180. Primitive women
© Bruce Goodman 8 April 2014

What a thrill it was to be asked by one’s anthropology professor to take part in a survey over the summer break.

Cynthia-Rose’s anthropology professor (call-me-Margaret) was writing a book. The two were to go to a remote Pacific island and interview women about traditional family customs and values. Cynthia-Rose and Professor Margaret landed at the main island’s airport, and then took a boat to a remote, outer island. The island was unruined by Western cultural values. What thoughts did primitive women have? What made them tick? How did aboriginal males treat women? What could Western women’s movements learn from these descendants of the once-thought Noble Savage? How could women of the West help liberate these women, perhaps enslaved by tenets of yesteryear?

Margaret and Cynthia-Rose asked all sorts of questions, some rather personal. The women of the island were amazing. So honest! So matter-of-fact! So straightforward! They even offered detailed accounts of what happened in bed. The anthropologists headed back home laden with notes.

Margaret wrote her book.

There were some things, however, that Margaret and Cynthia-Rose were never told: Kahauolupea had a doctorate in Ancient Greek from Harvard, Akeakamai was addicted to Days of Our Lives (which she watched on television every afternoon), Hanauhoulani was the island’s resident doctor, and ‘Ano’i pua had popped over from the main island to have a break from the hectic pace in the court room. How the women of the island hooted with laughter when they read their cock-and-bull stories in Margaret’s book.

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