De inmaduro a duro: lo simbolico femenino y los esquemas andinos de genero
From Unripe to Petrified
Isbell, Billie Jean
My motivation for writing this chapter is to call attention to a 'Feminine Symbolic' that I believe constitutes the core of Andean conceptualizations of gender. The argument that I will present is as follows: The feminine, as an abstraction, is an unmarked category, whereas the masculine is elaborated, or marked. In addition, androgyny is a primary force in the continual recreation and reproduction of the world motivated by female sex and desire, not by biological reproduction. Such a gender schema provides an alternative to Lacan's symbolic which makes patriarchy seem inevitable. The second half of this analysis deals with ethnographic materials largely drawn from my fieldwork in the village of Chuschi, department of Ayacucho, Peru in the 1970's. I examine gender formation along the life course and into the after-life.
Feminine Symbolic; Gender; Chuschi; Andean Culture; Peru; Sexuality; Fertility; Ritual
Previously Published As
Isbell, Billie Jean. De inmaduro a duro: lo simbolico femenino y los esquemas andinos de genero. Chap. 8 of Mas alla del silencio: las fronteras de genero en los Andes, D. Y. Arnold, compiladora. La Paz: Biblioteca Andina, 1997