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Drew WatsonAnthropology 316May 20, 2017Essay 11.The !Kung are a very unique kind of people because in their society women are pretty much considered equal to men throughout all aspects of society. That can be proven be Ernestine Friedl’s argument that the position of women is higher the more they are involved in primary substance as owners or controllers not just as laborers. This argument fits the !Kung society because women are controllers and owners; and therefore, have higher positions than many women in different societies around the world. One of the main reasons why women have such a high status in the !Kung community is because they provide the majority of the food consumed by everyone. The !Kung women are the primary gatherers and provide 60-80% of all the food that is eaten by men, women, and children (Shoatak 1981, 10). Since they are the ones out there gathering the food and deciding how much to keep for her own family, and then share with the rest of the community, women’s status is raised because the control most of the food. Women can control other resources as well by inheritance. Core membership in a band and ownership of resources such as waterholes can be inherited by women just as it can be by men. Another thing that women control is the children. Men play a role in their children’s lives, but not as much as the women. The women give birth alone, feed the baby from her breasts, and make almost all the decisions regarding her children. Children are a valued part of the !Kung community because the make life more enjoyable. And because women are the primary sex
involved in a child’s upbringing, their status is raised even higher because they in a sense control the children (Shostak 1981, 214).