Robert M. Baum of the University of Missouri has been conducting research on the Diola people of (what is now) Senegal for nearly 30 years. Despite his many visits and increasing status level within the Diola communities (and his access to male religious leaders and male religious shrines), he continued to be stymied in his efforts to research and understand Diola women's religious traditions — especially when it came to the Ehugna, a fertility shrine accessible only to women who had given birth. Religious leaders refused to be interviewed about it, he was consistently denied access and has finally determined that "...access to women's ritual spaces and esoteric knowledge may be too restricted for male researchers." Yeah, Bob, now you know how women anthropological researchers feel much of the time. Sucks, doesn't it? [Eureka Alert]
Methinks Bob needs to rent a copy of Mrs. Doubtfire for some creative ideas on how to break into that shrine. Or you know, get a woman on his committee and ask her to take part. Synergy, Bob. Synergy, creative thinking, a wig and some pancake make-up can solve almost any problem.