Essay on Gender As The Focal Point Of Their Study

877 Words Oct 29th, 2015 4 Pages
Building on the foundation that Scott laid in the 1980s, using gender as the focal point of their study, historians examine the lived experiences of women in colonial America to demonstrate variations based on their race, status, class, and their assumed gender roles assigned to them based on the culture they are a part of. The first women in colonial Virginia were Indian. As time passed, the colony began to see a gradual presence of European and African women. In the colony, women whether they were planter’s wives, indentured servants, or enslaved, worked in the tobacco fields side by side, whereas unmarried women who owned land could conduct business in similar ways men did. As the colony expanded so did colonists ideas of establishing it as a patriarchal system modeled after the system they were accustomed to in England, one in which men were authorities over their wives, children, and whomever may have depended on them. The notion of developing this type of system was challenged by uneven sex ratios, high mortality rate, and the frequency in which people remarried occurred; the system was quite difficult, if not entirely impossible. By the mid-seventeenth century, lawmakers in the colony began to reveal their thoughts about race and gender where the roles of women were clearly outlined. A good wife in the colony was white, free, and performed domestic labor in her home while raising her children. Women not fitting the description of a good wife were those who were black,…

Related Documents