John Patton (1824-1907) was a missionary to the New Hebrides. With the rather common attack upon Christianity in the West as somehow being degrading of women, it is interesting to read Patton’s observations about an explicitly non-Western and non-Christian culture on this point:
Amongst the Heathen, in the New Hebrides, and especially on Tanna, woman is a down-trodden slave of man. She is kept working hard, and bears all the heavier burdens, while he wills by her side with musket, club or spear. If she offends him, he beats or abuses her at pleasure. A savage gave his poor wife a severe beating in front of our house, while in vain we strove to prevent it. Such scenes were so common that no one thought of interfering. Even if the woman died in his hand, or immediately thereafter, neighbors took no notice, if any at all.
…The girls have, with…
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