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Abstract

Research on women as political actors has tended to focus on their separateness from men, the opposition of their goals from male goals, and on their state of oppression. It is argued that this problematic orientation stems from three primary sources of theoretical bias current anthropological definitions of politics which emphasize power and conflict, an acceptance of the universal oppression of women, and the linking of gender to the public versus private domain paradigm. Suggestions are made to avoid these persistent biases -- troublesome straw men and women --- and to improve anthropological approaches to women as political actors.

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