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Gender disparities and misrepresentation has been in existence in the world for centuries, and it affected the position of women in different colonies. On May 13th1607 three ships, carrying 104 settlers (All male) arrived at what’s known today as Jamestown, the settlers were directed by the Virginia Company of London, which provided rights of trade, exploration and settlement in Virginia, it became the first permanent English settlement in North America.
Because of its well geographical location, it provided a visual vantage point and screen against enemy ships. Therefore, the first British arrivals had assumed that they could hold on to the new world and exploit its resources for use in homeland country. The importance and the promising outcome for their impetus — would make them face a lot of inevitable events and setbacks.
By June 15, 1607 the settlers had constructed a fort made from wooden posts and begin their journey of gold search, also an establishment of a strong foothold in the region. But rapidly events would take place as convergence of cultures upraised. The Powhatan Indians, who had inhabited the region for hundreds of years — 30 tribes with a population of about 14,000 people were represented at the time, a sustained society with a structured government, economy, religion, and social institutions. The trade for food with the Powhatans enabled the colonists to survive during the early years of settlement’s history. The trade was consisted of various iron tools, and even toys. However, during the starving time, 1609-1610, many settlers died from lack of food, disease and conflict with the Powhatan Indians. That being said, the first woman to foster stability in Virginia was, Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan.
The exclusion of women in the first venture among settlers supports the first cause — which was an exploratory expedition rather than a colonizing effort. However, once the commercial resources were discovered, especially, Tobacco plantation, many unstable conditions the company had to overcome; such as, the clash of cultures, the unpreparedness of settlers in wild-life, and some intended to make a fortune and eventually return home to England. So, the Company started to agree that women were quite necessary to provide stability needed and they came out with a recruitment plan where — the man reimburses the company with all the Atlantic crossing expenses for his wife to become, in addition to providing food- and shelter for her.
Illustratively, there were few women in the limelight during the ancient time who took part in active combat activities hence leading to their underrepresentation in the different sectors of the world. The scenario in the case study of Women in Early Jamestown gives an insight into the position that women had in the society. Despite women being outnumbered, the ones who got the opportunity to exercise their ability, they came out as individuals with excellent skills.
When the scenario is featured as a situation where one man is in a room with four women and then determining the person who will take the shot gives a clear view of the position of different gender in the society. In my opinion, when there are four women and a single man in a room then the man will take the short because he will be the one who stands out among the group. On the other hand, the woman will stand out when she is in a room with four men, and thus she will be the one to take the short and provide direction to men. The scarcity of women in the early colonies affected how the roles between the different genders were distributed in the new areas compared to their home ground in England. Illustratively, in the colonies they male dominance implied that the related feminine roles were neglected and they were not developed.
Additionally, the maleness of the group that arrived in native America was responsible for the male character of the military and the settlement that grew in the area. Furthermore, the brutality that was practiced towards the women and the children may have been as a result of sailors and the colonial power having a little association with the female members of the society. The effect of the interaction led to the situation where the male members of the community were not hesitant to give women the opportunity to lead. Additionally, when they are given a chance to lead, the men in some cases finding it difficult to trust in their leadership, but notably, those who find the opportunity to rule, they show good leadership.
Jamestown wouldn’t have survived as a permanent settlement without the women who have left their home, and have helped settlers to consider Virginia not only a place for profit but also, as a new home to start a family.
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