of p e r s o n a l worth i s a t t a i n e d m a i n l y t h r o u g h p r o d u c t i v e work, and Western men and women have d i f f e r e n t i a l a c c e s s t o t h e processes of v a l i d a t i o n . The a u t h o r s note p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between work and consumption, on one hand, and v a l i d a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t i v i t y on the o t h e r , c o n c l u d i n g t h a t "because d o m e s t i c l a b o u r i s u n p a i d and r e l a t i v e l y p r i v a t e , i t does not p r o v i d e as p o w e r f u l a v a l i d a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l i t y as does work" (1987:134). American women' s s o c i a l d e f i n i t i o n , a r i s i n g l e s s T h i s concept of person i s p r o b a b l y unique t o the p o s t - m e d i e v a l , and most c e r t a i n l y t o the p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l , Western w o r l d , ( s e e , f o r example, C a r r i t h e r s e t a l . 1985, Dumont 1970, G u r e v i c h 1976, Mauss 1938, Thompson, E.P. 1967). 147 d i r e c t l y from d o m e s t i c l a b o u r and more d i r e c t l y from consumption, i s l i n k e d not o n l y t o the e x p r e s s i o n of t h e i r s u b j e c t i v i t i e s as i n d i v i d u a l s , but t o n o t i o n s of m a t e r n i t y , n u r t u r a n c e and t h e c a r e of husbands and c h i l d r e n . Women a r e more c o n t i n g e n t than men and "have g r e a t e r d i f f i c u l t y i n e s t a b l i s h i n g w o r t h i n terms of t h e c a p a c i t y t o demonstrate a d i s t i n c t i v e and competent s u b j e c t i v i t y - t o demonstrate a v a l u e d i n d i v i d u a l i t y " (1987:138). I n s h o r t , i n Western t h o u g h t , f u l l personhood i s e s t a b l i s h e d , n o t - t h r o u g h h a v i n g been born i n t o a s e t of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , but t h r o u g h t h e i n d i v i d u a l v a l i d a t i o n p r o v i d e d by the p u b l i c w o r l d of work. In Chapter 3, I examined E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz's argument th a t t h e s o c i a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s of the Chambri concept of pers o n were l a r g e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the complementary nature of gender r e l a t i o n s i n t h a t s o c i e t y . Because Chambri women were not i n c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h men, because t h e i r " p o s i t i o n a l " or " r e l a t i o n a l " i d e n t i t i e s had equal access t o the c u l t u r a l means of a c h i e v i n g w o r t h , women were not s u s c e p t i b l e t o male d o m i n a t i o n . I n c o r r e l a t i n g personhood w i t h t h e u n f e t t e r e d a b i l i t y t o a c h i e v e p e r s o n a l w o r t h , t h e a u t h o r s e x p l i c i t l y a d d r e ss " d o m i n a t i o n " , p r o p o s i n g t h a t i t i s a c u l t u r a l l y s p e c i f i c phenomenon, r e l a t e d to the s u p p r e s s i o n of personhood: Dominance ... i s t h a t which impedes or p r e v e n t s an i n d i v i d u a l from f o l l o w i n g t h e s t r a t e g i e s n e c e s s a r y t o meet t h e c u l t u r a l s t a n d a r d s which d e f i n e p e r s o n a l worth. F o r members of a c u l t u r e w hich d e f i n e s p e r s o n i n s u b j e c t i v i s t terms, a c t s 148 which a r e i n t e r p r e t e d as d e p e r s o n a l i z i n g a r e e x p e r i e n c e d as a t l e a s t a m i l d d o m i n a t i o n : t o be p r i m a r i 1 y a member of a c a t e g o r y i s t o l a c k i n d i v i d u a l i t y and thus i s , f o r us, t o be l e s s than a p e r s o n of worth. When d e p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n i s not j u s t a b u r e a u c r a t i c c o n v e n i e n c e but i s used t o pre c l u d e access t o worth, t h e n i t becomes a powerful form of domination ( E r r i n g t o n and Gewertz 1987:139). In a d d i t i o n , the a u t h o r s note t h a t a Western d e f i n i t i o n of d o m i n a t i o n i n c l u d e s the b e l i e f t h a t " d e p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n i s o f t e n p a r t of the p r o c e s s of d o m i n a t i o n t h r o u g h p r a c t i c e s of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n " and t h a t " t h o s e e x c l u d e d from a c c e s s t o s i g n i f i c a n t r e s o u r c e s a r e f r e q u e n t l y d e s c r i b e d b o t h c a t e g o r i c a l l y and n e g a t i v e l y " (1987:171, n.27). Western c o n c e p t s of d o m i n a t i o n f o c u s on t h e ways i n which power may be apprehended and personhood d e n i e d . D o m i n a t i o n , as a c o n s t r u c t , draws h e a v i l y the d o m e s t i c / p u b l i c and n a t u r e / c u l t u r e d i c h o t o m i e s , which d e v a l u e and even d e n i g r a t e d o m e s t i c i t y and the n a t u r a l . Thus, th e n a t u r a l and do m e s t i c w o r l d s , w i t h which Western thought a s s o c i a t e s women and female q u a l i t i e s , a r e seen t o produce d e p e r s o n a l i z a t i o n and l a c k of i n d i v i d u a t i o n , o b v i o u s l y , most d i r e c t l y w i t h r e s p e c t t o women. S t r a t h e r n (1984a, 1984b), whose arguments about personhood I examine i n t h e f o l l o w i n g two s e c t i o n s , a d v o c a t e s a t h e o r e t i c a l s h i f t beyond t h e s e Western d i c h o t o m i e s i n t o an a n a l y t i c a l mode r e l y i n g on i n d i g e n o u s c o n c e p t s of p e r s o n , s o c i a l a c t i o n and forms of s o c i a l i t y . 149 The M i s u s e of a Western Concept of P e r s o n In t h i s s e c t i o n I examine S t r a t h e r n ' s argument t h a t i n Western thought t h e concept of p e r s o n i n c l u d e s a p a r t i c u l a r i d e a of how i n d i v i d u a l s a r e i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o s o c i e t y and how they s t a n d a p a r t from i t . The Western model of s o c i e t y as i n c o r p o r a t i v e , she s u g g e s t s , may be i n a d e q u a t e f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g M e l a n e s i a n r e l a t i o n s h i p s and may impede our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of M e l a n e s i a n c o n c e p t s of t h e p e r s o n (1984a, 1988). In demanding t h a t women be t r e a t e d as i n d i v i d u a l s or persons i n t h e i r own r i g h t , a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , S t r a t h e r n argues, are s i m p l y a p p e a l i n g t o Western assumptions about the n a t u r e of personhood and the r e l a t i o n s h i p between i n d i v i d u a l s and s o c i e t y . Three r e d e f i n i t i o n s are c r i t i c a l t o S t r a t h e r n ' s argument. F i r s t l y , she n o t e s t h a t p e r s o n i s a c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n and t h a t Western i d e a s of t h e p e r s o n as an i n d i v i d u a l s t a n d i n g i n a h i e r a r c h i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h s o c i e t y , or as a s u b j e c t who may be o b j e c t i f i e d , a r e not a p p l i c a b l e t o M e l a n e s i a n p e r s o n s : We can u s e f u l l y t a l k of Hagen i d e a s of t h e p e r s o n i n an a n a l y t i c s e n s e , p r o v i d e d we do not c o n f l a t e the c o n s t r u c t w i t h t h e i d e o l o g i c a l " i n d i v i d u a l " of Western c u l t u r e . T h i s l a t t e r i s b e s t seen as a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l t y p e of p e r s o n r a t h e r than as a s e l f - e v i d e n t c a t e g o r y i n i t s e l f ( S t r a t h e r n 1981b:168). S e c o n d l y , Western n o t i o n s of s o c i e t y and c u l t u r e (as opposed t o n a t u r e ) do not o b t a i n i n M e l a n e s i a : 150 " S o c i e t y " i s not a s e t of c o n t r o l s o v er and a g a i n s t t h e " i n d i v i d u a l ' , and p e o p l e ' s achievements do not c u l m i n a t e i n " c u l t u r e ' (1984a:17) T h i r d l y , the concept "woman" i s as much a c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n as " p e r s o n " , and the two a r e i n t e r d e p e n d e n t : What i t means t o be a women i n t h i s or t h a t s i t u a t i o n must r e s t t o some e x t e n t on the c u l t u r a l l o g i c by which gender i s c o n s t r u c t e d . A n a l y s i s of women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n e v e n t s s h o u l d be i n f o r m e d by c o n c e p t s of the p e r s o n , i n d i v i d u a l i t y , w i l l and so f o r t h ... (1981:683). S t r a t h e r n c r i t i c i z e s (1984a) F e i l ' s unexamined use of "person", and Weiner's e q u a l l y unexamined use of " i n d i v i d u a l " and "woman" (see F e i l 1978a, 1978b, Weiner 1976), a r g u i n g t h a t n e i t h e r s c h o l a r e x p l i c i t l y d e f i n e s a t h e o r y of t h e p e r s o n . I n a t t e m p t i n g t o r e s c u e Mel a n e s i a n women from m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n as non-persons , b o t h Weiner and F e i 1 i n a d v e r t e n t 1 y base t h e i r a n a l y s e s on Western c o n c e p t s of personhood, i n d i v i d u a l i t y , a d u l t h o o d and s o c i a l i z a t i o n . In Chapter 3, I examined Weiner's a n a l y s i s of the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l power of T r o b r i a n d women and i t s s y m b o l i c embodiment i n u n i q u e l y female a c t i v i t i e s and o b j e c t s ( w e a l t h i t e m s ) . I n Chapter 2, I no t e d t h a t F e i l ' s a n a l y s e s f a v o u r the ways i n which Enga women, c o n t r a r y t o the i d e o l o g i c a l statements about them, were a c t i v e p l a y e r s i n p u b l i c p o l i t i c s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the t e e exchange. A l t h o u g h Weiner and F e i l d i f f e r i n t h e i r assessments of t h e n a t u r e of women's power, b o t h m a i n t a i n t h a t women p o s s e s s e d power of some s o r t , and 151 were " p e r s o n s " o r " i n d i v i d u a l s " . By removing women, as F e i l does, from t h e d o m e s t i c s p h e r e , and p l a c i n g them i n t h e p u b l i c sphere of p o l i t i c s , or by r e - v a l u i n g the n a t u r a l ( r e p r o d u c t i o n ) as a c u l t u r a l achievement, as Weiner does, t h e s e a u t h o r s a r e a b l e t o demonstrate t h a t women were the v i r t u a l o p p o s i t e of e v e r y t h i n g t h a t a n d r o c e n t r i c a n t h r o p o l o g y had c o n s t r u e d them t o be. In S t r a t h e r n ' s view, F e i l ' s and Weiner's arguments e x h i b i t "an i n t e r e s t i n g congruence" (1984a:16) i n t h a t b o t h a r e informed by the a s s o c i a t i o n of women w i t h n a t u r e i n t h e c o n t e x t of the n a t u r e / c u l t u r e paradigm, and bo t h s u b s c r i b e t o the b e l i e f t h a t " c e r t a i n c a t e g o r i e s of persons may be r a t h e r l e s s t h a n p e r s o n s " (1984a:17). Both s c h o l a r s , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , " i m p l y t h a t t o i g n o r e t h e s e f a c t o r s ( t h a t i s , women's powers) i s t o see women as l e s s than f u l l p e r s o n s " (1984a:16). The Western concept of the autonomous i n d i v i d u a l i m p l i e s a s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s which t r a n s f o r m s n a t u r a l b e i n g s i n t o c u l t u r a l p e r s o n s . Moreover, t h i s s o c i a l i z a t i o n from a p r e -c u l t u r a l s t a t e i s a u n i q u e l y Western concept and i s p r e d i c a t e d on t h e " p a r a d i g m a t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p between nat u r e and c u l t u r e " ( S t r a t h e r n 1984a:17). " S o c i a l i z a t i o n and s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n " , S t r a t h e r n s t a t e s , " a r e co n c e p t s embedded i n our own e v o l u t i o n a r y and i n d u s t r i a l h e r i t a g e ; ... i n d u s t r y and c u l t u r e i n v o l v e a break from n a t u r e and d o m i n a t i o n over i t . W i t h i n t h e s e terms t o be a p e r s o n one must be c u l t u r a l l y c r e a t i v e " 152 (1984a:17). Weiner's a n a l y s i s of T r o b r i a n d women's power i s the case i n p o i n t . In removing r e p r o d u c t i o n from the n a t u r a l s p h e r e , and r e - c o n s t r u c t i n g i t as a c u l t u r a l achievement, Weiner i s i n d e e d t a l k i n g about t h e imp o r t a n c e of human r e g e n e r a t i o n i n t h e T r o b r i a n d u n i v e r s e , but S t r a t h e r n argues t h a t "her i n t e n t i o n a l s o seems t o be t o r e s c u e women from t h a t s t a t e of n a t u r e i m p l i e d i n our own n a t u r e / c u l t u r e c o n s t r u c t s " (1984a:23). " N a t u r a l n e s s " c h a r a c t e r i z e s not o n l y n a t u r e , but t h e dom e s t i c sphere. Through t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h t h e n a t u r a l q u a l i t i e s of the do m e s t i c w o r l d (as opposed t o t h e c u l t u r a l q u a l i t i e s of the publ i c w o r l d ) , women, i n Western t r a d i t i o n s , have been c h a r a c t e r i z e d as u n d e r s o c i a l i z e d and l e s s t h a n p e r s o n s . " P u l l personhood" (1984a:18), S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , i s c o n t i n g e n t on s e p a r a t i o n and independence from the do m e s t i c w o r l d . That i s , persons a r e tho s e who have been s o c i a l i z e d i n t o personhood, out of t h e " n a t u r a l " , d o m e s t i c w o r l d , which Western i d e o l o g y then d e n i g r a t e s , and a l o n g w i t h i t " d o mestic persons". T h i s i s what S t r a t h e r n r e f e r s t o as "th e d e n i g r a t i o n of d o m e s t i c i t y " (1984a:13). J u s t as Weiner removes T r o b r i a n d women from the n a t u r a l w o r l d i n o r d e r t o e s t a b l i s h t h e i r personhood, F e i l removes Enga women from the domestic world. S t r a t h e r n notes t h a t F e i l 's a n a l y s i s of women's r o l e s i n t h e t e e exchange r e - v a l u e s t h e 153 p e r s o n a l or d o m e s t i c , by a s s o c i a t i n g i t w i t h the p o l i t i c a l o r p u b l i c : At some p o i n t s i n h i s a n a l y s i s t h e s e i n t e r p e r s o n a l networks appear as the essence of the system, i n c o n t r a s t t o group-based r e l a t i o n s , and a t o t h e r p o i n t s t h e s e networks a r e t o be seen as b e i n g i n themselves p o l i t i c i z e d , so t h a t the p o l i t i c a l i s i n s e p a r a b l e from the p e r s o n a l (1984a:24). In S t r a t h e r n ' s v i e w, F e i l a t t e m p t s t o prove t h a t women a r e persons by d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h a t they a c t e d i n the t e e i n re f e r e n c e t o i n t e r p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t s . I f F e i l can demonstrate t h a t women's t e e concerns were more p e r s o n a l than men's, t h a t women were a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d i n t h e t e e , and t h a t t h e t e e i t s e l f was p o l i t i c a l , t hen he may s a f e l y c o n c l u d e t h a t t h e domestic, personal r e l a t i o n s of k i n s h i p merged w i t h the p u b l i c , p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s of exchange. Women, th e n , by v i r t u e of t h e i r a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s , a l b e i t i n a more p e r s o n a l way, were n o n e t h e l e s s a c t i n g p o l i t i c a l l y and a c t i n g as p e r s o n s . The d e s i r e t o prove t h a t women a r e p e r s o n s , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , d e r i v e s from F e i l ' s own Western a s s u m p t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g the " d e n i g r a t i o n of d o m e s t i c i t y " (1984a: 2 6 ) , t h a t p e r m i t t h e a n x i e t y t h a t women i n f a c t might not be p e r s o n s . The Western d e n i g r a t i o n of d o m e s t i c i t y does not correspond t o the Melpa s i t u a t i o n . The Melpa p e o p l e d i d i n d e e d make s y m b o l i c and s o c i a l c o n n e c t i o n s between femaleness and d o m e s t i c i t y , but, S t r a t h e r n argues, t h e s e cannot be e x p l a i n e d 154 by t h e Western d i s t i n c t i o n s between n a t u r e and c u l t u r e or the d o m e s t i c and the p u b l i c (1980, 1984a:17-18) . F or Hagen women t o be v a l u e d , i t i s n e c e s s a r y n e i t h e r t o r e v a l u e t h e dom e s t i c o r t h e n a t u r a l , n o r t o demonstrate t h a t women were a c t i v e i n the p u b l i c s p h e r e . Nor does Hagen t h i n k i n g i n c l u d e t h e concept of " s o c i a l i z a t i o n " i n t o personhood, t h a t i s , the i d e a t h a t " n a t u r a l " c h i l d r e n a r e t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o s o c i a l p e r s o n s . M e l a n e s i a n c h i l d r e n , as Read (1955) and o t h e r s have argued, a r e b o r n i n t o s e t s of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s and i n t h i s sense a r e , by " n a t u r e " , p r e - e m i n e n t l y " c u l t u r a l " . S t r a t h e r n t h e r e f o r e contends t h a t the Western b e l i e f t h a t personhood r e q u i r e s c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n , which i n t u r n r e q u i r e s independence from the d o m e s t i c group, does not a p p l y t o Melpa p e r s o n s . Noman or "mind", which m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f a t a v e r y e a r l y age, i s ev i d e n c e of personhood (see A. S t r a t h e r n 1981). P e r s o n a l autonomy, i n c l u d i n g women's "measure of genuine independence" ( S t r a t h e r n 1972:314), d e r i v e s from the presence of noman. Thus, S t r a t h e r n argues t h a t "Hagen women have no d i s t i n c t i v e " c u l t u r e " (1984a:18); they had no s p e c i a l sphere of a c t i o n o t h e r than t h e d o m e s t i c s p h e r e , and they were no l e s s p ersons because of i t : One does not have t o f i n d f o r Hagen women a domain of c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y t h a t r e f e r s t o t h e i r own s p e c i a l powers i n o r d e r t o t a k e them s e r i o u s l y (1984a:23). 155 Here, S t r a t h e r n i s c l e a r l y a l s o concerned w i t h t h e c u l t u r a l l y v a r i a b l e c o n s t r u c t i o n of "woman". The e x i s t e n c e i n every c u l t u r e of i d e o l o g i c a l v a l u a t i o n s of a b s t r a c t e d female q u a l i t i e s , something which may be termed "womanness" (Weiner 1976) or "femaleness" ( S t r a t h e r n 1981) or " f e m i n e i t y " (Ardener 1975), i s not i n d i s p u t e . S t r a t h e r n ' s p o i n t i s r a t h e r t h a t i d e a s of the female i n t h e a b s t r a c t a r e d i f f e r e n t l y put t o g e t h e r i n d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s and cannot be reduced t o a u n i v e r s a l c u l t u r a l v a l u a t i o n of female r e p r o d u c t i v e powers. P a r t i c u l a r s t u d i e s , the case i n p o i n t b e i n g Weiner's s t u d y of t h e T r o b r i a n d s , do n o t , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , "... y i e l d u n i v e r s a l s about t h e c o n d i t i o n of womankind as s u c h " (1981a:670). " T r o b r i a n d Woman", whose "womanness" embodies the c u l t u r a l v a l u e accorded r e p r o d u c t i o n , "cannot be a paradigm f o r Woman" (1981a:682). I n Hagen s o c i e t y , she n o t e s , "maleness . . . c a r r i e s much of t h e s y m b o l i c l o a d borne by femaleness i n t h e T r o b r i a n d s " (1984a: 21), and t h e symbol i c v a l u e of Hagen femaleness i s d e f i n e d w i t h i n the do m e s t i c sphere. S u b j e c t s , O b j e c t s . Women and P r o p e r t y With respect to F e i l ' s and Weiner's work, S t r a t h e r n argues t h a t t h e Western d e n i g r a t i o n of d o m e s t i c i t y produces the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l f e a r t h a t women may be l e s s than p e r s o n s , I a ddress t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s and uses of Melpa gender symbolism i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l l a t e r i n t h i s c h a p t e r . and must t h e r e f o r e be shown t o a c t i n c u l t u r a l , as opposed t o n a t u r a l , domains. S t r a t h e r n f u r t h e r examines t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l urge t o demonstrate women's personhood i n a d i s c u s s i o n (1984b) of t h e Western e q u a t i o n of personhood and s u b j e c t i v i t y , i n which she n o t e s t h a t t h e Western n o t i o n of p e r s o n i m p l i e s a p a r t i c u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between persons as s u b j e c t s and t h i n g s or o b j e c t s . T h i s r e l a t i o n i s "ownership", and the t h i n g s t h a t s t a n d i n t h i s r e l a t i o n become " p r o p e r t y " . Western persons a r e t h e r e f o r e s u b j e c t s e x e r c i s i n g r i g h t s of ownership and c o n t r o l over p r o p e r t y , most s i g n i f i c a n t l y over the p r o d u c t s of t h e i r l a b o u r . However, p r o p e r t y , o wnership, a p p r o p r i a t i o n and the d o m i n a t i o n of persons t h r o u g h t h e a p p r o p r i a t i o n of p r o p e r t y ( o r p r o d u c t s ) a r e not u n i v e r s a l l y a p p l i c a b l e r e l a t i o n s , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , but a r e Western commodity-based r e l a t i o n s t h a t do not o b t a i n i n M e l a n e s i a n s o c i e t i e s . My p a r t i c u l a r c o n c e r n has been t o put something i n t h e p l a c e of our w e s t e r n paradigm of p r o p e r t y ownership which i s i t s e l f so v e r y much bound up w i t h a s p e c i a l view of the p e r s o n . In f o l l o w i n g Mauss's d i c t u m t h a t the t h i n g g i v e n i s p e r s o n i f i e d , we have of c o u r s e d i s c o v e r e d t h a t i t m a t t e r s a l s o how t h e pe r s o n i s c o n s t r u c t e d (1984b:173). F u r t h e r m o r e , w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e m a t t e r of d e m o n s t r a t i n g women's personhood, S t r a t h e r n contends t h a t the Western e q u a t i o n of persons and s u b j e c t s r e v e a l s the a d d i t i o n a l a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a n x i e t y t h a t women be shown to a c t as s u b j e c t s , 157 as opposed t o b e i n g t r e a t e d as o b j e c t s , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n the case of the "exchange" of women and w e a l t h . The n o t i o n of t h e "exchange" of women by men, or t h e e q u i v a l e n c y of women and v a l u a b l e s , has f i g u r e d p r o m i n e n t l y i n t he l i t e r a t u r e of t h e H i g h l a n d s . S t r a t h e r n a f f i r m s t h i s e q u a t i o n w i t h r e s p e c t t o Melpa s o c i e t y . I n defence of her e a r l y argument (see S t r a t h e r n 1972) t h a t Melpa women d i d not t r a n s a c t goods o r a c t p u b l i c l y i n the moka exchange, she c l a r i f i e s t h a t women's c o n t r o l and d i s t r i b u t i o n of netbags was not a form of c u l t u r a l l y r e c o g n i z e d power comparable t o T r o b r i a n d women' s t r a n s c e n d e n t a l power ( S t r a t h e r n 1981a, see 37 Weiner 1976:13). Netbags, she c l a i m s , were not women's w e a l t h , and i n f a c t , Melpa women d i d not p o s s e s s w e a l t h , but r a t h e r were themselves w e a l t h (1984b:166). T h i s e q u a t i o n of women and w e a l t h i s not t o be c o n f u s e d w i t h Western n o t i o n s of o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n or c o m m o d i t i z a t i o n of women. Melpa women were w e a l t h , but they were not p r o p e r t y . T h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of women as w e a l t h , but not as o b j e c t s or p r o p e r t y , b e a r s an i m p o r t a n t r e l a t i o n t o t h e i d e a s of p e r s o n and d o m i n a t i o n t h a t I have d i s c u s s e d up t o t h i s S t r a t h e r n o b j e c t s t o Weiner's i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t what women exchange i s always " t h e c u l t u r a l l y o b j e c t i f i e d key t o t h e i r power" ( S t r a t h e r n 1981a:673). Melpa women's exchange and d i s t r i b u t i o n of netbags a r e not s o c i a l l y i m p o r t a n t , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , and n e i t h e r men nor women a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t e d i n them. Weiner, as her st u d y of the T r o b r i a n d s c l e a r l y d e m o n s t r a t e s , f a v o u r s l o o k i n g f i r s t a t o b j e c t s c o n t r o l l e d by women. » 158 p o i n t . Here, I examine S t r a t h e r n ' s a n a l y s i s of the Western d i s j u n c t u r e s between s u b j e c t and o b j e c t , person and p r o p e r t y , and the r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h e s e t o the d i s t i n c t i o n between th e l o g i c of a commodity economy and t h a t of a g i f t exchange economy. ( S t r a t h e r n 1984b, 1987, 1988). In her assessment of the s t a t u s of women i n t h e New Guinea H i g h l a n d s , " S u b j e c t or O b j e c t ? Women and the C i r c u l a t i o n of V a l u a b l e s i n H i g h l a n d s New G u i n e a " (1984b), S t r a t h e r n n o t e s t h a t Western i d e a s of p r o p e r t y i n c l u d e the f o l l o w i n g p r i n c i p a l p o i n t s : (1) p r o p e r t y r e l a t i o n s a r e not s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , but a r e t h e r e l a t i o n s t h a t e x i s t between p e o p l e and t h i n g s i n which r i g h t s a r e e x e r c i s e d over o t h e r s ; (2) the d i f f e r e n c e between p e o p l e and t h i n g s p a r a l l e l s t h e d i f f e r e n c e between s u b j e c t s and o b j e c t s ; (3) persons may be t r e a t e d as t h i n g s or o b j e c t s i n which o t h e r s have r i g h t s ; (4) "a p e r s o n i s d e f i n e d as an a c t i n g s u b j e c t , r e c o g n i s a b l e ... by h i s or her r i g h t s , which should p r o p e r l y i n c l u d e c o n t r o l over the products of l a b o u r " (1984b:162). In M e l a n e s i a n s t u d i e s , a number of s c h o l a r s , i n c l u d i n g J o s e p h i d e s (1985, see Chapter 5 i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n ) , have adopted a concept of p r o p e r t y based on ownership, encompassing the b e l i e f t h a t d e n i a l of p r o p e r t y r i g h t s i s a form of d o m i n a t i o n . Through t h e p r o c e s s e s of c a p i t a l i s m and c a p i t a l i s t i c types of a p p r o p r i a t i o n , the products of a person's l a b o u r may be a l i e n a t e d from the o r i g i n a l owner r e s u l t i n g 159 i n d o mination. J o s e p h i d e s , f o r i n s t a n c e , examines the process by which Kewa men i n the Southern H i g h l a n d s " a p p r o p r i a t e d " the products of women's labour. I n the movement from p r o d u c t i o n t o exchange, p i g s were a l i e n a t e d from the women who had produced them. M u l t i p l e exchanges m y s t i f i e d t h i s a l i e n a t i o n and a p p r o p r i a t i o n p r o c e s s , o b s c u r i n g women's ownership of p i g s . In c o n t r a s t , S t r a t h e r n ' s e x p l a n a t i o n (1984b) of t h e d i f f e r e n c e between Daulo and Melpa women's a b i l i t y t o r e t a i n c o n t r o l of t h e i r money i s i n f o r m e d p r i n c i p a l l y by the absence i n M e l a n e s i a n t h i n k i n g of c o n c e p t s c o r r e s p o n d i n g p r e c i s e l y t o " p r o p e r t y " and "ownership": ... what c r u c i a l l y d i f f e r s here i s women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p u b l i c a f f a i r s , t h e amount of c o n t r o l they e x e r c i s e over w e a l t h and thus a l s o t h e v e r y r e l a t i o n s h i p between th e p r o d u c t of t h e i r l a b o u r and r i g h t s t o i t s d i s p o s a l . T h i s s u g g e s t s examining t h e n a t u r e of ownership and mechanisms of a p p r o p r i a t i o n , and thus c l a i m s t o p r o p e r t y as an i n d e x of t h e e x t e n t t o which women a c t i n t h e i r own r i g h t ( S t r a t h e r n 1984b:161). In e x p l a i n i n g p r o p e r t y as g i f t , S t r a t h e r n r e l i e s on Gregory's (1979, 1980) d i s t i n c t i o n between g i f t and commodity: "... whereas a commodity exchange e s t a b l i s h e s a r e l a t i o n between t h e o b j e c t s of a t r a n s a c t i o n , g i f t exchange e s t a b l i s h e s a r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e s u b j e c t s " (Gregory 1979:404). Most i m p o r t a n t l y , S t r a t h e r n argues t h a t p r o p e r t y and ownership, as c o n c e p t u a l t o o l s , cannot be a p p l i e d t o g i f t exchange economies. "How", S t r a t h e r n a s k s , "can we c o n c e i v e of women 160 b e i n g " d e p r i v e d of ' r i g h t s ' over t h e d i s p o s a l of p r o p e r t y when such r i g h t s appear not t o have been a l l o c a t e d them i n the f i r s t p l a c e ? More c r u c i a l l y , what do we mean by ' p r o p e r t y ' ? " (1984b:162). Thus, w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between p r o p e r t y and pers o n i n s o f a r as women are concerned, S t r a t h e r n concludes t h a t " d i s c u s s i o n of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n terms of c o n t r o l over p r o p e r t y ... i s ... a c o v e r t d i s c u s s i o n of how f a r t h i s or t h a t c a t e g o r y can a c t as ' p e r s o n s ' " (1984b:162). The q u e s t i o n of women's personhood has been an i s s u e i n s t u d i e s of t h e New Guinea H i g h l a n d s s i n c e the e a r l i e s t c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s of H i g h l a n d and o t h e r M e l a n e s i a n women as downtrodden drudges, p e r i p h e r a l t o the b u s i n e s s of making s o c i e t y . T h i s c o n c e r n and t h e more r e c e n t d e s i r e t o prove women's a b i l i t y t o a c t as s u b j e c t s have been p a r t i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e a t t e n t i o n i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e of t h e H i g h l a n d s d e v o t e d t o the exchange of women and v a l u a b l e s by men. I n M e l a n e s i a , S t r a t h e r n s u g g e s t s , " i d e a s of personhood a r e not n e c e s s a r i l y bound up w i t h a s u b j e c t - o b j e c t dichotomy or w i t h i t s a t t e n d a n t i s s u e s of c o n t r o l ... I t i s t h e Western dichotomy between s u b j e c t and o b j e c t which o f t e n i n f o r m s the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l d e s i r e t o make women the p r o p e r s u b j e c t s f o r a n a l y s i s , t o t r e a t them i n our acco u n t s as a c t o r s i n t h e i r own r i g h t " (1984b: 162) . I t i s our own f e a r of m i s r e p r e s e n t i n g women as " o b j e c t s " t h a t has engendered the d e s i r e t o prove 161 t h a t women a r e s o c i a l a c t o r s . What appears as t h e o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of women, i s p r o b l e m a t i c f o r us, but not f o r thos e who engage i n the p r a c t i c e . Thus, when women ar e equated w i t h w e a l t h , e s p e c i a l l y i n c o n t e x t s of c e r e m o n i a l exchange, c r e a t i n g r e l a t i o n s based on g i f t d e b t , i t i s , i n f a c t , t he " i m p l i c i t e q u a t i o n between w e a l t h of t h i s k i n d (women) and p r o p e r t y as we u n d e r s t a n d t h e term" (1984b:166) t h a t i s p r o b l e m a t i c from our p e r s p e c t i v e . Hence, t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l d e s i r e t o r e s t o r e women t o s u b j e c t i v i t y i n v o l v e s examining " t h e i r a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n " and " t h e i r decision-making powers" (1984b:163), as F a i t h o r n , F e i l and Weiner have a l l done. S t r a t h e r n c o n c l u d e s t h a t "one can deny t h a t women a r e r e a l l y o b j e c t s ( t h i n g s ) by p o i n t i n g t o t h e i r a c t i n g as s u b j e c t s ( p e r s o n s ) " (1984b:163). Strathern's assessment t h a t "person", "woman", " s u b j e c t " and " p r o p e r t y " a r e e t h n o c e n t r i c concepts t h a t a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have a p p l i e d i n unexamined ways, r e l a t e s , I have shown, t o l a r g e r c o n c e p t u a l frameworks t h a t a n t h r o p o l o g y has t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d : t h e n a t u r e / c u l t u r e dichotomy, the concept of s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n t o personhood and the s u b j e c t / o b j e c t dichotomy. In t h e f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s , I d i s c u s s S t r a t h e r n ' s and o t h e r s ' r e l a t i v i s t i c assessments of gender: f i r s t l y , I examine ana l y s e s of gender symbolism and i n t e r - s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s i n which t h e authors argue t h a t the d e n i g r a t i o n o r devaluing of "femaleness" or d o m e s t i c i t y i n i d e o l o g y d i d not i n any way d e n i g r a t e women 162 as p e r s o n s ; s e c o n d l y , I attempt t o e x p l a i n S t r a t h e r n ' s concept of t h e i n t e r n a l l o g i c of M e l a n e s i a n t h o u g h t , the " M e l a n e s i a n a e s t h e t i c " (1988). Gender as a S y m b o l i c Code A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s w o r k i n g i n M e l a n e s i a have r e c e n t l y d i r e c t e d t h e i r a t t e n t i o n t o t h e s t u d y of gender i d e o l o g i e s as o r d e r i n g p r i n c i p l e s and r a n k i n g mechanisms (see B a t t a g l i a 1983, B i e r s a c k 1984, G i l l i s o n 1980, Goodale 1980, Kahn 1986, S t r a t h e r n 1980, 1981a, 1981b, 1988). I n t h i s p a r t of t h e d i s c u s s i o n , I examine t h e s y m b o l i c v a l u e s and i m a g i s t i c uses of gender c a t e g o r i e s i n t h r e e s o c i e t i e s (Melpa, P a i e l a , Mendi) , and examine the ways i n which s c h o l a r s have approached gender as a s y m b o l i c code. Gender, i n i t s s y m b o l i c meanings, i s a system of f o r m a l c a t e g o r i e s t h a t r e f e r not o n l y t o men and women and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s , but have m e t a p h o r i c v a l u e and p l a y a r o l e i n the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l l i f e ( B i e r s a c k 1984, MacCormack and S t r a t h e r n 1980, O r t n e r and Whitehead 1981, S t r a t h e r n 1980, 1981b, 1988). Gender i d e o l o g y f u n c t i o n s i n t h i s sense as a s o c i o - m o r a l framework, "a master code i n an i n d i g e n o u s r e f l e x i v e p h i l o s o p h y " ( B i e r s a c k 1984:120). In t h e s e r e c e n t New Guinea s t u d i e s , s c h o l a r s suggest t h a t t h e d e n i g r a t i o n of q u a l i t i e s i d e n t i f i e d as " f e m a l e " n e i t h e r i n e v i t a b l y r e f l e c t s on women as persons n or 163 s u b s t a n t i a l l y c i r c u m s c r i b e s t h e i r s o c i a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s (see Lederman 1980, 1986, 1989; S t r a t h e r n 1980, 1981b, 1988). I n High l a n d s o c i e t i e s ( e . g . , Melpa, Mendi) consumption, weakness and d o m e s t i c concerns were seen as "f e m a l e " and were consequently a s s o c i a t e d w i t h women, but women were not d e f i n e d s t r i c t l y i n t h e s e terms. Gender i d i o m s , t h e s e s c h o l a r s argue, d e n i g r a t e d not women, but s e l f - i n t e r e s t and autonomous a c t i o n . These i d i o m s s t r a t e g i c a l l y and s i t u a t i o n a l 1y ranked group or c l a n c o n cerns over p e r s o n a l o r do m e s t i c c o n c e r n s , p l a c i n g t h e s e d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l p o t e n t i a l s i n a common moral frame. As I s u g g e s t e d a t t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h i s c h a p t e r , i f t h e v a l u e s a t t r i b u t e d t o "maleness" and " f e m a l e n e s s " may be shown t o have l i t t l e m a t e r i a l e f f e c t on women's s t a t u s or s o c i a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s , i f t h e d e v a l u a t i o n of " f e m a l e n e s s " does not produce or c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e d e n i g r a t i o n or d o m i n a t i o n of women, "gender", l i k e " p e r s o n " , s e r v e s t o d i s m a n t l e what has appeared t o a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s as male d o m i n a t i o n . S t r a t h e r n , i n p a r t i c u l a r , has used gender i d e o l o g y i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the i d e o l o g y of pe r s o n t o d e c o n s t r u c t d o m i n a t i o n . I t i s not women who f a l l under the d o m i n a t i o n of men, but the v a l u e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h " f e m a l e n e s s " t h a t f a l l under t h e d o m i n a t i o n 38 of t h e v a l u e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h "maleness". 3 8 There a r e problems w i t h t h i s t y p e of argument. The n a t u r e of t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between women's s t a t u s and d e p r e c a t i n g i d e o l o g y i s one t h a t F e i l (1978a, 1978b) en c o u n t e r e d . He s u g g e s t s t h a t i n o r d e r t o see t h e power t h a t Enga women a c t u a l l y e x e r c i s e d i n t h e t e e 164 In my d i s c u s s i o n of S t r a t h e r n ' s , B i e r s a c k ' s and Lederman's a n a l y s e s of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of gender i d e o l o g i e s i n Melpa, P a i e l a and Mendi s o c i e t i e s , I w i l l a d d r ess t h e problem of the p o t e n t i a l a t t r i b u t i o n of d e n i g r a t e d " f e m a l e " q u a l i t i e s t o women and t h e s t r a t e g i c m a n i p u l a t i o n of gender i d e o l o g y . I f s y m b o l i c d e v a l u a t i o n s i n f a c t r e f l e c t on p e r s o n s , we must a c c e p t t h a t i d e o l o g i c a l s t a t e m e n t s a r e imbued w i t h b o t h s y m b o l i c and s t r a t e g i c v a l u e . Thus, the q u a l i t i e s and v a l u e s of "maleness" and " f e m a l e n e s s " may be used m a n i p u l a t i v e l y and a p p l i e d d i r e c t l y t o persons and a c t i o n s . We must then address t h e q u e s t i o n : In what ways may the treatment of "gender i d e o l o g y " as an o b j e c t of a n a l y s i s d i s t i n c t from the p r a c t i c e s of s o c i a l l i f e m y s t i f y p r a c t i c e s of d o m i n a t i o n r e l a t e d t o the d e v a l u a t i o n of "fem a l e n e s s " ? Melpa Gender Symbolism In Women i n Between (1972). S t r a t h e r n i d e n t i f i e s Melpa women as p r o d u c e r s , i n t e r s t i t i a l t o t h e t r a n s a c t i o n a l and exchange a c t i v i t i e s of men, and n o t e s t h a t Melpa s o c i e t y d e v a l u e d p r o d u c t i o n i n r e l a t i o n t o exchange. In " S o c i a l Good and S e l f - i n t e r e s t : Some I m p l i c a t i o n s of Hagen Gender Imagery" (1981b) S t r a t h e r n e l a b o r a t e s t h i s model, s u g g e s t i n g t h a t Melpa exchange, i t i s necessary t o " d i s c r e d i t the more i d e o l o g i c a l statements t h a t men make of women i n s i t u a t i o n a l vacuums" (1978b:263). Thus, he i s not concerned w i t h d e c i p h e r i n g s y m b o l i c meanings and s i m p l y passes over t h e p a r t s of the c u l t u r a l i d e o l o g y t h a t d e n i g r a t e d women. 165 men were not o n l y t r a n s a c t o r s and i n v e s t o r s , but undertook s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s f o r t h e g e n e r a l s o c i a l good. Women, on t h e o t h e r hand, were p r o d u c e r s and s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d consumers who "wasted" money on do m e s t i c c o n c e r n s . The Melpa a s s o c i a t i o n of " f e m a l e n e s s " and d o m e s t i c i t y c o n t r a s t s w i t h t h e T r o b r i a n d a s s o c i a t i o n of "womanness" and s o c i a l r e p r o d u c t i o n . Gender symbolism i n Melpa s o c i e t y , S t r a t h e r n a r g u e s , produced a c r o s s - s e x d e f i n i t i o n of "f e m a l e n e s s " and "maleness", an a n t i t h e s i s between female in-betweenness, d o m e s t i c i t y , s e l f - i n t e r e s t and autonomous i n d i v i d u a l i t y , on one hand, and male c o l 1 e c t i v e n e s s , c l a n i d e n t i t y and con c e r n f o r t h e s o c i a l w e l f a r e of the,group on the o t h e r : Womanness i s t h e f o u n d a t i o n not of s o c i e t y and cosmic time but of p a r t i c u l a r p a r t n e r s h i p s , exogenous c o n n e c t i o n s , f e r t i l i t y i n d i v i d u a l l y m a n i f e s t e d , p r o d u c t i o n at t h e household l e v e l . When t h i s domain i s brought i n t o a n t i t h e s i s w i t h p o l i t i c a l l y charged a l l i a n c e s , i n t e r n a l s o l i d a r i t y , c l a n p e r p e t u i t y and group t r a n s a c t i o n s , v a l u e s thus a s s o c i a t e d w i t h males a r e s e t a g a i n s t females ones (1981a:683). Thus, Melpa gender symbol is m p r o v i d e d "... a c o n t r a s t between male and female ( t h a t ) may s t a n d i n the eyes of Hagen men and women a l i k e f o r c o n t r a s t s between group p r e s t i g e and r u b b i s h n e s s , between group and i n d i v i d u a l o r i e n t a t i o n and so on" (1981a:678). The male-female c o n t r a s t i d e n t i f i e d d i f f e r e n c e s i n s o c i a l o r i e n t a t i o n and c r e a t e d a language f o r n e g o t i a t i n g or m e d i a t i n g t h o s e d i f f e r e n c e s . Indeed, Melpa 166 gender symbols p r o v i d e d a way of "s y m b o l i s i n g or a c t i v a t i n g the c o l l e c t i v e c o nscience": ... by