This study investigates how gender and race became intertwined components of the social order in colonial Virginia. It focuses on two related issues: the role of. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race and ยท Power in Colonial Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, xvi +. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs has ratings and 24 reviews. Susanne said: I LOVE the title of this book. And the subject matter is.

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Engendering Racial Difference, pp. Drawing on recent works of religious, cultural and political history to inform her narrative, Brown’s work encompasses a true Atlantic history. Both a basic social relationship and a model for other social hierarchies, gender helped determine the construction of racial categories and the institution of slavery in Virginia.

Kathleen Brown examines the origins of racism and slavery in British North America from the perspective of gender. Kathleen Brown offers amazing perspective on gender, race and power. Concentered, the English were forced to further refine what was essential about masculinity and femininity in order to maintain their own sense of superiority. You could not be signed in.

However, this book took me a long time to read because of the dense, abstract, highly academic prose. Aug 31, Andy Larson rated it did not like it. Gender and Social Order in a Colonial Settlement pp. First, following Joan Scott, Brown approaches gender as a social construction employed to legitimize power relationships by grounding them in a category perceived as the natural order of the world, beyond question and debate.

Project MUSE – Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs

Gender, Race, and Power Even still, reading about the perverted peccadilloes of one of the Protestant English Patriarchs did nothing for me.

Brown sketches the transition briefly basically: Whereas such established hierarchies prevailed in England, early encounters with Indians on the American frontier disrupted the definitions of gender.


I underlined, circled and starred so much in this book, it’s almost more doodles than text at this point. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone.

Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia

As Virginian society expanded in the s, white male elites deployed a fear of slave revolts, a benign but false rhetoric of paternalism toward slaves and women, and a culture of conspicuous consumption to maintain their power. Indeed, Brown continues this discussion in Part II of her monograph.

The problem with such terminology coincidentally emerged with the English’s exploits in North America.

The Anglo-Indian Gender Frontier pp. The uprising led to a political makeover in the colony, when anxious white men aspiring to higher status achieved their goal of attaining similar privileges to those of the gentry patriarchs. Moreover, she wrestles with rich primary material on colonial Virginia, from tax rolls, deeds, county court records, government documents, oral histories, court minutes, newspapers, statutes, and wills and inventories, to secondary literature.

Indeed, such a methodology permits Brown to focus her attention on gender differences and identify aspects of Virginian life affected by such systematic implications. Miranda Nathan rated it it was amazing Apr 26, No eBook available Amazon. If you’re at all interested in colonial Virginia, this is definitely the go-to book. They were unmarried, lacking domestic skills, and poor.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. The non-elite also faced similar restriction. Account Options Sign in. This book is fascinating for its historical insights. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.


Thanks for telling us about the problem. Title Page, Copyright Page pp. This practice, along with making slavery hereditary through the mother, contributed to the cultural shift whereby women of African descent assumed from lower-class English women both the burden of fieldwork and the stigma of moral corruption.

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Hiked the Kings Mountain battlegrounds today. My library Help Advanced Book Search. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. But the rise of racial slavery also transformed gender relations, including ideals of masculinity.

Women who were legitimized by the oversight of the patriarchal household head were deemed good wives, while women who worked outside the household were consigned to the more suspect category of nasty wenches. Her reliance on William Byrd ptariarchs the third section is problematic, though I understand the lack of source material made it necessary to do so. Article PDF first page preview. According to Brown, gender is both a basic social relationship and a model for social hierarchies and it therefore helped determine the construction of racial categories and the institution of slavery legally, politically, as well as socially.

Perhaps a better approach would be trying to understand their world rather than force them into our mindset. From “Foul Crimes” to “Spurious Issue”: Brown’s analysis extends through Bacon’s Rebellion inan patriagchs juncture in consolidating the colony’s white male public culture, and into the eighteenth aptriarchs.

Vile Rogues and Honorable Men: Nathaniel Bacon gopd the Dilemma of Colonial Masculinity pp. Sep 23, Josh rated it it was amazing.