Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

22 November 2015

Searching for signs of womenfolk at the museum

Two #365FeministSelfie friends were in town this weekend. Today I went with them to the Field Museum. The Field holds a special place in my heart because I worked there during college in the Fishes division. But today we spent most of our time in the anthropology exhibits learning about Africa and the Americas.

About half way through our visit I realized I wasn't seeing many pieces showcasing women's contributions to the human journey.  There were a fair number of amazing baby carriers from tribes across the Americas. This one to the right even has a built in baby mobile! Good gawd, parenting hasn't really change much, has it? Have baby, put on back/in crib, get back to work. Distract baby, get back to work.

But please revisit the top photo and pay attention to the last line.

"But because few anthropologist have studied Tuareg women, we don't know the cloth's other meanings." 

Holy truth, Batgirl!

I'm going to ask a few anthropology professors if that statement is still true. But it really struck us as pretty awesome that the exhibit was honest with the shortcomings of the science at that point.

People often ask me why it matters so much to have women in science. And yes, men could research women's lives, but looking at the what we know of women via science, anthropology, etc, we see that when we have more women in the field, we end up knowing more about women. Maybe we still don't know much about the Tuareg women and if that's the truth then someone just got themselves a fab dissertation topic. You're welcome!  

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