gender roles Essay

Submitted By tegantaylor
Words: 586
Pages: 3

Society places different values on being male and female, it’s these values that define us as individuals. Through a cross-cultural comparison I will be exploring the concept gender through a micro level within my family and then throughout the Maasai culture. The aspects of gender differ within concepts such as family life, roles and status, and power and authority.

In the Maasai culture there a clearly prescribed social roles and status for the people. The Maasai people have many celebrated rituals that announce the change of the individual from one role to the other. (Donelly, etal, 2008)
One of the most distinctive of this celebrations is the becoming of a Moran (warrior) it’s the transition from childhood to adulthood, within this ritual the initiate must under go circumcision and show his bravery by showing no pain during the process to prove he will be able to face the challenges he will be dealt with once becoming a Moran. Only men can become a Moran because it is seen as a mans role in society, and never a woman’s.
The Moran’s obtain much honour by protecting their people against attack either groups or animals or any other type of harm to their people. It is the Moran’s role to take on any challenging tasks and their status is acknowledged and praise within the community by being given the best food. (Donelly, etal, 2008)

Traditional Maasai family structure is based on polygamous marriage. There is a hierarchy within the family structure, the husband is head of the family and makes the decisions. The wife is responsible for running the household and has little to no say in the major decisions made. Because of the polygamous marriage lifestyle they live the Maasai men can marry as many women as they can afford to support. The Maasai women are also allowed to have different lovers. (Donelly, etal, 2008)

Males are seen to have more power and authority over the women, the women understand that she does what her husband or another male tells her to do because if not she is seen as disrespecting him.

The Maasai have to under go different rituals before being able to be married. For women this is the circumcision of the clitoris, it usually happens around