Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#83522 - 10/13/02 09:05 PM The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
The anthropologist Henri Schirmer pointed out that " with the Tuareg, the idea that a man is free and a brigand is so inseparable that the same verb (Iohagh) means both 'he is free' and 'he pillages'. "

In Tuareg society the men wear veils, the women don't.
The tagelmoust was designed expressly for protection against blowing sand and the sun. But traditionally the tagelmoust is kept in place even when at home, sipping tea with the cup passed under the veil and keeping the mouth covered. In certain clans the tagelmoust is even kept in place when sleeping and it is said, when making love. The Tuareg have forgotten the reason they do this tagelmoust. It must be right, they say, for it was the fashion of their forefathers.

The Tuaregs are a desert semi-nomadic people of the Sahara, and as muslims, although errant in their beliefs, and as bandits, although a proper caravan with reasonable booty hasn't passed their best ambush hills in fifty years or more, the men are entitled to four wives, who, under law, must be treated equally.
Now here's the catch. It is not enough for them to treat their females equality. They, all four disconcerting* females, must each think that they are being treated equally. So catch 22, each Tuareg male, ha ha, has but one wife.

Tuareg women--young and old, vassal and noble--look and act like aristocrats. They seem not just independent but occasionally overbearing: They leave their husbands and return to their parents on the slightest pretext. All matters of inheritance pass through the female line, which is one reason the men find divorce so difficult, and why many Tuareg men prefer to delay marriage until after their mid-twenties, and content themselves with non-Tuareg concubines.

Traditionally, women are held in such respect that they are seldom molested, and rape is vanishingly uncommon, punishable by death."Men and women toward each other are for the eyes and for the heart, and not just the bed" is a common Tuareg aphorism. After marriage, a Tuareg woman is expected to keep a number of male friends who are encouraged to visit her tent even while the husband is away.

In a society with unsubmissive females and males so often away for extended periods, there are many curiosities of belief. Gustav Nachtigal found that "no Tuareg doubts for a moment that a child can 'sleep' in the womb for many years, or even forever. This pious faith gives a frivolous wife a welcome and convenient pretext for representing to her husband in a respectable light any increase in the family that might have taken place in his absence. The embryo of the child was conceived before he set out on his long journey but God then neglected to waken it on time to effective life, to birth. In such a case, indeed, a husband may be unable completely to suppress his doubts, but against the possibility there is nothing to be said."

Wording in blue denotes direct quotes from the book
SAHARA: A NATURAL HISTORY ~ Marq de villiers and Sheula Hirtle

* Note:[post edit] There....thats better.


#83523 - 10/14/02 06:07 AM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
Alex Williams Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
Very interesting. Reminds of a quip from the old television show "The Adams Family":

MORTICIA: Gomez, do you know the punishment for bigamy?

GOMEZ: Why yes dear: two wives.

#83524 - 10/14/02 06:59 AM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
discentering females
The fringe element, eh?

#83525 - 10/14/02 08:59 AM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
So tell us milum...doesn't that veil get a bit cumbersome?

Almost sounds like an opera: Der Tagelmouse (or should that be die Tagelmouse? )

#83526 - 10/14/02 11:24 AM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Here is a very good URL about origins of Tuareg culture:

#83527 - 10/14/02 11:39 AM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
i have a bit of a problem with the title of this post The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women--

since the copy you posted noted that the men have concubines, (and the women have male friends) i wondering were the sexist behaviour lies...? both get to enjoy the company of members of the opposite sex-- basically with no questions or problems.

is it that goods and assets pass through the female line? making it hard for men to divorce? but i suspect the women, who inherit the assests are also responsible for the children.... so its not like they are keeping them, and leaving the kids in poverty with the father... (as sometimes happens in patriarchal societies, or modified ones like ours)

rape, it notes is almost unknown (so when women have power, they don't tend to make life more dangerous for men, by false accusations) -- (and no society is perfect, the are always both evil men and women so some crime is bound to happen)

its an interesting piece, but i don't understand the title.
what behaviour do you see as sexist?

my other obsession

#83528 - 10/14/02 06:26 PM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
redpepper Offline

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 10
what behaviour do you see as sexist?
I think Milum was just being a little playful, de Troy. Since women, not men, have the upper hand in Tuareg society, Milum turned the "sexist pig" label upside down to make a good headline. It did catch our attention, didn't it?

In any case, since this benign people have customs which are rooted in ignorance and superstition (veils worn indoors and in bed for reasons no Tuareg can remember, fanciful notions about the development of their young en ventre sa mere .... and who knows what else), they are hardly a model for any of us to emulate, whether male or female. At least, those are my thoughts. I mean no offence, dear lady.

#83529 - 10/14/02 06:48 PM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
i was fully aware that milo was just trying to wind me (and others) up with his use of the term sexist pig.. but its my nature to let him think he is getting to me.... but mostly i just try to make him justify his terms... sometimes he expressed thoughts i don't fully agree with, but they are often well thought out, and worth hearing..

my other obsession

#83530 - 10/14/02 06:51 PM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
And sometimes, they just crack us up!

#83531 - 10/14/02 06:55 PM Re: The Sexist Pigism of Tuareg Women
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
cafefully Consuelo, or you'll give him a swelled head, and well who know what sort of word play that could lead too... after all you the chief of the gutter police now right? or did i miss understand and was it the other job you were taking?

my other obsession

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8966 Members
16 Forums
13869 Topics
222519 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
dorrick, thedesertsimmom, LostAuthor, Joe_Lee, David_Lee
8966 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 47 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 53
LukeJavan8 38
may2point0 34
delirium 4
DavidLaurence 1
Curtis 1
A C Bowden 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11613
tsuwm 10538
LukeJavan8 8538
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
wofahulicodoc 6936
AnnaStrophic 6511
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2016 Wordsmith