My Dad Is Gay

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Maasai In the shadow of the famous Mt. Kilimanjaro, among the golden plains of the Great Rift Valley, live a fascinating people. These people are known as the Maasai, a nomadic tribe of cattle herders located in Northern Tanzania and Southern Kenya. Though their tribal life would seem strange to most modern people, perhaps the lives of the Maasai women are the strangest. The life of a Maasai woman is one of degradation and hardship. She has little self worth. Can her life be improved? Will adapting to modern ways help these oppressed women? A Maasai woman is expected to do all of the work of the family including tending the cattle, which is their only source of food and clothing. Her husband expects to be obeyed and expects his needs to be taken care of immediately and without fail. Wife beating is the generally accepted method for controlling, motivating, and punishing used by the husbands according to Cheryl Bentson an American woman who lived in Kenya and made friends with the Massai.

A woman can be expected to be beaten "if the thorn gate is worn out when the husband comes home; if the animals get ticks and the women do not take care of them; if it rains and the hut leaks while the husband is sleeping" (131). Maasai society is blatantly chauvinistic. When asked by researchers if they would like to go to school and get a job in the city, they refuse, claiming their husbands would kill them. For the women of the Maasai, life can be a never-ending chore. The women have no power to change their lives since the men control every aspect of them.

Throughout time, Maasai women have handled most of the backbreaking work in their society, which almost always involves cattle. The Maasai depend...