Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs Gender

Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs Gender

Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs Gender Race and Power in Colonial Virginia ❮Reading❯ ➼ Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs Gender Race and Power in Colonial Virginia ➵ Author Kathleen M. Brown – Kathleen Brown examines the origins of racism and slavery in British North America from the perspective of gender Both a basic social relationship and a model for other social hierarchies gender helpe Kathleen Brown examines the origins of racism Nasty Wenches PDF ✓ and slavery in British North America from the perspective of gender Both a basic social relationship and a model for other social hierarchies gender helped determine the construction of racial categories and the institution of slavery in Virginia Good Wives MOBI :å But the rise of racial slavery also transformed gender relations including ideals of masculinity In response to the presence of Indians the shortage of labor and the insecurity of social rank Virginia's colonial government tried to reinforce its authority by regulating the labor and sexuality of Wives Nasty Wenches PDF/EPUB è English servants and by making legal distinctions between English and African women This practice along with making slavery hereditary through the mother contributed to the cultural shift whereby women of African descent assumed from lower class English women both the burden of fieldwork and the stigma Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious PDF/EPUB or of moral corruption Brown's analysis extends through Bacon's Rebellion in an important juncture in consolidating the colony's white male public culture and into the eighteenth century She demonstrates that despite elite planters' dominance wives children free people of color and enslaved men and women continued to influence the meaning of race and class in colonial Virginia.

  • Paperback
  • 512 pages
  • Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs Gender Race and Power in Colonial Virginia
  • Kathleen M. Brown
  • English
  • 09 April 2014
  • 9780807846230

10 thoughts on “Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs Gender Race and Power in Colonial Virginia

  1. Susanne Susanne says:

    I LOVE the title of this book And the subject matter is fascinating You will find vignettes here you won't find elsewhere such as when two slaves realize they've seen their mistress commit a criminal act and since they can't testify in court what they do to see the crime comes to light That said and this may be entirely my brain atrophying but it was a bit of a slow read As in academically dense not as in boring If you're at all interested in colonial Virginia this is definitely the go to book

  2. David Bates David Bates says:

    Kathleen M Brown’s 1996 work Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs serves the double purpose of providing a gender history of colonial Virginia and using gender theory to complicate the portrait of slavery’s emergence drawn by Edward Morgan in American Slavery American Freedom Motivated by a concern that studies of the origins of slavery in colonial America “had been laid to rest without any sustained attention to the uses of gender in constituting racial categories and legitimating political authority” Brown’s account rests on two main ideas First following Joan Scott Brown approaches gender as a social construction employed to legitimize power relationships by grounding them in a category perceived as the natural order of the world beyond uestion and debate Second Brown makes the point that racial slavery must by definition involve the regulation not only of labor but of women’s bodies and biological reproduction Brown opens her work with the gender roles which were evolving in England at the beginning of the 17th century when “references to Gaelic savagery and African wildness peppered English travel accounts reinforcing the proximity of native peoples to untamed nature and denying them the rights of civilized peoples” An integral part of the identity which the English believed set them apart from uncivilized peoples was the patriarchal household Women who were legitimized by the oversight of the patriarchal household head were deemed good wives while women who worked outside the household were consigned to the suspect category of nasty wenches In the early years of settlement the meanings and political uses of gender were well established but ill fitted to colonial conditions where labor scarcity reuired women to labor outside the home and keeping male laborers working for established planters rather than themselves was an obsessive preoccupation It was into this fluid world of frustrated identity that unfree Africans were imported Brown carefully traces how ill defined racial categories were and the successful integration and sometimes intermarriage of the first generation of Africans in Virginia Unlike Morgan she identifies the beginning of the codification of racial slavery to a generation prior to Bacon’s rebellion with the introduction of a tax on African women in the 1640s that made it difficult for the men who married them to establish an independent household Laws that followed a generation later imposed steep fines on white women who procreated with African men and ensured the enslaved status of children born to African women The instruments of law and courts removed both female voices and the negotiated statuses of the prosecuted within their own communities from consideration By the third generation of Virginian life women had become essential markers of political and economic status with only African women conceived of exclusively as nasty wenches and English women elevated almost unalterably to good wives creating conceptions of slavery and gender which were mutually reinforcing The prevention of Africans from forming socially legitimate households rooted the system while class distinctions fiercely preserved between white women as well as the unfree labor of slaves allowed their husbands and sons to create an egalitarian culture of free white manhood “Taverns hospitality gambling horse racing and free wheeling elections for which Virginia became famous by the early eighteenth century” anchored a distinctive male culture that gave great planters a way of seeing themselves as something other than second rate English aristocrats and common white men a space to assert their political and social worth It was as Brown explains a status rooted to their mind in a natural racial and gendered order and it would emerge in the revolutionary generation in a fierce advocacy for the rights of men whose political authority was authored by nature “defined in contrast to seemingly natural dependents he was not a slave and he was not a woman” The Virginian man “participated freely in political life not as a conseuence of his ability to coerce or dominate dependents but because he was the rightful heir to such a political legacy”

  3. Andy Larson Andy Larson says:

    Awful She ascribes 21st century motives aspirations and views to 16th and 17th century societies Perhaps a better approach would be trying to understand their world rather than force them into our mindset

  4. Pádraig Lawlor Pádraig Lawlor says:

    In Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs Kathleen Brown seeks to argue that the construction of gender in the seventeenth century serves as foundation to the systemization of race in Virginia This conceptual bridge allows Brown to revise traditional understandings of slavery's development in Virginia In this respect she posits that Virginians constructed race and gender simultaneously through gendered lenses Indeed such a methodology permits Brown to focus her attention on gender differences and identify aspects of Virginian life affected by such systematic implications Further she contends that Virginians did not create a wholly patriarchal system until the eighteenth century Drawing on recent works of religious cultural and political history to inform her narrative Brown's work encompasses a true Atlantic history Moreover she wrestles with rich primary material on colonial Virginia from tax rolls deeds county court records government documents oral histories court minutes newspapers statutes and wills and inventories to secondary literature Her effort is a work both of original research and of synthesis She challenges dominant interpretations put forth by Winthrop Jordan Edmund Morgan Rhys Isaac Allan Kulikoff Lois Carr and Lorena Walsh among others Throughout ten chapters Brown explains her argumentation by focusing on three main points of analysis First she discusses the conditions of existing gendered relations in seventeenth century England She juxtaposes the metamorphic role of women which embodied that of a good wife and nasty wench The problem with such terminology coincidentally emerged with the English's exploits in North America Whereas such established hierarchies prevailed in England early encounters with Indians on the American frontier disrupted the definitions of gender Concentered the English were forced to further refine what was essential about masculinity and femininity in order to maintain their own sense of superiority Property became central to this contrasting distinction Good wives were characterized as home bound women whom took care of familial concerns Contrastingly nasty wenches reflected women working outside of their gendered borders They were unmarried lacking domestic skills and poor Brown argues that this gendered distinction was not just a human classification but also theoretical affirmation of power that applied to the English's view of colonization Englishmen viewed foreign civilizations particularly their lands through gendered lenses Conuered territories and people personified feminine categorization susceptible to domination Indeed Brown continues this discussion in Part II of her monograph The issue of engendering racial difference takes center stage as Brown argues that race is in part a social construct and that the concept here was used to further define English identity in the New World The implementation of tax laws that differentiated between black and white women the existence of hereditary slavery based on the mother's race and status and legal definitions of a Christian placed greater emphasis on patriarchal distinctions Additionally Brown contends that Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 became a pivotal moment in Virginian history It enabled Virginian men to redefine masculinity in a usable form The uprising led to a political makeover in the colony when anxious white men aspiring to higher status achieved their goal of attaining similar privileges to those of the gentry patriarchs As such in the Part III Brown examines the formulation and manifestation of class and power She asserts that in the eighteenth century white male Virginians sought to formulate an identity with which they could find comfort one whose origins could be traced to English tradition Elite white men enjoyed the greatest range of social contacts whereas elite white women experienced greater limitations They were restricted by concerns for respectability and safety to interactions within their own class household employees and under certain conditions men of their own class The non elite also faced similar restriction Common Women who aspired for a respectable reputation avoided evenings drinking and accommodations in taverns As for afro Virginian and Indian women they were the most susceptible to abuse and attacks To support such a claim Brown points to how afro Virginian and Indian women were vulnerable to sexual predations of men of all ranks along Virginia's roads Good Wives Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarch is a remarkable study propelling the issues of race gender and power to the forefront in colonial Virginia Conseuently good wives were white nasty wenches were black and anxious patriarchs resembled insecure white males whom fought to maintain control over rebellious servants slaves wives and children

  5. Joseph Stieb Joseph Stieb says:

    This book is fascinating for its historical insights It also has one of the greatest titles of in the history of history books However this book took me a long time to read because of the dense abstract highly academic prose Definitely not for the general reader

  6. Justin Justin says:

    I thought this book was excellent I loved the interplay between the various classes of women in Colonial Virginia and the descriptions of the social heiarchies they created

  7. Rebecca Dunbar Rebecca Dunbar says:

    Superb Who knew gender frontiers could be so fun

  8. Josh Josh says:

    fantastic description of the emergence of modern racism and how dependent it is on gendered categories a model of academic work

  9. Jonathan Edward Jonathan Edward says:

    I may have enjoyed this book were it not assigned as a text book But having to read it specifically for homework made it dull and a waste of time

  10. Matthew Russell Matthew Russell says:

    Her reliance on William Byrd in the third section is problematic though I understand the lack of source material made it necessary to do so Even still reading about the perverted peccadilloes of one of the Protestant English Patriarchs did nothing for me

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