Significant development of America depends on the efforts of American nation including the men and women. Beside men, women contributed in the political, economical, social and cultural development of America. Native American men and women both worked side by side with vigorous aspiration.
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In particular, enthusiasm of Native American women is remarkable in the American history as they participated in the war fields, domestic, politics and other activities. This essay shall analyze the changing experiences of Native American Women from the context of the book “Through Women’s eye: An American History” written by Ellen DuBois and L. Dumenil.
This essay shall discuss the prominent factors that affected views and social values of Native American Women in the late nineteenth century, variation of White and Native American women, boarding school experiences of Native American, and attempts of Americanization.
In early nineteenth century, lives of Native American women were entirely depend on men and believed in ‘submission to men’. They worked in home to nurture their children and worked less in the fields but still played a dominant role in the family (Dubois & Dumenil, 2008).
By the end of the nineteenth century, an astonishing change in the lives of native women took place. Christian missionaries encouraged the social mores of the native women. This mainly appreciated their cultural values and developed confidence to interact. Apart of working in homes Native women participated in the wars, economical and political phases of life (Dubois & Dumenil, 2008).
A value of native women differs on the bases of their cultural activities. White women were urbanized as compared to native women as they were educated and literate whereas the native women belonged to conservative environment (Simonsen, 2006).
The values of white women and Native women differs on the basis of the work they performed, the white women worked as imperials of domesticity and native women worked as a domestic labor. Native women were more enthusiastic towards participating in wars their work was prominent, but the white women participated in other political activities (Simonsen, 2006).
Native Women lived a life of restrictions because of living bounded life. Going out for boarding schools was impossible and unpredictable experience for them. Native girls were pushed to learn English after the era of war. Even though they attended school, they still had to go through a certain degree of discrimination.
Native girls were brought up in a family system where independence and self-sufficiency was considered as a taboo for women (Bari & Cayleff, 1993). Native women were sent to boarding schools where they were not even allowed to meet their parents at all.
Native women had to suffer discrimination as they were sent to work as servants for white people. Consequently, they were treated as savages that appeared as a discouraging manner for them. Boarding school were not a good experience for native women because it somewhat opposed their cultural and traditional rituals (Bari & Cayleff, 1993).
It has been noted that there are two classes of women who have rather opposed or supported the attempt of Americanization. As a matter of fact, it became to observation that native women greatly opposed the concept of Americanization. The reason behind their opposition was the fact that Americanization did not respect their traditional and cultural values (Bok, 2005).
Although they worked besides the white women but still they were victims of discrimination which was a result of Americanization. On the other hand, supporters thought that attempts of Americanization can be helpful in excluding discrimination and cultural gaps between people and will provide platform for prosperity (Bok, 2005).
Bari, B., & Cayleff, S. (1993). Wings of gauze: women of color and the experience of health and illness. Michigan: Wayne State University Press.
Bok, E. (2005). The Americanization of Edward Bok. New York: Cosimo Inc.
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Dubois, E., & Dumenil, L. (2008). Through women’s eyes: an American history with documents. Michigan: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Simonsen, J. (2006). Making home work: domesticity and Native American assimilation in the American West, 1860-1919. Carolina: UNC Press Books.