Blog 3 : Gender Roles Back Then

In every culture, their is a “role” for every gender. For example, in the old days, men were in charge of working and they would never be home because they were in charge of “taking care” of the family financially. On the other hand, women had to stay home all day, cook, clean and take care of the children.

Based on the reading “Gender and Cultural diversity in the Early Contact Period”, we can see that when the Europeans arrived in North America, they had a whole different view on genders compared to the Aboriginals. For Aboriginals, men and women were equal. They could all do the same tasks, and nobody had more power then the opposite gender. Indigenous groups were characterized by cooperation, consultation, and sexual division of labor. This meant that everyone had to support each other to get to their goals, like getting food for the village. They also had given tasks to both men and women so nobody would be stuck doing nothing. Work was always divided between sex in these cultures, but it was never unequal. Both of their tasks were important for the survival of the groups. I also noticed that they had “sex- gender systems” that today we call “two- spirits”. This meant that aboriginals believed in having both genders in their body. This really shows that they saw themselves equal to one another. No gender had more power, it was just everyone being at the same level, no matter the sex.They valued gender and the Europeans should have done the same.

 The Europeans had different views of gender compared to the Aboriginals. Men were considered more stronger than women, which should have not been the case because women can do the same things as men.  Although, women were still important in their society. They played a role in the development of education, social services and medical infrastructures. They mainly played a role of how many people perceived women: being a housewife.

This mentality of women being housewives never left our society. Today, it still seems normal and okay for a lady to stay home all day and take care of the children while the husband works. This way of perceiving gender roles should have never existed in the past as it still follows us .

 The thing that struck me the most in the European culture was that marriage was not based on a matter of a personal romantic choice but as a social institution promoted by the state. The wife and the children had to obey to the husband no matter what.   This then followed in the Indigenous culture . The fact that they did not believe in marriage being something romantic is crazy because many people would get married .I believe this is why today some people just don’t value marriage anymore .

Alexia I

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