Lecture 13 - 04.11.10

Lecture 13 - 04.11.10 - 4th November 2010 SEAS 1 Lecture 13...

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4 th November 2010 SEAS 1 – Lecture 13 Gender in Southeast Asia Introduction: Limitations to talking about Gender in SEA Has many dimensions. Partly about the role of women in society and the dynamic between men and women in SEA. Views of Women in Southeast Asia Comparison to China and India : Historians say that women “have it good” they have autonomy and the right to make many decisions. The ability to leave the house and engage in activities beyond the household, etc. Historical trend in the area. They don’t have to bind their feet (China), commit self immolation (India) after the death of their husbands. But not all women in China and India had to do those things. Limitations of that Model : We cannot ignore the issue of class and social status when looking at gender. In China only the elite had to bind their feet and in India, only the elite had to commit self immolation. This is because women were needed in the household and needed to support her family. Women could not work on the farm if their feet were bound. Historical Overview: Roles and Society Traditional division – Men : working with animals, clearing the land, hunting, woodworking, statecraft (political actions), dominate the world religions as they arrived. Women : transplanting and harvesting of crops, growing vegetables (small plots around the house), preparing food, cloth work (textiles, batik), pottery making, spirit mediums (intermediaries between the world of the living and the spirit world). Role of men increased when world religions came and decreased women’s role. Rising wealth also privileged men because they had greater means to accessing this wealth. Bilateral kinship: property could pass down to males or females. There was no differentiation. Matrilineal societies: passed down the mother’s side instead of the father’s side. Privileging female side. Matrilocal family arrangements: when a woman marries, the husband moves into her family house. Women would bring money into the marriage and would remain their own money. If they got divorced or their husband died, this would be their own money. Women in Commerce Traditional Roles : Women took goods to the market to sell and also bought from the market. This is the kind of pattern you will see in SEA. This is still true in modern SEA. They were also actively involved in international trade, they would carry out trading negotiations with foreign merchants coming from Japan, Europe, etc. They also engaged in the purchase and sale of currencies and they negotiated the rental of
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Lecture 13 - 04.11.10 - 4th November 2010 SEAS 1 Lecture 13...

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