The 's Views Of Marriage, Sex, And / Or Relationships Between The Sexes Essay

The 's Views Of Marriage, Sex, And / Or Relationships Between The Sexes Essay

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1. How, if at all, do Nisa’s experiences, thoughts or comments or ways of living, support or refute Meredith Small’s views of marriage, sex, and/or relationships between the sexes?
Nisa’s experiences support Meredith Small’s views of marriage, sex, and the relationship between the sexes to a great extent. Marriage is a human universal in which men and women are paired through a public ceremony to formalize a family unit. The two commit to bear and raise children together, though this does not necessarily guarantee monogamous sex. When a baby is born, he/she is incredibly needy and vulnerable, so high parental investment is necessary. The majority of this responsibility tends to fall on women. The ideal woman is someone who is healthy, can take care of children, has high reproductive value, that is, a long reproductive life, and is not having sex with other men, so that paternity can be guaranteed and competition is reduced. Men, on the other hand, are not expected to invest in their babies to the same extent. They are expected to be able to provide protection for and resources to their wives and children. Ideally, men also should have long lives ahead of them.
In !Kung society, women play great roles both in the family and in the economy. They are responsible for over 90 percent of a child’s care— an undeniably high rate of parental investment. The women continue their daily work while they are pregnant, as pregnancy is thought of as a given responsibility for a woman. After birth, the women must nurse and physically carry the children for years. Meanwhile, their role in the economy is hardly compromised. In fact, “!Kung women are recognized by men and women alike as the primary economic providers of the group” (2...

... middle of paper ...

... air with tears streaming down my face and feeling that burn in my throat and eyes.
By the end of the novel, though I was somewhat frustrated with Nisa as a character, it was again her feelings of grief and despair that connected me to her. When she gets news that her father died, she sets off with Besa and her children. On the way she thinks, “Why couldn 't I have been with him when he died?” (222). This is a question many of us ask when dealing with he death of a loved one. Later after the death of her mother, Nisa tells Shostak, “That night I slept alone and cried and cried and cried. None of my family was with me.” (223-224). In that moment, I felt both pity and sorrow for Nisa. Nisa experienced an extraordinary amount of death in her lifetime, but ultimately despite all our cultural differences, death was, is, and always will be a common denominator.

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