Violence Against Native Californian Women

599 Words3 Pages
Native Californians who lived in missions and presidios, and in surrounding villages found themselves faced with harsh violence inflicted by Spaniard men, and the Catholic Church. One of the justification for the violence that is inflicted on the Native people is justified by Antonia I. Castaneda as the cost of war. He argues that Native Californian women were raped because “sexual violence functioned as an institutional mechanism”(p61). Native Californian women are seen as property of the Native men. Thus, being defined as property justifies the rape as natural form of aggression against of the enemy, and ultimately their territory.Furthermore, the Catholic clergy who sought to protect the Native Californians from the violence and rape many…show more content…
First, colonial slow institutional development leads to a lack of reinforcement of laws. However, Commandants and governors did implement punishments to individuals who broke the laws, but only when cases of rape were reported. Unfortunately, many rape cases were never reported. “Mixed blood soldiers”, are to blame for the sexual violence and other social disorders that Native Californians were experiencing, according to scholars until recently. These soldiers were lower class citizens ,who were deemed “worthless”, that made up the majority of the population that settled on the frontier.However, scholars now say that the problem on the frontier was not due to the racial or the social class, but rather to the limited of resources, weak military structure, among other structural flaws. Other structural flaws such as the Missions that many Native people are taken to be Christianized. The Church who sought to remove Native people from the exploitation and sexual abuse of the Spaniards inflicted corporal punishment on the Native Californians. According to Father President Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, corporal punishment is necessary, at the time, because the Native people are seen as “Untamed savages”. Native Californians who live in missions and presidios, and in surrounding villages found themselves faced with harsh violence inflicted by Spaniards and the Catholic Church. All forms of violence were seen as an important mechanism of war in order to prove your superiority over your opponent, as Antonia I. Castaneda states it 's just the cost of war, and The Native Californians were not prepared for the violence or the aggression they would
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