BLOG 3: Gender relations in the old days

Early French colonizers had a vast masculine space. The only women know with power were nuns which were composed of women and played major roles in the development of the colony’s education, the medical department and social services. Marriage during those years was not a matter of personal choice based on romantic inclinations. The husband was the leader and the wife and children were to obey him. Even with the rule of the husband, he was unable to sell joint assets without consulting the wife.

Indigenous people were encountered during the early colonizer days by both the French and English colonies. Women in indigenous society had a lot of power over men, which the two colonies did not. Aboriginal women contributed to the labour and some even hunted small prey. Furthermore, they were given the right to decide for the entire community. Aboriginal people had the right to choose who they would marry based on their romantic relationships, they were also given the right to have sexual relationships before marriage.

Today, a lot has changed from the culture of indigenous people. Yet, some similarities have not vanished. Today, similar to the indigenous society, the woman has the right over the property she owns and can decide to share with her husband. Any financial decision made over it cannot be executed without the consent of the women. Personally, the fact that men were authorized to marry multiple women even when they possess such a strong role in that society struck me the most. I would think that women in such a society would keep a hold onto their husband, but on the contrary, they allowed them to have multiple relationships. Indigenous cultures show that women have always had an essential role in society and that the culture propagated by European countries which believes that women should not work and always be dominated by men is wrong.

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