Katherena Vermette’s novel The Break, is centered around a sexual assault. Through the perspective of eight narrators the story unfolds over the day leading up to the attack, memories triggered by the assault, and the recovery of all those involved. The novel’s two strongest themes are a juxtaposition of gender disparity and the strength and resilience of the women and girls involved. Gendered performance is common throughout the book, for both men and women, although the focus is on the female characters. This essay argues that the gendered performance of the characters is due to Linda Nicholson’s biological foundationalism as explored in Interpreting Gender (1999). The differences in reactions between the men and women of the story are not …show more content…
A man followed the girls in his car, leering at them until they made it home. All of the girls were scared, even if they showed it in different ways. Cheryl called the police but they took hours to arrive. The only response the police had was to Cheryl’s qualms was to no longer allow the girls to go the store unaccompanied (Vermette, 2016, p. 165-169). This incident not only speaks to the hypersexualizing of young indigenous women, but also the lack of concern of the local law enforcement. Which is again was displayed in The Break when Stella called the police after witnessing the attack, Officer Christie did not believe her, when she told them what she had allegedly witnessed, and brushed off her claims. When the officers left Stella’s home Christie called her a “crazy dame” and said he “felt sorry for that guy [Stella’s husband]” (2016, p. 68). He said the incident was just “nates beating on nates” (p. 72) which is not only a display of his own racism and colonial view, but also desensitization to gang violence in the community he is supposed to be protecting. His inability to take indigenous people seriously impacted his ability to act as a police officer should. Soraya Chemaly’s Why Don’t We Talk About the Gender Safety Gap in the U.S discusses how gender influences violence. The article states that it is in more developed countries that …show more content…
Gender performance is perpetuated by the conditioning and experiences of children from birth which also perpetuates the gender safety gap. Women and men are not as biologically different as once thought. They are simply held to different expectations in society, as explained by Nicholson’s Interpreting Gender. The Break is able to explore the lived experience of being an indigenous woman and how their relationships have evolved over time. As well as remaining strong when faced with the intersections of sexism and
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Inequity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is highlighted throughout the book, where Talaga describes the discrimination that happened to the youth before and after death as well as the historical mistreatment of Indigenous people in Canada. The deaths of the youth spawned an inquest and led to numerous recommendations to ensure the safety of Indigenous students in the future, but many problems still exist and Talaga draws parallels in the book
She writes with compassion and conviction, giving a raw but nuanced depiction of how systemic racism affects Indigenous lives. Michelle Good's "Five Little Indians" serves as a compelling call for reconciliation and justice among
“He’s here now, and how do I know you are going to take him to school? He’s coming with us.”’ (Good, 180). Howie and his mother were in British Columbia to visit his aunt and some officers saw him at his 6th birthday party, then he was taken to residential school because his mother was not trusted to bring him to school. Given these points, it is clear how stereotypes perpetuate negative social stigma and can lead to harmful thoughts about Indigenous people.
Ellen Foster: A contemporary work written by Kaye Gibbons Kaye Gibbons’ Ellen Foster is a contemporary work that discusses women, cultures, and abuse. Ellen Foster is considered contemporary because it was written in the post World War era, and the topics within the book conflict with the ideals of the time period in which it was written. To capture the attention of an audience and enhance the mood of the book, Gibbons used diction, sentence structure, and misspelled words in a way that only the main character would. Gibbons was able to express her feelings on controversial topics through the situations characters experienced throughout her book. One might wonder when and where the inspiration for the setting of Ellen Foster began.
Kathy Acker’s Blood and Guts in High School, through a vulgar, unreal narrative, critiques and mocks the gender expectations of our patriarchal society. Acker writes a narrative that routinely switches between various forms: imagery, fairy-tale, drama, poetry to name a few. As one progresses through Acker’s comically un-realistic story, her scathing critique of patriarchy in society becomes clearer. Acker’s writing can be viewed through the lens of Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity in Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Butler stresses on the fact that modern society views sexuality as a primary element of one’s identity.
The voices of Indigenous children are unheard and purposely ignored. This is portrayed through the literature of Birdie by Tracey Lindberg and Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. Despite both apologies from Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, the government system to protect First Nations children appears to have detrimental effects on the life of a child. This is proven by young children turning to drugs in order to satisfy their growing pain, family members who abuse their children because they consume high amounts of alcohol, which has a negative impact on the child, and discriminatory behaviour by surrounding communities. To begin with, young children turning to drugs in order to satisfy their growing pain.
Denise K. Lajmodiere “American Indian Females and Stereotypes: Warriors, Leaders, Healers, Feminists; Not Drudges, Princesses, Prostitutes.” National Association for Multicultural Education (2013): 104-109. Web. 7 Sept. 2015. This article, written by native female author Denise K. Lajmodiere highlights the racial stereotypes that surround Native American women and how they are historically inaccurate.
This paper will address The rate of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is disproportionately high in Canada. What factors contribute to this? The main factors that contribute to the higher rates of the missing and murdered indigenous women are are Representation
Tracey Lindberg’s novel Birdie is narratively constructed in a contorting and poetic manner yet illustrates the seriousness of violence experience by Indigenous females. The novel is about a young Cree woman Bernice Meetoos (Birdie) recalling her devasting past and visionary journey to places she has lived and the search for home and family. Lindberg captures Bernice’s internal therapeutic journey to recover from childhood traumas of incest, sexual abuse, and social dysfunctions. She also presents Bernice’s self-determination to achieve a standard of good health and well-being. The narrative presents Bernice for the most part lying in bed and reflecting on her dark life in the form of dreams.
In contrast to the twentieth century we still see some of this in our current day and ages. Contrasting portrayals of men and women in films leave us with the fact that we haven’t changed. Men and women are sought to have different gender roles within
In all the different tribes, none of the women are seen as less than the men, however in European culture at the time, the women were seen as weak and lesser beings. Gunn Allen tackles this issue using ethos logos and pathos by appealing to the readers through logic, emotion and her personal experiences. With Ethos Gunn Allen makes herself a credible source by mentioning that she is a “half breed American Indian woman. ”(83) making her story worth paying attention to rather than if it were a story by an outsider who truly has nothing to do with the American Indian women.
Additionally, these stories reveal the great diversity among women. Generally, women are grouped together, as stated by Lorde: “As women we have either been taught to ignore our differences or view them as causes for separation and suspicion rather than forces of change (Lorde, 1979).” Despite the efforts to categorize women’s issues into one mass of problems, White women perceive the world differently than African American women, Hispanic women, Native American women, etc., and vice versa. This conglomeration of “women’s issues” does not address every aspect of being a woman in patriarchal and unjust societies throughout the world.
“Dance me Outside” by W. P. Kinsella tells the story of little Margaret Wolfchild, an eighteen year old Indigenous mother who is brutally murdered by Clarence Gaskell at the Blue Quills Dance Hall (21). The film by the same name attempts to convey a similar message, but there are key differences such as overlooking the Gaskell’s trial. The broader scope of film allows for the story to be told through multiple perspectives, aiding in rounding out the characters and providing them with a realistic dynamism. In her book “Iskwewak Kah Yaw Ni Wahkomakanak” Janice Acoose criticizes Kinsella’s portrayal of Indigenous women, particularly a character from a different story of Kinsella’s named Linda Starr (69). Acoose asserts that Kinsella “exhibits
Can Societal Gender Roles Limit an Individual? A man is supposed to be strong, powerful, and well respected. What if all genders were seen in the same light? In most societies, past and present, men are viewed as the dominant gender.
Many critics agree on one fact about Canadian author Alice Munro: one of her most notable qualities in regards to her work is the distinct use of realism in her writing. Her writing provides a strong sense of familiarity to the reader, while also containing stronger metaphorical meanings that one can note when they begin to closely look at her work. Her short story “Boys and Girls” portrays the socialization of a young girl, once very close to her father and unaware of any sort of gender bias within her society, into a young woman with a pessimistic view of femininity and her expected position in society. This story shows the socialization process in a way that makes it easy to recognize, illustrating circumstances that the reader can notice the blatant sexism and misogyny; however, its portrayal is extremely realistic, allowing the reader to recall how oblivious they may have been in the past during times that they have been impacted by social biases in our world. Critics of Munro typically agree on her overall theme of femininity and coming of age in her writings; “Boys and Girls” emphasizes the ways in which young girls are socialized into a seemingly natural understanding of the sexist expectations and gender roles.