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Representation of race and gender: the social construction of "white" and "black" women in early British… Ellis, Beth-Naomi 1996

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REPRESENTATIONS OF RACE AND GENDER: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF "WHITE" AND "BLACK" WOMEN IN EARLY BRITISH COLUMBIAN HISTORICAL DISCOURSES: 1858-1900 by BETH-NAOMI ELLIS B. A. The University of British Columbia, 1981  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 1996 © Beth-Naomi Ellis, 1996  In presenting  this thesis in partial  fulfilment of  the requirements  for  an advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of department  or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  copying  my or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  fi  v^K^n^T>\  O-^X/L-  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  £ p SoOiolta^U ,  ABSTRACT In contemporary Canadian society women of all "races" are affected by the socially created, racialized and gendered images produced by a culture dominated by "White" males. These images are legacies of Western European cultural history which has traditionally constructed women and people of colour as the "Other", and such constructions have had the effect of restricting women and people of colour from participating fully in mainstream society. While both "White" and "Black" womens' lives have been specifically shaped by such constructs, most "White" women have failed to recognize that "race" has shaped their lives and placed them in a privileged position compared to women of colour, especially "Black" women. In order for "White" (and "Black") women to fully understand racism and sexism, which are both realities of modern societies, it is important for them to understand their historical origins. Therefore, this thesis, in an attempt to address these issues, examines the historical roots and the development of representations of gender and "race" and their specific connections to "Black" and "White" women. The case study involves a focused evaluation of the creation of racialized female symbolism in the early historical narratives of British Columbia between 18581900 when the first "Blacks" arrived in the province. These social constructions were compared to the actual lives of "Black" and "White" women of the time in order to gain a clearer understanding of society. The study showed that representations of "White" and "Black" women were often not consistent with the reality of their lives. Women from both groups were frequently able to restructure and, in many cases, reject such images and create their own social reality. The research, while showing that "White" women were given a more privileged position than "Black" women, also illustrated the many similarities between the lives of women from both groups. Finally, by centering both "Black" and "White" women as the subjects of this study, it was possible to view history through a different lense than the traditional male dominated one.  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  iii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  v  INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER ONE -- HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF THE REPRESENTATIONS OF RACE AND GENDER 7 THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF " B L A C K OTHER" A N D "WHITE SELF" 8 THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER: THE "WHITE" W O M A N 9 THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER: THE " B L A C K " W O M A N 12 R A C E A N D G E N D E R IN C O L O N I A L SOCIETIES 14 THE C O L O N I A L "WHITE" W O M A N 17 THE COLONIZED W O M A N OF C O L O U R 22 THE S L A V E R Y E X P E R I E N C E 26 C O N T E M P O R A R Y IMAGES OF " B L A C K " A N D "WHITE" W O M E N 30 CONCLUSION 32 CHAPTER TWO - THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES AND METHODOLOGY INTERCONNECTIONS B E T W E E N "RACE" A N D G E N D E R THEORIES OF IDENTITY A N D DIFFERENCE FEMINIST D E B A T E S POSTMODERNIST THEORIES W O M E N OF C O L O U R CRITIQUE OF "WHITE" F E M I N I S M "WHITE" FEMINIST RESPONSE TO W O M E N OF C O L O U R CRITIQUE C O U N T E R - H E G E M O N I C PRACTICES M E T H O D O L O G Y : THE C A S E S T U D Y OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A . 1858-1900  33 33 38 41 42 43 44 46 51  CHAPTER THREE - THE CASE STUDY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1858-1900 "WHITE" W O M E N PIONEERS OF VICTORIA THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF IMAGES OF "WHITE" W O M E N "WHITE" WOMEN'S RESISTANCE TO S O C I A L L Y C O N S T R U C T E D I M A G E S ATTITUDES OF "WHITES" T O W A R D W O M E N OF C O L O U R THE " B L A C K " PIONEERS OF VICTORIA THE " B L A C K " PIONEERS OF SALTSPRING ISLAND " B L A C K " W O M E N PIONEERS THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF " B L A C K N E S S " B Y "WHITE" PIONEERS " B L A C K " PIONEERS RESPONSE TO R A C I S M  57 61 63 66 70 73 79 81 86 92  TIMELINE CHAPTER FOUR - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX 1  Photographs  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I came back to graduate school (rather later than most) with the intention of writing a thesis on interracial marriages, having myself been part of one for over thirty years. However, during the two years of course work I developed an interest in the social construction of "Whiteness" especially as it related to myself as a "White" women. I began to understand some of the reasons behind my choices in life and to make connections between these choices and the influences of my British, post-war, Church of England background which portrayed people of other "races" as more exotic, and therefore, more interesting than my own. I believe that unless we examine our own lives and how we fit into the system of "White" domination we cannot begin the fight to end racism. In order to do this it is necessary to investigate the historical origins of racism which is what I have attempted to do in the following thesis. This thesis would not have been possible without the help of a number of people to whom I would like to express my appreciation. I would like to acknowledge the guidance and assistance of my advisor, Dr. Tissa Fernando, and thank him for helping to keep me on schedule; Dr. Gillian Creese, for sharing her expertise in historical research methods and feminism; Dr. Ken Stoddart, for agreeing to be a committee member at such short notice; and, Dr. David Schweitzer for his preliminary help and advice. Thanks go to Jean Howell, the secretary of the British Columbia's Black History Awareness Society, for all her help and the material she provided on the "Black" Community of Vancouver Island. I appreciate the support of all my friends, especially Eleanor Mae, who encouraged me to go back to full time studies. Many thanks go to my children, Meldon, Sharon, Kim and Juliet (and partners), for their support and help with such things as the "dreaded" computer, and overnight accommodation. Finally, a special thanks goes out to Tom, my long-time partner, for his support of yet another one of my projects, and for all his encouragement and patience!  INTRODUCTION Cultural identities come from somewhere, have histories. But, like everything which is historical, they undergo constant transformation. Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialist past, they are subject to the continuous play of history culture and power. Far from being grounded in a mere "recovery" of the past, which is waiting to be found, and which when found, will secure our sense of ourselves into eternity, identities are the names we give to the different ways we are positioned by, and position ourselves within, the narratives of the past. (Stuart Hall "Cultural Identities and Diaspora" in hooks, 1992:5).  Images of who we are in relation to others are part of both our conscious and subconscious reality. We own these images, they form part of us and also part of the imagined "Other." We use these constructions to define both ourselves and others by a process that may include acceptance, re-creation or a conscious rejection and denigration. Their hold is so powerful that they dominate, control and affect many aspects of our lives, whether we are aware of the fact or not. Every human being, whatever their gender or racial group, is a product of social construction from their own particular cultural background. These cultural identities, while containing aspects of belief systems whose origins have long been forgotten, are being constantly reshaped to suit the historical moment. The social construction of women and people of colour have survived for centuries in Western discourse and reflect the ideas of a patriarchal system that seeks to construct both groups as the outsider and the "Other." Any investigation into sexism and racism in contemporary Western society will reveal the existence of these "imagined" racialized and female stereotypes which continue to affect the lives of modern "real" women of all races. You and I are close, we intertwine; you may stand on the hill once in a while, but you may also be me, while remaining what you are and what i [I] am not (Trinh T. MinhHa, 1989:90)  2 In addition, for "White" women and women of colour, there are interconnections, as well as separations, between these constructions that influence the way they relate to one another. This is because "race," as a social construction, affects the lives of both "White" women and women of colour in Western cultures; therefore "our understanding of the problems of'real' women cannot lie outside the 'imagined' constructs in and through which women emerge as subject" (Rajan, 1993:10). However, due to the reality of being part of a "White" dominated society "White" women occupy a privileged position in relation to women of colour. Most "White" women, even those who profess to be anti-racist, are influenced greatly by their socially constructed "Whiteness," and this affects both consciously and sub-consciously their dealings with women of colour. Therefore, for "White" women to adequately address the issues of racism experienced by women of colour, they need to examine the racialness of their own "White" experience and acknowledge their own privileged standpoint in Western societies (Frankenberg, 1993:1). For to "ignore white ethnicity is to redouble its hegemony by naturalizing it" (hooks, 1990:171). This thesis therefore, will examine the social construction of "Whiteness" by investigating its historical origins. For "a self-conscious re-definition of ourselves as separate from our object of study will provide us with a sense of who we are and where we wish to go" (Gilman, 1991:80). For it "is through the effort to recapture the self it is through the lasting tension of their freedom that [wo]men will be able to create the ideal existence for a human world" (Fanon, 1957:231). An historical investigation into the development of racialized images would initially focus on discourse, "on meanings, conversations, narratives, explanations, accounts and anecdotes" but would also consider all the forces that went into their construction, and therefore "must also focus  3 on institutional practices, on discriminatory actions and on social divisions" (Wetherall and Potter, 1992:2-3). As history is not easy to define it is important to acknowledge that our approach to it reflects both our own particular standpoint which is determined by the culture, geographical location, and time in which we live. We need to remember that there are many versions of history and that: The story never stops beginning or ending. It appears headless and bottomless for it is built on differences. We - you and me, she and he, we and they - we differ in the context of the words, in the construction and weaving of the sentences but most of all, I feel in the choice and mixing of utterances, the ethos, the tones, the paces, the cuts the pauses. The story circulates like a gift; an empty gift which anyone can lay claim to by filling it to taste, yet can never truly possess. A gift built on multiplicities. (Trinh T. Minh Ha, 1989.2). Chapter one examines the social construction of "race" and gender as products of the historical influences of Greco-Roman thought, Christianity, Western Imperialism and scientific theories based on assumed racial and gender inequalities which are used to maintain the dominance of "White" males in Western cultures. "Black" and "White" women were dominated by negative images of women generally, contrasted to positive ones of men, and negative images of "Black" women contrasted to idealized images of "White" women. This creates an ambiguous identity for "White" women who are viewed as lesser than men, but more privileged than "Blacks", especially "Black" women. These images are a result of the male dominated Eurocentric construction of the imagined "Black Other" created in contrast to positive images of the "White Self which are based on the physical differences of skin colour and supported by a symbolism that views "Blackness" as bad and sinful and "Whiteness" as pure anji good. This chapter also illustrates the complex interconnections between "Black" and "White" women and how the are influenced by religious, cultural, political and scientific ideologies. By  4 examining the collective experience of women during colonialism and slavery an attempt will be made to illustrate that women do not fit these stereotypes completely, neither are they entirely restrained by them. Both "Black" and "White" women are actively involved in the structuring of society as well as being passive recipients. Chapter two outlines theories concerning the social construction of "race" and gender. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an analytical framework to examine the social constructions of racialized female symbolism in the early historical narratives of British Columbia. This will be achieved by combining an anti-racist perspective with that of Marxist feminism. The main objective will be to illustrate both the intersections as well as the connections and differences between the social constructions of "Black" and "White" women. Chapter two, therefore, examines the following: interconnections of "race" and gender; theories of identity and difference; feminist debates on "race" and gender; postmodernist debates on identities; and counterhegemonic practices used to fight negative stereotypes of "Black" and "White" women.  The review of theories on gender and race differences in chapter two illustrate that new ways need to be developed to analyze racial and gender inequalities which would involve combining a macro-historical study of racism and sexism with a micro-analysis of women's lives. Therefore, the case study in chapter three examines the social constructions of "White" and "Black" women in the historical discourses of British Columbia and how these images were affected by ideology, economics, politics and geographical location, but more significantly how they were reworked and resisted by these early female pioneers.  5 The case study presented in Chapter three centres on the Black experience and the formation of social boundaries between "Blacks" and "Whites" in Victoria and Saltspring Island between 1858-1900. These were the two main centres of "Black" migration and this was the period when the first major migration of "Blacks" to the province occurred. Furthermore, the period is significant as not only did a large amount of "Blacks" arrive into a relatively small colony dominated by "White" Americans and English, but also, at the same time a large number of racially diverse groups, mainly men, passed through Victoria on their way to the gold fields of British Columbia. In addition, during the same period, there was a shortage of "White" women due, in part, to restrictions on their immigration. These conditions resulted in distinct social constructions being created of "Blacks" generally and "Black" and "White" women specifically. A major section of the case study is devoted to an account of the early settlement of the "Black" community in Victoria and their experiences with racism. This racism developed as a result of their being perceived as a threat to economic stability and racial purity due to their visible prosperity and the large size of the "Black" community in relation to "Whites." These experiences of racism were in sharp contrast to the experiences of "Black" pioneers in Saltspring Island where, due to the harsh nature of the environment, everyone depended on their neighbour for support, whatever their "race". Racism was therefore not experienced by the "Blacks" of Saltspring Island. Finally accounts of individual "Black" women are given to illustrate how they were active in fighting stereotypical images of women and of "Blacks. However, these accounts are limited, due to a scarcity of historical material. An examination of the social construction of "race" and gender at a specific moment in history and a defined geographical area, is an attempt to understand the broader social processes  6  that give rise to racism and sexism. The case study also points to the fact that, although both "Black" and "White" women are in many ways confined by the social constructions of "race" and gender, many individuals in the early history of our province managed to rework, recreate and at times resist these images entirely.  7 CHAPTER ONE - HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF THE REPRESENTATIONS OF R A C E AND GENDER  It is argued that gender, because it is constructed and fragmented by "race", always has a "racial" meaning (Higginbotham, 1992, in Eisenstein, 1994:3), and that the historical legacy of ideological constructions of race and gender is utilized and reworked by members of contemporary Western cultures in order to "make sense of the world" (Miles, 1989:132). Representations of "race" and gender in Western cultures have developed as a result of the complex influences of: Greco-Roman thought; Christianity; Western Imperialism; slavery; colonialism; the spread of capitalism; and scientific theories on perceived "racial" and gender inequalities. These processes, which serve to maintain and justify the privilege of men and "Whites", are methods of structuring power and, although distinct from one another, intersect in a variety of complex and often conflicting ways. Both "Black" and "White" women are dominated by a "Racialized Patriarchy" which simultaneously provides negative images of women generally, contrasted to positive ones of men, and negative images of women of colour (especially "Black" women), contrasted to idealized images of "White" women (Eisenstein, 1994:2-3).  The latter creates an ambiguous identity for  "White" women which positions them in society as being "lesser" than men but more privileged than "Blacks," especially "Black" women. This legacy of myths, stereotypes, and images, of "Other" versus "Self," of "Blackness" versus "Whiteness," of "Ideal" versus "Negative" woman, originated partially from the GrecoRoman era where society was divided along strict sexual lines, and the barbarian "Other" was  8 viewed as inferior to the civilized "Self (Miles, 1989:14). THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF "BLACK OTHER" AND "WHITE SELF" The imagined "Others" in Greco-Roman representations were endowed with various negative physical and cultural characteristics.  "Others" were described as being "eaters of  human flesh" or as having "dog- heads" or "single large foots" (Miles, 1989:15). Greco-Roman images of the imagined were altered, expanded upon, and integrated into medieval literature where they were used to link physical appearance and morality.  Greco-Roman culture had a  colour symbolism that attributed "Whiteness" with positive values, and "Blackness" with negative ones, however, it was Christianity which applied these symbols to skin colour. Christian doctrine, whilst acknowledging "Others" as descendants of Adam, portrayed them as sinners deserving of God's punishment.  One of the physical features used to distinguish the "Other"  from the "Self was skin colour which reflected a colour symbolism imbued with meaning (Ibid: 14-16).  These symbols of the binary opposition between "Black" and "White" were used  to make "distinctions between vice and virtue, hell and heaven, devils and angels, contamination and purity" ((Tajfel, 1965:130), in Anthias and Yuval-Davis, 1992:137-8).  "Black" skin was  also used to symbolize "darkness, shadow, shades, night, the labyrinths of the earth, abysmal depths," contrasted to "White" skin which symbolized "the bright look of innocence, the white dove of peace, magical heavenly light" (Fanon, 1967:189).  "Blackness," as a negative contrast  to "Whiteness," became part of a dualistic system of Western thought where "mind is separated from body, culture from nature, reason from emotion,... self from others" (Ware, 1992:237). In the nineteenth century "race" in Western thought became a way of categorizing people with dark, especially "Black," skins.  Polygenism, the idea that races were created separately and  9 were not the result of environmental factors, became an increasingly popular idea (Stocking, 1968:36,38).  At the end of the nineteenth century Darwin's "Origin of the Species" (which  implied the survival of the fittest) was used to justify perceived "White superiority" and the enslavement of millions of "inferior Blacks" in the colonies of the New World.  The idea that  there were biological differences between the "civilized White" and the "savage Black" persisted and gained greater urgency, and was eventually transplanted onto sociological thought in the form of Social Darwinism which stressed the survival of the fittest races, individuals, classes, and nations (Ibid:48,238).  Social Darwinism provides an example of the durability of Polygynist  thought and of how "traditional ideas may persist - modified in various ways, juxtaposed in new combinations, but at the bottom relatively unchanged" (Ibid:43).  Another important influence in  the construction of the "Other" since the late eighteenth century has been Orientalism, an academic discourse used by the West to construct the Orient.  As a cultural rival to the West the  Orient provided some of the most predominant images of the "Other" which were not based upon reality but on created images of "Them" versus "Us".  Orientals were depicted as "irrational,  depraved, (fallen), childlike, 'different'," contrasted to the European who was portrayed as "rational, virtuous, mature, 'normal'" (Said, 1978:40).  As representing the "Other" involves a  dialectic of inclusion and exclusion, by excluding and inferiorising "Others", both "Blacks" and Orientals, Europeans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were at the same time including and superiorising "Whites" (Miles, 1989:38-9).  THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER: THE "WHITE" WOMAN Although many "representations" of women can be found in Greek mythology there is a  10 lack of "concrete and detailed information" about women due to their exclusion from the public sphere. For example, there were no female citizens in the Greek city-state (Duby and Perrot, 1992:2). Although Greek myths contained stereotypical images of women as passive and under the control of men, they also credited women with possessing a certain amount of understanding. Unfortunately the same can rarely be said about other mythological traditions, such as the Old and the New Testament (Lefkowitz, 1986:9). Christian ideology played a major role in the negative social construction of women and the perpetuation of their subordination to men in Western societies. For example, the Bible portrays women as transgressors, and stresses that they should be silent, should not have authority over men, and urges wives to submit to their husbands (Zeitland, 1990:136). Advances in philosophy and science during the European Enlightenment did little to improve the status of European women. Rousseau, for instance, while supporting the (separate) education of women, also advised them to be "weak and passive," and "offer little resistance to men." ("Emile",Rousseau, 1986:322 in Zeitland, 1990:34-5). Mary Wollstonecraft (1792), whilst influenced by great male thinkers such as Rousseau, was critical of their prejudicial attitudes towards women (which she traced to classical Greece and Christian doctrine). However, she also blamed women for submitting to these negative images of the "so-called feminine virtues of gentleness, passivity, and submission," which they had been taught from childhood (Ibid:40). During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in addition to the influences of Christianity, the philosophy of The Enlightenment and scientific thought, ideas and images of women (like those of race), were also influenced by evolutionary anthropology, medicine, and the literary traditions of Empire (Calloway, 1987:30). The writings of Darwin, Spencer, and Galton  11 were used to reinforce popular views of men's superiority over women based upon physical differences.  The reproductive capacity of women, believed to limit their intelligence, was used as  an excuse to restrict their social and educational advancement (Ibid:31). The idea that women were "naturally" inferior to men was similar to Aristotle's view that the "natural" inferiority of the barbarian justified slavery in the Greco-Roman era. Capitalism also played a major role in creating the myths and stereotypes about women and their subordinated role in society. Engels, in "The Origins of The Family, Private Property and the State" (1884), argued that male supremacy was an automatic result of economic progress which excluded women from social production (Zeitland, 1990:136). He makes connections between women's position in society and changes in kinship relations and the division of labour, and between the control of female sexuality and male economic and political domination (Ibid: 135). Art was also influential in the social construction of European women. For example, in the late nineteenth century there was a revision of the older images of feminine subservience in American art in response to the uncertainties of a changing industrial society. Female characteristics, which were taken for granted by earlier generations, were romanticized and exaggerated by artists (Abrams, 1979:94). By idealizing women as goddesses and portraying them as angels, madonnas, and beautiful pure young girls, the artists of the era placed them on pedestals separated from men and from the real world (Ibid:96). Henry James summed up the "imagined" European woman of the late nineteenth century when he wrote that they "did with themselves nothing at all; they waited, in attitudes more or less gracefully passive, for a man to come their way and furnish their destiny" (James, "Portrait of a Lady, 1963 in Abrams, 1979:106).  12  The social construction of "White" womanhood is linked not only to the relations of dominance in a "White" male patriarchal society but also to European Imperialism, which required "White" women to behave in a particular way, because "White" womanhood was used to signify the differences between those who belonged to the European collective and those who did not. The image of "White" women as being "pure" and "asexual" was constructed as a means of controlling them and their potential offspring. This idealized portrayal of the "White" female was contrasted against the "impure" and highly "sexual" image of the "Black" woman, which was also constructed as a means of control and domination.  Images of the "White" Goddess threatened  by the "dark villain" are central to Western myth, poetry, and literature, and originated in Greek mythology with fair Persephone, appeared in the form of Shakespeare's Desdemona, and Thomas Heywood's "The Fair Maid of the West", and continued in mythologies of the American South (Hoch, 1979:44). In the Catholic literature of South America the colour "White" is used to depict purity, innocence, and virginity, and "White" women are portrayed as the objects of legitimate courtship and marriage and are worshipped like the Holy Mary. They are "desexualized, if not disincarnated, or at least dematerialized" (Bastide, 1968:40). The perceived need to protect the "White" goddesses of civilization against the "sex-crazed barbarians at the gate" was used to support colonialism, slavery, and doctrines of racial and social supremacy (Hoch, 1979:47). Therefore, "To be "White" and female is to occupy a social category that is inescapably "racialized" as well as gendered" (Ware, 1992:xii).  THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER: THE "BLACK" WOMAN The textual and pictorial images of the "Exotic Female Other" created in Western ideology  13 reveal as much about the creators of such images as it does about the peoples they attempted to represent (Banta and Hindsley, 1985:9). These constructions provide valuable insights into the way that academic discourse of the nineteenth century was limited and restrained by economics, Eugenics, Polygenism, Social Darwinism, and Orientalism (Said, 1978:3). In contrast to the portrayal of "White" women, "Black" women were frequently depicted as the "Exotic Other" in Western literature and became metaphors for the wild and untamed colonies which were "available" for exploitation by the European. Often colonies were described in feminine terminology. For example, Africa was sometimes portrayed as a "mysterious sensual virgin to be conquered".  These images reveal how the Western European male dealt with his fears of the  unknown and his own sexuality (Corby, 1988:76). The image of the Oriental woman in European literature was also used to express unlimited sensuality and availability, although she was given a secondary place in Orientalist literature (Said, 1978.207). She was not permitted to speak of herself, her emotions, or history, and essentially represented a product of the European male's sexual fantasies (Ibid:6). The Orient was associated with available sex, a place where the European "sexually constrained" male could find a freer, less guilt ridden sexual experience (Ibid: 190). In the literature of South American Catholicism, women of colour were also depicted in negative sexual terms: "A woman of colour is considered to be a person of sheer voluptuousness.  The slightest gesture she makes, such as the balanced sway of her body as she  walks barefoot, is looked upon as a call of the female sex to the male" (Bastide, 1968;40). Visual representations of "Black" females provided even stronger messages than the textual ones and can be found as early as the Middle Ages in Western art in the image of the "Black" Madonna, who was portrayed as sorceress, rain-maker, worker of miracles, and  14  possessed "the magnetism of the strange, smacking of gypsies and Moors." (Bastide, 1968:38) These images which were used by the Catholics to convert pagans to Christianity, represented the "opposite of the beloved ("White") mother who clasps the unfortunate to her white breast and comforts them with her milky white arms" (Ibid: 38). In nineteenth century European art representations of "Black" women (together with those of prostitutes), were used as icons of deviant sexuality (Gilman, 1985:225), and George Curvier's anatomical study of "Black" female sexual organs ("Hottentot Venus") became the dominant visual image of "Black" women during this period (Ibid.235). Famous examples of the European male's fascination with "Brown" and "Black" female bodies in nineteenth century art can be found in Picasso's depiction of "Olympia" as a sexualized "Black" woman, and Gauguin's fascination with Tahitian women, whom he described in the following way: "These nymphs, I want to perpetuate them with their golden skins, their searching animal odour, their tropical savours" (Maybury-Lewis, 1992:30). Boime (1990) in "The Art of Exclusion" describes how Western artists rationalized the power and privileges that were held almost exclusively by "Whites" in their depictions of "Blacks", specifically "Black" women, in such works as Manet's, "Olympia" (1863), and Blake's "Europe supported by Africa and America" (1793) (Boime, 1990:13).  RACE AND GENDER IN COLONIAL SOCIETIES With the spread of Christianity, Western Imperialism, and European colonization into Africa, Asia, and the Americas, the colonizers carried with them an invented image of "Self' and "Other" and an invented image of "Black" and "White" women. Attitudes towards both groups in colonial societies intensified and became intricately linked as racial and gender categories  15 became the language of dominance which ordered and divided society (Cooper and Stoler, 1989:3). At the root of these colonial attitudes towards women and the colonized "Other" was the "acceptance, often unstated, of the natural superiority of the English gentleman." (European male) (Calloway, 1987.31). There was an immense variation in the social construction of the "Other" and "Self in European colonial situations as social boundaries between the colonizer and the colonized changed constantly. These images of the "Other" were neither "inherent nor stable"; they required constant definition and maintenance (Cooper and Stoler, 1989:2), and reflected, among other things, the need to maintain a national identity in the European metropolis (Ibid:7). Although this thesis addresses representations of "Black" colonial women, juxtaposed with images of "White" colonial women it is important to note that in the European context the "Other" has not been solely represented in colonial settings and that Europeans were not the only group to use skin colour to depict those who were "perceived" as different (Miles, 1989.39-40). A great deal of the differences that occurred in the construction of identities and social boundaries between "Other" and "Self was dependant on the presence or absence of "White" women. In many colonies before the arrival of "White" women interactions between European males and indigenous women forced colonial regimes to examine who should be in the colonies, for how long, and where and with whom they should live (Cooper and Stoler, 1989:5). In the Netherlands Indies and French Indo-China, for example, the categories of colonizer/colonized were established through the sexual control of women. In the Dutch East Indies the immigration of European women was restricted for over two hundred years with the result that concubinage was legalized and European men were given sexual access to the indigenous woman and were able to make demands on her labour and have legal rights to her offspring (Stoler, 1989:637).  16  Many accounts of colonial life mention that with the arrival of "White" women new demands were made on colonial societies "to tighten their ranks, clarify their boundaries and mark out their social spaces" (Ibid:640). As sexuality is believed to be the "most salient marker of "Otherness", and therefore figures in any racist dialogue," it is not surprising that colonizers and the colonized, "expressed their contests - and vulnerabilities in these terms" (Stoler, 1991:56). In fact, sexual prescriptions by class, race, and gender were central to the politics of the Empire. The "White man's burden", according to Gilman (1985), became his need to control his own sexuality, a need which was easily transformed into a need to control the "Other", a sexualized female who was believed to be sexually different, and therefore pathological (Gilman, 1985:256). This perceived need to control sexuality affected the nature of colonial society and was a marker that implicated a wider set of relationships which included class, Nationalism, and European identity (Stoler, 1989: 652). A contributing factor in the development of colonial attitudes towards race and gender was the fear that "White" European racial stocks were declining. It was thus necessary to discourage racial mixing as it was believed this led to "pollution" of "White" racial stocks. European colonists attempted to keep races separate by protecting "White" women from the perceived threat of the "Black" male. "Chain him, either chain him or expel his black shape from our midst, before we realize that he is ourselves" (Jordan, "The White Man's Burden", in Hoch, 1979:43). Nineteenth century European males feared political impotence and loss of control in the colonies and "White" women's safety often became an ongoing ideological question which was linked to the legitimation of colonial power and perceived threats to European prestige such as nationalistic threats or internal dissention among "Whites" (Ware, 1992:233; Stoler, 1989:640).  For  example, in 1857 a Sepoy uprising in India evoked images of "White" female vulnerability  17  threatened by "Black" male aggression and such images were used to legitimate a retaliation by colonial powers (Ware, 1992:234). Similarly in the early decades of this century "White" women in Vancouver, Canada were perceived to be threatened by the presence of the Oriental male (depicted as a "lascivious" trader in "White" women), and in need of protection. The reaction of "White" society to this believed threat to "White" womanhood was to restrict "White" women from working in Chinese restaurants, and to establish the "Woman and Girl's Protection Act" of 1929. This reaction, according to Anderson, was similar to the complicated relationships between "White" women and "Blacks" that exists in the United States (Anderson, 1991:99, 159).  THE COLONIAL "WHITE" WOMAN  Imperial images of women originated from the ideas of the dominant ruling class in Europe and such images were used by the dominant class to maintain their power and interests. Colonial men constructed an ultra-feminine ideal of the European "White" woman as a contrast to the ultra-masculine image of themselves fighting against the difficulties of colonial life. As a result European colonial women were assigned a limited role in society, subordinated to colonial hierarchies, and subjected to restrictions in the domestic, economic, and political fields, restrictions which were more oppressive than the ones they had left behind in the capitals of Europe. As both observers and participants European women became active agents of Imperial culture (Stoler, 1989:634). In the Western Canadian fur-trading society of the mid-nineteenth century, for example, attitudes of men, and the limitations they imposed upon women, are easily  18  definable.  "White" women represented a powerful symbol to "White" males. Their charms of  beauty, youth, and talent were exaggerated and they were portrayed as "delicate flowers of civilization", as "lovely tender exotics" whose destiny was to "pine and languish in the desert" (Van Kirk, 1990:192-3). Colonial literature was responsible for fostering the racial stereotypes of European society. In many of these writings there was a fascination with colonial sexual encounters. One of the most common sexuality myths depicted was the myth of the Destructive woman which had two aspects: firstly, that European women restricted European men's access to indigenous women; secondly that their presence aroused the sexual appetites of indigenous males and resulted in the perceived need to protect European women by increasing the social distances between Europeans and indigenous people (Strobel, 1991:6). Ware (1992) outlines three other popular fictional depictions of European women which appear repeatedly in colonial history, the good; the bad; and the foolhardy. The good were spiritually opposed to the oppression of colonial authority, the bad had a relatively uncomplicated attitude towards racism, which they accepted with limited questioning while performing their "imperial duty" gladly. However, the foolhardy were unwilling to conform, being attracted, and at the same time repelled, by the exotic nature of the colonized, and sometimes broke the taboos of colonial culture (Ware, 1992:231-2).  These three  contrasting characterizations were defined in relation to particular constructions of "Black" femininity and "White" masculinity and illustrated the complexities of social, political, and economic relations, and how gender, as well as race, was an important component of key ideological symbols in colonial cultures (Ibid:232). Negative characteristics, such as the above, of the stereotypical colonial woman arose from her performing the female role in a society where  19 she existed only in relation to men (Strobel, 1991:1). "White" women were often given ambiguous identities in Colonial situations. For example, the White" upper class women (Tapadas) in Peru were depicted as sexually available by European artists by the exaggeration of their buttocks (traced to the perceived deformity of the Hottentot buttocks, known as steatopygia), which gave them the ambiguous identity of being both separate and above the "Black" and "Indian" women, and yet somewhat sexually deviant, and thus available (Poole, 1988:338). Therefore, although "White" women, in some contexts, were viewed as "uncivilized" and "primitive" due to the lack of control over their emotions, in the colonial setting they were also placed in the "civilized" category in contrast to women of colour. The result was, and continues to be, a great deal of confusion in the ideology of gender relations with "White" women occupying "both sides of a binary opposition" (Ware, 1992:237). Imperial perceptions and policies fixed European colonial women as instruments of race and culture, and the delegated responsibilities with respect to children, husbands, and servants, affected their social space and economic activities (Stoler, 1989:649). Motherhood was the centre of Empire building and "White" women were expected to increase the "White" race by colonizing the Empire, and transmit group values and traditions as the bearers of a re-defined colonial morality. Unfortunately, the guarding of these new norms, which promoted the solidarity of the European colonizers, was done at the expense of the European women. They were given the complex roles of being keepers of the peace, hygiene, and economy, and custodians of family welfare. In addition, as dedicated willing subordinates and supporters of colonial men, colonial women were expected to provide them with leisure and creature comforts, and to control their men's sexual appetites. However, despite the many expectations placed upon  20 Colonial women, many fell outside the acceptable norm, and some, in fact, actively resisted these images (Stoler: 1989:643). Racial attitudes of the colonizers varied enormously according to the colonized response to domination, the influences from the European metropolis and the presence, or absence, of "White" women in the colony. One view is that "White" women were guilty of racism and created the rift between colonizer and the colonized (Strobel, 1991; Van Kirk, 1980). A n alternative view is that the arrival of "White" women was tied to other developments such as: the appropriation of land and labour which served to heighten racial prejudices; the ethnocentric approach of Evangelical Christianity, which attacked non-marital and non-monogamous liaisons; and the increase in the number of European men and women in the colonies (Calloway, 1987; Stoler, Ware, 1991). European women were depicted as wanting tighter boundaries which they achieved by marking out social spaces with distinctive dress codes, housing structures, food, and by creating social taboos.  In Algeria, The Indies, Madagascar, India and West Africa "White"  women were often accused of constructing the major racial cleavages within the colonial societies, and yet at the same time new "White" female immigrants were blamed for failing to keep racial distances (Stoler, 1989:640). As "the inferior sex within the superior race," some would argue that European colonial women benefitted from the economic and political subordination of the indigenous people and shared many of the accompanying attitudes of racism, paternalism, ethnocentricism, and national chauvinism (Strobel, 1991 :xi). Others would argue that it is not certain who set the standards, women or men, and that "segregationist standards were what women deserved, and more importantly what "White" male prestige required that they maintain" (Stoler, 1989:640). In any event it is hard to deny that European women reformers in Africa and  21  Asia shared certain commonalities which transversed geographic region and century - they all benefitted from the privilege of being "White" and having a greater access to power and higher skills than indigenous women. "White" women's interactions with indigenous women were structured along a mother-child relationship which reproduced the maternalistic hierarchy represented by notions of the mother country (Strobel, 1991:70-l). In Canada the arrival of "White" women into frontier society in the nineteenth century symbolized the settled agrarian world and resulted in the emergence of class and racial distinctions and the increase of racism within the community. Although, as Van Kirk (1990) notes, there is no excuse for the racism shown by European women to "Indian" women in the early days of Canadian colonization, it was aggravated by what, in their view, was a threat to their own welfare. "Indian" women were in competition with "White" women for the European man and as both became locked into a precarious dependency on men there was an increase in social rivalry between both groups which was compounded by race (Van Kirk, 1980:229). The stereotype of the "petty, frivolous, ethnocentric, and unproductive world of dependant women" may have fit some colonial women, such as the notorious memsabs in India (Strobel, 1991 :xii), but it certainly did not fit all. A number of colonial women, especially travellers, challenged Victorian stereotypes of women (Calloway, 1987:7-9).  Many European  women in the colonies actively resisted the social space to which they were assigned, such as the management of childcare, and housework, and the performance of charitable works. For example, in the settler communities of Algiers and Senegal, some French women ran farms, rooming houses and shops (Stoler, 1989:642), and in Nigeria, West Africa, European women worked as colonial administrators, teachers, missionaries, and nurses, and actually managed to  bridge the racial gap between the colonizer and the colonized (Calloway, 1987:4). Likewise in the early eighteenth century in the Canadian fur trading frontier society of Western Canada, a frontier from which "White" women had been excluded for decades, two women challenged the notion that "White" women were too delicate for frontier life. In 1806 Isabel Gunn disguised herself as a boy in order to be reunited with her lover and worked alongside other servants at Albany Hudson Bay Post until she went into labour and her true identity was revealed. MarieAnne Gaboury decided to join her trapper husband, and in so doing, was exposed to a nomadic hunting life and adopted some of the native ways in order to survive the rigours of Canadian winters (Van Kirk, 1990:175-8). Sometimes European women managed to rework the created image of themselves, and "Others" to gain advantages not previously available. For example, in Peru the Tapadas, who were "White" upper class land-holding women, utilized the image of the "seductively veiled Tapadas" created by society in order to gain a mobility that was previously denied them. By capitalizing upon the intrigue of their costume (the "sayo" or skirt, and the "manto", or shawl), they distinguished themselves from the images of the "carnally voluptuous" mulata or "Black" women, and the "asexual Andean Indian women" in order to move around the city more freely. This self-representation and appropriation of existing images by Peruvian "White" upper class women reflected the class and race divisions of Peruvian society (Poole, 1988:334).  THE COLONIZED WOMAN OF COLOUR  The conqueror will write the body of the "Other" and trace there his own history. From her he will make an historical body - a blazon -of his labours and phantasms"  23 (De Certeau, Michel "The Writing of History" in Montrose, 1991:6)  In the nineteenth century "Black" sexuality was viewed as pathological and was used to define the differences between the races and project the notion of the "diseased, yet attractive 'Other'" (Gilman, (2) 1985:110). "Black" women at that time were equated with prostitutes, and both were seen as "outsiders" and sources of corruption and disease (Gilman,(l) 1985:250). These negative images of "Black" and coloured women were introduced into colonial societies from their European metropolis (Cooper and Stoler, 1989:3) and used to create images of colonized women as the bearers of ill health and a new source of contagion. This fear of sexual contamination, physical danger, and moral breakdown was used to create European identity in contrast to the "Other". Blacks" were used to represent the loss of control and unrestrained sexuality, and sexual contact with them was believed to result in the loss of "White" self. As the colonial mentality believed it was necessary to control the natives it was easy to transfer this notion onto the need to control the "Other" as a sexualized female (Gilman, 1985:250). By depicting "Black" women as "animal-like" and "sexually available" European colonial males placed them outside the realm of "preferred" and idealized womanhood in which "White" women were placed. The body is commonly viewed in sociological discourse as uniquely concrete and one of the more stable points in a changing world (Comaroff, 1992:39-40). Therefore, the European colonizers, already alienated from their own bodies, which had been devalued and sacrificed to Western civilization, projected their repressed primordial instincts onto the bodies of the colonized person, especially the female body (Magani, 1977:114). The colonizers, especially the missionaries, seemed obsessed with all aspects of the colonized body and attempted to convert them into realms of conquest.  The "Black" female body in particular, with its "uncontained" sex,  24 was viewed as a threat to the European male, and required particular attention.  These images  were reinforced and justified by medical investigations such as Curvier's, which some believe was just an excuse for European males to fulfil their fascination with "torrid eroticism" (Gilman, 1995 in Comaroff, 1992:227). Visual representations of "Black" and mixed race women in the colonies took on many forms depending upon the colonial setting and place in history. They vary from the "carnally voluptuous mulata", or "Black" woman, portrayed by nineteenth century painters in Peru (Poole, 1988:334), to Roger Bastide's "Dusty Venus" image of the "beautiful erotic mulata" in Brazilian literature (Delgler, 1971; 188-90). In Peru, for example, nineteenth century artists contrasted the "delicate features small waist and dainty feet of the upper class "White" woman to the "Black" women who they portrayed as "fleshy strong assertive women, who drink, dance, ride horses and cavort openly with men" (Poole, 1988:345). In Western Canada in the early days of fur trading "Indian" women were viewed as sexual objects by European males who placed a great deal of importance on their physical attributes and were constantly evaluating their appearances based on European attitudes.  Traders, on the  whole, felt a sexual attraction to young "Indian" women, especially Cree and Ojibwa girls. Cree women were portrayed as "Frisky" with large, grey, well shaped eyes, that were "lively", "sparkling" and "bewitchen".  The Ojibwa women were described as having pretty black eyes  which they used to "humour in a languishing and engaging manner" (Van Kirk, 1990:23). "Indian" women generally were more likely to be penalized for illicit affairs than their European male partners.  Mixed-race "Indian" girls were pressured by the European male into becoming  increasingly passive and dependant, which was believed to be the appropriate role of nineteenth  25 century women. However, by doing so they faced the danger of "assuming the relatively useless and excessive dependency of their "White" sisters which contrasted sharply with the autonomy and self-reliance of the Indian women" (Ibid: 153). Missionaries made themselves responsible for the education of native and mixed-race girls teaching them that wives generally were expected to be modest, dutiful, obedient, industrious, and above all sexually pure, and that "Indian" wives, in particular, were expected to acculturate to European ideals of womanhood (Ibid: 143, 147). In the early days of European contact the sexual roles between "Indian" women and European men (due to the lack of European women), were not the usual casual promiscuous encounters found in other colonial societies, but were based on marriage and the formation of distinct family units which became the central social aspect of society and increased trade relations between "Indian" women and European men. Although "Indian" wives originally had been described in positive terms as "my woman," "the good wife," "the mother of my children," with the arrival of "White" women the term "squaw" was used increasingly to denote native wives, and derogatory terms such as "brown jug," "swarthy idol," and "bit of brown" became common (Ibid:201). In Vancouver, Canada, the social construction of "Chinese" women was a generic one captured in the popular image of "Johnny Chinaman" which represented all men and women from China. No doubt this arose from the relative absence of Chinese women in the early years of settlement (due to restrictions on their entry imposed by the Canadian government).  This image  of Chinese women and men (and of Chinatown), was used by the British settlers to build a positive image of "Self and was created from existing negative images of Chinese people, such as those found in Orientalist literature (Anderson, 1991:22). Although the image of "Johnny Chinaman" was a unified one and gendered masculine, divisions were made in Vancouver between  26  East/West, civilized/ barbarian; "White'Vnon-"White"; Christian/non-Christian; and Canadian/nonCanadian (Anderson, 1991:71, 104). Women of colour in the colonial situation have, like "White" women, resisted images imposed on them by the dominant culture. In seventeenth century Canada, for example, the indigenous Montagnais women of Quebec resisted the Jesuit's attempt to bring the European structure of "male authority, female fidelity, and the elimination of the right to divorce," and continued to activate their rights to autonomy equal to that of their men's (Leacock, in Etienne and Elcock, 1980:28), and although today their status has changed it still remains relatively high (Ibid:41). In the colonizing of the Caribbean and mainland America indigenous women took advantage of the fact that Spanish men were encouraged to marry them (due to the lack of "White" women in the early days of colonial rule). Although it is a commonly held view that the conquest of the Americas was the "conquest of the women" in fact "The creative role of "Indian" women and their mestizo offspring in producing a mestizo culture that brought together traits of the pre-conquest and European society has been largely ignored" (Nash, in Etienne and Elcock, 1980:145). In Canada both "Indian" and mixed-raced women were not passive victims of male domination, but active agents in determining the roles they chose to play, taking initiative in various social and economic spheres.  "Indian" women, for example, often actively searched for a  European husband and for a time were able to use their position between the two groups to improve their own status (Van Kirk, 1990:7-8).  THE SLAVERY EXPERIENCE Existing Western myths of "Black" and "White" female identities were exacerbated by  27  the introduction of slavery into the New World. Norms of gender and "race" conventions, which were part of the dominant social order, gelled into even stronger notions that shaped the identities of women and "Blacks" and guided their behaviour. Although, as already noted, ideologies of women, together with those of "race", have their roots far back in history, during slavery these ideas were moulded into a specific American mythology that was beneficial to "White" males. Women and "Blacks" were the foundation on which "White" males built a patriarchal system centred on the economy of slavery (White, 1985:58). Both groups were depicted as "infantile, irresponsible, submissive, and promiscuous," and being dependant upon the "White" male, they were treated as inferior outsiders (Ibid:27-8). Slavery, as a social system, moulded the lives of all women, and "gender afforded a principle of the practical, political, and symbolic organization of society" (Genovese, 1988:193). This social system desperately needed to re-enforce the stereotypes of "White" and "Black" women in order to restrict them to their essential roles as producers, and most importantly as reproducers, of plantation economy. Therefore, one of the notable nineteenth century images of woman as a nurturing mother, took on additional significance in the slave economies of the New World (White, 1985:56). The "White" slave-holding woman was portrayed as a "lady" whose privileged position was essential to her social role and identity. As mistress of the plantation she was expected to be gentle and nurturing, and have the qualities of "piety, purity, chastity and obedience" and most importantly, to develop her skills of motherhood (Genovese, 1988:202). Although outnumbered by non-slave-holding "White" women in the Southern States this image of the "ideal" woman, embodied in the plantation mistress, was strong and resistant to change (Ibid:47). However,  28 although "White" women were privileged by race and class, with some degree of power over their lives, it is evident that many were also trapped by their femaleness in a "White" male-dominated society, and that, in some ways, wives of slave-holders were "as much slaves as their Negroes". They were expected to supervise every household function, and were often also responsible for duties that ranged from the making of clothes, to the care, and education of "Black" children (White, 1985:51-2). Also, "White" women were frequently subjected to "prolonged humiliation and severe psychological stress" at the hands of their husbands (Clinton, in Finkleman, 1989:22). They yearned to be free from the sexual constraints placed on them which only served to emphasize their husband's domination of them (White, 1985:39). Powerless to fight back at unfaithful husbands many slave-holding women took their revenge out on female slaves, and also their light-skinned offspring (Ibid:41-2). Obviously the experiences of the "White" women in the slave cultures of the New World in no way equalled the harrowing experiences of the female slave (Clinton in Finkleman, 1989:22), "The safety of the pedestal, questionable as it was, had not been extended to her". While expected to work as hard as a man, and punished equally, she was also required to fulfil the important role of motherhood (White, 1985:14). The slave woman was constrained threefold by being: "Black in a White society, slave in a free society, woman in a society ruled by men" (Ibid: 15). "Black" women were expected to be submissive because they were "Black" and slaves, in contrast to "White" women who were expected to be passive because they were women. This greatly affected the sex roles of "Black" and "White" women and society's expectations of them (Ibid: 17). The fundamental image of the "Black" woman that emerges from the slavery experience is  29  one of a strong woman, who represented the. "Embodiment of Mother Earth, the quintessential mother with infinite sexual, life-giving, and nurturing reserves" (Wallace, 1979,in White, 1985:27). This provided the "Black" woman with an ambiguous identity: on the one hand she fulfilled the Victorian model of domesticity and maternity, and yet she was in no way: "submissive, subordinate or prudish", nor was she expected to be so (White, 1985:21-2). Two images of the "Black" woman emerged in the Southern States which reflected these conflicting universal female archetypes: Jezebel; and Mammy. "One was carnal, the other maternal".  The  sensual Jezebel was: "the counter-image of the mid-nineteenth century ideal of the Victorian Lady".  She was not pious or prudish, and domesticity was not as important as her sensuality  (Ibid:29-30). The powerful Mammy image, however, symbolized the: "ideal slave, the ideal woman, and the ideal of patriarchal tradition," and, raised motherhood to sainthood in the Southern States (Ibid:49;58). Both were used to justify various aspects of slavery: the Jezebel image was utilized to excuse miscegenation, and the sexual exploitation of the "Black" women; the Mammy image, in contrast, served to alleviate fears of racial pollution and women's emasculating sexual powers, and also to endorse the services of the "Black" woman in "White" households (Ibid:61). In slave societies the "Black" woman, in contrast to the "White" woman: "never enjoyed or was never entirely imprisoned by - a definition of womanhood" (Genovese, 1988:373).  Some  argue that the "Black" woman had no definition of herself as a woman and that: "She had nothing to fall back on, not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, in the desolation of her reality she may very well have invented herself (Toni Morrison in Genovese, 1988:372). Others argue to the contrary, that although the female slave did not play the traditional female role defined in  30 nineteenth century America, because she was not subordinate and submissive in relation to slave men, and despite being confined by the limitations of slavery, she was able to organize her own female world (Harris, 1992:239). In fact the slave woman developed her own culture and sense of womanhood, and her bonds to other female slaves were actually enhanced by Southern plantation life which required women and girls to work together (White, 1985:22). However, as a result, although the "Black" woman in slave societies was "self-reliant" and "self-sufficient" ideas of the "Self were linked to the female slave collective rather than to individual notions of identity (Harris, 1992:234). An important aspect of slavery was that "White" and "Black" woman were co-constructed by racism and sexism which served to pit them against one other. For, in order to keep the "White" woman on a pedestal, unobtainable, and therefore free from the taint of immorality, it was necessary to construct the "Black" woman as being sexually available (White, 1985:38-39). Despite the glaring differences between "Black" and "White" women's lives during slavery they were a number of important similarities. All women in the slave cultures of the New World were overwhelmed by work that was: "hard, mundane, repetitive, and unrewarding" and they had little power over their own reproductive abilities. However, although all women were relatively powerless and exploited in comparison to the "White" male the "Black" woman's position was extreme because racism was more powerful than sexism, and she was a victim of both (Ibid: 162).  CONTEMPORARY IMAGES OF "BLACK" AND "WHITE" WOMEN In contemporary Western cultures "Black" and "White" women continue to be restricted by external means and through the "internalization" of negative images of women portrayed  31  constantly by the mass media. These images still retain stereotypes grounded in an historical past that includes the enslavement of both women and "Blacks".  Although these stereotypes have  been transformed to a certain extent, to fit the contemporary notions of "race" and gender, they remain much the same. "Black" women are still contained by their colour through the continual overt and subliminal messages they receive from society (especially the mass media), about the imagined superiority of "Whites".  Fanon (1967) describes how "Blacks" are "woven out of a  thousand details, anecdotes and stories" by the "White" man (Fanon, 1967:111). In Western cultures this "ideological hegemony," (Gramsci, Prison Notebooks. 1929-35, 1971) is "An encompassing web of socially created and communicated values, beliefs, meanings, understandings and political practices function on a mass level in ways which maintain and perpetuate the existing system of domination in society" (Schweitzer in Geyer and Heinz, 1992:36). Foucault describes the power of such "ideological hegemony" as "a pervasive, intangible network of force which weaves itself into our slightest gestures and most intimate utterances" (Foucault in Eagleton, 1991:7). The portrayal of "Black" female stereotypes such as Mammy, and Jezebel, originally created in the Southern States slave societies of the nineteenth century, and later ones of Aunt Jemimma, and Sapphire, still persist in the mass media in the United States, despite positive cultural images being introduced, such as those portrayed on the "Cosby Show" and a "Different World." One of the most damaging effects, of these images is that while qualities such as independence, aggressiveness, and decisiveness are depicted by them, they are translated as negative by the dominant culture, and often by "Black males," yet many of these qualities are viewed as positive and necessary for their survival by African-American woman.  1  32  CONCLUSION This chapter has illustrated the complex interconnections between the social constructions of "White" and "Black" women, in Western cultures and how these images of the "Self are created in juxtaposition to images of the "Other" through the influences of religious, political, cultural, and scientific ideologies. By examining Women's collective experiences of slavery and colonialism it was possible to illustrate the disjunction between the social constructions of how women should be, and their actual experiences.  Women neither fulfil the stereotypes completely,  or manage to avoid the restraints imposed on them by such images. Relationships between the prescribed images and behaviour of women vary with individual and historical circumstances.  In  fact women are not only affected by the process of socialization, but affect its processes themselves "They are active participants as well as passive recipients in the elaboration of culture" (Kelly, 1979:89). The following chapter will deal with theories on the social constructions of race and gender in capitalist societies from an anti-racist/imperialist Neo-Marxist feminism perspective.  33 CHAPTER TWO - THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES AND METHODOLOGY  No single theory in contemporary sociological debates completely explains or addresses all the issues concerned with the construction of "Black" and "White" women in western societies As outlined in the preceding chapter, these social constructions result from the complex interplay of ideology, capitalism, western imperialism, colonialism and slavery. For the purpose of this thesis, aspects of relevant academic theories will be integrated to create an analytic framework within which to evaluate the manifestation of "racialized" female symbolism in early historical narratives of British Columbia. This will be achieved by combining an anti-racist perspective with that of Marxism feminism.  Such a perspective recognizes "race" and gender (as well as  capital and class) as analytical tools for labelling women of all "races" in Western cultures (Bannerji, 1993:xxii). The primary objective will be to highlight the intersections as well as the connections, and differences, between the social constructions of "Black" and "White" women. This chapter, therefore, will examine the following theoretical dimensions: interconnections of "race" and gender; theories of identity and difference; feminist debates on "race" and gender; the postmodernist debate on identities; and finally, counter-hegemonic practices used to combat negative stereotypes of "Black" and "White" women.  INTERCONNECTIONS BETWEEN "RACE" AND GENDER As early as the 1940's connections between the oppression of women and of "Blacks" were seen to be a result of a paternalism which emerged in pre-industrial society (Mrydal, 1944). By the 1950's similarities were drawn between the life conditions of women and those of "Blacks"  34  and the "analysis of the ideology of gender relations was thus established in a framework based on parallelism with race" (deBeauvoir, 1953, 1973: 683;68 in Jackman, 1994:49-50). More recently various efforts have been made to examine the interconnections of "race" and gender (often together with class), in order to address issues of racism and sexism. (Anthias and Yuval-Davis, 1992; Bannerji, 1993; Eisenstein, 1994; Frankenberg, 1993; Guillaumin, 1995; Hill-Collins, 1990; hooks, 1984, 1990, 1994; Moghadam, 1994; Stasiulis, 1990; Tobach and Rosoff 1994; Vorst, 1991; Ware, 1992). According to Ware (1992) there are three similarities between "Blacks" and women that have led to their different subordinations: First, the biological differences between "Blacks'V'Whites" and male/female; second, the ideological beliefs that position both "Blacks" and women as the "Other"; and third, the social division of labour where "Blacks" and women perform labour that is culturally specific. Ware stresses that these three categories may not explain why "race" and gender subordination has existed for so long, but may account for how they have been maintained in Western culture (Ware, 1992:236-238). She notes that the history of women and "Blacks" is intricately linked through their struggle for emancipation, women from the domination of patriarchy, "Blacks" from the injustices of racism. Ware uses the politics of the anti-slavery movement to examine the problematic nature of the category "woman" in feminist historical research, stressing that an examination of the relationships between "White" women and slaves is important in considering the connections between "race" and gender (Ibid:xv). The biological differences between women/men, "Blacks"/ "Whites" were reinforced by Sociobiology in the 1970's. Sociobiology advocated the "naturalness" of patriarchy and sanctioned both sexism and racism by providing a genetic explanation for social difference which,  35 because it was fixed, justified the continued domination of one group by another (Tobach and Rosoff, 1994:76-7).  Some contemporary theorists still argue that phenotypical markers of racial  differences, such as skin colour, are not socially constructed or easily deconstructed (Mason, 1986:6 in Stasiulis, 1990:280). Others stress that the presence, or absence, of one specific hormone "can offer singly insight into social behaviours of individuals" (Tobach and Rosoff, 1994:86). Both Guillaumin (1995) and Tobach and Rosoff (1994) argue against the biological determinism that is re-emerging in some contemporary analyses and point out that there is nothing "natural" about "race" and gender categories, both of which are historically evolving concepts related to the social relations of domination (Guillaumin, 1995:1; Tobach and Rosoff, 1994:4). Although many contemporary sociologists understand that "race" and gender categories have been culturally constructed and are not just a result of biology they still fail to recognize their importance (Calhoun, in Seidman and Wagner, 1992:250). Theories concerning cultural ideologies and the distribution of power in societies, the second category noted by Ware, are important in any discussion of "race" and gender (Antonio, 1990; Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, Hall et al., 1982; Diamond and Quinby, 1988; Eagleton, 1991; Hebdige, 1979; Schweitzer, 1992)). The most widely accepted definition of ideology is that it is a method used by the dominant social group (or class) to legitimize their power in society by promoting and naturalizing their ideas while, at the same time, demoting and excluding rival ones which results in the masking of social reality (Eagleton, 1991:5). This ideological, or cultural, domination of one group over another is gained by engineering a consensus by controlling cultural forms and major institutions (Gramsci, 1971 in Jary and Jary, 1991:207). Marx argues that "the class, which is the ruling material force in society is at the  36 same time its ruling intellectual force" (Marx and Engels in Hebdige, 1979:15). It is not just the control of material production but the control of the production of ideas, that results in a "false consciousness  which accepts, and even affirms, the present state of things in the existing  world." This ideological hegemonic control of society organizes everyday conceptions of the world and permeates all aspects of life from schools to church, family, voluntary associations, social institutions and the media, all of which combine to maintain such domination. Two ideological forms of this "reified consciousness" are racism and sexism, which are used to sustain social inequalities (Schweitzer, 1992:35-6). Ideology, therefore, is a product of those who hold power in society and both are inseparable. For, truth is never "outside power, or lacking in power" (Foucault, 1980:131 in Diamond and Quinby, 1988:x-xi). Oppression in Western cultures is related to the "either/or" ("Black"/ "White"; man/woman) dichotomous tendency of Eurocentric masculinized thought which dominates social discourse and assumes one side is privileged, the other not. For "Black" and "White" women ideology has been used as a means of perpetuating "White" male domination. In addition "Black" women are further oppressed by the interlocking systems of "race," gender and class. "Black" women experience domination on several levels: personal, or internalized oppression; oppression from the dominant "White" culture; community oppression; and systemic oppression from social institutions. As a result "Black" women receive "varying amounts of penalty and privilege from the multiple systems of oppression which frames everyone's lives" (Hill-Collins, 1990: 621). "White" women, however, although also dominated by "White" males, are in a privileged position in relation to "Blacks," especially "Black" women, and therefore experience an ambiguous identity in Western societies (Ware, 1992:237).  37 Finally, the third category used by Ware to illustrate the interconnections of "race" and gender is economics. Capital, together with "race" and patriarchy, is also seen to be responsible for the oppression of women in society. The sexual division of labour and "the concomitant subordination of women are integral parts of capitalist production" (Hamilton and Barret, 1987:237). A number of authors have addressed the issue of the exploitation of women of colour in capitalist countries (Parmar, 1982, in Stasiulus, 1990:273; Brand, 1993, in Bannerji, 1993:222; Creese, 1986, in Stasiulis, 1990:277). However, the specific position of women of colour, especially "Black" women, in the labour forces of Western societies, has been overlooked by many "White" feminists who have neglected to note "the role of racism in differentiating the material circumstances of white and Black women in relations of both production and reproduction" (Stasiulis, 190:286). In conclusion, there is nothing "natural" about gender and racial categories which are used by those in power to control women and "Blacks" in Western cultures, even though they are so persuasive that they are rarely questioned by most of society. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that being female or "Black" in a society that seeks to dominate both groups result in disadvantages that are difficult, though not impossible, to overcome. The sexual and racial division of labour, and the legacy of slavery, as it relates specifically to "Black" and "White" women, are also aspects of Western society that need careful consideration. The three categories of biology, ideology, and economics Ware identifies will therefore provide a useful framework from which to address the social constructions of "Black" and "White" women.  38  THEORIES OF IDENTITY AND DIFFERENCE Woman can never be defined. Bat, dog, chick, mutton, tart. Queen, madam, lady of pleasure. Mistress. "Belle-de-nuit," woman of the streets, fruit woman, fallen woman, Cow, vixen, bitch. Call girl, joy girl. Lady and whore are both bred to please...a Womb, a mere baby's pouch, or "nothing but sexuality". She is a passive substance, a parasite, an enigma whose mystery proves to be a snare and a delusion. "Truth, beauty, poetry - she is All: once more all under the form of the Other. A l l except herself (Simone De Beauvoir). Yet, even with or because of her capacity to embody All, woman is lesser than man. (Trinh T.Minh-Ha, 1989:96-7) Socially created definitions of women are as numerous as man's imagination, forever evolving through time and space to fit the needs of the moment.  These varied descriptions of  "imagined" women are attempts by "mankind" to encapsulate the enigma that is "womankind" and perhaps alleviate the fear that "he" can never really know "her" true essence.  Issues of identity  and difference relevant to the constructions of "White" women and women of colour, specifically "Black" women, are even more varied and complex. To understand where these images come from requires a review of contemporary theories that deal with the following social constructions: Reality (Berger and Luckmann, 1960); "Blackness" (Hill-Collins, 1990; Hooks, 1992; Fanon, 1967; Tajfel, 1965); "Whiteness" (Frankenberg, 1993; Mcintosh, 1988; Ware, 1991); and "Race" Miles, 1989). The social construction of reality results in the "Other" becoming more real to me than I "Myself because the "Other's" reality is always present and easier to grasp than my own. For, in order to make my reality available, requires that I stop and "deliberately turn my attention back upon myself (Berger and Lukmann, 1960:28). As a result certain identities develop as the social creations of individuals, located in a particular culture and historical moment.  These  constructions are frequently internalised by the "Other" who has been created out of the  39  imagination of the "Self." Therefore, "no human thought, (with a few exceptions), is immune to the ideological influences of its social context" (Ibid:9). Also, although our identity is partly shaped by recognition, it is often shaped by the misrecognition of others.  This misrecognition, or  non-recognition, is a form of oppression which can "imprison someone in a false distorted, and reduced mode of being" (Taylor, 1992:25). Marx argues that "it is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness" (Marx, 1859 in Tucker, 1978:4). As mentioned in chapter one, the social construction of the "Other" juxtapositioned with the "Self was the dominant colonial discourse in Europe, Canada, and other European colonies throughout the world. These ideological images were created, rarely questioned, and used to fulfil vested material interests and as political tools in a struggle for hegemonic control of culture and ideas. The Social Psychological Approach of Henry Tajfel (1965, 1978) to the study of the social construction of "Blackness" links racism and colour by concentrating on interpersonal and intergroup relationships and subjective definitions of "Blackness," such as stereotypes and belief systems (Tajfel, 1965, 1978 in Anthias and Yuval-Davis, 1992:135). Tajfel views colour as an independent variable in racism and provides three explanations for the specificity of "Blackness." First, the widespread tendency towards a scientific explanation of differences between "races" where skin colour is easily used in crude "scientific" racist theories.  Secondly, the visibility of  "Blackness". Finally, the attitudes of western culture to the colour "Black" which carries with it negative symbols and is an "expression of a historical cultural tradition which operates on deeper, sometimes unconscious, levels in western civilization" (Ibid: 138). Hooks (1992) also makes a direct link "between the maintenance of white supremacist patriarchy in this society and the  40 institutionalization via mass media of specific images, representations of race, of blackness that support and maintain the oppression, exploitation and overall domination of all black people" (hooks, 1992:2). According to Frankenberg (1993) "Whiteness," like "Blackness," is also socially constructed, and "Whites," as well as "Blacks," live racially structured lives. This "Whiteness" gives an advantage of "race" privilege, and is a standpoint from which "Whites" examine themselves and others, carrying with it a set of cultural practices that usually are "unmarked and unnamed" (Frankenberg, 1993:1). Mcintosh (1988) sees "White" privilege as "an invisible package of unearned assets" and believes "whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege" (Mcintosh, 1988:1). "Whiteness" is also constructed in the "Black" imagination and is viewed with "suspicion, fear and even hatred," even by those who imitate the values, speech, and habits of "Whites." This has its roots in the historical memories of "Blacks" where "Whites" were equated with "the mysterious, the strange and the terrible" (hooks, 1992:166). In contemporary Europe, North America and Australasia the idea of "race" is often (but not always) used to distinguish between peoples with different skin colour, rather than between those with some other biological difference. This illustrates that "race" is "not a given, natural division of the world's population, but the application of historical and culturally specific meanings to the totality of human physiological variation." "Races" therefore, are socially constructed, rather than biological realities (Miles, 1989:71). Outlaw (1990), like Miles, views "race" as socially and historically constructed, but also believes that the construction of "race" (despite racism), can be used as a self-conscious basis for political mobilization (Outlaw, 1990 in  Goldberg, 1990:77). However, neo-Marxist's vary in their opinion as to which is more responsible, "racial" oppression, or class exploitation, for the "racial" inequalities, antagonisms and consciousness found within revolutionary social movements (Stailius, 1990:270). In Britain Miles and Phizacklea (Miles 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1988; Phizacklea and Miles, 1980) apply a Marxist political economy perspective to analyze racism, and argue that politics and ideology combine with economics to produce a "racialized" fraction of the working class (Stailius, 1990:271-2). Hall (1980) and the Birmingham Centre for Cultural Studies (1982) in their Relative Autonomy Model locate racism within a specific set of economic relations (Stailius, 1990;273). It is important to note that racism exists however, not only in the minds of racists, but also in the minds of those who have been its victims. Therefore, in a racist society, racism affects both men and women of all races (Chater, 1994:100), and "Whites" become trapped in their "Whiteness", just as "Blacks" are trapped within their "Blackness" (Fanon, 1986:11, in Anthias and Yuval Davis, 1992:139).  FEMINIST DEBATES Until fairly recently, feminist discourse failed to address the issues of racism due to certain assumptions within the feminist movement.  These assumptions included the belief, firstly, that  racism was a result of a patriarchal society, and therefore not the responsibility of "White" women. Secondly, that "White" western feminists believed their issues reflected those of all women, and as a result denied a voice to "racial" and ethnic minority women. Thirdly, Marxist feminism, by prioritizing class and economics, overlooked the importance of women's oppression as a result of "racialized" social relations (Anthias and Yuval-Davis, 1992:105). However, more  42 contemporary feminist Marxism recognizes the divisions and differences in society and use a materialistic, dialectical and historical approach, rejecting the economic determinism of orthodox Marxism such as portrayed by Cox (1948). Cox believed the development of colonial capitalism was primarily responsible for the "racial" antagonism against "Blacks" and was used to justify their economic exploitation. Unfortunately this reductionist tendency still predominates in contemporary Marxist analyses of immigration and racism in Canada (Stasiulis, 1990:271). Jaggar, in contrast advocates a synthesis within feminism of "Marxist, radical, psychoanalytical, and even liberal feminist thought" by identifying the concept of alienation to explain how capitalism alienates women from everyone and everything, including themselves (Tong, 1989:186). Tong however, notes that although there is a great potential for the integration of the many strands of feminist thought, which Jagger also advocates, all of them only provide partial answers.  These attempts at integration have been challenged by postmodern feminists as a  "phallocentric" approach which does not reflect women's diverse experiences across "race", class and cultural lines (Tong, 1989:7). The challenge of "White" feminism therefore is to accept responsibility for their own racism and acknowledge that their dealings with women of colour often mirrors the patriarchal attitudes of "White" males.  POSTMODERNIST THEORIES Postmodernist theories address the gaps in Marxist approaches to "racial" and gender inequalities. These theorists have abandoned Historical Materialism and Structural Functionalism, believing them to be ethnocentric in the way they legitimize social hierarchies and ignore marginalized groups. These discourses are thought to contribute to the social  43 construction of generic gender categories, such as that of the "fixed, universal woman." These constructions are rejected by postmodern feminists who wish to end the traditional domination of knowledge by "White" males in western cultures. The trend, therefore, in feminist discourse is towards more local narratives of lived women's lives and a move away from meta theories (Seidman and Wagner, 1992:68-9).  WOMEN OF COLOUR CRITIQUE OF "WHITE" FEMINISM Despite the postmodernist emphasis on difference women of colour in western cultures continue to be subjects of racist stereotypes that originate from western historical representations of the "Other," and of "Blackness," and by patriarchal conceptions of women. These images and representations seriously restrict the participation of women of colour in mainstream society and, specifically, from being part of the feminist and cultural studies debates. A number of strategies have been suggested by women of colour to address these problems. Bannerji (1993) advocates seeking a voice in feminist debates by addressing the absence and exclusion women of colour in mainstream feminist literature. Her objective is to highlight the fact that there are critical voices of non - "White" women in Canada who have not been recognized by editors and publishers (Bannerji, 1993:ix-x). Secondly, in order to gain an understanding of the multiple systems of oppression in society, women of colour are urged to examine the connections between "race", gender, and class, and specifically, between racism and sexism. These intersections produce specific effects which are not easy to understand and therefore cannot be treated simply as different layers of oppression (Anthias and Yuval Davis, 1992:100; Davis, 1981:221; hooks, 1989:22). Thirdly, hooks (1992) stresses that "Black" women should challenge the stereotypes  44 of themselves that are perpetuated in mainstream culture and replace them with more positive ones of their own. Her argument is that unless the negative image of "Blackness" is altered "Blacks" cannot make changes that will improve their position in society (hooks, 1992:7). Hoo'ks also emphasizes that many "Blacks" consider themselves inferior to "Whites" and are actually obsessed with "Whiteness," and this obsession is rarely addressed by "Black" scholars. Therefore, "Blacks" need to deconstruct "Whiteness" in their own imagination (together with the fear that it holds for many of them), in order to eliminate the power of racism and free their minds from colonial influences (Ibid: 11, 178). Some women of colour see the importance of moving the centre of feminist debates from the mainstream, traditionally dominated by "White" middleclass women, to the margin, which they believe can become a site for change and resistance (Bannerji, 1993:xvii; hooks, 1984:15). Finally, women of colour, in order to build a mass-based feminist movement, need to acknowledge "that we have all (irrespective of our race, sex and class) acted in complicity with the existing oppressive system." A cultural transformation would be achieved by a gradual struggle based on the examples of liberation movements led by oppressed people world-wide (hooks, 1984:161, 163).  "WHITE" FEMINIST RESPONSE TO WOMEN OF COLOUR CRITIQUE The critique by women of colour, especially "Black" women, that the feminist movement has failed to include them and address their issues, has not gone unnoticed by some "White" feminists. Frankenberg (1993) argues that "White" women are affected by the historical memory that is used in contemporary society to form images. This is an important factor in the investigation of "Whiteness," womanhood, and racism. Frankenberg believes "Whiteness"  45 provides "White" women with a structural advantage based on "race", which, as a "White" feminist, she was unaware of until challenged in the 1980's by radical women of colour, such as bell hooks. Frankenberg asserts that "White" women traditionally addressed racism by believing that anti-racist work was a compassionate way of assisting the "Other," not fully realizing that racism was "intimately" and "organically" linked to their own lives. "White" women were also unaware of how their privileged position in society was created in relation to people of colour (Frankenberg, 1993:6). In order to address these issues Frankenberg examines the formation of "White" women's "race" consciousness and the social construction of the "White Gaze".  This  is an investigation which attempts to rectify the failing of academic discourse to name and examine the "White" westerner who has traditionally remained the "unmarked" subject, in contrast to the "Other," who is usually the "marked" subject of investigation. "Whiteness," therefore, is seldom seen as part of the problem of racism from the westerner's viewpoint, and in particular in the eyes of western feminists. Frankenberg studied the lives of "White" women initially to understand how racism shaped their lives, secondly to discover the social processes that resulted in the reproduction of racism in the feminist movement, and finally, to determine how "White" women's lives can become the sites of resistance to racism (Ibid: 8). She discovered that many of the "White" women interviewed, even when challenging racism, drew on a "White centred logic" that contained elements of the colonial "Other," when attempting to construct themselves and describe their lives (Ibid:70). Many of the "White" women interviewed by Frankenberg viewed "Whiteness" as being cultureless and formless in contrast to "Other" cultures which they saw as being more real, which serves to emphasize the fact that it is far easier to know what one is not than what one is (Ibid: 196). In conclusion, "White" women, because they are part of the system  46  that they seek to challenge, are implicated in their racial standpoint whether they choose to be or not (Ibid: 171). Mcintosh (1988) notes that "Whites" are taught not to recognize "White" privilege, which comes as an invisible package of unearned assets that "Whites" are able to cash in on every day, but about which they are meant to remain oblivious. She compares this to male privilege, which she argues depicts the same qualities of denial (Macintosh, 1988:1). Mcintosh states that due to her "White" skin she receives numerous specific privileges including, being able to be heard in a group when she is the only one of her "race" present; protect her children most of the time from people who may hate them; and purchase a house in an area she can afford, or want to live in (Ibid:5-9). Being "White" also ensures that Macintosh can do anything she chooses, within the limits of her educational background, and also makes her feel comfortable, confident and oblivious, at the expense of other groups (Ibid: 11-12). All of these conditions (plus numerous others) Macintosh had, until recently, taken for granted believing they were "neutral, normal, and universally available to everyone" and not "bad for the holder." These patterns of assumptions, she argues, are passed on as part of being "White" in a racist society (Ibid.TO).  COUNTER-HEGEMONIC PRACTICES The task now is to investigate ways in which negative socially constructed images of "Black" and White" women can be deconstructed in order to facilitate equality for women of all colours. There are a number of methods by which women of all "races", classes and cultures can deconstruct, demystify, and overturn hegemonic ways of thinking, and in so doing re-invent themselves.  47 The first step is to deconstruct the category of generic woman in order to analyze "the diversities and communalities among women from a wide range of societal, ethnic and class contexts." These diversities need to be examined in an historical context in order to see the interconnections between "race", culture and class (Anthias and Yuval Davis, 1992:98). The way to do this is to deconstruct the symbol of woman and view women as human beings and their rights as human rights (Moghadam, 1994:22). Secondly, "Black" women, in order to deconstruct negative images of themselves, should challenge hegemonic stereotypes by critically analyzing the social constructions of "Blacks" (especially in the media) and replacing them with positive new images. "Black" women must also be aware that they recreate stereotypical images of themselves and it is only by collectively changing the way they view such images, and the world, can they alter the way they are seen (hooks, 1992.6). Hooks urges "Blacks" to love "Blackness" and use it as political resistance "to move against the forces of domination" (Ibid:4,20). This method has successfully been used to assert a positive image of "Blackness" through such movements as: L'Etudiant Noir (France); L a Revive Indigene (Haiti); Negismo (Cuba); The Negro Renaissance Movement (Cesaire, 1972:70); The Black Panthers, Black is Beautiful (United States); and The Rastarfarians (Jamaica); and also through the music of "heavy reggae", "dub", and "avant-garde" jazz (Hebdige, 1979:42). Hooks also urges "Blacks" to utilize the "Oppositional Gaze" as a means of resistance which defiantly declares: "Not only will I stare I want my look to change reality" (hooks, 1992:116). The third step for women of colour to assert agency is through a revolutionary feminism and not by pleading for liberal tolerance (Bannerji, 1993:xviii). Bannerji argues that analysis needs to begin with a knowledge of one's own historical self and proceed to a critique of the  48 dominant ideology's version of history (Ibid.xvi). However, Hill-Collins (1990) asserts that, while it is important to have individual empowerment, it is only through collective action that lasting social changes can be achieved. This power, she argues, is given to Afrocentric feminist knowledge by an analysis of "race", class and gender (Hill-Collins, 1990:615,626). A fourth step, for any research on women of colour is to address their absence in Canadian mainstream feminism by using their experiences as the central point of analysis to provide a new perspective (Bannerji, 1993 :xii; Collins, 1990:617). Hooks believes that the marginality of "Black" women is a "counter-hegemonic marginal space where radical black subjectivity is seen, not overseen, by any authoritative Other claiming to know us better than we know ourselves" (Hooks, 1990:22). The fifth step would involve action by "White" feminists to deconstruct "Whiteness" and address issues of their own racism in order to rectify their past mistakes of silencing and ignoring women of colour. Mcintosh (1988) believes that it is not enough for "Whites" to change their attitudes unless the system of domination is changed, and this can only be done by initially acknowledging just how powerful it is (Mcintosh, 1988:18). Chater (1994) argues that "White" feminist need to fight racism because it is a form of oppression and, if some women are oppressed by racism and others are privileged, it is a feminist issue. Finally, as all people are "racialized", racism affects all women, both "White" and "Black." "White" feminists need to admit that they are part of the problem and make alliances with women of colour that are not just based on their own interests, as was frequently the case in the past (Chater, 1994:100-101). Hooks (1992) feels that "Whites" should learn to identify the differences within "Black" culture, and appreciate that these differences are a basis for "Black" solidarity. In addition, "Whites" need to understand why  49  they continue to reproduce negative "Black" images so that they can avoid recreating the imperial gaze of domination (hooks, 1992:13,7). This would involve "Whites" fully understanding themselves, altering their ways of seeing "Blacks" and joining with them to change these negative images. She encourages more writing about "Blacks" to come from non-"Blacks" who have been able to overcome racism and love "Blackness" without becoming "cultural tourists." (hooks, 1992:16).  Hooks believes that the emphasis on differences as a basis for racial harmony that is  advocated by feminist activists is a good starting point in the quest to eliminate "White supremacy," but cautions that this approach can also create problems and divisions within society (hooks, 1990:130). A number of problems emerge as "White" women try to address their socially constructed "Whiteness" and their position of privilege in society. As Frankenberg (1993) discovered "White" women find it easier to study "Black" women than to study themselves, perhaps due to the "Other" being more real than the "Self (Berger and Luckman, 1966:2). Also, the problem of centering "White" women as the object of study could re-enforce their privileged position, either consciously, or unconsciously. This is not to say that such studies are not valid and could lead to a greater understanding of privilege and power in society. Both "White" and "Black" anti-racist feminists believe that the main focus should be on the interconnections, of "race," gender and class, rather than on their similarities and differences. Hill-Collins (1990) argues that "White" feminists cannot produce "Black" feminist thought without African American women and "Black" female intellectuals, who are obviously central to the debate. However, they can develop self-defined knowledge that is reflective of their own standpoint. Because, in order to have a complete articulation of "Black" feminist thought there  50 needs to be a collaboration based on coalitions, which cannot develop if it is isolated from the experiences and ideas of other groups (Hill-Collins, 1990:36,615-6). Both Davis (1982) and Ware (1992) maintain that the solidarity between "White" and "Black" women which occurred in the nineteenth century during the struggle, however short lived, for the emancipation of "Blacks" from slavery and women from sexism, is an indication that alliances can be made between "White" and "Black" women in contemporary society (Davis, 1981:104; Ware, 1992:xviii). It becomes apparent from this review of theories on gender and "race" differences that new ways need to be developed to examine "racial" and gender inequalities. Although one must be cautious about making generalizations from the oppression of women and "Blacks," and specifically of "White" and "Black" women, as they vary significantly from situation to situation, "the basic point remains: radical inequalities of power and privilege are a defining feature of race and gender relations" (Tobach and Rosoff, 1994:147). From a neo-Marxist perspective these socially created images of "race" and gender evolve, not just from the economic system of industrialized western cultures founded on imperialism, colonialism and slavery, but also from Judeo-Christian ideologies based on a patriarchal system that classifies both women and "Blacks" as the "Other" and continues to permeate the Western psyche. All levels of society, not just the political system, are sites of these creations, and one of the most effective constraints placed upon all women is the internalization of these images, which limits women's full participation in society. Therefore, in order to change "internalized" racism (and sexism), it is necessary, to combine everyday critical thinking with theoretical knowledge (Hooks, 1994:2-5). My argument is that there needs to be a synthesis between a macro-historical study of  51 racism and sexism and a micro level analysis of women's lives. In such a process it is important to "respond to diversity by attempting to find relationships, not just by embracing or eradicating difference" (Seidman, 1992:277). It is also essential to recognize that both "Black" and "White" women are not just passive objects of social processes but are active agents who resist, and often overcome, adversity, and that "unity between women across racial and class lines is potentially one of the greatest forces for changing the World" (Ware, 1992: 254). Therefore, the main focus of the following case study of British Columbia (1858-1900) will be to examine the social construction of "White" and "Black" women to illustrate how these images were influenced by ideology, economics, politics, history and geographical location, but more importantly, how they were resisted and reworked by these pioneer women in their efforts to carve a meaningful place for themselves in their new frontier society.  METHODOLOGY: THE CASE STUDY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1858-1900 Much of western history has been constructed from a "White" male perspective which traditionally excluded women and people of colour and, as a result, negated them and their contributions to society. In an attempt to fill these gaps left by traditional historical accounts, and to gain a more comprehensive and humanistic picture of society, this thesis will use an historical sociological approach (Tilly, 1990) to examine the creation of "racialized" female symbolism in British Columbia (1858-1900). For "women are more likely to be "represented" than to be described or to have their stories told - much less to be allowed to tell their own stories" (Duby and Perrot, 1992:2). The advantage of applying an historical sociological approach is that it promotes an understanding of "the relationship of personal activity and  52 experience on the one hand and social organization on the other as something that is continuously constructed in time" [underlining added] (Abrams, 1982.16 in Tilly, 1990:17), and also helps us to "understand the past in terms of sociological models and theories." These sociological concepts and principles can be used to describe and analyze historical moments, or to illustrate and test their validity (Cahnman and Boskoff, 1964:8; Hughes, 1960; Lipset, 1968; Social Science Research Council, 1954, in Mariampolski and Hughes, 1978:104-5).  In the writing of  women's history it is important to recognize some of the problems that may be encountered, one of the major ones being that it is often privileged and articulate women (who are usually "White") who are included in traditional historical accounts. This can lead to a tendency to generalize women's experiences from the lives of a privileged minority. Few women in fact had the time, or ability, to record their day to day experiences. Also, the suffrage movement of the late nineteenth century was given prominence in historical accounts of women, which gave the impression that it was their only concern during that period; yet women were in fact challenging the whole power structure of society and were also very concerned with equal pay, and the control of their own persons, property, and children (Loggy, 1975:2). Another major problem in recording women's history is that the material available is not a matter of choice, but what has survived over time, and is related to who had the power and what was considered worth keeping. A way to overcome these problems and gaps is by imaginative reconstructions of history through a full understanding of the data and its interconnections (Mariampoloski and Hughes, 1978: 106). In order to evaluate the historical data presented in the following case study I will try to ensure that the material is: representative, adequate, reliable, and that my interpretations are valid. At the same time I will acknowledges the limitations set by the available material, and the influences of the  53 present such as: my own personality and bias, the "contemporary intellectual atmosphere" in which I live, and the effects of current events in interpreting the past (Ibid: 113). Women of all "races" in British Columbia have traditionally been overlooked in historical accounts, despite the fact that they played an important role in the settling and establishing of our society. This absence is now starting to be addressed (Creese and Strong-Boag, 1992; The Woman's Book Committee, Chinese Canadian National Council, 1992). However, the experiences of "Black women" settlers have not been looked at closely because the major nonEuropean immigrants into British Columbia have been Asian who have received considerable attention from scholars (Anderson, 1991; Con et al., 1982; Buchignanani and Indra, 1985; Creese, 1992; Ward, 1978). Therefore, due to this lack of attention given to women's experiences, especially those of "Black" women, in the historical records of British Columbia, the following case study will compare "Black" and "White" women's life in the context of social constructions of racialized gender predominant at the time. This will be achieved by focusing on the "Black" experience, more specifically the creation of social boundaries between "Whites" and "Blacks" in Victoria and Saltspring Island, which were the first two main "Black" settlements in British Columbia  The  time frame selected for the study, between 1858-1900, is the period when the first major "Black" migration to British Columbia occurred. Three specific factors make this era worthy of investigation: the 1858 arrival in Victoria of approximately 400 "Black" men, women and children from California in response to the Governor's request for settlers; the passage through Victoria of an estimated 10,000-20,000 people of diverse races (mainly men), en route to the gold fields of British Columbia; and finally the shortage of "White" women, due in part to the harsh nature of  54 the environment and the initial restrictions placed on their immigration. These three conditions resulted in specific social constructions of "Blacks" generally, and "Black" and "White" women specifically. The main purpose of this study, therefore, will be to provide a focused account of the creation of these racialized female images in the early historical records of British Columbia by centering both "Black" and "White" women as socially constructed subjects. It will also show how the interconnections (more than the separations) of images of the "Self are created in juxtaposition to images of the "Other." By using a broad prospectus such as this, that considers "race" and gender as ideological constructs that overlap and take on specific significance at certain moments in history, a greater understanding of our rapidly changing contemporary society can be achieved (Ware, 1992:254). For the "linking idea is simple and powerful: past social relations and their residues - material, ideological, and otherwise - constrain present social relations, and consequently their residues as well" (Tilly, 1992:16). Most of the primary material used for this study was obtained from the Provincial Archives in Victoria, The Special Collections Department at the University of British Columbia and the United Church Archives in Vancouver. The accounts by "White" males included: the journal of Bishop Hill (1960); an historical account of British Columbia by the Reverend Matthew Mcfie (1865); and reminiscences of Victoria by Dr. John Helmcken (1892). The records of "White" women included: two travel documents on trips made to Victoria by Sophie Cracroft (1870) and Emma Adams (1888); one autobiography by Mary Angus (1880): one reminiscence by Martha Harris (Douglas, 1861-1901): and finally one account of the early days of Saltspring Island by Margaret Shaw-Walker (1877).  55 Accounts by "Blacks" were not as extensive as those of "Whites" and included: the autobiography of Mifflin Gibbs (1902), the leader of the "Black" community; and the recollections of Sylvia Stark (1867-1966), a "Black" woman pioneer of Saltspring Island (as recorded by her daughter).  This scarcity of accounts by "Blacks" create problems which, though difficult, are not  impossible to overcome. In order to address these gaps in the data I drew mainly on newspaper accounts of the era (primarily in The British Colonist). Due to the discrimination against "Blacks" in churches theatres and other public places, a great deal was written in the press concerning the "Black" community and their relationships with the "White" citizens of Victoria.  Secondary  sources were also used to elicit information on individual "Black" women, and to investigate various interpretations of the period. These secondary sources, included, among others; books on the history of "Blacks" in Canada and British Columbia (Brown, 1971; Carter, 1994; Kilian 1972; Winks, 1971); journal articles (Carey,1982; Winks,1968; Foner, 1970-71); and unpublished articles and thesis (Irby,1971; Pilton,1951). The reliability of the primary data, which mainly consisted of personal records (which, in the case of "Whites," often reflected the racist attitudes of the writer), can be validated by a careful examination of the nature of social relationships between racial groups in British Columbia's pioneering society, and by connecting these attitudes to racial theories and ideologies that were part of nineteenth century European thought (Ibid: 110). The method used to analyze these primary sources is discourse analysis which will "map the language of racism" (and sexism) by tracing themes and ideologies which are created through "patterns of signification and representation of others" and which define culture and society by providing us with a sense of what racism (and sexism) is (Wetherall and Potter, 1992:3). The  56  advantage of this approach is that discourse is concrete and therefore, can be examined as a solid reality. Discourse analysis, by focusing on such activities as "justification, rationalization, categorization, attribution, making sense, naming, blaming and identifying" is useful in the examination of racialized gender constructions (Ibid:2).  57  CHAPTER THREE - THE CASE STUDY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA: 1858-1900  The early history of British Columbia is a colourful tapestry woven from the lives of women and men of numerous racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds.  These early pioneers  "whose courage and constancy blazed the trails and laid the foundations...are the uncrowned kings [queens] of pioneer days" (Marie Wallace in Kilian, 1971:115). However, as most traditional historical accounts of the province concentrated on the public lives of the European male, who held political, social, and economic power, these discourses frequently excluded women and people of colour. As a result, much of our rich history lies undiscovered in the memoirs, letters, personal records and diaries of these pioneers who played such an essential role in early colonial settlements. By tracing and examining such accounts, which are often focused on the private realm, rather than the public, it is possible to gain a unique and fuller perspective of history than has traditionally been the case. It is estimated that between 10,000 to 20,000 people, mainly men, came through Victoria in 1858 on their way to the gold fields of British Columbia. Those that settled in the city formed a cosmopolitan population: Within a limited space may be seen Europeans, Russians, Austrians, Poles, Hungarians, Italians, Danes Swedes, French, Germans, Spaniards, Swiss, Scotch, English and Irish: of Africans, Negroes from the United States and The West Indies; of Asiatics, Lascars and Chinamen; of Americans, Indians, Mexicans, Chilanos, and citizens of the North American Republic: and of Polynesians, Malays from the Sandwich Islands. (Mcfie, 1888:378-9). In contrast to many other colonial towns Victoria was not therefore the usual "English town in happy exile," but an amazingly complex group of people from a wide variety of nations (Walden, 1951:8). The multicultural nature of this early settlement formed a microcosm of  58 British Columbia's contemporary society; hence its study can provide a greater understanding of "race" relations and the creation of social boundaries today. Victoria experienced incredibly rapid changes in population distribution in the gold-rush of the late 1850's. "Never perhaps was there so large an immigration in so short a space of time into so small a place." (Waddington, Kilian, 1972:43). This influx of multiracial peoples included a large group of "Black" men and women. During the same period there was a limited number of "White" women in the colony, due to restrictions on their immigration. This resulted in social constructions emerging of "Black" and "White" women which, although originating in the racist and sexist mythology of nineteenth century Europe, also contained unique, and often ambiguous elements, specific to the historical moment, the geographical location and pioneer nature of Victoria's society. These racialized gender constructions, with their interconnections and differences, together with the resistance to them by both "Black" and "White" women form the basis of our inquiry. Social life in Victoria centred on an old world psychology that recognized "position in society - with the added dynamic quality produced by the new world atmosphere" (Killian, 1971:48). Therefore, a person's position in the community was not entirely determined by birth or tradition. However, the British governing clique formed the upper class, and immediately below them on the social hierarchy was a large middle class led by Americans and Jews and comprising mainly of Germans, "Blacks" and British shopkeepers, who in turn stood above the skilled tradespeople of every nationality (Ibid, 1971:48). The British elite, composed of members of the Hudson Bay Company and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, also drew class lines between the officers and servants within their ranks (Walden, 1951:4). They were an "aloof and tightly protective group of self-appointed officials" whose attitudes produced an artificial atmosphere in  59 Victorian society (Ibid:8). As a result, although the city council was willing to acknowledge group interests and the alliances of tradespeople, the English elite was able to dominate the political and social spheres (Ibid: 182). Victoria was like many other places in the country since -save that it seemed out of the world and had no communication with it - this was its chief peculiarity - none has been so solitary - so free from intercourse. (Helmcken, 1892:21). Despite being on the edge of the wilderness and relatively out of touch with the European "civilized" world, Victoria was very much a part of western civilization in its own unique way. Rules of personal conduct were based on the British Empire, Christianity, hard work and frugality (Pethick, 1980:17). Also, in its early development, this frontier outpost displayed, together with the colonial attitudes of the British settlers, a variety of thinking ranging from the company mentality of the Hudson Bay officials to the gold-rush mentality of fortune seekers (Walden, 1951:81). Although British colonists of both sexes tried to maintain the status they had previously held at home their identities underwent rapid changes as they met with opposition from other groups in the newly formed colony (Ibid:36). Experiencing enormous differences in life-styles and expectations they needed to re-evaluate the social conventions that were seen as natural in England. The colonist's status in England, based on birthright, was now replaced in Victoria by status based on performance and conduct. In other words, a system of meritocracy replaced one of aristocracy. This re-defining of status was partly due to the lack of amenities in Victoria which, to some extent, united the colonists and broke down barriers between classes and nationalities (Bridge, 1984:183-184; Walden, 1951:42). However there was still a desire by many to cling to the old ways and, in some instances, exaggerate them. The basic simplicity of  60  the early colonial society was replaced by a desire to do things correctly, to "put on airs and graces, live more expensively and make a little splurge" (Helmcken, 1892:138). For example, the Crease family, who were prominent members of Victoria's elite British group, built their house as a social statement of how they wanted to be viewed in their new society, "as refined and cultured members." Their doors were only open to those with proper connections (Johnston-Dean, 1982:17). It was no doubt the insularity of this society, an outpost of the civilized world, which accounted for the development of a peculiar type of culture which has been termed "Victorian British" (Walden, 1951:181). The attitudes of these British colonists towards women, and "Blacks" (together with other people of colour) was a result of a male Eurocentric vision of the world that constructed both groups as "Others" and outsiders. These images underwent unique transformations as the colonists adjusted to a life where their contacts and relationships to women and other racial groups were far different than those they had left behind. In the beginning it appeared that the British were more concerned with setting themselves above "White" Americans (who as the largest group in Victoria, were perceived as a threat), than in discriminating against the "Blacks." The Americans were viewed by the British as "uncouth, hypocritical, vulgar upstarts," whereas the "Blacks" were seen initially as "an island of stability." This was "an odd sort of tolerance born of social snobbery," for, on the surface, the English upper and middle classes appeared to discriminate by class, rather than colour, and took pleasure in despising the Americans for their overt discrimination against the "Blacks" (Kilian, 1972:49-50). This was done without acknowledging their own more subtle, but equally as harmful, racism that manifested itself in their patronizing attitudes towards "Blacks" and other people of colour. Women were also regarded  61  in a new light that contained an old world ideology with a new world twist which dislodged some "White" women from their privileged place in society. As a result some English Colonists, such as the Rev. Matthew Mcfie, found it hard to adjust to the existence of an inverted social pyramid which at times found daughters of clergymen living in "abject-circumstances" whilst women from a lower social standing were making fortunes and were "arrayed in soft clothing and fare sumptuously" (Mcfie, 1888:412-3).  "WHITE" WOMEN PIONEERS OF VICTORIA It is important in any historical account of women to concentrate, not so much on the chronological time, as the stage of development of the society which, in this case, was a pioneering stage. This is because pioneering women of all eras were delegated the same jobs and lived under very similar conditions (Loggy, 1975:11). Pioneering women of all races played an essential role in the settlement and establishment of frontier societies and studies that investigate their experiences provide a richer understanding of history. An added advantage to studying pioneering women's lives in the latter half of the nineteenth century is that young Victorian women were skilled at letter and journal writing and consequently left numerous records. However, the disadvantage is that the rigors of colonial life, which included raising large families, running the home, processing and storing food, and gardening, often left many pioneering women with little time to write (Bridge, 1984:78,72). Those that did record their day to day experiences were the more privileged, usually "White" European women, who centred their accounts naturally, around the home, friendships, marriages, births, deaths, church activities, the garden and nature.  This factor has to be considered in any attempt to provide an account of the lives of  62  pioneering women that includes women of colour. There is an absolute and great disproportion between the sexes in this country. There is a want of good steady industrious girls to furnish virtuous wives for our men and make them something else than the reckless mortals so numerous on this coast. To supply this want must be one of the objects of any measure for the encouragement of emigration (Colonist. August 14th. 1863 in Loggy, 1975:9).  In the early days of settlement there were few "White" women in British Columbia and even by the 1850's Victoria only had one "White" female to every one hundred males. This shortage of "White" women was used to explain the lack of stability in the colony, despite the fact that at the time conditions in Victoria were viewed as being unsuitable for them (Walden, 1951:12). Because of these harsh conditions restrictions were initially placed on the emigration of European women. However, in an attempt to address this social imbalance between males and females, "god-fearing" women were sought for "an experiment in social engineering" (Gough, 1988:21, and at the end of the 1850's restrictions were relaxed and women were urged to emigrate and bring "honour, virtue and refinement" to the colonies (Bridge, 1984:46). Emigration societies were formed in England to bring wives and domestics into the province. This emigration of "respectable industrious women" was encouraged in order to "establish a solid basis of colonial existence." (Women at this time were seen as the transmitters of religion and therefore a civilizing aspect in society). In June 1862 sixty unmarried women aged twelve to eighteen arrived from England, and more were sent in January 1863. Half of them were married soon after their arrival and became the founders of pioneer families (Lugrin, 1928:147-8). Most of the "White" women in the colonies, until the arrival of these "Bride Ships," were middle class and, due to the shortage of "White" women, the interactions between women who might not have mixed in Britain was now more widespread (Bridge, 1984:185).  63  Victoria, because it was so isolated, only attracted strong and determined women who were able to survive the pioneering life. In fact most European women lacked the desire to emigrate, and those that did were atypical, usually young, healthy and adaptable.  These  European women faced many challenges in their new home which often made it necessary to leave behind the "gentile accomplishments" usually required of nineteenth century European women (Ibid: 185). They had to learn, as Mary Angus did on her arrival in Victoria from England in the 1850's, to "adjust [themselves] unconsciously to imperceptible changes without and within which gradually swept away [their] early cherished ideas, habits and beliefs" (Angus, 1880:Preface, 1). Whilst, at the same time, these women had to deal with the restrictions placed on them by the people of Victoria with whom they socialized who were "all very English and understood the conventional lines, and did not relax them because we lived in a colony" (Ibid: 108). Although, by modern standards, these pioneering women might appear disadvantaged, they were often morally and mentally better off than many contemporary women. They were strong, independent and valued, not only as potential mothers of a new nation, but as a potential labour force. For, although domestic help in British Columbia was initially performed by "Indian" women ("Klootchen") and Chinese men, this work was eventually carried out by European female immigrants (Loggy, 1975:7).  THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF IMAGES OF "WHITE" WOMEN The prevailing attitudes towards the sphere and duties of European women in early Victoria are aptly summed up by Tennyson: Man for the field, and woman for the hearth; Man for the sword and woman for the needle she; Man with the head, and woman with the heart; Man to command  64  and woman to obey; All else confusion. (The Princess Tennyson in Pethick, 1980:17). A Woman's social position in this pioneering society was secondary to that of a man's. Many women of the period felt they were "placed below all men, no matter how ignorant or how wicked they may be, even the foreigner, who perhaps can neither read or write." (Marie Grant (Victoria's Women's Temperance society) in Gough, 1988:32). Martha (Douglas) Harris in her reminiscences of life in Victoria, mentioned that women "had no clubs or leagues and never dreamed of having a vote, that was left for the men to settle. Just the care of the children and family and entertainment were left to the ladies and were all the duties that counted for anything" (Harris, 1900:12). Women were frequently portrayed in local newspapers as idealized wives and mothers who were in need of care and protection. They were depicted as "self-incarcerated prisoners" in their own homes requiring the compassionate consideration of men who were urged to: Be kind to your wife she lingers at home a god-commissioned watcher over her helpless children. She is weary, but does not complain, she expects her husband and her whole world of happiness will return when you arrive. (British Colonist. March 31, 1860).  As a woman's place was believed to be the home men felt the care and the interior decoration of houses was not only a woman's duty, but her expertise. As a result houses "became nicely furnished and ornamented - for women can do and understand making rooms pretty with v  comparatively little outlay" (Helmcken, 1892: 138). This work was also seen as being worthwhile: Some cold-blooded economist would say that a lovely woman thus employed in making her home beautiful wastes her time - but a woman employed in developing and refining the highest sentiments of her nature is performing an important task.  65 (British Colonist. March 31, 1860). Even when women resisted the role of motherhood and took up the care of other women's children they were endowed with the idealized qualities of mothers. In mentioning the nuns who ran the Roman Catholic school a correspondent in the local press expressed the fact that they "have ever acted as mothers to those confided to their care." (British Colonist. January 1, 1859). The nuns were also described as being childlike and innocent, which was typical of the idealized qualities used to construct women of the era. For example, in mentioning the qualities of Sister Mary Providence, the Catholic school superintendent, Dr. Helmcken wrote in his diary that she possessed a "countenance serenely beautiful, skin fresh as a child in a nursery, intelligent and serious eyes. Firm chin, glimpses of a strong character.  The picture of innocence, gravity,  and unmistakeable youthfulness, despite her important post as superior" (Forbes, 1971:8). Women were also placed below men in the area of education, which was seen as less important for them than it was for their male counterparts.  This was reflected in the fact that  only twelve girls aged twelve to fourteen were enrolled in the schoolhouse in Victoria in 1859, compared to sixty three boys (British Colonist. January 21, 1860). The emphasis for the education of girls seemed to be on morality and those that did receive an education at St. Anne's Roman Catholic school were placed there in order to receive a "thorough moral and general education" (British Colonist January 1, 1859). Also, while some girls with English parents were schooled in Victoria it was seen as inadequate for the boys who were sent to England for their formal education. However, girls of English descent visited England in order to gain an advantage that would help them establish and keep their place in Victoria's society (JohnstonDean, 1984:20).  66  Restrictions were also placed on the political involvement of women in the colony. In 1871 Susan Anthony, an American suffragette, lectured for two hours in Victoria against male chauvinism predicting that women, if given the vote, "would protect herself, obtain as high wages for labour as men, and fill the highest positions of state." However, no changes occurred in Victoria at this time to fulfil her predictions (Pethick, 1980: 71). In 1875 it was proposed in the legislature that women should have the vote in provincial elections; one member "thought the proposition if carried out would disarrange the whole fabric of society," and the motion was defeated (Ibid:82).  "WHITE" WOMEN'S RESISTANCE TO SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED IMAGES Despite the socially created images of "White" European women which portrayed them as helpless, weak, and in need of care and protection from men, the European pioneering women of British Columbia managed in many ways to adapt, rework, and resist these stereotypes and in so doing, performed an important role both in the public and private spheres of colonial life. In the public realm the women of Vancouver Island, through the Women's Temperance Society, built a powerful and influential organization with access to all levels of government (Gough.l988:viil). The movement, based on Christian values, was established in 1859 and spread quickly. The main philosophy of the organization was one of practical Christianity which aimed to combine the power of prayer and faith with practical work. These women, filled with the pioneer spirit of the era, used moral superiority as their main emphasis in order to achieve their goals. Their approach to social reform was consistent with the Victorian belief that placed "White" women on pedestals as virtuous wives and mothers.  However, in this case, the role of  67  mother was extended to the care of society in the new role of social and political activist. The organization challenged women to create a better society in their new land that was shaped by women. However, although the women were brave and outspoken they took matters to the extreme by wanting, not only to monitor temperance, but to eliminate all forms of temptation by attempting to control every aspect of society. One example of this desire for control over the social world was an attempt to discourage women from extremes of fashion such as "the deplorable habit of tight lacing and high-heeled boots [which] were talked over and disapproved" (Gough. 1988:22). These women, while still controlled by the cultural hegemony of European society with its Christian morals and idealization of women as wives and mothers, managed to work within these restrictions and move outside of the home to perform valuable work for their community. In fact members of the Women's Temperance Society were in many ways successful in their efforts because they dominated social life in the Province for several decades (Ibidix). There are a number of examples of political and social action by European women in Victoria which went so far as to challenge the status quo. The first occurred in January 1875 when a group of women, led by a Mrs. Smith, insisted that as taxpayers they had the right to vote for the mayor in the municipal elections and in so doing defied social conventions that restricted women from the public realm. Mrs. Smith was seen as being "suited to such an historic undertaking as she was independent, strong willed with ideas of equality far beyond her time" (Forbes, 1971:1). For not all women of the era were as motivated as Mrs. Smith and it was not until the mid 1880's that other women became interested in the vote.  Shortly after this event the  franchise was withdrawn and not restored until 1894 (Forbes, 1971:7). Then there is the case of Hannah Hatherley who managed to escape both the restrictions of occupation and dress socially  68 imposed on nineteenth century women. As an emigrant from Cornwall, and the first woman photographer in the colony, she was healthy and energetic, and advanced in her thinking and the way she dressed: Her hair was short and in tight curls in a day when the feminine mystique demanded long shiny ringlets. Her clothes were flamboyant, tight basque-type, full skirted gowns in bright colours, cavalier style hats with sweeping plumes of cascading flowers, and embroidered gauntlet gloves. (Forbes, 1971:12).  Other women managed to effect changes to Victoria's society which, although perhaps minor, are worth mentioning. One example is the case of a woman seen on the streets of Victoria wearing trousers which caused such a sensation at the time that it was reported in the newspaper (Colonist April 15,1862). The other occasion is when a woman wrote to the Victoria Gazette to complain that the gates of the fort were too narrow for hoop skirts. The gates were eventually dismantled, though perhaps for other reasons.  However, this minor triumph was offset by the  fact that at a farewell banquet for Sir James Douglas only men were sat at the table while the women "looked on." (British Columbian (New Westminster) March, 12, 1864 in Pethick, 1980:17). Many individual "White" women were also active in the community and through their efforts created a better society for their own families and other residents.  The accounts that have  survived are mainly those of women who were the wives of prominent men in Victoria's society. Women such as: Mrs. Cridge, the chaplain's wife; Sarah Crease, the wife of Henry Crease, a lawyer and Member of the House of Assembly; and Cecilia Helmcken, married to Doctor Helmcken. Mrs. Cridge supported the chaplain in his work by teaching in the Sunday school, visiting the parishioners once a week, and mothering all the new settlers.  In addition, like many women  69  of her time, she had a large family to care for, giving birth to a total of nine children (Lugrin, 1928:32).  Sarah Crease belonged to an influential family which, as part of Victoria's British  social elite, was actively involved in community work (Johnston-Dean, 1981-2:1). Although the "proposition of Vancouver Island was a little startling at first - from its great distance away" she was quite ready to make it her future home "if it pleases God to direct our steps hither" (Crease, August 12, 1858 in Johnston-Dean, 1982:10).  Sarah Crease was a gifted artist who produced  numerous portraits and sketches, some of which were exhibited in the 1862 International exhibition in Hyde Park. She taught Sunday school, was actively involved in the Scripture Union, and was honourary president of the Local Council of Women, which was responsible for the formation of The Friendly Help Association in Victoria (Ibid:5,23,24). Mrs. Celia Helmcken, as the wife of Doctor John Sebastian Helmcken, often helped her husband in his medical work and on one occasion saved the life of one of her nieces when doctors had given up hope (Harris, 1861-1905:7).  She was also the mother of six children and in 1865 she caught a chill when  pregnant with her last child. Due to her household responsibilities she continued working and developed pneumonia which resulted in her death shortly after giving birth. Her husband wrote in his journal afterwards that "She had been a good mother and wife and under more favourable conditions she might have lived." He blamed her death on his heavy involvement with politics and the lack of help with household duties (Kidd, 1947:449). "White" pioneering women also participated together in the public life of Victoria with the formation of the Female Aide Society in 1863 "To provide care for females in need," which resulted in a separate ward for women being built at the infirmary on November 24, 1864 (Ibid: 3 6). Another example of joint effort being made to improve society was when the  70  executive committee of the Women's Auxiliary encouraged the women of Victoria in 1899 to take up hospital work as "all can join, no matter what creed or nationality, or standing. The common cause is indeed a broad and neutral one. For even as pity and need make all flesh kin" (P.R. Hospital Executive Committee, 1899. Women's Auxiliary).  ATTITUDES OF "WHITES" TOWARD WOMEN OF COLOUR The British colonists in Victoria attempted to preserve their cultural traditions in order to feel more at home in a distant land. These traditions included government and education systems, but more importantly attitudes and viewpoints. Paternalistic attitudes traditionally shown towards women were also extended to people of colour. For example, the indigenous "Indians" and Chinese immigrants, who formed the largest non-"White" groups in the early history of British Columbia, were often portrayed as "childlike and naive" and in need of guidance from the "Whites" (Bridge, 1984:187). Attitudes towards women of colour, specifically "Indian" women, reflected the stereotypes held by many of the British colonists who devalued them primarily as a people, and particularly as women. An example of this is reflected in a newspaper report of the period which mentioned that the body of an "Indian woman" was left floating in Victoria harbour for weeks, despite the police being notified. The editor of the Colonist, in reporting this incident, noted that "To treat the image of God like the carcass of a brute neither speaks well for humanity, nor Christianity" (British Colonist. September 5, 1859). Another strange newspaper story reflected, not only the negative attitudes towards "Indian" women typical of the period, but also the higher value that was placed on women with lighter complexions. The report concerned the case of the abduction of a "White squaw" that was brought before Justice  71  Pemberton in the Victoria police court on July 10, 1859. It mentions a seventeen year old female (known as the "White Klootchman") with "perfectly white flaxen hair," who was brought into the courtroom wrapped in a blanket. The bizarre plan was to exhibit her as a "lusus naturae" in San Francisco. However her father protested to the judge that he had not receive adequate payment from the potential exhibitors (British Colonist. July 10, 1859). Also, there were far stronger reactions to "Indian" women found guilty of breaking the codes of colonial society than reactions shown towards "White" women breaking the same rules. Although it was seen as deplorable for a "White woman, such as Sarah Brown, to be charged with drunkenness (British Colonist. May 20, 1862), a drunken "Indian" woman was further denigrated by being equated to an animal when she broke a bottle of liquor and "lapped up the precious fluid with her tongue as a dog would lap up water from the gutter" (British Colonist.July 3, 1862). "White" women of the period sometimes exhibited an ambiguous attitude to "Indian" women. They were, on the one hand, quick to point out the positive features of "Indian" women, such as intelligence, but at the same time they also managed to find fault with their dress and approachability: The Indian women I have met on the street have to an extent adopted their white sisters style of dress, always eschewing the drapery however. The faces of most of them exhibit unusual intelligence but they wear a look of stoicism which debars attempts to speak to them (underlining added) (Adams, 1888:508).  Amelia Douglas, the wife of the Governor of British Columbia, had, as the daughter of an "Indian" woman and a European man, experienced racism in the form of social snubs from European pioneering women because of her "Indian" heritage.  As a result she was reluctant to  take up her duties as the governor's wife (Blakey-Smith, 1971:93). She was described as "very  72 shy, awkward and retiring as much into the background as she possibly can do" (Cracroft, 1870: 111). With "the blood of native heroes in her veins" and dark hair, grey eyes and light skin, despite her "Indian" blood, the men of Fort St. James named her "little snow-bird" (Blakey-Smith, 1971:18). However, in Victoria she surprised two European women, Lady Franklin and her niece Sophie Cracroft, by admitting to them that she was "a half-caste Indian." These European women seemed to take particular notice of the skin colour and racial features of Amelia Douglas and her granddaughter Cecilia Helmcken, whom they described as having "as much of the Indian features, or colour, as Lady Douglas" (Cracroft, 1870:111). In fact, prejudice against "Indian" women was so strong that Cecilia's husband Dr. Helmcken, a European, was considered by Victoria's society as being "not quite a gentleman" because his wife had "Indian" blood (Recksten, 1986:84). Despite this, not all "White" women were condescending or racist in their attitudes towards "Indian" women and were often able to recognize their positive qualities. This is reflected in the following account by Margaret Shaw-Walker (1877) which describes "Indian" women married to European men: Indian wives - might be docile, this did not mean subservient. Should conditions become too uncomfortable there was always the tribal reserve to fall back on and hubby had to choose between seeking them there or having his domestic arrangements put out of gear. This used to anger my mother who thought they were more independent in various ways than their white sisters (Shaw-Walker, 1877:62). Pioneering women of British Columbia therefore possessed dual identities: on the one hand they symbolized the civilization of the old world with all its "refinements, cultural conventions, and restrictions"; and on the other they were an emblem of the western wilderness in all its "rugged beauty and freedom " The European woman was portrayed as childlike "adaptable, humorous, expectant, a little fearful, yet wholly confident." Whereas the indigenous "Indian"  73 woman was depicted as "grave-eyed, firm lipped" with "wisdom, patience and tragedy in her face" (Lugrin, 1928:25).  THE "BLACK" PIONEERS OF VICTORIA To fully understand the social construction of "Black" pioneering women in the historical discourses of British Columbia it is necessary initially to provide an account of the early settlement of the "Black" community in British Columbia and their experiences of racism. This would be followed by an examination of the lives of specific "Black" women in order to highlight the similarities and differences between their experiences and those of "White" women during the same era. The first "Blacks" to arrive in the Province were mostly Californians emigrating to Canada to escape economic and social discrimination. This group played an important role in the settling of a wild remote frontier territory (Brown, 1971:237). While resourcefulness, courageousness, co-operativeness and industriousness were qualities essential to all pioneers, in addition, "Black" settlers required strength and determination to make a living in an environment they hoped would be more receptive to them than California. For, although in the 1850's California was a free state, there was an increasing number of repressive anti-"Black" laws being proposed and enforced . 2  The "Blacks" of San Francisco felt particularly threatened by these laws fearing the  loss of their valuable properties.  As a result a group of "Blacks" held a rally at the Zion Church,  San Francisco (April 14, 1858), to consider emigration to Victoria (Winks, 1971: 273). On April 20, 1858 a delegation of thirty five "Black" settlers left for the colony and were greeted on arrival by Governor James Douglas and Anglican minister Edward Cridge. Douglas was afraid that the  74 colony would be flooded by Americans en route to the gold fields of the Fraser and Thompson. Realizing these fortune-seekers might be unwilling to submit to British rule he saw an urgent need in the colony for a large group of hard-working and loyal people, such as the "Blacks" of San Francisco (Kilian, 1978:34). Wellington Moses, one of the original "Black" delegates, sent a letter to the "Blacks" of San Francisco stating that "All the coloured man wants here is ability and is a god-sent land for the coloured people" (Ibid:38). On receipt of the letter 350 "Blacks" passed the following resolution: "We have (therefore) determined to seek an asylum in the land of strangers from the oppression, prejudice and relentless persecution that has pursued us for more than two centuries in this our mother country" (Ibid:38). With land at twenty shillings an acre, voting and jury rights, protection under the law, and the opportunity to become British subjects, the "Blacks" of San Francisco were eager to take up the challenges of frontier life. By the spring of 1859 approximately four hundred men, women and children had landed in Victoria (Brown, 1971:238). This initial group came to British Columbia as permanent settlers with capital to invest and were not fugitives, as many of the "Blacks" entering the Eastern parts of Canada were; nor were they part of the stream of American migrants who were enticed by the gold rush. In fact, just two years after their arrival, the "Blacks" in Victoria owned taxable property valued at 50,000 pounds (Winks, 1971.274). Coming from a wide variety of backgrounds the "Blacks" were "tough, resourceful, aggressive and ambitious" (Ibid: 48). They spoke English and were familiar with North American culture. They were mostly well educated and found in all levels of the economy as merchants, farmers, bakers, contractors, lawyers and teachers.  Having brought savings and skills they were able to set up small businesses of their  own. These assets would normally be a guarantee of rapid integration into society, and initially  3  75 they were well received. However, racism eventually restricted their full participation in the new colony (Brown, 1971:237).  The initial acceptance of the "Blacks" into the British colony was  due to the support they received from the government, the church, the Hudson Bay Company, and the press. The government support came from the governor of the colony James Douglas, who being of mixed-race (The son of a West Indian mulatto woman and a Scotsman) made him sympathetic to the plight of the "Black" immigrants from San Francisco (Winks, 1971:275). The church support was derived from Reverend Cridge, an Anglican who insisted on integrating the "Blacks" in his Church despite protests of his" White" congregation (Ibid:275). The Hudson Bay Company also supported the "Black" community and the Company's attitude towards the "Blacks" was very influential because of its powerful position in the colony. The Company in fact was often referred to as "H.B.C." meaning "Here Before Christ," and had a history of employing "Blacks" that dated back to 1794 (Rich, 1959 The History of the Hudson Bay Company, 1670-1870 in Winks, 1971. 275). The press also exerted influence by portraying the newly arrived "Black" immigrants in a positive light. The British Colonist's editor, Amor de Cosmos, was initially on the side of the "Blacks" whom he felt were bringing to the colony "sobriety, honesty, industry, intelligence and enterprise" (Ibid:275). Another major factor for the initial integration of the "Blacks" in Victoria was the strength of their leader Mifflin Gibbs. A wealthy, self-educated, political activist born a free man in the United States Gibbs was not personally affected by the stigma of slavery. He provided much needed guidance to the new immigrants and soon rose to prominence in the community (Kilian 1978:113). Also the "Blacks" were initially able to integrate into Victoria's society because of the lack of a firm class structure which saw those of high birth and education poorer in comparison to men and women with skills  76 and trades who often made fortunes overnight. In addition, there were many fugitives from justice residing in the colony at this time. Because of this social flux the "Black" community was initially viewed as stable citizens by the British born elite in Victoria (Ibid: 49-50). The "Blacks" of Victoria had a strong sense of community and frequently joined together in social activities such as parties and balls. Every West Indian emancipation day all the "Black" owned businesses would close for the day and members of the community would travel by horse and cart to Cordova Bay where they celebrated on the beach by roasting a whole sheep. This was followed by a ball at the African Rifles Corps Hall (Evening Express. January 2, 1864. in Pilton, 1951:56). The "Blacks" also had access to two "Black" newspapers, The Elevator and Pacific, both published in San Francisco, which they were able to purchase in Victoria and which kept them informed about the "Blacks" in California (Pilton, 1951:47). The tolerance of Victoria's "White" community towards the "Blacks" eroded rapidly due to a variety of factors.  Primarily, many "Whites" resented the visible prosperity of the "Blacks"  and began to see them as a threat to their own economic and political stability. This was aggravated by the economic depression in the colony after the gold rush had ended.  Also, the  "Blacks" who in the late 1850's formed a fifth or sixth of Victoria's population of three thousand (Kilian, 1978:60), were perceived as a threat to racial purity by the "Whites" (Brown, 1971:240).  "Blacks" in Victoria were discriminated against in a number of ways: they were refused service in bars; segregated in the theatres; refused admission to Victoria's Fire Brigade; excluded from Queen Victoria's Birthday Ball, and the farewell party given for Douglas; literary and temperance societies disbanded rather than include "Blacks" in their organizations; and by 1863  77 they were excluded from jury duty (Winks, 1971:283-4). During these events a "Black" wrote to the Colonist that he believed a secret society of "Whites" existed "whose ostensible purpose is to keep coloured men out of the Jury Box, and from serving on the grand jury" (Wilson and Jorgen, in Winks, 1971:4). Also the House of Assembly considered passing a bill that would deny seats in the House of Commons to anyone who was not British born. The "Blacks" felt this was aimed at them and it created a division in society between the West Indians who, conscious of their British heritage, supported the bill, and American born "Blacks" who viewed them as traitors for doing so. One particularly strong rebuff was aimed at the "Black" Volunteer Pioneer Rifle Corps formed in 1860. It was disbanded by the new governor, Arthur E. Kennedy, in 1864 with the excuse that when formed Victoria was not a crown colony, and therefore the Corps was not legal. Also members of the "Black" Corps were refused entry into Vancouver Island's Volunteer Rifle Corps, founded in 1861 by the "Whites" (Brown, 1971:240). Another major area of racial tension was present in the Church, where the issue of segregation was the main reason for the closing of the early mission, and for the thirty years that elapsed before another permanent one was established (Reid, 1963:15). The "Black" immigrants, familiar with discrimination in the United States, coped with this unexpected treatment in a variety of ways. When the "Black" Volunteer Rifle Brigade was disbanded, some of the members declined to hand in their arms, and when requested to do so threatened to reveal certain documents that would prove racism (Brown, 1971: 280). The issue of segregated churches and Negro corners," which caused so much controversy in Victoria, was something the "Blacks" had tried hard to avoid. For, prior to their leaving California, they had decided not to set up their own churches or organizations in order to avoid the segregation they  78 had experienced in the United States . Unfortunately, in Victoria they were again to face the 4  same problems, and at a public meeting they resolved that "no man shall allow his family to go to Mr. Macfie's church to be put in the niggers corner" (Wild, 1958:99 in Winks, 1971:281). When "Blacks" were refused dress and orchestra seats in Victoria's theatres a petition signed by two hundred and sixty "Blacks" was sent to the governor pleading with him to act on their behalf.  A  riot started when another group of "Blacks" anxious for action, attempted to take seats in the theatre (Ibid:284). In the British Colonist (June 13, 1859), a member of Victoria's "Black" community wrote: "We came, we saw, and even conquered, but we have not conquered the mildew-like feelings that lingers in the hearts of our enemies, i.e. prejudice" (Weber, 1971:143). The situation deteriorated further when the "Black" Community voted "en bloc" in favour of Douglas and against De Cosmos in the election of January 1860. De Cosmos lost the Attorney Generalship by 46 votes, which he felt was due to a lack of support from the "Blacks".  Angry  at the "Blacks" De Cosmos (British Colonist January 12, 1860) accused them of being disloyal, ignorant, and guilty of corruption (Winks, 1971:283). A "Black," Mr. Francis, responding to De Cosmos accusations, wrote that the group came to Victoria "knowing the governor was favourable to us...and that "Queen Victoria knows our worth." Unfortunately this did not stop De Cosmos from continuing his anti-"Black" campaign (Kilian, 1978:67). One "Black" traveller from the United States wrote to The Pacific Appeal of San Francisco that "prejudice is too strong in Vancouver Island. We have brighter prospects of political elevation under our own government than in any British Colony on this coast" (cited in Colonist Feb 25. 1864 in Pilton, 1951:187). Mifflin Gibbs was the only key to "Black" unity during this period as he supported Douglas and at the same time tried to stay loyal to De Cosmos. However, with the increase of  79 racism, and the abolition of slavery south of the border Mifflin Gibbs returned to the United States in 1869, followed by many members of Victoria's "Black" community in search of better economic opportunities. With Mifflin Gibbs gone many of the "Blacks" remaining in Victoria moved to the Mainland and to Saltspring Island (Winks, 1971:286).  THE "BLACK" PIONEERS OF SALTSPRING ISLAND With the deterioration of "race" relations in Victoria some of the "Blacks", realizing they could not live the life of freedom they had anticipated, approached Douglas for permission to start an all "Black" colony by pre-empting land on Saltspring Island. Douglas, no doubt aware of the difficulties of "Blacks" trying to establish segregated settlements in other parts of Canada, suggested that a mixed community was best. By disallowing a segregated colony Douglas determined the unique character of the island. The "Black" settlement of Saltspring was radically different from other "Black" settlements in Canada which primarily consisted of refugees.  In fact  the "Blacks" that came to Saltspring were viewed as "just another bunch of pioneers" (Irby, 1971:370). "Black" settlement on the island in the nineteenth century was via Victoria, spread over a period of years (unlike Victoria's settlement, which was en masse), consisted of free "Blacks" (not runaway slaves, as in other parts of Canada) who shared the same desires and fears as non-"Blacks" (Ibid:374). The first pre-empters, sixteen "Whites" and one "Black", arrived on Saltspring in July 1859, and by 1861 there were 15 "Black" families living throughout the island. It is estimated that forty years later there were probably "forty coloured or partly coloured" persons on the island, whose descendants still live there today. In an account of her parents early days on  80 Saltspring Mrs. Wallace (nee Stark) mentions that life for these early pioneers was not easy as they struggled to make a living out of the wilderness, surrounded by hostile natives. The "Indians," angered at having their land stolen from them, "retaliated by slaying the settlers.  So  the pioneers lived in constant fear of their lives" (Winnipeg Free Press. June 26, 1974:30). However, although the "Blacks" were killed, robbed and threatened by the "Indians," there is little evidence that it was due to "a widespread Indian hatred of Black people," as some legends suggest (Kilian, 1978:110). The community on Saltspring was racially very diverse and intricately linked. There was no geographical settlement based on a particular racial group, as one's neighbour was whoever took up the claim on the land next to yours. Initially "Black" families prospered and experienced little prejudice from their "White" neighbours. This is no doubt due to the dangers of frontier life where it was essential to depend on the help of those living close by, whatever their "race" (Irby, 1971:103). Also, a great deal of intermarriage took place between all the groups which further reduced the possibility of racial tensions and the development of a distinct "Black" culture. According to one resident "All the black boys married white girls and all the black girls married white boys" (personal communication Mrytle Hollowman in Irby,1971:375). Due to distances and lack of infra-structure the main frustrations that existed were not racial, but aimed at the government in Victoria to provide much needed mail and freight services (Ibid:373). Many of the "Blacks" eventually left Saltspring as farming became less profitable, moving to Victoria, Vancouver and some even back to the United States (Kilian, 1978:114-5). As a rapidly shrinking minority the early "Black" settlers in British Columbia in the late nineteenth century found their political and social power reduced to a minimum. However, due  81  to their diminishing numbers racial attitudes towards them stabilized. In 1872 "Blacks" were again placed on juries, able to vote as they wished, and not denied schooling, public office, or admission into churches. However, discrimination still remained in restaurants and places of entertainment.  Despite the fact that "Blacks" in British Columbia were not as equal with the  "Whites" as they had been in 1858 they were treated better in British Columbia than anywhere else in Canada at that time (Winks, 1971:286). In 1890 Charles Lucas of Vancouver wrote a letter to the American "Blacks" in Ontario encouraging them to come West because "we may have equal chances with other races of making ourselves happy and will be free of intimidation and murder which is frequent in the South." Also, in the Detroit Plaindealer. a "Black" paper, a correspondent wrote that British Columbia could "accommodate more than half of the eight million of oppressed "Afro-Americans" However, not many heeded the call, and British Columbia's "Black" population did not increase until after the Second World War (Ibid, 1971:287).  5  "BLACK" WOMEN PIONEERS It is difficult to write "Black" women into historical accounts because, like "White" women, they too were denied their voice. In addition, there are even fewer records left by "Black" women, due, not only to structured gender inequalities, but the racist attitudes of the dominant "White" culture which prevented them from full participation in society (Carty, 1994 in Bristow 1994:201-20). However, in many ways the experiences of "Black" women pioneers were similar to those of "White" women because of the extreme difficulties of frontier life which included: coping with a new and hostile environment; raising large families; caring for the home;  82 and learning to adapt to other cultural and racial groups that were sometimes unfamiliar to them. They too were subject to the restrictions placed on all women by nineteenth century European culture. However, the major difference between "Black" and "White" women at this time was that "Black" women were not completely subordinated to masculine authority as "White" women, due to the legacy of slavery that produced in them the qualities of self reliance and independence. While "White" women were on the whole, socialized to be dependent on men, "Black" women did not have this "privilege" because their men were socially defined as inferior, and as a result, "Black" women had to learn to fend for themselves. "Black" women therefore were never confined solely to the home, or treated as mere housewives, as the majority of "White" women were, but were expected to assist their men in whatever work they did (Cary, 1994.202-3). The stories of "Black" women pioneers of Eastern Canada, such as Harriet Tubman and Mary Bibb, have made their mark on the historical accounts of our country, however there is 6  little written on the "Black" women pioneers of British Columbia. To attempt to construct an idea of what life was like for these women I have examined the following: oral accounts of "Black" women (transcribed by members of their families); records left by "Black" men; and the more numerous accounts left by "White" men and women which refer to the "Blacks." The "Black" women that emigrated to British Columbia from the United States initially looked forward to their new life in Canada believing it would be free from the prejudices that they had experienced at home. This hope was expressed by a Californian "Black" woman, Mrs. Pricila Stewart, in the following poem: Look and behold our sad despair our hopes and prospects fled, The tyrant slavery entered here, and laid us all for dead.  83 Sweet home! When shall we find a home? If the tyrant says that we must go The love of gain or reason, And if humanity dare say "no" Then they are tried for treason... Far better breathe Canadian air, Where all are free and well, Than live in slavery's atmosphere And wear the chains of hell. "A Voice From the Oppressed to the Friends of Humanity" (Kilian, 1972:39-40). Once in Canada these "Black" women set out to make a life for themselves which included caring for their families, making economic contributions to the home, being active in community and church work, and standing alongside their men in fighting the racism of the dominant "White" society. A number of these women made a mark on their communities and have been mentioned in the records of the time. Women such as Sarah Jane Moses (nee Douglas); Maria Gibbs (nee Alexander); Nancy Alexander; and Sylvia Stark (nee Estes) managed in many ways to overcome the restrictions placed on women and "Blacks," but not without, at times, paying a price.  Sarah Jane Douglas married Wellington Moses in 1858. She was a business woman who ran a boarding house in the St. Jame's Bay area of Victoria. This in itself was an achievement for a woman in the mid-nineteenth century.  She was obviously good at her work for it was here that  Lady Jane Franklin, the widow of the artic explorer, stayed on her visit to Victoria in 1861. She was described by Sophie Cracroft, Lady Franklin's niece, as being a "first rate cook" and well spoken. Her husband at the time of the visit said that his wife was "the best housekeeper in the country".  She must also have been a generous person for she gave up her own room to  accommodate Sophie. However, life was not easy for Sarah Moses for she tried to commit  84 suicide in Victoria's harbour in 1862. When rescued she claimed her husband had left her for another woman (Kilian, 1971:79,90). Mrs. Maria Gibbs (nee Alexander) was the wife of the "Black" leader Mifflin Gibbs. They lived with their family in a fashionable house in the James Bay area and appeared, on the surface, to ignore any prejudices aimed at them as members of the "Black" community. Maria assisted Mifflin in the running of a dry goods store that was so successful it was in strong competition with the Hudson Bay Company (Gould, 1975:91). Although Gibbs notes in his autobiography that marriage was an important step and a "source of contentment" and that he "had a model wife in all that the term implies" (Gibbs, 1888:64), it is noticeable that, apart from this short excerpt, he barely mentions his wife in his lengthy memoirs. Neither does he mention the racial tensions between the "Blacks" and "Whites" in Victoria which plagued both of their lives (Walden, 1951:63). For Maria, pregnant at the time, was with Gibbs at the hospital benefit performance in the Victoria theatre when flour was spilled over them by angry "Whites" who resented the presence of "Blacks" in the dress seats of the theatre. The incident resulted in a "race" riot that caused a sensation in Victoria (Kilian, 1971:120). In 1866, Maria returned to the United States with her four surviving children leaving Gibbs alone in Victoria. It is thought that, as one of the best educated women in Victoria, she came to resent the restrictions placed on her that prevented her from mixing socially with "White" women (Ibid: 140). Nancy Alexander was born a free "Black" in 1834 in St. Louis, Missouri and married Charles Alexander in 1849. They came to Victoria in July 1858, when it was still a tent city, in response to Governor Douglas' call for settlers. The family moved to Saanich in 1861, and later to Lake Hill district, where Nancy became one of the first women to join the Lake Hill's Women's  85  Institute which considered her a valued member. Like many women of her era Nancy gave birth to a large family, twelve children in total, and when her great grandson James Hudlin completed the family tree in 1992 he recorded 400 descendants (Hudlin, 1995:1-3). The provincial Archives in Victoria contains the unique history of Sylvia Stark (nee Estes) a "Black" pioneer woman of Salt Spring Island which was recorded by her daughter before her death. The child of slaves from Missiouri her earliest memories are of helping her mother look after the slave holders children, and of being told at Christmas to "let the white children come first" when approaching the Christmas tree (Wallace, 1966:30). When at nine years of age, and sick with a fever, she had to care for one of her master's children, she noted later that "a sick little sick girl to look after a big child like that. Such things should not be" (Gould, 1975:68). Sylvia married Louise Stark in the mid 1850's and in 1868, when the racial climate of California worsened, they emigrated to British Columbia and settled in Saltspring Island. As a pioneer woman in this remote settlement she was often lonely and frightened by the constant battles between the settlers and the "Indians".  However, as she was strongly religious she found the  faith to endure these hardships (Kilian, 1971:109). Sylvia Stark's experiences with the "White" population on Saltspring were far different than those experienced by "Black" women in Victoria. For living in "a rich, but dangerous country, Blacks and whites could not afford to be bigoted; prejudice was a luxury of Victoria's comfortable bourgeoisie" (Kilian, 1972103). "Black" women also united as a group to support their men in community efforts. For example, on March 14, 1864 in a public ceremony they presented the "Black" Pioneer Rifle Corps with a silk Union Jack made by the women. The presentation was performed by Sarah Pointer, wife of Mifflin Gibb's ex-partner, who, after the ceremony, in a language typical of the time,  86 mentions the "Black's" obligations to the crown, and also their dissatisfaction with it: The fostering care it has shown to the oppressed of our race leaves us under many obligations to the sagacity and wisdom of her statesmen. Yet in this far distant Colony of Her majesty's dominion we have many causes to complain. True you have not yet been called on to rally under this flag for its protection; yet the war on complexional distinctions is upon us, and is more ravaging to us as a people than that of Mars. (Sarah Pointer in Kilian, 1971:133) The "Black" women pioneers also formed the "Committee of Coloured Ladies of the British Colony of Victoria." This committee held a fund-raising bazaar on New Years eve 1863. The sale of "nick-nacks and fancy work" at the bazaar raised 170 dollars which they sent to Philadelphia to assist escaped slaves. In addition, On April 13, 1863, Elizabeth Allen, president of the committee, sent a letter to the vice-president of the United States, Hannibald Hamlin, enclosing a donation raised by the committee to assist contrabands in South Carolina (Pilton, 1951:27-28).  THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF "BLACKNESS" BY "WHITE" PIONEERS  It is important to realize that during "most of these early years of Negro settlement in Victoria the Civil War was being waged in the United States, and the sectional conflict it aroused in the town added to the problem of race" (Pilton, 1951:182). As a result reflected in the newspapers, memoirs, diaries and travel accounts of the period is an overriding obsession with skin colour on the part of the Victoria's "White" community.  According to Recksten (1986) the  Reverend Matthew Mcfie, in his account of Vancouver Island and British Columbia (1865), was completely intrigued with Victoria's mixed population and showed an "interest in race that was so consuming as to suggest obsession" (Recksten, 1986:66). Also, Sophie Cracroft, in her travels  87 to British Columbia in the 1860's and 1870's, noted that an "element of the motley population of Vancouver Island is the Negro, or coloured class," and pointed out the importance of colour in defining people of African descent in the colony by stating that "the term coloured is not applied to the Indian, but only the Negro race" (Blakey-Smith, 1971:28). The degree of "Blackness" was also an important aspect in describing the physical appearances of "Blacks," the lighter the complexion apparently, the more acceptable the person. For example Miss Lester, one of the "Black" delegates presented to Cracroft's aunt, Lady Franklin, on her visit to Victoria in 1861, is mentioned, in what appears to be a positive tone, as being "as fair as I am" with a younger sister in Mrs Wood's school, who was "probably as fair as any of her companions." She is intrigued and somewhat surprised when the bishop explained that Miss Lester had been expelled from a San Francisco school because "her nails exhibited a dark shadow which is said to be the very last discernable trace of Negro blood" (Blakey-Smith, 1971:28). Another example of the degree of "Blackness" seeming important enough to mention in the local press is when a "Black," who was elected to the Canadian council in Raleigh, Kent County, was described as being as "Black as the ace of Spades" (British Colonist. April 2, 1859). Skin colour was used as an excuse to maintain social distance between "White" and "Black" colonists. For example, Mrs. Trutch, the wife of the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, on a visit to Bishop Hill, mentions the fact that her husband did not like sitting next to the "Blacks" in church because he disliked their "peculiar colour" (Carey, 1982:66). A major reason for the "White" pioneers obsession with colour stemmed from a fear of racial mixing that was very much a part of nineteenth century thinking. Many church-goers believed that God had made a distinction between the "races" that was sinful to ignore. Permitting the "promiscuous arrangement" of "Blacks" and "Whites" to share the  88 same pews could "lead to the sexes in both races falling in love with each other, entering into marriage, and thus occasioning the deterioration of the whites without the elevation of the Negroes being effected" (Mcfie, 1888:389). In fact, in the bars of Victoria, the main reason given for the unwillingness by the owners to serve liquor to "Blacks" was a fear of "the social relations it brings about" (British Colonist. July 5, 1862). The "Black" community was further subjected to the humilation of seeing placards placed on the walls of buildings in Victoria that stated: "Coloured people will not be allowed in any part of the building" (Victoria Daily Press. Dec.  1,1861.  in Pilton, 1971: 196). However, although "Blacks" were restricted from  mingling with "Whites" in public places "White" men frequently attended parties held by the "Black" community, but, interestingly enough, never with their wives (Colonist. May 23, 1864 in Pilton, 1971:202). This fear of racial mixing also manifested itself in the negative way interracial couples were treated by some members of Victoria's "White" society. For example, Timothy Roberts, a "Black" man, was charged with inflicting bodily harm on a "White" man, J.Clark, because Clark used insulting expressions and gestures toward his "White" wife.  (British  Colonist. July 10, 1859). Colour was also used to restrict "Blacks" from performing their civic duties. An example of this is the case of Peter Lester, a "Black," who when called for jury duty was rejected by the defendant because of his colour. However, on a more positive note, the defendant did actually withdraw his objection at a later date when Lester was recalled for jury duty (British Colonist. February 18, 1860). Negative stereotypes of "Blacks," such as their being lazy, animal-like, and possessing a peculiar odour, which were common in nineteenth century racist ideology, also found their way into Victoria's newspapers.  For example, one article described a freed West Indian slave as being  89 lazy with "a hide thicker than that of a hippopotamus and a body to which fetid heat is a comfort rather than an annoyance" who "droningly lounges over the prescribed task." Interestingly enough this article appeared three days before the twenty fifth anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British colonies (British Colonist.October 21, 1859). There was also a great deal of racist dialogue in the British Colonist around the "perceived" conviction that "Blacks" had a strong body odour, which was used as an excuse by the Americans (who resented the presence of "Blacks" in the church), to plea for "Negro corners." One church-goer wrote to the Gazette and complained that: Last Sabbath was an unusually warm day. The little Chapel was crowded as usual with a smart sprinkle of blacks, generously mixed in with the whites. The Ethiopians perspired! they always do when out of place. Several white gentlemen left their seats vacant, and sought the purer atmosphere outside; others moodily endured the aromatic luxury of their positions, in no very pious frame of mind. (Victoria Gazette, August 24, 1858. in Pilton, 1951:178).  "White" colonists were sometimes openly antagonistic to "Blacks" and eager to point out that the "Blacks" should recognize their dependency on the "Whites" for their livelihood. In an article titled A Dark Problem a "White" questions what would happen to the income of the 150 "Black" labourers, restaurant, store, and shopkeepers of Victoria if "Whites" withdrew their patronage. . This, he felt, should be carefully considered by the "Blacks" in view of their "proclaimed declaration of independence and Africanizing of the colony" (British Colonist. January 14, 1860). Also some Victorians were quite convinced that the "Blacks" were forcing themselves on the "Whites" who, on the whole found them offensive: I do not believe in any amalgamation of white and coloured people, nor that the latter should mix with the former. No sensible person will object to the coloured population being admitted to any public place of amusement; but let their be one part of the house, no matter which, be reserved for their particular where people  90  will never intrude upon their society. They form a distinct class, and enjoy their full rights as citizens; but let these "gentlemen" - if they claim themselves to be gentlemen - not force themselves upon the white society, where they are not desired and are furthermore offensive to the majority of the residents of Victoria. (Colonist. Sept. 27, 1861. in Pilton, 1951:192).  A visitor to Victoria in 1858, also exhibited the racism that was beginning to emerge in the colony when he wrote: I observed that the coloured people, i.e. "niggers", collected here, many of whom were "real estate" owners, conducted themselves in a rather bellicose manner than otherwise which of course excited derision; and one of their number I heard attempted to take his seat with white people at a boarding house table in town, but was expelled in a manner as prompt and merciless as the style of doing the thing was ludicrous. (Kihanan Cornwallis, The New El-Dorado, or British Columbia London, Thomas Cautley Newby, 1858:283. in Pilton, 1951:177). Even when the occasional "White" stood up for the "Blacks" they were derided for doing so by members of the "White" community. For example, a minister who was against segregation in his church, the Reverend William Clark, was attacked for associating with "Blacks ." "His children were taunted for having a 'nigger preacher' for a father, and laughed at for having to sit with niggers in Sunday School. He was known as the 'black man's preacher' and his church as the black man's church'." (The Canadian Independent Magazine. 1860:229. in Reid,1963:7). "White" women, such as Sophie Cracroft, often showed "what seems to be a typical upper class ambivalence towards the Blacks: an indignant distaste for American prejudice, coupled with almost obsessive remarks about the Blacks appearance-complexion, hair texture, voice and manner" (Kilian, 1972:80). For example, she describes Mrs. Moses, a "Black" women who ran a boarding house in Victoria, where she stayed as a guest (Cracroft, 1870:107), in a positive vein as being respectable and a good cook, and yet she goes on to find fault with Mrs. Moses dress and deportment: "She is a queer being, wears long sweeping gowns without crinoline - moves slowly  91 and has a sort of stately way (in intention at least) which is quite amazing. Sometimes she ties a coloured handkerchief around her head like the American Negroes (she isfromBaltimore)" (Sophie Cracroft in Kilian, 1971:79). Cracroft also exhibited a condescending attitude towards "Blacks" and seemed surprised to discover that the "Blacks" were equal, if not superior in ability, to many "Whites." She noted that "The blacks spoke with a propriety and a degree of refinement which is peculiar to their race, and certainly superior to the same rank among English men" (Sophie Cracroft in Blakey-Smith (ed), 1971:28). There were cases of "White" women taking a public stand against racism, such as the "Indignant Englishwoman" who wrote to the press defending the "Blacks" and stating that they had "as much right to be seen and heard as persons fortunate to have a white skin" (British Colonist. September 30, 1861). However, what was more representative of attitudes were the "White"' women church-goers who clearly discriminated against "Black" women by excluding them from their sewing circles. According to one observer, at the sewing circles "you never see a black face, nor even that of a mulatto, among their number" (Kilian, 1972:60). Also, the Wesleyan Methodist minister, Ebenezer Robson, met with a "White" pioneer Mrs. Leneker and noted in his diary on February 21, 1861, that Mrs Leneker, the daughter of a Church of England clergyman, said to him that her husband would not come to any meetings "when the coloured might associate with the white" and that "some people might do it but she had been brought up that she cannot" (Gould, 1975:91). One "White" church-goer wrote to the Colonist and urged that the "Blacks" "be cordially welcome at the sewing circle - exchange hospitality with us" and urged the "White" women of the church to "seek out bosom companions from the black community" and to "treat people of colour under all circumstances the same as whites" (Occasional worshipper at St, Johns. British Colonist, October 3, 1861). However, the  92 "White" church-going women of Victoria, appear to have ignored this plea. There also are conflicting accounts of the treatment of "Black" children by the "White" sisters of St. Anne's. In some way they were viewed as being without prejudice because of their adoption of an abandoned child of "Black" and "Indian" parents (Lugrin, 1928:138-143). On the other hand, a Mr. Little, a "Black," who sent his daughter to the school run by the sisters (along with eight to twelve other "Black" children), complained to Bishop Hill that the Sisters placed them in a separate room away from the "White" children, and in protest the "Black" parents had taken their children out of the school (Hill, March 18, 1860).  "BLACK" PIONEERS RESPONSE TO RACISM It is ever and ever true that "right is of no sex, and the truth of no colour". The liberal ideas, ever struggling for relevance and ascendancy under every form of government are not the exclusive property of any community or nation, but the heritage of mankind, and their victories ever inspiring. (Mifflin Gibbs Shadow and Light 1888:99-100) [underlining added] The "Blacks" who were already established in Victoria when the large influx of immigrants arrived in the gold-rush of 1858 took on the air of a "monied aristocracy" and were determined not to be influenced by the racist attitudes of newly arrived "Whites" from America. They were initially pro-British as the "Blacks" believed them to be free from the influences and prejudices of the Americans (Walden, 1951:21-22,24). However, many "Blacks" were quite aware of the fact that not all English men were without prejudice and although they might appear to be fair minded they were simply more subtle in their racism than the American "Whites" (Recksten, 1986:66). Mifflin Gibbs, leader of the "Blacks", on a visit to Bishop Hill, explained the position of the "Black" community regarding the racism aimed at them by "Whites":  93 People say of us we wish to intrude into social circles and force a position which may not be desired by others on social and private grounds. Nothing is further from the truth. We understand the rules of society quite well enough to know that social position must be made each for himself and that character and influence and worth must make that position (Gibbs in Hill, March 26, 1860:57). When Hill asked Gibbs what he thought the real cause of prejudice was Gibbs said there was "deeply seated in human nature [a desire] to hate those you injure "(Ibid;67). An account of a "Black" woman's feelings about racism was recorded by Bishop Hill in his Journal on March 23, 1860. He was visited by a Mrs. Washington, an American "Black" woman from Virginia, who was raised as a Methodist. As a communicant of the Church of England in Victoria she complained to Hill about not being called upon by the clergy, which she said made her feel like an outsider. This account, in Bishop Hill's Journal, is of interest for he records her response to his question about what she thought were the reasons for American prejudice against the "Blacks." According to Hill, Mrs. Washington was puzzled and responded that: She had heard that some consider the African race an inferior one and not ever intended to be equal to the white - that it was not possible that it should be. It could not be the colour [she thought] for some of her race were quite white and yet the same prejudices existed against them. She believed they were afraid the race would become more powerful and therefore had to keep them down. (Hill, March 23, 1860:54) In talking about the tribulations of the "Blacks" Mrs. Washington was reduced to tears and said "they truly realized suffering for they are a sensitive race" and she felt that "we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of heaven" (Ibid: 54). Some "Blacks" also displayed racist tendencies towards "Whites" and were equally against interracial marriages. For instance, Leonard Roberts, a "Black," when accused of wringing the necks of chickens belonging to his neighbour, a "buxom negress," said to the Judge that the "other coloured folk, is down on my wife because she is Irish." His wife complained that "she was  94  rebuked every time she stepped in the back yard" because she lived in a low neighbourhood (Kilian 82-83). "Blacks" also sometimes used the racist stereotypes given them by the "Whites" against members of their own community. George C.Hubbs, a "Black," complained that James Stephens, also "Black," called him a "nigger" and so he assaulted him because he "would not take that from any man" (British Colonist. May 5, 1860). As this case study has shown, the social construction of the "Other", in the form of racialized and gendered images, played an important part in the early colonial discourses of British Columbia. Due to the nature of this society, which was both pioneering and cosmopolitan, colour was used as the main means of discrimination. Racism, proved to be more dominant than sexism, though both were powerful forms of control. The case study also shows that despite negative stereotypes of "Black" and "White" women many individuals from both groups managed to rework, recreate, or resist them altogether and create their own unique identities.  TIME LINE 1850  The fugitive Slave Act passed in the United States  1858  Cariboo Gold Rush.  1861  The American Civil War begins.  1865  The American Civil War ends.  1866  Union of Vancouver Island and the Colony of British Columbia.  1868  Union of British Columbia with Dominion of Canada.  1868  Capital moved from New Westminster to Victoria.  1871  British Columbia joins Confederation.  1889  Women granted the right to sit on Victoria's School Board.  (Johnston-Dean, 1982:14; Merrit, 1993:163-4; Pethick,1980;l 19 Reksten, 1986:76)  96 CHAPTER FOUR - SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION This thesis attempts to illustrate the social constructions of "race" and gender, specifically those of "Black" and "White" women in the historical documents of Victoria, British Columbia between 1858-1900, when the first migration of "Blacks" to British Columbia occurred. As the social construction of "race" and gender is complex and varies according to local regional, national and global relationships, all embedded in a specific historical context, by analyzing racial and gender constructions in a defined geographical area, at a certain moment in history, it is possible to expand our understanding of the roots of racism and sexism and in so doing move towards strategies to eliminate them. The method used was to compare the social constructions of "race" and gender to the lived experiences of "Black" and "White" women as recorded in diaries, travel accounts, journals, oral histories, and newspaper articles of the period which mention specific "Black" and "White" women. The purpose of the research was to illustrate that, although both groups were restricted in many ways by the social constructions of "race" and gender, they were also able to: utilize these images for their own ends; rework them; and occasionally resist them altogether and create new images that contradicted those of the cultural hegemony. Also, this thesis attempts to show that, by placing both "Black" and "White" women at the centre of the study, "White" women are able to gain a greater understanding of the complex interrelations they have with women of colour. This is the first step required towards making "coalitions and potential alliances" between the groups. For if we believe that women are the "same in their differences" then indeed the search for this connectedness is like coming home (Eisenstein, 1994:215). This study, therefore, is grounded in a feminism standpoint, which is involved, not just with recording of the experiences  97 of women, but also with an attempt to be "reflexively" engaged in an intellectual struggle against the distorted Eurocentric and androcentric discourse of colonial history (Smart, in Gelsthorpe and Morris, 1990:80). This historical case study illustrates that the social construction of racialized female images, which dominated the discourses of many European colonial societies, was also very much a part of the discourse of Victoria's early pioneer society. Most of these images were concerned with keeping women and people of colour in their designated place as the "Other," and were created in juxtaposition to images of the "White Male Self." The study showed that the "White" European women was idealized as wife and mother, her role was constructed as being responsible for the welfare of her husband and family and her sphere was clearly defined as the private one of the home. Any attempt by the European pioneer woman in Victoria to enter the public male-dominated sphere was strongly discouraged. These women were portrayed as weak, helpless and in need of protection; primarily from the rigors of frontier society and the actual physical threat of "Indian" attack, and later from the "perceived" threat of sexual contact with the "Black" male. However, at the same time, their position as part of the dominant "White" British elite also gave them a privileged position in relation to people of colour. So, although they were dominated by sexism they were in fact able to benefit from being "White" and were part, however unwillingly or unconsciously, of the system of racism. Therefore, their socially constructed image was in fact ambiguous as it represented, on the one hand, being a member of the "lesser" female sex, and, on the other of being a member of the more privileged "White race." Initially there was a shortage of "White" women in the colony. However, when sanctions against their immigration were lifted, "White" women who began  98  emigrating to Victoria brought their pretensions over from England and exaggerated them in order to define their social space. They were anxious to "impress the public by exaggerated representations of their former position in society at home" (Mcfie,1888:396). In fact, some women attempted to reform Victorian pioneer society and make it, in some ways, more restrictive than the one they had left behind. Part of these pretensions would partly explain why "white ladies never mixed with their dark sisters" (Pilton, 1951: 202), even when both groups were members of the same church. However, "White" women also never joined "White" men in attending house parties in the "Black" community. While it can be assumed that "White" women never invited "Black" women to join in their social functions, it also seems apparent that "White" men restricted their women from social functions where they would come into contact with "Black" males. This, like the restrictions placed on the "Black" community in the churches, theatres and bars was a result of the fear of racial mixing which was based on the desire to keep the "White" race and therefore "White" women "pure." This fear of racial contamination in Victoria is reflected in the following passage: Does the presence, so largely, of inferior races forbode the fatal tinting of the young nation's blood and signal its premature decay, or will the vitality of the governing race triumph over the contamination with which more primitive types threaten to impregnate it? (Macfie,1888:380-1). Therefore "White" women were affected by racism even though that racism was not aimed directly at them. It appears that the "White" women of Victoria fitted the categories of European Colonial "White" women provided by Ware (1992). Some were spiritually opposed to racism, some did not question it, and others were both attracted, and at the same time repelled, by images of the "Other." Initially "Black" women, as part of the "Black" community in Victoria were not seen as a  99 threat to the British born "Whites" who were more interested in making sure that "White" Americans did not overstep their position in the social hierarchy. However, this was soon to change and "Blacks" began to be seen as threatening due to a number of factors: the growth of a group consciousness; the fear of a threat to economic and political interests; and finally, as has been noted, the fear of racial contamination (Brown, 1971:240); Other factors also may have contributed to the creation of social barriers against the "Blacks." One was the large influx of "White" Americans, many of them Southerners, who brought with them their ideas of racial distances (Winks, 1971:280). A second may have been the influence of the British class system that organized members of society in a hierarchal manner. Finally, a third reason for the growth of racist attitudes towards the "Blacks" could have been the reality that most of the British pioneers, unlike their American cousins, had never been in close contact with "Blacks" until they arrived in the colony. Their only knowledge of other "races" would often have been through travel stories and novels of the era that frequently portrayed "Blacks" in a negative light. As a result social boundaries were created in Victoria to exclude the "Blacks" from participating fully in society. These social boundaries were maintained by the introduction of racial Eurocentric stereotypes of "Blacks" steeped in Christian myths that portrayed "Blackness" in a negative light contrasted against the positive image of "Whiteness." These ideologies were supported by scientific theories of the physical differences between the "races" which were popular at the time. As Tajfel notes (1965), skin colour "lends itself easily to crude 'scientific' racist genetic theories" (Tajfel, 1965 in Anthias and Yuval-Davis, 1992:136). It becomes evident in the colonial discourses in Victoria that skin colour was an obsession with the European and "White" American pioneers who were both fascinated and at the same time repelled by the variations in skin colours  100  exhibited by Victoria's ethnically mixed population. The situation of the "Black" community in Victoria was a unique one. In the first place, they were not an indigenous people, as "Blacks" in colonial Africa were, nor were they part of a system of slavery, as "Blacks" in the West Indies, the United States or the early history of Eastern Canada. Therefore, in many ways, they did not completely fill the role of the racialized "Other" as "Blacks" did in the above mentioned situations. This image was initially projected onto the "Indian" people who were the indigenous inhabitants of British Columbia. This would explain why I found no portrayals in the literature of the time of the "Black" woman as being the sexually deviant or sexually available "Other" contrasted against the pure, unattainable "White" woman, which was often the case in other colonial discourses. In Victoria's case the "Indian" woman fulfilled the role of the "Exotic Sexual Other." Records of the time are full of negative stereotypes of "Indian" women and accounts of their being involved in prostitution with "White" men. According to one traveller "Indian" prostitution was so common that he had "seen the husband and wife of a native family canvassing from one miner's shanty to another with the view of making assignments for the squaws in their possession" (Recksten, 1986:45). The "Black" woman in Victoria in the mid-nineteenth century, therefore, appears to have escaped the negative sexual stereotypes typical in the construction of the female racialized "Other". However, she did not escape the overall effects of racism that was aimed at the "Black" community generally, and because she was a "Black" woman she was also restricted from mixing with her "White" sisters. This prevented "Black" and "White" women from making alliances to fight against sexism which affected both groups, though to a different extent. There were many similarities between the lives of "Black" and "White" women during this era. Both groups were restricted by the sexism of a patriarchal culture which attempted to  101  control and dominate women. Also, they were living in a pioneer period which demanded certain qualities of people. Therefore, all women needed to be resourceful, strong, determined, and able to endure hardships. Many of the "Black" and "White" women depicted in the case study showed such characteristics. Often women from both groups had large families and extensive household duties to attend to, and in addition, were also involved in assisting their husbands in their work. All of these women were struggling, be it in different ways, to adjust to a new way of life. "Black" women were also products of the same Western culture as "White" women. They too were devout Christians, for it is reported that half the congregation of the churches in Victoria were comprised of "Blacks" (An Occasional Paper on the Columbia Mission, p. 13. in Pilton, 1951:181). "Black" women were well educated, spoke North American English, dressed in the same fashions as "White" women, (See photo section), were active in charitable works and had similar aspirations as their "White" sisters. However, perhaps "their very determination to be part of the community helped to raise latent racial prejudices among the early Victorians" (Brown, 1971.239). This, together with economic depression, and the abolition of slavery, resulted in many "Black" women leaving the colony with their families by the late 1860's and moving back to the United States, the mainland of British Columbia, and in some cases to Saltspring Island, where, due to the harshness of the environment, racism was not uppermost in the minds of the settlers. There were also, however, major differences between the lives of "Black" and "White" women during this period which were the result of racism. Although affected by sexism, as all women of the period, "Black" women's main concern was in fighting the racism aimed at the "Black" community. Part of this racism involved a negation of all who were not "White" males  102 and resulted in "Blacks" barely being mentioned in the history of Victoria.  "Black" women also  left far fewer records than "White" women due to the fact that much of the material left by women was the work of "White" upper class women who had more opportunity to keep journals than lower class "White" women and women of colour. As this case study has shown the social construction of the "Other," in the form of racialized and gendered images, played an important part in the early colonial discourses of British Columbia. Due to the unique nature of this society, which was both pioneering and cosmopolitan, with large "Black" and American "White," communities, dominated by an elite British group, these images developed in specific ways. While they reflected the attitudes of its "White" citizens, which were based on a Eurocentric notion of the world that was strongly influenced by the doctrines of the Christian religion, they also developed a certain characteristic where colour was used as the main means of discrimination. Racism, I argue, proved to be more dominant than sexism, though both were powerful forms of control. The Western hemisphere was colonized on a racially imperialistic base rather than a sexually imperialist one. Racism took precedence over sexual alliances in the "White" world's interaction with both Native Nations and African Canadians, just as racism overshadowed any bonding on the basis of sex between "Black" women and "White" women. While one can arguably maintain that sexual imperialism is endemic to all societies, yet when it comes to North American society it is clear racial hegemony was paramount, (hooks, 1981:122. in Vorst et al. 1991:28) Although it seems that direct racial slurs were few and far between during this period, I would argue that the more subtle form of racism, very British in character, was as dangerous as the more direct racism expressed by the Americans in the colony. This subtle racism manifested  103  itself in the ambivalent attitudes of the upper class British towards the "Blacks", where on the one hand they showed "an indignant distaste for American prejudice" while at the same time being obsessed with the "complexion, hair texture, voice and manner" of the "Blacks" (Kilian, 1978:80). However, despite the social creation of "Black" and "White" women in the early historical discourses of British Columbia many individuals from both groups managed to rework, recreate, or resist these images altogether and create their own unique identities. The purpose of the thesis was to address the gaps left in historical accounts of the non-representation of women of all "races". M y dissertation is a contribution towards the important task of "deconstructing woman as symbol and reconstaicting woman as human beings" (Moghadan, 19:22). In addition, this thesis attempted to show how "Whiteness" is socially created in a specific historically and geographical context. Understanding how racism develops may contribute to an awareness that we all share a responsibility in its elimination: I maintain that real sisterhood should mean a willingness, a political and personal will- collectively - to assume responsibility for the elimination of racism. This willingness need not be engendered by feeling of guilt, moral responsibility, or rage. It might be. But it need not be. For it can spring from a heartfelt desire for Sisterhood and the personal and intellectual realization that racism among women undermines and weakens our collective power. It can spring from our knowledge that racism is an obstacle that divides us and that women - all women - are accountable for the racism that divides us. (hooks, 1981:159). A number of anticipated problems, already mentioned, emerged as I proceeded to collect data for the case study. The main one being that the majority of the primary sources located in the provincial archives, the United Church archives, and the Special Collections division at the University of British Columbia (the three main locations used for data collection), were accounts written by "White" upper class men and women. The absence of the "Black" voice, especially the  104  female one, during this particular period, served to emphasize the fact that British Columbia's pioneer society was dominated by "White" men who were able also, as a'result, to ensure that "White" women were in a more privileged position in society than "Blacks" of either sex. This domination of society by a "White" elite British group who, on the whole, had more time to record their experiences than people of other "races" or classes, also provided them with the privileged opportunity to preserve their own records. Although out of the scope of this thesis, (due mainly to time and financial constraints), the lack of material by "Black" women could be addressed in the future by tracing descendants of "Black" pioneers in Victoria and Saltspring Island in order to locate additional material, such as journals and letters that may have been preserved by family members (Mariampoloski and Hughes, 1978:107). The first step could be through contacting the "Black History Awareness Society of B.C." in Victoria, which has members who are descendants of the early pioneers. Secondly, research that address the social construction of "Black" and "White" women after the second World War, when the next migration of "Blacks" to British Columbia occurred, might prove more accessible, and therefore more fruitful.  This would be due to the following factors: It would not be limited to a purely  historical account, but could also include interviews with women who are still alive and can recollect their experiences of racism and sexism over the years. Also, due to the growth of the media both visual and textual images of women would be more abundant and would provide additional material for research. However, I believe that this thesis has provided a useful foundation for future research.  105  ENDNOTES  1.  Contemporary "Black" female stereotypes include the following:  a)  The "Mammy Image" depicts the "Black" female as superstitious, overweight, masculine in appearance, and content with her position in society. She is submissive to "white" culture, but aggressive to other "Blacks", especially male (for example, Ophrah Winfry is constantly battling this stereotypical image);  b)  The "Aunt Jemimma image" is an extension of the mammy image with the addition of depicting "Black" American women as jolly and cantankerous;  c)  The "Sapphire Image" portrays an animated loud, funny "Black" woman, who needs the presence of a "Black" male with whom she is forever in conflict. She is usually depicted as well built with a brown complexion;  d)  The "Jezebel Image" portrays the bad "Black girl and usually represented by a mulatto African American woman. She is seen to fulfil the sex objedification requirements of the "White female (Jewel, 1993:37-46).  The portrayal of these "negative images" of "Black" women in the mass media serve to substantiate certain contrasting "positive" images of "White" women. These representations are methods of "inclusion" and "exclusion" used by the dominant culture to determine who belongs to the collective, and who does not. According to Miles (1991) "the act of representational exclusion is simultaneously an act of inclusion, whether or not self is explicitly identified in the discourse" (Miles, 1991:39). However, "White" women are also restricted and contained by contradictory images of themselves portrayed in contemporary society. The "positive" stereotype of the "perfect" "White" female body, traditionally represented by the classic Greek statue, still carries with it notions of "purity", "goodness" and, for most women, the "unobtainable" ideal beauty. These stereotypical images are internalized, by "White" (and also "Black") women and result in women attempting to change their bodily image through dress, diet, surgery, and chemical means in a desperate attempt to fulfil the notion of "acceptable" and idealized beauty. Millions of dollars are spent by women annually in their efforts to achieve this elusive goal. "White" women are also depicted in the mass media in a negative and highly sexualized manner, though these sexual images differ to those used to represent "Black" women. For example, the "sexy dumb blonde" image represented by Monroe, Bardot and Harlow, and in more contemporary society, by pop idol Madonna who, while attempting to subvert the "hegemonic ideology" by appropriating "Black" culture, is also trapped, like many of her "White" and "Black"' sisters by a form of internalized racism as a non-blonde "Other" trying to reinvent herself (hooks,1992:157-159).  106  The notion of the sacredness of motherhood, another idealization of womanhood, that was, as has been noted, particularly strong in the nineteenth century in Europe and the colonies, is being regenerated by Religious Fundamentalists and anti-abortionists, both of whom seek to control and contain the lives of "White" women, in the West, and women of colour world wide. "Such patriarchal notions are powerful, widespread and cross-cultural" (Moghadam,1994:18).  2. California's Anti-"Black" Laws: *  1850 "Blacks" were disqualified from testifying against "Whites".  *  "Blacks" were prevented from voting, but had to pay a poll tax.  *  1852 Considered legislation to permit newly arrived slave owners to keep their slaves.  *  1852 Fugitive Slave Act - escaped slaves were returned to bondage if caught in California.  *  1858 California legislated to legalize slavery.  *  1858 "Blacks" were segregated in Schools.  *  1858 Legislature considered a bill to restrict the immigration of "Blacks", which would have required that all "Blacks" in California be registered (Winks, 1971:272).  3. In 1864 when a number of "Blacks" applied for citizenship nearly all of them were able to read (Winks, 1971:274).  4. Prior to leaving California, "Blacks" published a Declaration of the Sense of Coloured People: Resolution #11 in the San Francisco Bulletin. It read: That our people be advised to avoid all those social distinctions that we are compelled to make in this country, from the prejudices that exists against us among the Americans such institutions as coloured churches, or coloured schools or coloured associations. San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin. May 12, 1858. p.3. (Irby, 1974:370).  5.  British Columbia's "Black" population statistics:  107  1858  400-900  1872  462  Estimated number of "Blacks" arrived in Victoria; the actual number was probably nearer 600. (As reported to J.S. Matthew, City Archivist in Vancouver by Corporal Booth" in 1858) Provincial Census listed 462 "Blacks" living in British Columbia. However, the Census may have missed a number of "Blacks" living on Vancouver Island. A count taken in 1871 showed 217 "Blacks" on the Island. (Above data in Winks, 1971:286)  6. Harriet Tubman attained fame as one of the few women conductors on the "Underground Railway", an organization that assisted American slaves to escape to freedom in Canada. Harriet was personally responsible for assisting over 300 slaves to freedom (Shadd in Bristow et al 1994:54-5). Mary Bibb was a notable activist who worked to bring about the end of slavery in the United States. She was also one of the few "Black" women in nineteenth century North America to gain teaching qualifications, and taught for 13 years in Canada because she believed it would "strengthen and elevate her race" (Cooper in Bristow, 1994:159-60).  (  108  BIBLIOGRAPHY  P R I M A R Y SOURCES Adams, Emma. 1888. To and Fro. Up and Down in Southern California. Oregon, and Washington Territory: with sketches in Arizona. North Mexico. San Francisco: Hut and Eaton. Victoria: British Columbia Archives. Angus, Mary, Edith. 1880. Autobiography: Mary Edith Angus. 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Pioneer Woman of Saltspring Island. [Gould, 1975:69]  4.  Mrs. Barnswell. [Pilton, 1951 37B].  5.  Sarah Lindley. [Johnston - Dean 1981-1982:6].  MRS.  THOMAS  ALEXANDER.  (Provincial  Archives,  Victoria)  MRS.  SYLVIA  STARK  (Gould,  1975:69)  122.  SARAH LINDLEY  (CREASE)  (Johnston-Dean, 1981-2:6))  


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