By Catherine A. Cavanaugh, Randi R. Warne
Ladies performed an essential position within the shaping of the west among the Eighteen Eighties and Forties. but strangely little is understood approximately their contributions or the variations intercourse and gender made to the possibilities and stumbling blocks girls encountered. Telling Tales covers various topics―African-American payment on Vancouver Island, prairie childbirth narratives, and Mennonites as household servants are yet 3 examples―while addressing the topics of colonization, payment, and community-building. Essays specialise in girls from either minority and dominant cultures and mirror the West’s regularly combined inhabitants.
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Additional resources for Telling Tales: Essays in Western Women’s History
Gender, Psychology, Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999). ] Surely the distinct population patterns and features common to Anglophone frontiers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries justify some advance hypotheses on the part of feminist historians concerned with the dynamics of sex in history? . Will men be found primarily assigned to housework and childcare on the late-nineteenth-century Canadian prairies or New Zealand highlands? Will a double-standard of sexual morality be discovered in the Dakota wild west or Queensland outback .
McManus concludes that a “separate-but-equal conﬁguration of women’s labour had considerable social utility in structuring respectable femininity . . and maintaining [a] position of racial and ethnic privilege,” but it was much less powerful as a radical political tool. We know that women went West as travellers, adventurers, economic migrants, and settlers. But we know surprisingly little about their daily lives on settlement frontiers. In Chapter , Nanci Langford explores the question of women’s reproduction under rough frontier conditions.
She contends that, while the mission ﬁeld released both single and married women from certain expectations around gender, married women were more constrained due to their symbolic function as role models to Native women. Carrying the burden of “true womanhood,” missionary wives were expected to “civilize” Native women, to teach them to adopt imperial women’s domestic ways. As Rutherdale observes, male missionaries had no parallel obligation to transform Native men; indeed, such a venture would have signiﬁcantly undermined the raced and gendered infrastructures of imperial dominance.