Shaping of Gender Roles - Essay Example

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Gender roles in North America had been largely borrowed from European colonists who settled in this part of the world. They had fixed gender roles that divided men and women according to the chores that each was meant to perform. They met some resistance from Native American women in Canada…
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Shaping of Gender Roles
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The accounts by female travelers of the time also reflected upon the traditions of the time and gave us an insight into gender divisions that existed in the times of early colonization. A French Nun, for example, spoke of the way women were treated at the seminaries. The women at the seminaries were trained to be docile. “They dare not even raise their eyes or look at us.” Interestingly the Nun’s accounts consistently call Indians, “Savages”, which is highly racist in tone. She even demeans people of other religious beliefs and feels that Christian beliefs are better. The women at the seminary are instructed in European mode of life. They are trained to be obedient and docile. “She said she loved obedience because she had been forbidden to speak to the pagan.” The woman who had been forbidden to speak to the pagan is harshly punished for disobedience even though she said she was innocent. These accounts highlight the treatment of women in early colonial days and tell a good deal about gender roles and beliefs of European colonists. However the real changes in gender roles were introduced by the Natives whose women were assigned greater power and were not confined to specific chores only. Read More
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