|1.||that a society has a gender ideology, a single monolithic outlook on male and female;|
|2.||that female status is similarly singular and monolithic; in other words, that one can describe "female status" in a society in a unitary and composite way; and|
|3.||that there are two simple and monolithic categories: male and female.|
In this chapter I argue that gender ideology, female status, and gender categorization are all highly complex and multifaceted cultural constructions and, as such, are characterized by a high degree of multiplicity of conception in any single society. No society, in other words, has a definitive gender ideology, a simple "female status," or a single way of categorizing male and female. I will illustrate these points with examples drawn from the Hua, a population of 3,100 horticulturists in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Ethnographers and students of the New Guinea Highlands, in particular the Eastern Highlands, have focused ever since the inception of ethnographic work on a set of ideas, behaviors, and institutions that is widespread in the area and that has come to be described as a manifestation of an ideology of "male dominance." This ideology certainly exists among the