Wayward Women

Wayward Women

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Written with uncommon grace and clarity, this extremely engaging ethnography analyzes female agency, gendered violence, and transactional sex in contemporary Papua New Guinea. Focusing on Huli qpassenger women, q (women who accept money for sex) Wayward Women explores the socio-economic factors that push women into the practice of transactional sex, and asks how these transactions might be an expression of resistance, or even revenge. Challenging conventional understandings of qprostitutionq and qsex work, q Holly Wardlow contextualizes the actions and intentions of passenger women in a rich analysis of kinship, bridewealth, marriage, and exchange, revealing the ways in which these robust social institutions are transformed by an encompassing capitalist economy. Many passenger women assert that they have been treated qolsem maketq (like market goods) by their husbands and natal kin, and they respond by fleeing home and defiantly appropriating their sexuality for their own purposes. Experiences of rape, violence, and the failure of kin to redress such wrongs figure prominently in their own stories about becoming qwayward.q Drawing on village court cases, hospital records, and womena€™s own raw, caustic , and darkly funny narratives, Wayward Women provides a riveting portrait of the way modernity engages with gender to produce new and contested subjectivities.For example, a womana#39;s father and brothers should never eat her bridewealth pigs since this is considered akin to ... or who do not adequately express gratitude for gifts from others: they are told that they will grow up to a€œeat their own shit.

Title:Wayward Women
Author: Holly Wardlow
Publisher:Univ of California Press - 2006-05-08

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