Gender Roles In South Africa Essay

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Gender roles in South Africa at the time were portrayed as a direct reflection of the gender roles in England at the time. White women were seen to be the mother of the nation and eugenics was the tool to protect their offspring and the future of the Country. Racial pureness was put in the hands of women just as it had been done after the French revolution and throughout the enlightenment era. Furthermore due to the minor role of women that the enlightenment portrayed, not only was the racial hierarchy based on physical characteristics but gender too. With African women being the bottom of the hierarchy, just as inferior and voiceless as the women of Europe and the surrounding colonies.

The science of eugenics was developed as an outcome of
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The introduction of Social Darwinism in South Africa applied the theory of “survival of the fittest” to the human 'races'. Something that not only regarded the survival of the fittest as natural, but additionally as morally correct. As the British had established that Africans should not be enslaved as it was still widely accepted by the white communities of South Africa that Africans were incapable of maintaining civilization, due to the fact they were bound to “barbarism”. Therefore they should not be allowed to govern, as it would be detrimental for the development of South Africa but instead be governed despite being the majority of the…show more content…
As stated earlier the white monitory felt under threat and fear the extinction of the race as a whole and eugenics was perceive to be their last hope. Just as Britain had used eugenics in the classification of social status based on race. Eugenics enabled the so “hereditary defects” to be segregated from society to protect the purity of the white race. “Eugenics lay behind the construction of segregationist ideology in South Africa” as Professor Susanne Klausen stated. Where “Each person belonged to the race where the texture of hair and skin color
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