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Comparison of female roles within 17 century New France and 1950s Canada

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Michelle V.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Females in New France
  3. European women
  4. Women in English-speaking Canada
  5. Women in the 1950's
  6. Conclusion

The role of women within society is continually changing as a reflection of altering social dynamics. In New France between 1670 and 1690, the economy was primarily dependent on the trading of furs and women's status within the community coincided with this economic sector. Within this time period, females actively participated within society as well as in the family unit. In contrast, women living within English-speaking Canada during the 1950s possessed limited opportunities within the social and family realm. A great disparity exists regarding the roles of females in 17th century New France in comparison to 1950s Canada. This incongruence is most noticeable when evaluating women within sexual, religious, and economic relations. Females within New France possessed sexual power, which they used to further their own causes. Frequently, native women participated in sexual relationships with European men.

These associations were beneficial to both parties as they allowed for further interactions between the European and Native population of New France. Through their relationships with Europeans, Native women acquired new positions that strengthened their status within society. They commonly acted as mediators between the Native and European cultures; deeming women as authority figures within the interactions between the two parties. Additionally, Native women adopted positions as interpreters and guides for their European counterparts.

[...] Moreover, European women were powerful forces within the economic and business sectors of New France. The economy of New France was firmly based on the trading of goods.[17] Women actively participated in this economic sector by trading goods including tanned hides, grain, and fur.[18] Females established themselves as leaders by managing trading posts, companies, and tanneries.[19] Women also supported government causes by baking, sewing, and performing domestic tasks for government officials.[20] Females upheld the household economics by managing the farm work, gardening, cooking, laundry, and other such jobs that ensured the successfulness of an agricultural operation.[21] Furthermore, women in New France were not hindered by their gender, but were encouraged to participate in a wide array of roles within society. [...]


[...] Jan Noel, ??Nagging Wife' Revisited: Woman and the Fur Trade in New France?, French Colonial History, no (2006): 47. Jan Noel, ??Nagging Wife' Revisited: Woman and the Fur Trade in New France?, French Colonial History, no (2006): 47. Noel 48. Noel 50/51. Ibid. Noel 54. Derrick Thomas, Census and the evolution of gender roles in early 20th century Canada?, Canadian Social Trends, no (2010): 41. Mirra Komaroysky, Women in the Modern World Their Education and Their Dilemmas (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1953) 115. Jennifer Barker. ?Introduction: Women Inventing the 1950s?, Women's Studies, no (2011): 970. Linda Giedl. [...]


[...] Komaroysky, Mirra. Women in the Modern World Their Education and Their Dilemmas. Boston: Little, Brown and Company McIntyre, Ivy Farr. and Immovable as Rocks': Native American Women's Empowerment in the Jesuit Missions of New France.? Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association, (2011): 39-50. Noel, Jan. ??Nagging Wife' Revisited: Woman and the Fur Trade in New France.? French Colonial History, no (2006): 45-60. Noel, Jan. ?Women in New France.? Canadian Historical Association, no (1998): p. 1-26. Rude, Darlene, and Connie Dieter. [...]


[...] Census and the evolution of gender roles in early 20th century Canada.? Canadian Social Trends, no (2010): 40-46. Jan Noel, ??Nagging Wife' Revisited: Woman and the Fur Trade in New France?, French Colonial History, no (2006): 46. Jennifer Barker. ?Introduction: Women Inventing the 1950s?, Women's Studies, no (2011): 970. Ivy Farr McIntyre, and Immovable as Rocks': Native American Women's Empowerment in the Jesuit Missions of New France?, Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association, (2011): 41. Ibid. Jan Noel. ?Women in New France?, Canadian Historical Association, no (1998): 8. [...]

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