‘man the hunter, woman the gatherer’

Along with many of the other social issues, sexism and female inequality has been visible in our society for years. The phrase “man the hunter, women the gatherer” is just one example of segregation between the genders. The significance of this phrase relates to the method of separation of labor between sexes. Why do men hunt? A reevaluation of “man the hunter” and the sexual division of labor, is a study by Gurven, M., & Hill, K. in 2009 that gave some very interesting insights into the reasons men are known to have hunted and women to have gathered.

This view is still so prevalent in society because there are still people who believe that “men are givers and women are takers,” ( Rebecca Solnit, 2015) and that men do all the working while women sit around and feel no need to do anything but be “idle,” as Solnit describes in her article for Harper’s Magazine. Solnit claims that the percent of women earning wages in America is 47%, and 74% of those women are full-time workers. Despite this, women are still analyzed and criticized for their lack of participation and development in the working field. Solnit mentioned a men’s rights activist in her article that believed that “because women never worked…And now we have ended up with this cancerous cesspool of female desegregation we all suffer from, day in day out” and continued to state “We need to put women into the world all alone and without help and let them die or survive without any sort of help or interference, so they can catch up on evolution and reach the state of being human too”. This type of attitude toward the way women have “never worked” is one of the main reasons that as a society we have this social issue with inequality. Women, despite uneducated opinions, are very hardworking in different ways in today’s society and have been in history.

 

This traditional perspective, along with the research and analyzing from Gurven and hill, exemplifies that there was more behind the story of men just hunting and women gathering. Several explanations like strength demands or physical constraints were some of the reasons that women were not able to engage in the majority of hunting in ancient populations (Gurven, M., & Hill. K, 2009). Along with those factors, women had and still have the large, demanding responsibility of raising children. According to Gurven and Hill’s study, keeping offspring alive is a top priority of forager women, which precludes hunting in most environments. Hunting is also very dangerous for young children and infants. The study explains that there were different models for explaining this like for example the “signaling model” which indicates that men took their activities of hunting as a type of benefit to themselves. This means men would hunt initially to get social attention and mating benefits along with providing for their offspring and families.

Another explanation to this phrase has to do with the specialization of these activities. Gurven states that “even if a group of members are equally capable of performing all tasks” that specialization in these societies likely occurred. This though, does not mean that men should solely hunt, and women only gather, but at that time period, it is what occurred for the sake of the fitness of the populations. Without comparing the sexes, and putting them in specific boxes of “correct labor” options, each needs to coordinate on their specific set of activities (what feels necessary for them) (Gurven, M., & Hill. K, 2009).

As Solnit stated in her article, women everywhere are doing things to work, and to stay busy. Women are growing crops, carrying water, collecting firewood, herding livestock, looking after young children, grinding corn by hand. They are studying, giving speeches, they are determined, they are capable. Gender roles should not be roles at all, but specific activities pursued by those in a community, family, or society feel the necessity or ability to do.

 

Resources:

Solnit, R., Enzinna, W., Marzano-Lesnevich, A., Elkin, L., Cromwell, R. M., Kupfer, P., . . . Means, D. (2015, May 13). [Easy Chair]: Shooting Down Man the Hunter, by Rebecca Solnit: Harper’s Magazine – Part 4. Retrieved from https://harpers.org/archive/2015/06/shooting-down-man-the-hunter/4/

Gurven, M., & Hill, K. (2009, February). Why do men hunt? A reevaluation of “man the hunter” and the sexual division of labor. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubme

Bias and Misunderstandings 

Our lives are composed of stories, hundreds of impressions, moments and experiences that shape the way we think. With so many stories, it is not surprising that misunderstandings can occur when an individual or even a culture or country is thought of as one version of bias. Chimamanda Ngozi, a novelist from eastern Nigeria, describes a single story as “to base people on one thing, shown over and over again, and that one thing is what they become.” With bias being so normalized in today’s society, there are many dangers to having a single story. Single stories create separations between cultures and humanity, cause misunderstandings about individuals, and create uneducated judgments. 

The Danger in a Single Story, a TED talk performed by Chimamanda Ngozi, was a powerful speech. Chimamanda described her experiences with single stories and bias, and how they affected her life. Humans are very impressionable, and can easily be accepting of an idea that they don’t fully understand or know more information about. Children are even more vulnerable and affected by stories and bias. When Chimamanda was young, she read many British books. These British books were filled with concepts that were foreign to Chimamanda and her life in Nigeria. The characters were pale, ate apples, talked about the weather and Chimamanda embraced the concepts of western literature. Because western literature were the only types of stories available to her at the time, they gave Chimamanda the impression as she was growing up that literature could not consist of cultures like her own. With that, she was faced with a single story of literature. Chimamanda described the harsh realities of western thought and the misunderstandings that a single story can give about a person or country. I agree with the way the speaker described her ideas about bias and perspective, and how they influence societies. The talk begs to question what life would be like if single stories were rejected, and people would have to base their impressions on many stories to create their personal opinions. 

When bias is created about cultures or countries, it creates a separation between cultures and humanity. It then is no longer as easy to recognize humans as being equal. As Chimamanda said in her talk, “It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult.” Chimamanda is describing the types of impressions that divide humans with bias. Take for example the ideas that are associated with Africa; poverty, illness, and famine. Often when the media describes Africa, they describe it with a single story of disaster, of catastrophe. It becomes very difficult to then see the continent as so much more than that bias. It becomes difficult to then see the beauty and succus that countries and people in Africa have strived to contain. In my experience in Morocco, I found myself trapped in my bias and impression of the country. I created a box of what I had seen or heard from the media, and I let that control my impression of the country before I even arrived in the city of Tanger. It is very easy to fall into that way of thinking, but it has negative consequences. Morocco has been portrayed by the media to be a dangerous country, with problems with women’s rights, economic troubles, and overall a chaotic society. Before traveling there, I wasn’t able to imagine the kind people I was bound to meet or the beautiful landscapes or towns I would be lucky enough to see. I had a single story of Morocco, and it affected the way that I viewed the country until I created my own experience, my own story of my impression of the country. 

Stories of individuals are also types of bias that can negatively affect the way a person is viewed, and It can also create misunderstandings. In the TED talk, Chimamanda describes the feeling of pity was also a type of emotion the speaker encountered in many of the experiences she had with people. She found herself feeling pity for Fide, her family’s new houseboy, when her mother explained how much poverty Fide and his family were in. Poverty became the only impression Chimamanda had of Fide. Chimamanda described in her talk that single stories draw lines between individuals, and create differences rather than similarities. I often create impressions of people I don’t know that well, based upon what I’ve heard or seen from other people. This type of judgment takes away from the actual qualities of the person and can create misunderstandings or confusion. I believe that it is the best way to make an impression of a person is by ignoring the bias or impressions that other people or the media have about this person, and take the time to really base your story of the person from your own experiences. Ideas should be balanced, and there is no reason to create impressions completely based upon other people’s impressions of an individual. 

When people use bias and impressions based on personal opinions, they are choosing to accept an uneducated state of being. Personal opinions may come from experience or research, but they are often biased and do not leave room for individuals to consider whether or not to accept these ideas. The Cambridge definition of bias is, “The action of supporting or opposing a particular person or thing in an unfair way because of allowing personal opinions to influence your judgment”. This definition explains that by allowing personal opinions to influence your judgment, it is unfair to the individual. Impressions should be neutral, with little influence of other media’s bias, and it should be taken into consideration that stereotypes make our experiences one-dimensional. I believe that it is impossible to truly understand a person without knowing their stories or experiences, without stepping into their shoes. By being open-minded and educated, you will be able to accept a person or culture based upon your own experiences, and putting aside the surrounding tensions from others. 

In today’s world, bias and impressions from the media seem unavoidable, but by accepting judgment based on other people’s personal opinions, it is difficult to separate your own individual thought about a person, place or culture. As Chimamanda Ngozi described in her talk, stories are built from experiences, and every story deserved to be taken into consideration before an opinion about a person or thing is made. Separating cultures and humanity, creating misunderstandings about individuals, and accepting uneducated judgments are all consequences of single stories. It is important to take a moment to think before basing an impression of someone simply from one single story because life is composed of many overlapping stories that can change or affect the lives of others for the better. 

I believe

 

I believe that while accepting others makes one feel vulnerable, vulnerability is vital for establishing healthy relationships and becoming comfortable with ourselves.

 

When I first found out that my family was going to travel to Morocco for three months, I didn’t know how to react. The negative impact of the news convinced me that Morocco was not a safe country to go to. I was told that the country is facing so many problems regarding sexism, racism, and homophobia. I complained, and I begged my parents not to go. There were too many blogs, too many stories about harassment that young female tourists face when visiting Morocco, I couldn’t imagine experiencing the same thing.

I grew up in Louisville, a small town in the beautiful state of Colorado. Louisville, like many other towns in the area, was very liberal.  It was safe, and my school was accepting of all kinds of children who would come from so many different ethnicities and households. It was the job of the community to make everyone feel accepted and appreciated. It was, in many ways, the perfect environment to grow up in. It could be said that I grew up in a bubble of security.

Acceptance was what I was used to, so it’s ironic that I chose to base my impression on a country simply by the influence of the media. It wasn’t until I stepped foot off of the ferry dock in Tangier, that everything settled in. I felt a sense of fear that I never felt in my hometown, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of my prejudice and biased thoughts. I could feel that my fists were clenched and that I was sweating despite the late November breeze outside. My eyes were glancing back and forth, adjusting to a new culture that was right before my eyes. I am embarrassed to say that I felt intimidated around a society that 98% Muslim. I felt like an outsider. 

As much as I felt alone at that moment, I understood that people deserve to be respected and accepted. Of course, acceptance is not one-sided, it needs to be embraced by both individuals to create balance. 

While my family was in Morocco, we volunteered at an English school to help students with conversational skills. The school advertises “practice with native speakers” but the group of volunteers in the program were actually from many different countries, and were incredible people who loved learning English. I was surrounded by a pool of different perspectives and cultures, all grouped together by their one common interest, to help people. 

Despite the cultural influences leaving and entering the small town of Berrechid where the school was located, the community outside the school had not quite adjusted to the liberal individuals that were teaching and working there. The locals still had their ways of thinking and they acted upon what they found out of place, or shall I say, foreign.  I remember my older sister coming back from a quick visit to the grocery store in tears. She announced 15 minutes before that moment that she was going to go to the store for the first time in the two weeks. Obviously, there was frustration in not being able to ever leave the house or do simple tasks like going to the grocery store over the fear that “something” could happen. With that, she headed out to buy some milk and vegetables. When she returned she described different guys that were her age, around 17. They surrounded her and started to harass her while she walked out of the store. It could have been that it was simply because she was a foreigner, or maybe because she was a female, out alone. She was very affected by this experience. I listened to her with sympathy as she tried to understand how difficult it must be to be a woman in a country where they are not treated as equals. I wondered what it would have been like if women’s rights and freedoms were accepted by the pride-filled men who roamed the streets. 

Later we learned that in their culture, women are flowers and if they leave the comfort of their home they have the opportunity to be ruined. As foreigners, we learned to accept people from all types of cultures, it was surprising to see that the people who lived in Berrichild could not learn to be more accepting too. 

Sometimes when I think about my experiences in Morocco I can still smell the fresh cuscus that was served every Friday. As well as the lentil soup or tagine that became typical dinners and lunches. I am happy that at the end of my trip I learned how to be more accepting and less biased. Being able to accept people is such an important quality in all types of relationships and is so valuable in a society of open-minded individuals. My family’s trip to Morocco helped me realize that it is important to push back the bias of the media and to be open-minded. While I do not completely agree with all of the country’s ideas, I am able to accept them and in return, meet and make friends with the wonderful people that live there.

Fashion Chit Chat (English Version)

Hello, I’d like to share my knowledge about fast fashion and the fashion industry.

Fast fashion is cheap, fast and of questionable quality.

Fashion defines us. You see it everywhere; magazines and movies, in all social media. Society has embraced the fashion industry with open arms.

But I’m not here to share the latest bargains in your favorite stores but to explain the real price of life behind the fashion industry. Sometimes we forget that the clothes we wear are made by hands, physical hands.
In poor countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh, people often work in garment factories and earn $67 a month. Not only is there insufficient pay, but also poor working conditions. Hundreds of thousands of workers who make garments in factories in Bangladesh do so in dangerous conditions. We are talking about serious safety hazards. For example, lack of doors and fire exits, lack of adequate alarm systems, lack of sprinkler systems. There are also stories of disasters, for example, November 2012: a fire in a Fashions factory supplying Western brands in Dhaka kills 112 workers and more than 150 injured. In addition, in April 2013, at least 1,136 people are killed and approximately 2,500 people injured in the most lethal factory collapsed in history.

Inditex, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, which owns brands (Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Zara Home and etc.) Has had many accidents, for example, slave labor scandal in Brazil, where 15 employees had to be rescued from a supplier company. There, they were working in degrading conditions, and were responsible for a fuel spill on the Galix Arteixo river in 2009.

You have to ask yourself if it’s worth supporting this cycle of this corrupted business.
Some ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and the amount of clothes that big companies must produce each year, is to buy used clothes and reuse clothes. As well as buy only what you need or buy less. We just need to be aware of the planet and the people who live here.

Palabrería de la moda

Hola, mi nombre es Kathryn Antle de 4 Eso y estoy aquí para compartir mi conocimiento sobre la moda rápida y la industria de la moda.

La moda rápida es barata, rápida y de calidad cuestionable.

La moda nos define. Lo ves en todas partes; Revistas y películas, en todos los medios sociales. La sociedad ha abrazado la industria de la moda con los brazos abiertos.

Pero no estoy aquí para compartir las últimas ofertas en sus tiendas favoritas, sino para explicar el precio real de la vida detrás de la industria de la moda. A veces olvidamos que la ropa que usamos está hecha por manos, manos físicas.

En países pobres como Vietnam y Bangladesh, la gente a menudo trabaja en fábricas de ropa y gana $ 67 al mes. No solo existe el problema del mal pago, sino también las malas condiciones de trabajo. Cientos de miles de trabajadores que fabrican prendas en fábricas en Bangladesh lo hacían en condiciones peligrosas. Estamos hablando de graves peligros de seguridad. Por ejemplo, la falta de puertas y salidas de incendios, la falta de sistemas de alarma adecuados, la falta de sistemas de rociadores. También hay historias de desastres, por ejemplo, noviembre de 2012: un incendio en una fábrica de Fashions que abastece a las marcas occidentales en Dhaka mata a 112 trabajadores y más de 150 heridos. Además, en abril de 2013, al menos 1.136 personas mueren y aproximadamente 2,500 personas heridas en la fábrica más letal colapsó en la historia.

Inditex, uno de los minoristas de moda más grandes del mundo, que posee marcas (Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Zara Home y etc.) Ha tenido muchos accidentes, por ejemplo, escándalo de mano de obra esclava en Brasil, donde 15 empleados tuvieron que ser rescatados de una compañía proveedora. donde estaban trabajando en condiciones degradantes, y fue responsable de un derrame de combustible en el río Galix Arteixo en 2009.

Tienes que preguntarte si vale la pena apoyar a las grandes empresas.

Algunas formas de disminuir su huella de carbono y la cantidad de ropa que las grandes empresas deben producir cada año es comprar ropa usada y reutilizar la ropa, comprar solo lo que necesita o comprar menos. Solo debemos ser conscientes del planeta y de las personas que viven aquí.

xoxo

Excusez-moi, vous parlez français ?

10 days have passed since my family and I arrived at the busy airport in Nantes, France. On the airplane, I couldn’t help but think about the life I had on Tenerife. My friends, who dream about leaving the island, feel so far. The home that I lived in for nine months feels so distant. But life has moved on, we are moving on. When my sisters and I walked off the plane we spoke Spanish and laughed to each other about how no one would understand us, but I think we all were a bit saddened that Spanish wouldn’t be apart of our daily lives anymore.

Despite the frustrating language barrier, it’s no doubt that France is beautiful. My family is currently living with some friends in Brittany, and the landscape is gorgeous. It is foresty and the houses are traditional, with cobblestone walls. There is a train system, something that I’ve missed for a long time. There are white sand and rose-colored sand beaches that touch the chilly, but clear water.

I am also lucky enough to have delicious homemade french meals, made by our friend Titouan’s lovely mom. Titouan’s family has been more than generous in showing us around Brittany and helping us with our French. Not to mention exciting me with this years Women’s World Cup, as football is a very important part of their culture. As well as introducing me to French music like Orelsan’s – La fête est finie and Vegedream’s – Ramenez la coupe a la maison.

And finally, being in France reminds me of how much I missed mainland Europe.

Les chefs-d’oeuvre ne sont jamais que des tentatives heureuses. -George Sand

“Masterpieces are never anything else but happy attempts.”