Historical And Contemporary Stereotypes Of Native American Indian Women

Decent Essays

Historical and contemporary stereotypes of Native American Indian women have resulted in erroneous and callous images. Mass media, movies, and printed materials continue to depict Native American Indian women as either a princess or a savage. Native American Indian women are affected by non-humanistic myths and stereotypes that are advertised by the media, popular literature, and movies. The "Pocahontas paradox" represents a dilemma for Native American Indian women. This historical movement has persisted in the glamorization and belittling of Native American Indian women (Peregoy, 1999). In this movement from political symbolism (where the Indian women defended America [in the early 1600s], to psychosexual symbolism (where she defends or dies for White lovers), we can see part of the Indian woman 's dilemma. To be "good," she must defy her own people, exile herself from them, become White, and perhaps suffer death. (Green, 1976, p. 704) The most noteworthy model for European American comprehension of Native American Indian ladies originated from the legend of Pocahontas. This rendition of the Native American Indian lady coming to spare John Smith has been rehashed through both composed and visual media for a long time. Case in point, Walt Disney 's Pocahontas (1998). Pocahontas is touted in Native American Indian writing as the "Mother of Us All" (Green, 1992). An anti-Pocahontas image has also resulted in the image of the Squaw. A confusing difficulty happened as the

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