Sample Article Review on Iam Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby

Iam Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby


In the article, Identity as a balancing Act, Buss argues that the women are likely to go silent because of the fear of self-expression and assertion (60). Racial and ethnic factors play an important role in instigating the fear of self-assertion among women in the community. The fear of self-assertion is a learned fear in which the society perceives self-assertion among women as an act of aggression and a sacrifice of femaleness. In addition, male coercion in society makes women lose their identities in an act of fitting in society.

Buss’ arguments of female identity loss in society is evident in Kirkby’s book, I Am Hutterite. The book engages the reader to understand the Hutterite colony in Southern Minetoba. Kirkby and her parents, together with six other siblings packed their belongings and left the colony in search for a better life. However, the family experienced trouble settling in an unfamiliar territory. Kirkby gives an example of an unfamiliar way of life by confirming that she had never tasted cheese or macaroni-a delicacy that was not common in her previous Hittite community. Therefore, Kirkby had a choice of reinventing herself in a strange community to fit in the society.

Kirkby (46) agrees that the transition to a different geographic location, away from her familiar Hittite community, was overwhelming. Kirkby, therefore, had to deny her heritage to have friends at home and in school. The book retraces the steps from 1969 when the family left the Hittite colony to seek a better life in an unfamiliar territory. According to Buss (61), women are likely to lose their identities in a community that is majorly controlled by male superiority. Therefore, to regain their identities, women should reflect on who they are and what is important to them. They should organize their identities and identity attributes to form a meaningful construct of their personality.

Kirkby reveals the rich tradition and history of the Hutterite community. Living in a foreign community made her lose her identity, but she tries to reclaim it and describes the process in her book. As a ten-year-old girl in an unfamiliar place, Kirkby had a difficult time adjusting to a new way of living. She found that it was impossible to make new friends at school because of her Hutterite culture. Buss (72) explains that women try to adjust their identities in society by exercising silence. In addition, she argues that women imitate male gender patterns in society to remain relevant in society. In addition, women lose their form of female identification patterns because of the attempt to have a say in society. In the case of Kirkby, she was forced to remove her head scarf during school times because it was a constant reminder of her Hutterite culture. She resorted to wearing similar clothes to other girls at her school to blend in.

In conclusion, the loss of identity and culture can be a devastating experience for most people. Furthermore, the loss of identity and tradition amongst women is devastating because of male coercion in society. Buss explains how women resort to remain silent, not because they are weak, but because they want to retain their identity as females. In relation to Kirkby’s story, a reader can understand the struggles that women go through in society.

Works cited

Buss, Helen M. Repossessing the World: Reading Memoirs by Contemporary Women. Waterloo, Ont: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2002. Print.

Kirkby, Mary-Ann. I Am Hutterite. S.I.: Thomas Nelson, 2010.Print.