That’s something that you, a woman, know about as well.

Nisa says this to Shostak in Chapter 15, “Growing Older,” following a description of how pregnancy follows on the heels of sexual activity. Nisa has been talking in general about sexual relationships between women and men, as well as her own sexual relationships with men. She voices her displeasure with her lack of lovemaking with Bo, her current husband, and says that if she had married someone more desirous of her, she might have gotten pregnant again. She explains that having frequent sex increases the chances of becoming pregnant, then addresses Shostak with the above words. This is one of several interjections in this section that Nisa aims directly at Shostak, and it reinforces the idea that Nisa is not simply recounting her life story for a field anthropologist but having an intimate conversation with another woman. She uses these addresses to enhance their bond.

This statement reveals Nisa’s understanding of Shostak’s mission to uncover the universal conditions of womanhood among diverse cultures. Nisa recognizes that she is not merely being asked to narrate her own history but also to explain the conditions of being a !Kung woman and of being a woman in general. She recognizes that biological similarities can establish a bond that transcends cultural barriers and that certain experiences are the same for women no matter where they live or what language they speak. In gesturing outward from her story to encompass Shostak’s own experience, Nisa seeks to bridge the cultural divide between them. It does not matter that Shostak’s experience as a woman is rooted in a culture that is completely unfamiliar to Nisa. Nisa still sees their womanhood as a basis for oneness of mind on issues that have to do with being female.