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Gender Roles In Moso Essay

919 words - 4 pages

The Moso is a society that still maintains matrilineal system, which is a rare and unusual practice nowadays in contemporary urban societies. In Moso, all ancestors are traced back through the female line instead of the father's side. Male relatives, regardless whether he is a child's biological father or not, are called uncle. A family properties are inherited through the female line. Men seem to have less authority in dealing with family matters. That is why Moso has been depicted as “a kingdom of women”. This essay will try to argue that women are not superior to men in Moso. The essay will first delve into the gender roles, which refers to roles assigned by culture to the biological ...view middle of the document...

The above facts may indicate that men and women are having equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to family matters.
From economic perspective, both genders contribute to income and economic development in Moso. In the traditional Moso society, both women and men engaged in production in order to make a living. Woemen used to cultivate lands, feed livestocks and make handicrafts with sackcloth for sale while men mainly focused on energy-demanding activities like logging and fishing as well as trading activities like negotiating prices with merchants. The division of labor is clear and equally shared among members in a household. Under the impact of globalization, Moso people have more opportunities to interact with the outside world by developing tourism. Moso's unique culture – preserving the matrilineal system – seems appealing to tourists from the mainstream societies. According to the Statistical Bureau of Ninglang Country (2005), the number of tourists in Lugu Lake region increased drammatically. The number increased by over 20% each year from early 1990s to early 2000s. Moso gradually transforms from a small-scale economy into a marketing and toursim-oriented economy. Unlike other well-developed countries with excellent infrastructure and hotel facilities, local people manage to offer a wide range of services, including lodging and guide, in hosting families. Female members in a hosting family bear the responsibilities of serving the visitors. Meanwhile, men mainly play the role as assistants. These observations may imply that most of the members in a Moso household do make positive contribution to income generation and the female leader is not necessarily the only breadwinner in a family.

Moso has been said to be a “women-dominated” society for years. The...

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