Essay Sample on Portrayals of Women Throughout History (Colonial Times)

Published: 2022-12-01
Essay Sample on Portrayals of Women Throughout History (Colonial Times)
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Women History
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 833 words
7 min read

I am Elvis Sheldon a native African American woman born in 1750. Since my birth, I have spent most of my life in Jameson, Virginia. Jameson happens to be one of the colonies where the British have recently inhabited and taken control of the nearby lands. As a black woman and an indentured servant, my life has proven to be a challenging one more so during these colonial times. I landed in America through my great grandfather who was among the slaves exported to America during the industrial era. As such, I can confidently confirm that I am an American by birthright.

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As a woman, my experience in the ongoing colonial conquests highly been different as a result of my race, gender roles defined by my cultural background and my status in the society. Being an indentured servant, I am required to issue labor in the tobacco fields alongside planter's wives and slaves. Having no wifehood and parental responsibilities, I am also barred from engaging in any form of business. I got married at the age of 17 where my rights were instantaneously reduced. Consequent to my marriage, the colonialists enforced a patriarchal system similar to England's system which empowers men to exercise authority over their wives and children. However, this system has since failed due to the steadfast adherence to the traditional patriarchal system by the Americans and regular marriages.

More recently, the British colonialists have imposed laws which have overlooked women from the African community and whereas they have proven to favor the plight of white women. The introduction of colonial rules is inclined towards promoting the division of roles among women along racial lines. Today, there are two groups of women including white free women whose responsibility is to perform house chores and raise her children and women from the African community whose roles are to serve their masters. The typical free white woman is often considered as a good wife according to the colonialists. On the other hand, people like myself, a black woman is regarded as an agricultural laborer. However as time advances, am hopeful that the laws are more likely to allow people from the African community, like me, to graduate from being a mere working indentured servant to becoming a woman who is likely to attend to her family. However, the responsibilities of being a wife and a mother apply to all women in Virginia regardless of one's class or race. As such, the prevalence of male dominance has since restricted women from being a part of almost all essential roles in society.

Society hardly observes the career rights and the legal rights of women. It is nearly impossible to find women serving top positions in the workplace during these colonial times. Women who have access to work in the lowest job ranks in their respective workplaces where oppression has significantly thrived, and labor regulations are rarely applied. The status of women in the labor field is because women are mostly mothers and their legal profession is wifehood. However, it is to my belief that women empowerment will commence shortly. Women will be able to obtain an education which will broaden their opportunities to secure meaningful jobs.

Colonial Virginia has hardly allowed women to participate in the democratic process. The Graeco Roman Empire is another important culture which banned women from participating in politics and dictated that their role was to stay at home. In our region, women do not have a right to vote or vie for political positions. Ironically, Greece, a mighty empire, is known as the inventor of democracy but discriminates a specific gender (women) from exercising its democratic rights. However, in the colonialists' nations, women tend to engage in political matters equally as men. For instance, in the British Isles and the Celtic culture of Gaul, women tend to accompany men in wars. Their lack of physical strength does not prevent them from backing out from the fierceness of attacks. Boudicca is one of the women who has participated in politics and serves as an excellent example for modern women.

Were it not for the discriminative rules that prevent us from engaging in meaningful labor; modern women would have concentrated on traditional medicine. The reason for this is because communities know nothing about modern medicine and rely on herbal medicine for healing. Even without modern medicine, women are likely to apply their wisdom to heal and nurse people freely or with the exchange of gifts and inevitably dominate in the field. However, due to the increase of illegitimate doctors, the next century (19th century) could see an expansion of the medical requirements to a professional level. This is likely to be the case based on the current advancements in technology. Should this be the case, the move would bar women from participating in the medical profession due to wife and parental responsibilities. The male fraternity, on the other hand, will most likely dominate in the medical field leaving women to participate in home nursing.

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