almost how I feel
I don’t know what I was expecting when I first took medical anthropology, but I know that if anything, I learned a lot. I think one of the most notable things I gained was what it brought to my attention: the naivete sometimes of the rest of anthropology, and the stubbornness of biomedicine. It’s an unhappy balance as of now, for both teams I think.
Anthropologists cater much more to different cultures, but in a way that could be damaging if they allow certain aspects continue unaffected by western input on medicine (western being the general equivalent to biomedicine, although amazingly enough even within “Western” regions there is still differentiation). On the other hand, medical anthropologists, or general advocates of biomedicine dealing with international populations, can have a failed attempt of assessing the right approach to curing diseases in these non-western cultures. (I find it weird using “western” and “non-western” in any kind of anthropological talk because those terms are intrinsically ethnocentric. The reason I use them is literally for a lack of better terms in my own vocabulary- I don’t know nearly enough cultures to differentiate them specifically- hopefully something that will change as I become more invested in particular cultures further on in my studies.) Biomedicine can often be insulting to cultures’ practices and beliefs, and I think this shows up in the medical anthropology class that I’ve taken. Questions have been posed in ways that don’t say “biomedicine is the right and non-western practices are wrong”, but the entire approach is essentially to disprove the other cultures and establish biomedicine in their place, as if to say “See now, you should just take our system because it’s just better.” The problem I have being a more cultural anthropologist in a medical anthropology class, is that I can’t help but come to the edge of the argument and question whether it’s right. There are indeed cases, where it’s change your culture, or die, and there are cases where it’s change your culture, or deal with these diseases. I think I must have missed something important in class on the differentiation in approaches to non-western cultures. I would only hope it wouldn’t be “change your culture”, but something more open-minded, like “integrate this into your culture”, and I’m not sure that’s there, or even possible all of the time.
Then, there come the parts of culture that I want to change, being who I am with my own opinions, and I have to deal with myself. In the end it comes down to accepting their culture and letting it happen, or trying to change it, which is insulting and disrespectful to them. I think mainly about gender roles when I speak about wanting to change things. There are still so many cultures where women are oppressed, and yet masculinity is such a cornerstone of the culture that it would be ignorant of me to assert my own ideas of inequality. In the US with the Civil Rights Movement, we as a nation decided that there was no such things as separate but equal, and that is how gender is still approached, here and all over the world. That is what feminism stands for— the true equal— and cultures are so hostile towards it because it offends their norms. I find it acceptable to reject this normality in my own culture because I am a member of it, but this doesn’t translate easily for me, not to take action in other cultures simply because I’m not a member, because I so desparately want to be able to approach the entire human family as humans, equally, and not separately. This then makes my moral foundation of humanity come to breach the guidelines of anthropology. That is where I find difficulty.
I realize I’ve probably talked in circles in this post, but reviewing for my anthropology test today and reading some of the questions brings up this argument again that I have with myself. It’s really quite a mild argument now, since I have yet to actually deal with another actual culture. I am a little intimidated by the fact that someday I will actually have to confront this argument within me in reality, and I can’t help but wonder how I’ll turn out. I’m sure I would change depending on the cultural nuances and situations on who I’m speaking to. It’s a little daunting, the idea that I might have to state contradicting beliefs. I wonder why that thought unsettles me? Perhaps I’m still in the stage of mentality that wants a right and wrong, because I know how terrible it feels to be in the wrong, or see someone hurt by the wrong, whatever the wrong may be. It’s such a broad word that I fear I’ve lost my specificity in the argument, and for anyone reading this, have probably over-generalized to an extent that rendered this monologue a little useless. Well, maybe not entirely useless, but perhaps more accessory.
xD Ahaha! I saw that too, and didn’t realize you might see the previous post! Fantastic response Fudgy~
Everyone in my house really likes you. They talk about you a lot when I’m home.
My mom just friended someone of facebook (and I just realized that Facebook has changed the word befriended to friended WHOA) who as their school put “University of Hardknocks, a.k.a. Screw-U”. This person turns out to be a mutual friend of my brother and other brother’s friend. Weird.
You reap what you sow.
♪ Workin in the library, gettin creative writin done. ♫
Two poems, check. Two short stories, I will be getting there.
I would take this small mental break time to reflect back on the year, but I should really just use the bathroom and study some medical anthropology. I’m a little scared for my grades… I don’t know what to expect. AAAAAH stress~ I got an 87 on the second paper, which is sad but at the same time quite understandable. I did have the hardest time on that paper. I hope the test will be normal…
nothingforitmrfrodo asked: Oh, Kathaleen. You think too much when it comes to writing. And worry too much. If it doesn't come naturally then it best not come at all. Write what you want to write and don't worry about if it fits with what other people want it/expect it to be. If you enjoy what you write, then other people will enjoy reading it. That's what I've found.
UGH ANNIE YOU GIVE THE BEST ADVICE. Thank you. As much as I want to believe my stories are good, it’s really easy to shoot myself down when it comes to writing. I think that’s half the reason I draw, and half the reason I still don’t draw comics. Instead I try and write stuff that will at least get me a good grade (because gpa is like triple important when tens of thousands of dollars are on the line…). It’s very unfulfilling… at least now though the only time I’ll be writing creative fiction will be all for myself. I will definitely take your words to heart.
I am so tempted to push all of the blame onto my creative writing class for me not knowing where to go with my work.
I’m writing my cover letter for creative writing, and even there I seem to have difficulty just being honest. I feel like at least I could get something worth writing about out if I wrote on tumblr about the same thing- who knows why.
I’m submitting a handful of
really dumb fantastic doodles to Amendment’s Zine, (which is VCU’s socially progressive literary journal’s collection of flash fiction pieces from their events as well as other awesome art and such). I thought it would be fun to share one of the drawings I did. My talent is overwhelming isn’t it?
MAY 3, 2013 | THE SYNDICATE
Where do I even begin?
I could never say enough about this crew, so I will just keep it simple: this group is a huge reason why I am so happy and inspired in life right now. Before I came to VCU, I felt hesitant (but hopeful) about how I’d like it here, but these kids…these are very important and special people to me, and the experiences we’ve gone through after only two semesters/one school year together are things I would never trade for anything else.
Thank you so much for being there for me, guys.
I love us so very much.
Done with the dolls and clothes~ now to think of the presentation…