Saturday, April 01, 2006

Of course she should also cite Miriam...

Mommy wars -- a false battle - Los Angeles Times: "IN HER MUCH-DISCUSSED new book, 'Mommy Wars,' Leslie Morgan Steiner likens the tensions between working mothers and stay-at-home mothers to 'a catfight.' Personally, I think it's more like dueling roosters: a cockfight.

In a classic ethnographic essay on Bali, anthropologist Clifford Geertz described the Balinese cockfight as a form of 'deep play.' For the Balinese, Geertz argued, the 'meaning' of cockfights went far beyond the surface conflict between the birds. Cockfights formed 'a symbolic structure' that both reflected and affected every aspect of the Balinese social structure.

When you apply Geertz's insights about deep play to the alleged mommy wars, the Balinese cockfight and the mommy wars have a lot in common. "

Nice insights from Rosa Brooks, about whom I know nothing at all.

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