Relative Status of Men and Women

Aside from what has already been presented, it is difficult to determine in an absolute sense, the degree to which gender asymmetry or male dominance functions in Maya culture. Whether one is studying the imposition of Spanish colonialism, or listening to Mayas speaking on the subject, it is possible to imagine that there is still an ongoing cultural conflict between two different ways of defining male and female relations. This conflict is even accelerating with the infusion of tourism and its Western cash economy, which tends to accentuate males as wage earners. Certainly more specialized research is necessary in this area, and still one's conclusions would be affected by the researcher's theoretical orientation. But it is still important to note that many women do control their household economy and are in charge of budgeting what money there is. Sons who work in Cancún can give all their earnings to their father or mother when they arrive home every 2 weeks, and are given back their share when they leave to return to Cancún. Perhaps what is most significant is understanding, for a given community or region, what factors are making it possible to adhere to Maya cultural norms, which seem to emphasize the complementary nature of gender relations, and which other factors are causing Western male dominance to be more exaggerated. In an area as large as Yucatán there is a great range of variation in the mixture of social, economic, political, and religious factors which will influence the relative local status of the genders.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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