An Anthropologist and Feminism, 1974, page 1

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Janet Siskind

In assessing the influence of feminssm on my research
and writing, it seems to divide into several categores which
effect my awareness: (1) the personal fact that I am a woman
and an anthropologist; (2) a vague something in the air, a‘
cultural influence welcoming to ethnographic data on woman;
and (3) conscious scholarly attempts to understand the roles
of women and their‘determinants.’ ‘ I

In writing an ethnography based on my fieldwork in the
tropical forest of Peru my attempt was to analyze the work-

ings of a small society while communicating the individuality

of the men and women I had studied. The people I worked with‘

.were Indians, members of a tribal society, defining "tribal"

as a social organization based solely on ties of kinship and’
marriage. Women were quite naturally an important part of
this ethnography. IThis is due both to the fact that my in-
formants and friends in the field were women as well as men
and to a shift in anthropological culture that is receptive‘
today to the proposition that women play at least some part
in the ongoing activity of any society. Most male anthropo~'

logists are aware now that their paucity of information on

the women in the societies they study is indeed a lack. This

fact seemed quite unimportant several years ago when, after