9-21-06 notes - -Interaction between cultural systems...

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9-21-06 --  Interaction between cultural systems: Two-Spirit Status and Gay Movements Dominant US cultural interpretation: sexual relations confer identity   (homo-/hetero-/bi-sexuality) - emerging gay movement interprets two-spirits as example of positively  valued male-male sexual relations (lesbian movements look to Amazons  as positive-valued example) - largely equated two-spirit status with gay identity - idea of spiritual direction also attractive  Native American Societies: - two-spirit identity and gay identity not necessarily perceived as same thing - but Native Americans forced to respond to dominant system, to translate  their own cultural beliefs into language and assumptions of dominant  culture o Native American ideas translated in US English and dominant US  cultural system in ways that distort Native priorities and  understandings of the world.  o Two-spirits who do not live on reservations made to choose sexual  identity. Dominant US terms have been adopted by Native  Americans to define themselves and others – as gay or  homosexual – especially in urban settings. Some feel comfortable  in gay community, others don’t.  They may not give the terms exactly the same meanings:  example – some Indians draw distinction between gay and  homosexual identity, equating gayness with two-spirit  androgyny. Many two-spirits don’t fit easily into gay identities – spiritual  and kinship components lacking.  o Gay identity claimed by some masculine men who enjoy sexual  relations with other masculine men. They reject a two-spirit identity,  with its feminine aspects, and identify themselves as men.  EXAMPLES:
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course ISS 215 taught by Professor Lang during the Fall '06 term at Michigan State University.

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9-21-06 notes - -Interaction between cultural systems...

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