Gender Roles As A Multi Layered Story Taking Place Over The Course Of Fifty Years

1177 Words Oct 9th, 2016 5 Pages
Gender Roles in the Ojibwe Society
Love Medicine is a multi-layered story taking place over the course of fifty years. These characters, both reflect traditional as well as changing gender roles in Ojibwe society. The main characters in the story seem to be trying to balance the old role with changing role. Some succeed while others do not. This paper will address the primary characters and their attempts at maintaining traditional gender roles as poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and infidelity surround them. These are problems that the Ojibwe knew nothing of until life on the reservation became the norm. A short description of traditional gender roles in Ojibwe society will preface an analysis of the main male and female characters’ success or failure in balancing the old with the new.
Traditionally gender roles in Ojibwe society were distinguished early by the simple fact of giving an infant a male or female name. From birth the native Americans were working towards their specific gender role that had been practiced for years. While the children would stay with the mother until they were weaned, they would then be taught their specifc gender role by the parent who represented their particular gender. Once a child went from infancy to youth, the boy followed the father and the girl followed the mother, both learning appropriate gender- specific activities. In traditional Ojibwe society despite the fact that there where male-centric roles, and female-centric roles, the…

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