RSS

John Patton on the Treatment of Women in Tanna, Before Christianity

18 Jul

memoirandremains

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…

View original post 320 more words

Advertisements
 
10 Comments

Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

10 responses to “John Patton on the Treatment of Women in Tanna, Before Christianity

  1. Carnivore

    July 18, 2017 at 5:59 am

    I like this quote from a local chief in that article:
    “If we did not beat our women, they would need work; they would not fear and obey us; but when we have beaten and killed, and feasted on two or three [they were cannibals] the rest are very quiet and good for a long time to come!”

    The North American Indians also did not treat their women very well. After a hunt, the Inuit Indian men would feast on the meat in their shelter while the women were forced to wait outside, even in the coldest weather, for the men to finish and have what scraps were left.

     
    • Will S.

      July 18, 2017 at 6:36 am

      🙂

      Well, the men did all the work in the hunt; of course they get first dibs! 🙂

       
  2. infowarrior1

    July 18, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Women had dignity provided they acted as ladies in Christian Patriarchy. Good mothers obedient to their husbands are to be treated as their husbands own body. Cherished and loved as Christ loves the church.

    Rather than slaves they are treated with the greater dignity of maidservants. Alongside the inherent value as Imago Dei.

     
    • Will S.

      July 18, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Well, as cherished and valued wives and mothers, they had even a higher dignity than maidservants, I should think. Certainly more value.

       
      • infowarrior1

        July 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm

        Well I guess I did not find the appropriate word that sums it up it seems.

         
      • Will S.

        July 18, 2017 at 10:26 pm

        Maybe I misunderstood you; but in my estimation, a woman who a man marries is in a higher position than a woman he hires to clean and look after his house.

         
  3. feeriker

    July 18, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    “If we did not beat our women, they would need work; they would not fear and obey us; but when we have beaten and killed, and feasted on two or three [they were cannibals] the rest are very quiet and good for a long time to come!”

    Have we perhaps come full circle? Are today’s western women now so feral that this approach is the only way they’ll ever again be civilized?

    I exaggerate (somewhat), yes, but today’s typical western woman would certainly not respond to kindness with her own best behavior.

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s