In this highly original volume of social history, Karen Anderson makes a provocative claim: the subjugation of women in seventeenth-century New France was linked with the brutal colonization of native Indian populations. Before colonization, the Huron and Montagnais tribes lived in gender-egalitarian societies. The domination of women by men was only one effect of French "civilization"--along with warfare, disease, famine and Jesuit proselytization--which combined to destroy Indian culture and sexual equality. Anderson's is an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, feminist case study of the historical and political construction of gender and racial inequality.
"At the outset of Chain Her By One Foot, Anderson poses two analytical goals: to explain the dramatic change of Huron and Montagnais women's status in the thirty years after the arrival of the French and, more generally, to confront the theoretical problem of identifying the causes of women's subordination. The book clearly succeeds in the first task and contributes to other work on the second, more difficult one." -- Contemporary Sociology