Western constructing of Indigenous women in North America (Reaction Paper Sample)
This is a response paper for senior level university course "gender,sex,and religion" to the topic of aboriginal women of North America and how their social roles,and possibly religious (maybe practices or participation) were negatively influenced by colonization. Please discuss following issues: 1-introduction. 2-gender roles of aboriginal people in pre-colonization. This also would include religious/ ceremonial practices of males vs. females. 3-how colonization changed it( maybe even why?) 4- consequence of this constructing: discrimination,violence, inequality, deprived of access to traditional cultures/resource,so on. 5-conclusion. Also why is this topic still important to today's north american(Canadian in particular) society.source..
Western constructing of Indigenous women in North America
The course has explored and exposed various aspects regarding the plight and activities of aboriginal women of North America. These are women whose ways of life suffered tremendously after the coming in of the Europeans who had different ideologies that disadvantaged the position of women in the society. It can be noted that the aboriginal societies of North America were organized in such a way that both men and women played significant roles in the social and economic setups of the families. The society was rather balanced in the sense that the dignity of each member was observed and upheld despite the gender affiliation unlike the case after the incoming of the colonialists (Prince & Silva-Wayne, 2004).
In the native aboriginal societal set-up, there were various social activities, events, and roles that were presided over by people of a certain gender as deemed necessary by the traditions and other binding factors. Both men and women played their roles outstandingly to help raise their families and ensure proper coexistence within the societal framework (Hobbs, 2013). Both men and women were known to enjoy considerable personal autonomy where each performed roles that were geared towards the collective benefit of the Aboriginal communities. It is noted in the course that women were viewed and appreciated as life-givers and caretakers who work tirelessly to ensure that their families remained intact. Men were responsible for fending for their families when it came to food and clothing among other necessities. It can be observed that women were adequately responsible for the early socialization of children within the community.
The traditional setup encouraged amicable solutions to problems where men and women were expected to honour and respect each other. They were also expected to care for each other by upholding the virtues of kindness and honesty amongst themselves. According to Hobbs (2013), women were responsible for leading the traditional ceremonies since the entire society was believed to have descended from a woman. People tended to have balanced roles in the societal and family set-ups where coordination and emotional support were vital for the progress of the communities. Women in this society were never considered inferior, and hence they had all their rights intact where they could make decisions that were vital and binding to the entire society. The religious activities could be presided over by women since the society believed that it came into existence as a result of a woman who descended from the skies.
It is widely covered in this course that it reached a time when the Europeans invaded the settlements of the aboriginal people in North America under the colonialism technique. Prince & Silva-Wayne (2004) argue that the presence of the Europeans meant that the Aboriginals had to change their ways of lives and activities to reflect and suit the requirements of the colonialists. It was noted that before the invasion by the Europeans, the Aboriginal communities of North America and Canada in particular lived humbled, dignified, and peaceful lives. The views and plights of women were taken seriously since men and the societies at large regarded them as their equals. The rights of women were eroded after the coming of the Europeans. Men were made the social, political, and legal masters in the new social dispensation that was brought about by the Europeans. Such changes were to reflect the state of affairs back in the European nations where women had condensed rights at that moment. There was massive cultural shift in North America where the colonialists wanted the native Aboriginals to behave and live in a westernized or civilized manner.
The rights of women based on governance and critical decision-making forums and dispensations were curtailed by the Europeans who reduced them to homemakers and subordinate individuals. Women had the responsibility to take care of the children back at home and be answerable to their husbands and other male figures in their lives. It is covered in this course that the imposition of new values by the colonialists led to massive cultural, social, historical, and economic changes that aimed at disadvantaging women in the societies. There was massive dissociation of children from their mothers when the schooling systems were introduced (Prince & Silva-Wayne, 2004). Children had to spend much time in school thus denying their mothers chances to watch over them and guide them accordingly as they grow up.
The course also covers the consequences of the colonization in North America about women are well documented in the sense that the communities went through massive transformations. The most evident one is discrimination where men were encouraged to disregard the contribution of women in the societal well being. It has to be realized that men tended to carry out activities of societal concern without consulting and involving women much as it was the case prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Men were encouraged to think, act, and eventually believed that indeed they were the superior gender whose ideas and ideals had to be acted upon accordingly without proper questioning (Hobbs, 2013). Such a chauvinist mentality led to massive cases of violence against women who seemed to question and or disregard the views of their male counterparts. Men started the idea of treating women coldly and with increased violence as a matter of making them loyal and submissive.
There were massive cases related to inequality in the Aboriginal communities where women become much aligned by the new social ordeals that were being championed by the colonialists. The long struggles for the rights regarding property ownership, voting, and entering contracts that have been witnessed in Canada are a true reflection of the inequality that Aboriginal women suffered after the incomi...
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