Social Issues / Women Are Closer To Nature Than Men In The Contemporary United States

Women Are Closer To Nature Than Men In The Contemporary United States

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Autor:  people  05 June 2011
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Words: 1939   |   Pages: 8
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Women Are Closer to Nature Than Men in the Contemporary United States

It seems only natural that America, one of the most developed and forward thinking nations in the world, would have set women on equal social, economic, and political footing with men by now. After all, it is the “Land of the Free” and the “Land of Opportunity.” In the contemporary United States, women are encouraged to dream as big as men do. They may become doctors, scientists, and even soldiers who fight for their nation in battle, roles historically, and even presently in some areas of the world, set aside for men. However, one must ask his or herself whether women in the United States are subordinated to men in even just one way. If so, the United States is automatically subject to scrutiny under Sherry B. Ortner’s claim that women are second class to men, or “seen “merely” as closer to nature than men” (Ortner 73). Ortner’s uses analysis of three aspects of the woman (i.e., her body and its functions, social roles, and psychic structure) to justify her position. In this paper, I will explain Ortner’s idea and her rationalization behind it. With each of the first two out of Ortner’s three levels of justification for her claim, I will present a related outside source to show that women in the contemporary United States are seen as closer to nature than men. (A related outside source for even just one of Ortner justifications would be requisite for this undertaking, according to her.) In addition, I will explain why the universality of Ortner’s claim cannot be assumed based solely off of proof that perspectives on American women support her argument.

Ortner arrives at her claim by discussing the universality of female subordination, and then connecting it to women’s association with nature. In order to maintain that women are devalued in a specific culture, one must provide data to support such a case. Ortner proposes that exhibition of female inferiority sentiments from even just one of the following three types of evidence would suffice: elements of cultural ideology and informants’ statements, symbolic devices, or social structural arrangements (70). As Ortner points out, in every known society in the world, such evidence is found. She uses one example of how even women in the Crow tribe (traditionally viewed as matrilineal) were, although given highly honorific offices in the Sun Dance, Tobacco Ceremony, and Cooked Meat Festival, looked down upon as “a source of c ...



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