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Monday, April 1, 2013

Eco-Recovery Missing Factor X Gender Pay Equality


In search of Madame X:
The Natural Women


The notion that women and men are essentially different or compliment each other, constituent the idea of the natural woman and dominant male cultural consciousness based on moral beliefs ether prescribe, or culturally developed from tradition. The 60’s film ‘Madame X’ starting Lana Turner is an uncensored ethnography or a window opened to a place and time in America culture consciousness that the idea of the natural women was paramount to social-economic balance.

The motion picture Madame X 1964 represents the natural woman of American tradition, dominated by her husband a wealthy socialite; she looses face as the preconceived natural women and goes underground accompanied by unsavory men while drowning herself in alcohol. Madame X murders a blackmailer who threatens to expose her true identity. Poetic justice rules in the end as she is represented by her now adult son but never reveals her true name, known to the court as Madame X (Madame X 1964).

The preconceived notion of Madame X is typical of the natural American housewife married with children one wage earner home post depression recovery 1930 to 1960’s. The Grandfather family income reflects the median family income (1947-1970) rise for 23 years 1947 - 1970, “oscillate and stagnate, despite mothers entering the workforce (Hodges see chart appendix page 15).”
Dan Botz economic statistics for that time period:

 “In 1930 the population was 137 million; today in 2008 it is about 304 million.  The United States had 3.6 million union members at that time, which represented 12.34 percent of the nonagricultural workforce and 7.45 percent of the total workforce (there being many more farmers at that time).  Today, the union membership for private industry workers is 7.5 percent, while that for public sector workers is 35.9 percent.  Altogether, 15.7 million workers belong to unions, representing 12.1 percent of employed wage earners, roughly the same proportion as in 1930 (Botz).” 

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Little is mentioned in ether economic report justifying women entering the workforce with little or no adjusted income in the early 70’s although Botz suggest the idea economic situation is a one wage earner home allowing mothers to stay at home with children.
            A personal interview with a mother and house wife of the same time period who I anonymously identify as Madam X may revile why the wave of women entered the work force during this time period:
[Interviewer, “Why are ‘the men’ bread winners?”

Madame X, “Because that’s the way it was a long time ago?”

Interviewer, “Is it that way now?”

Madame X, “No, not always.”

Interviewer, “Why is it different now?”

Madame X, “Because of the women’s movement, I think because women wanted
to work. They wanted something else than just being in the house” (anonymously)]

            The interview, an ethnography of a typical one wage earner family home 1950 – 60’s five children all boys, Caucasian, ethnic sub-group German Irish, southern Baptist happily married mother identified as Madame X with the notion that women and men are essentially different or compliment each other. She is ideal for interview because she possesses all the qualities and fine features of the presupposed mother of the times void of any vices bestowed Lana Turners portrayal of Madame X 1964.

This ethnographer took care not to lead the interviewee into a presupposed response establishing general 

discussion foci of Simone de Beauvoir's infamous publication of the times “The Second Sex” 1952 (De

Beauvoir). The interviewee who will be called Madam X forthcoming, did not know or was aware of the

feminist title that made a big stir with the dominant male cultural consciousness on publication date 1952.

The book identifies the feminine

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gender as the weaker sex which I phrase as a second class citizen because we are not talking just about the biological weakness comparatively speaking; but the whole physiology of comparison of the natural women with the dominate male of the time including economic stability. Never-the-less, Madam X is well aware of the disparity and of the feminist movement but like many of her time identifies the women’s movement with the fanfare of the late 1970’s bra burning, men bashing freedom fighters which occurred after the time window of the ethnography. Most importantly, Madam X states that she was not aware of any disparities in her relationship and felt equal and still happily married just celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

[Interviewer, “With someone somewhere about the book Simone de Beauvoir's second sex Inequality about second sex, did you feel like a 2nd sex or did you have the same opportunities your brother had? In the 1950’s how did you feel about the 2nd sex?”

Madame X, “I did not feel like 2nd class but the men and the boys got the job before the women did and got more pay.”

Interviewer, “How did it make you feel?”

Madame X, “I took it as Life.”

Interviewer, “What was your working age 18 to 65? What time period would that be when were you 18? What year?”

Madame X, “November 1952.”

Interviewer, ““When she wrote this book it was a really nice book she said “I am really sick about the whole thing of the feminist movement.””
Madame X, “I was too!”

Interviewer, “Ok It’s your documentary. I am going to write a paper on the way you feel, that’s what I want to know. Did most women work during your age?

Madame X, No.
Interviewer, “Would you say the women that worked were the ones that wore the pants in the family?”

Madame X, “Nooo. (Laughter). I felt like they are equal, I mean what are the trying to do, they are pushing the movement but they are pushing the other side too. That’s what I felt.”


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[Interviewer, “They want their cake and eat it too?”

Madame X, “Yes.” (Anonymous)?]

Base on the statements provided by the interviewee, she was not impacted by the publication of the 2nd second wave of the feminist movement of the early 1950’s, but was aware of the campaign for woman’s rights and the balance of equality. In the interviewers opinion the title was benign or was not bias to the patriarchal political position of the time. Madam X is aware of the woman’s movement if not the feminist movement, and is or was vigilant of the balance equality between men and women. Another brief reflection of the book as follows by Allison Gillette:

“After researching Simone de Beauvoir I learned how important it is to live by beliefs and not compromise yourself for anyone. She never apologized for who she was or what she believed in. She lived her life the only way she could, free from societies prejudices and control, which is a difficult endeavor. I was also unaware of her fight for human rights, I thought the idea of human and woman’s rights being inseparable shows even more how women are human and deserve equality in their lives. She really is an excellent role model for women. Her biggest fear was being caged into marriage and losing herself and she did everything she could to ensure that would never happen, most women would not have stood their ground like that for their whole lives (Gillette).”

Specifically, Madame X was stern about her convictions of the idea that women and men are essentially different or compliment each other and she pointed out that men are the head of the family, we discussed primitive tribes and the notion that constituent the idea of the natural woman and the weaker male cultural consciousness based on subsistence and/or value of children. Needless-to-say money is power and the bread winner or subsistence provider is usually the stronger dominant sex.

[Interviewer, “In primitive societies sometimes or we could say that man in primitive societies is the least value because the greatest value is the children. So the mother is the head of the family because she takes care of the most valuable possession- the child of the house. He is the warrior; he goes out to takes all the risk like hunting because he is less important than the monarch or mother.”
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Madame X, “I go by the bible and we are equal and we help are mates. I don’t think we are one above the other.”

Interviewer, “Is it your age culture time age or do you think it’s a mutual thing?”
Madame X, “A mutual thing. Our own goals. What we want together. We are equal that’s all.”

Interviewer, “Biologically would you say that man is stronger or your husband is stronger?”
           
            Madame X, “Yes.”

Interviewer, “And would you say that child rearing is a burden and very possible your time and effort, child bearing is really a big job. Would you say you are doing nothing while the man is out working?”

Madame X, “No I have lived a wonderful life and as far as being a burden I never felt that way. It was part of my fulfillment that I felt that way (Anonymous).”]

The sexual division of labor comes into question in societies where known inequalities are evident such as contemporary American households that are traditionally male dominated. Why people migrate to positions of power or subordination seems predetermined by sex and understood as the sexual division of labor. In the case of the American model where technical achievement is the measure of society, it is easy to generalize that men, contribute most, and women are naturally subordinate (Brettell p 135).

Anthropologists understand societies by comparing cultural segments of one society with another. One way of understanding the sexual division of labor in America is by comparison with an egalitarian culture where technical achievement is not sought nor has value such as research of Maria Lepowsky reflected in her article, “The Sexual Division of Labor on Vanatinai (Brettell p 141).”

Lepowsky’s ethnography of Vanatinai Islanders is good objective research in which she stratifies the division

of labor into several dimensions based on the value of substance provided

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to household or community. Not surprisingly, it seems that even in egalitarian society of hunting,
planting, and some goods exchanged as the price of ceremonies, there is still a distinct sexual division of labor.  Although, women and men of the Island are capable and do exchange modes
of service such as tree clearing for planting. Women prefer the lesser harder jobs such as daily weeding of gardens or sweeping and cleaning while men choose seasonal services such as planting, hunting, or the removal of large trees from new garden plots (Brettell p 137).
            Although the women and men of Vanatinai both are good parents, child care and rearing is the responsibility of the women of the Island but Lepowsky does not make a determination if this is by choice or if it’s a service determined by sex. We understand even in this egalitarian society that child rearing is not preferred by men because Lepowsky writes, “People explain that the reason why a father’s matrilineal kin must be compensated with valuables when someone dies is that the deceased excreted upon the father as an infant and the father cleaned it up uncomplainingly (Brettell p 153).”
       The same cultural comparison could be made with American father’s who might change a diaper once or twice uncomplainingly while the task is usually subordinated as women’s work.  Caroline B. Brettell and Carolyn F. Sergeant suggest in the introductory chapter, “Equality and Inequality: The sexual Division of labor and Gender scarification,” that child rearing in America
could be a case that “women actually work a double day with less compensation or as a service that is negatively valued (Brettell p 135).”
So we could conclude by comparison that even in egalitarian societies where technical achievement is not 
sought nor has value, the sexual division of labor is still evident in hunting and gathering societies predetermined by sex with women subordinated by male dominance. It seems more reasonable for me to conclude that in the case Vanatinai model where child rearing is the measure of society, it is easy to generalize that women, contribute most, and men are naturally subordinate.
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Madam X thought my reasoning was interesting as well as humorous because the conversation came down to the number of diapers woman change verse the number of changes done by men;
even in the most primitive society known today women take on task that are culturally defined such as sweeping the opening of a temporary jungle dwelling and the preparation of meals. 
            In addition and it follows, I brought up the question of biological differences that could be why women act the way they do and we will get to the gender issue further on, that gender not sex is culturally defined and sex is of course biologically determined. 

[Interviewer, “Do you know that [SIC some] anthropologist today think that women are weaker in all accounts because of biological weakness. And that’s why they always play 2nd fiddle to men. Can you believe that they are actually saying this?”

Madame X, “I disagree”

Interviewer, “So do I.”

Madame X, “Women are different everything makes a man stronger.”

Interviewer, “I think women are stronger physically because of child bearing”

Madame X, “I think women are strong in every area except physically (Anonymous).”]

      I explained to Madam X that what I was saying is that some anthropologists believe the way women act and think is predetermined biologically and we discussed several physical ways that men are weaker. Why people migrate to positions of power or subordination seems predetermined by sex and understood as the sexual division of labor. Anthropologists have long held the notion that women are naturally subordinate because they carry the children and are biologically weaker. The idea of the natural women is an old school view developed from traditional male dominated Anthropologist. Caroline B. Brettell and Carolyn F. Sergeant suggest in the introductory chapter, “Equality and Inequality: The sexual Division of labor and Gender scarification,” that child rearing in America could be a case that “women actually work a double

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day with less compensation or as a service that is negatively valued (Brettell p 135).”  They present an ethnography which shows that women of the Agta tribe northeastern Luzon, the Philippines, contradict the idea of the natural women because they seem to have the dominating authority among the men of the tribe and are skilled hunters providers. 
The article “Woman the Hunter: The Agta,” shows evidence that the natural women of egalitarian societies are biological adapted to hunt and provide subsidence on an at least equal level with men. Also, the women of the Agta tribe, specifically the Dianggu-Maligu women, excel in the economy because the men avoid social confirmation such as bartering for ibay in exchange for meat. Ibay is the measure of economy for the people of northeastern Philippines which include, “credit, acts of friendship, and first choice (Brettell p 147).
Anthropologists understand societies by comparing cultural segments of one society with another. Anthropologists have long held the notion that women are naturally subordinate because they carry the children and are biologically weaker. The idea of the natural women developed form a traditional male dominated Anthropology is contradicted by contemporary models such as the Dianggu-Maligu tribe of the Philippines.

By this time during the interview, Madam X convinced me that the natural women was not only nature’s way but in biblical terms the concept makes good sense, that women and men are essentially different or compliment each other, constituent the idea of the natural woman and dominant male. So, I bravely bring up the gender question to try and see if she understands the biological implications of some theories and what she thought about the possible biological social society.

[Interviewer, “When we talk about male and female we talk about biological sex. Before this day and age there are some people who are not biological male or female they think they are opposite of that it is gender neutral its gender not sex. Called gay or lesbians And the American Indians they called them two spirits. From primitive times all the way up to the civil war they fought wars with dresses on. They acted like girls but they were males, their identity was female. Today on


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a job application they don’t ask you sex they want to know what your gender is am I male or am I female. During your time do you know of or do you know anybody that as of gender was actually female but male or male actually female?”

[Madame X, “No.”

Interviewer, “Did you see them in society or were they hidden? You see them now.

Madame X, “If I did I didn’t recognize them. I never heard about it.”

Interviewer, “So a male with a very high voice you would think the gender was female?”

Madame X, “No they were odd.”

Interviewer, “Would you say they were not manly or nothing?”

Madame X, “I don’t know”

Interviewer,, “How would you describe someone during your time, would you call them gay or what”

Madame X, “Well I didn’t hear about them until I was grown.”

Interviewer, “Well let’s forget the sex part. If they like to do things that women do like sewing baking…”(Anonymous).”]

The conversation of the interview developed into a biblical prescription that these acts if  a sexual act are forbidden in the bible because those acts are not natural, which I agree and is certainly a bias opinion when we look at the medical facts and contemporary beliefs. At this moment in the interview, Madame X’s husband adds his medical knowledge that sex is determined not at conception but in the womb which sometimes is ambiguous or delivers a true hermaphrodite, or a person born with both ovaries and testicles which is extreme rare case of ambiguous populations.

Never-the-less, sexual ambiguous births occur about one in every two thousand births, in a college campus setting of 30,000 students the mean ambiguous sexual population is greater than 15 students in any given semester. In biological terms this number is not a representation of deformation but of biological adaptation possibly toward the dominant natural selection woman ‘X’ (appendix B).
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[Interviewer, “Well let’s forget the sex part. If they like to do things that women do like sewing, baking…”

 Madam X, “Then they are a woman (Anonymous).”]

Another view, perhaps bias from the gay and lesbian community of biblical fundamentalist, if there exist such an ism, “Babies are not born with physical disorders to punish their parents in any way. Although God created the earth perfectly, it soon brought destruction upon itself with the onset of human sin (Romans 5:12). Before the Flood in Genesis chapter 7 that wiped out almost all living things on the earth, people had the potential to live for several hundred years.

After the Flood, human life spans grew progressively shorter, indicating a change in the environment which resulted in damage to the human genetic structure. This also explains why incest was necessary for the population of the earth in Genesis, but was forbidden later in the laws of Leviticus (verses 18:6-18). Now, thousands of years later as sin continues to permeate the world, the human race has been bombarded with every kind of sickness, disease, disorder and birth defect we can imagine.

It is very possible for a child born with both sex organs to grow up to have a healthy view of sexuality and successful relationships. From early on, the child should be taught how valuable, loved and accepted they are by their family and also by God. He or she is not a victim of divine judgment, but God has a plan for each one of us that will bring Him glory, as we can learn from a man who was healed by Jesus Christ.
“'Teacher,' his disciples asked him, 'why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?' 'It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins,' Jesus answered. 'He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him John 9:2-3 (What does the Bible say).”

Gender is an identity role by which a person is recognized by himself or others (gender). Gender is the way we act, a behavior that is viewed as feminine or masculine by a particular culture, society, or group regardless of biological sex determinations. In some societies, gender can be recognized as both such as the term ‘two-sprits’ used by American Natives (notes). Conversely, in some societies such as Tibetan Buddhist tradition, gender can be recognized as neither or gender neutral.

Never-the-less, gender is culturally determined by the way an individual identifies with

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others as a ‘man’ or a ‘women’ who are biologically determined in the womb as genitalia
develops from a sexually neutral fetus. So it makes good sense that gender has nothing to do with biological sex and gender is misidentified as behavior characteristics determined by biological
sex.  In other words, the way a person behaves could be based on a weaker sex dominated by a stronger sex in relation to the way we adapt to the world biologically and culturally.
An encyclopedic definition of Anthropology is “the study of humanity” and that study is by way of ethnography or a compilation of observation reports (Anthropology). We can not ignore the earliest biblical story tellers as ethnographers and these stories are preserved in Hebrew text as the first books of laws that prescribe behavior, the way we act, and punishment for acting contrary to that prescription. No doubt religious beliefs that prescribe a natural woman and a dominant  man tend to be more prejudice toward sexual alternative roles such as in today’s America.

Although Americans view themselves as a society of diversity and sexual indifference they are probably the least tolerant to alternative gender roles and this could be in part based on a false belief that these roles are not ‘natural’, or more specially, violate traditional beliefs. The notion that women and men are essentially different or compliment each other, constituent the idea of the natural woman and dominant male cultural consciousness that is based on moral beliefs ether prescribe from, or culturally developed from tradition. The biases to alternative gender roles are not religious biases, they are developed from cultural associations that define what is ‘feminine’ and what is ‘masculine’ and how each should act.

We know American society as a whole is less tolerant to  alternative gender roles and we can even say show prejudice to those that behave contrary to their biological sex by contrast and comparison with other societies of the world. Anthropologists do not understand why the notion of the natural women is so prevalent world-wide but this does not mean that women of all ages

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played a lesser role to the dominance of men based on biological sex; nor does it predict a male dominated society in the future based on biological sex. Never-the-less, global attitudes toward alternative gender roles seem more tolerant than American bias to the same and to the extreme of legislating man made laws that forbid the behavior.

Beliefs are one way to analyses the way we act or why we act differently to the same biological stimuli or stimuli that complements one another such as the natural women and the dominate male. Comparing one society to another society that seems to act differently to the same stimuli such as India were the custom of sati is still practiced, the surviving widow leaps onto the husbands funeral pyre may revile that biological determination is true not only on a sexual level but on all accounts.

Likewise, women may not be physically stronger in average comparison to men but in many of the third world countries I have traveled the woman is the house. In many of the cases cited in “Dowry, Bride-Burning, and Female Power in India” by Linda Stone and Caroline James suggest a dominant natural women perceived in this Indian cultural consciousness (Brettell). In most cases cited in the short article, the mother-in-law is coercing the family for more money and uses her son to kill the bride. The power struggle is matriarchal not patriarchal. In first world countries we see very few restraining orders against women who threaten their husbands because the legal system offers protection to the woman that she can not find anywhere else. Not in all cases but in many cases the use of the court system is a way to control men because they can (Legal Anthropology UTSA).

The notion that women and men are essentially different or compliment each other, constituent the idea of 

the natural woman and dominant male cultural consciousness based on moral beliefs ether prescribe, or 

culturally developed from tradition. The 1994 foreign film version of Madame X, ‘Madame X’ 1994 starting 

Sonu who lives a poor lifestyle in India” is an uncensored ethnography or a window opened to a place and time in Indian culture consciousness that the idea of the natural women is paramount to social-economic balance:

“Sonu lives a poor lifestyle in India, along with her sister, Nirmala, brother, Raju, a widowed aunt, and makes a living sharpening knives. She is approached by Police Inspector Vijay, who wants her to impersonate an underworld criminal don, known only as Madam X, who is under his secret custody. Sonu agrees to do so, especially when Vijay offers her a monthly salary of Rs.10,000/-. She learns the mannerism of Madam X, is taught English, and proper etiquette, and inducted in the Madam X gang. While Sonu does her best, she is regarded with suspicion by Madam X's assistant, Jhaka, who she kills. Then her world is turned upside down when the real Madam X escapes, abducts Nirmala and Raju, and severely beats Sonu up. While Vijay wants to help Sonu, he will soon realize that the Madam in 'Madam X' is actually two people - with another powerful individual named 'X' - who is unknown and even more deadly than the Madam. Written by Rajoo (Madam X 1994).

Lastly, there exist a case where the notion that women and men are essentially different or compliment each other, constituent the idea of the natural dominant woman and weaker male cultural consciousness based on moral beliefs ether prescribe, or culturally developed from tradition. The 1994 foreign film version of Madame X, ‘Madame X’ 1994 starting Sonu who lives a poor lifestyle in India” is an uncensored ethnography that suggest by contrast comparison a cultural and biological dominant natural women and weaker male; whereas, the idea of the natural women is paramount to monarchical social-economic balance.

The Grandfather family income reflects the American median family income (1947-1970) rise for 23 years 1947 - 1970, “oscillate and stagnate, despite mothers entering the workforce (Hodges).” The economic balance of the one wage earner home is not offset by women entering the work force which means in today’s terms that it is no longer possible for two to live as cheap as one wage earner per house hold which is paramount to American social-economic balance.

Gregory O’Dell

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Appendix A




Appendix B



Madam X?



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