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Current status[ edit ] The term "squaw" is now universally offensive due to its use for hundreds of years in a derogatory context. During a featured panel discussion titled "Squaw: Algonkian Linguistics and Colonial Politics" at the "All Women of Red Nations" Women's Studies Conference at Southern Connecticut State University inNative women from the Wampanoag and Schaghticoke Nations stressed the need for accurate understandings of colonial histories, and respect for linguistic differences, to avoid misrepresenting and disrespecting Algonquian language recovery efforts.
Ava Hill of the Six Nations of the Grand River wrote letters petitioning for the name change as well, with Chief Hill writing, The continued use and acceptance of the word 'Squaw' only perpetuates the idea that indigenous women and culture can be deemed as impure, sexually perverse barbaric and dirty Please do eliminate the slur 'Squaw' from your community.
When people say "it never used to bother Indian women to be called squaw," respond with the following questions and statement. Were American Indian women or people ever asked? Have you ever asked an American Indian woman, man, or child how they feel about the word?
Do not say the word yourself, simply call it the "s" word then state that it has always been used to insult American Indian women. When people ask "why now?
Through communication and education American Indian people have come to understand the derogatory meaning of the word. American Indian women claim the right to define ourselves as women and we reject the offensive term squaw. Derogatory usage[ edit ] This article includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.
Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. November Learn how and when to remove this template message In most colonial texts Squaw was used as general word for Indigenous women. It also became a derogatory adjective used against some men, in "squaw man," meaning either "a man who does woman's work" similar to other languages or "a white man married to an Indian woman and living with her people" Hodge This was a popular literary stereotype, as in The Squaw Man.
In a western novel by Max Branda male character asks a female character about her intentions: If I was to marry a white man and he would dare call me a 'squaw'—as an epithet with the sarcasm that we know so well—I believe that I would feel like killing him.
Perhaps in view of such uses as those above, one earlyth-century dictionary of American usage called squaw "a contemptuous term" Crowell We tried to find out what the children found painful about school [causing a very high dropout rate].
The children said that they felt humiliated almost every day by teachers calling them "squaws" and using all those other old horrible terms Harris In this case the term seems to have been regularly applied to girls in the lower grades of the elementary school, long before their puberty.
Sexual references[ edit ] An early comment in which "squaw" appears to have a sexual meaning is from the Canadian writer Pauline Johnsonwhose father was a Mohawk chief. She wrote about the title character in An Algonquin Maiden by G.
Mercer Adam and A. It is almost too sad when so much prejudice exists against the Indians, that any one should write up an Indian heroine with such glaring accusations against her virtue, and no contradictory statements from either writer, hero or circumstance.
Explicit statements that "squaw" came from a word meaning "female genitals" gained currency in the s. Perhaps the first example was in Sanders and Peek That curious concept of 'squaw', the enslaved, demeaned, voiceless childbearer, existed and exists only in the mind of the non-Native American and is probably a French corruption of the Iroquois word otsiskwa [also spelled ojiskwa] meaning 'female sexual parts', a word almost clinical both denotatively and connotatively.
The corruption suggests nothing about the Native American's attitude toward women; it does indicate the wasichu 's [white man's  ] view of Native American women in particular if not all women in general.
Historical usage[ edit ] This section includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this section by introducing more precise citations. June "Painting by Alfred Jacob Miller, titled Bourgeois W—r, and His Squaw" Early use by English colonists[ edit ] One of its earliest appearances in print is "the squa sachimor Massachusets queen" in Mourt's Relationone of the first chronicles of the Plymouth colony Goddard Portrait of a young Choctaw woman, The adjective form of "squaw" has been widely used in English-language names invented by colonists, given to indigenous plants used by Native peoples as medicines specific to female complaints.Car Loan EMI Calculator: Check our Calculator tool to evaluate your car loan EMI on basis of car cost, interest rate, and loan tenure.
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