Historically Native tribes, have held the women in high regard. This is not always so, within other cultures. When Native peoples inhabited this country, things were much different. The whites who came here, encountered people who were in retrospect a complete polar oppisite. While 17th and 18th century white women were held on pedalstals, Native women were not. Many had voices in tribal counsel. There were leaders, mothers, grandmothers and even women warriors. The cutlure was more advanced, and not as sexist as todays society.
No one, who even think to silence them, as they were beleived to be wise. The infiltration of white society has, bleed over, so to speak into modern Native American culture. It was the goal of the whites, to cause Native people to become, ‘white”. This has worked to some extent. Most today, live as whites, with the exception of very few.
Women are still held in high regard, however violence against them is increasing. The amount of non- white violence is low. There is a 70% rate of violence, of women by all other races. So, in other words, most of the violence against Native women, is commited by men from cultures other than thier own. It is clear in todays society, other races see women as no more than second class citizens.
Never has this been more appearent than, the past few months. The past election cycle was a fine example of sexim. Today’s society is a male dominated chain of command. Much has been said lately regarding Hillary for Secretary fo State. This is itself would seem like a step in the right direction. However, as a women I would have to question the motives of Obama. It appears to be a way to keep her under his thumb. Which is a belief that runs deep within this country.
The treatment of Hillary and Sarah along with thier women supporters, is a clear indication of life as an American women. This country could learn a great lesson from Native American culture, should they choose to. Much has been made that America elected the first African American to the white house. But, the demeaning treatment of women in this election should not be forgotten. It has roots in American and the democratic parties history, these roots run deep.
This is not a problem that will simply go away, and fade into time. We, as women must continue to fight for every victory, no matter how small. A friend from another country said to me right before the nomination of Obama. “Why is it white men would rather vote for a inexperieced man, than a women?” “Are they that threatened by women?” The answer is simple, “yes”.
The very idea, that women could and are just as smart as men, is inconsevable to many. However, we must look at the past to see the present. The Native Culture, as it was for our ancesters, is much different. America for the time being is still the land of the free, as long as you are a man.
The roles of men and women have changed alot over the past few centuries, but not enough. Clearly, the cracks in the glass, have been made. But, it will not be until it is completly broken that we will be equal. For women, and for now, we are still “under his thumb”. And I am sure Obama will keep it that way, as long as he can.
It may seem apparent to many that sexism, played a large part in this past years events. But to many, denial seems to be the best way to deal with this subject. To overlook the treatment of two of the most capable canidates purley biased on sex, is something that should not be happening in this country, at this time is history. But, it did and will continue to do so, as long as men are in charge. We, as women should do all we can to promote and expose what has happened in this election cycle.
The research I have done, regarding this issue is extensive. The democratic party who claims, to be non sexist or racist, is living a lie. The history of the party reaches all the way back to before 1920. Racism also reaches very far back, as it was a republican (lincoln) who lead the way for all balck ameircans. Democratics have in general, resisited anyone who was not white and male. They would lead us all to beleive otherwise, but history tells the truth. Native American women, are not treated any better than white women. Within white society we are, no better than any other. Our cultures teaches us something different, and is much more fair, than white society.
That is why I say, that white society is different, and we must walk two paths, those of our ancestors and those of the whites. This makes a difficult path for anyone, like people wandering without a home. Much like half of the democratic party, who were clearly not wanted or needed in this past presidental cycle. It is my belief that women in general are used to others advantage whenever possible. This is never more prevelant than, Hillary for secretary of state. This is nothing more than a game, to appease women and Hillary supporters. It is a bone that dangles in front of us, waiting for someone to catch it.
I would pefer to live the way of the ancestors, but that is not possible. I walk between two worlds, on two paths. I do not have a choice which path to take, I must walk the one in between. History serves that the path of days gone by was much better for Native American Women. We can only hope that the rest of the country, can look into the past to see the future.