Takeback Tuesday: women’s work

Among the more interesting people I have met in this lifetime of odd people were John and Wink Allen. On the books, John was the Swahili scholar, but in fact much of what he did was based on Wink’s ability to wander into the women’s huts and chat. Before John and Wink, anthropologists generally assumed that these were patriarchal societies, since after all, the men were the ones in the fancy power-costumes

as well as being the ones willing to sit around and talk to the men with the notebooks.

However, one of the things Wink and John agreed on was that although the women appeared to defer to the men in their tribe, in fact, the real power and continuity of society were in the women’s huts.

Kind of like what we’re finding now.

Most of the time, we women get on with our lives and leave it to the boys to diddle around making big with the world. But as Wink discovered, Swahili women ran the markets and handled the money.  The women were in charge of teaching the children and making decision about the land and indoctrinating the boys into their tribal responsibilities

And now, American woman are dusting off their hands and preparing to set things aright.

This is going to be an interesting four years. People like the Bold Progressives are leading the way. So maybe buy a t-shirt or sticker for your bumper, and let your people know you’re on the job.  And although Brietbart have snuck in to claim sales through their own site, you might want to make sure your dollars go to the side that Elizabeth Warren stood up for.  That site is here.

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  1. Pamela on February 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I ordered a shirt! *spelling twitch*- ‘Breitbart’…

  2. Barbara Kline on February 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Dear Mrs. King,

    I love your Mutterings and Take Back Tuesdays. Your work is so positive and empowering. Thank you for all that you do.

  3. Merrily Taylor on February 15, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I’ve already sent money to Elizabeth Warren’s campaign, not only because I love her and her courage, but because I will get a “Still She Persisted” shirt!

  4. Barbara Piper on February 17, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Thanks for this important blog entry, which I am only just now getting around to reading. Perhaps I can add, as a small footnote, that anthropologists have long recognized that in societies in which women have control over their own economic well-being, they exercise considerable political and economic control — Nigeria, where I have been conducting research for decades, offers classic examples of women-run markets, leading to high levels of empowerment.

    • Laurie King on February 17, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Yes, it’s mostly through the eyes of outsiders that these are thought of as male-dominated societies.

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