Media's Influence On Native American Culture

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In society, the way people receive information is through the media therefore; if the media has a biased or wrong view of an ethnicity, the community will be influenced negatively towards a group of people. The media is shown to affect Native American culture negatively, specifically concerning women, because of prejudice and misconceptions of the Native Americans. Native Americans, specifically women, were affected negatively by old European media in such a way that transcended to America and affected the way Americans viewed the Natives. The way Americans categorized Native American women as either noble princesses or savage squaws, was created by European explorers misconceptions about Native American women (566). These misconceptions created…show more content…
Those old ballads are a type of media that impacted the way white society views Native Americans. Those ballads and stories that came from the European explorers’ perception of Native American women negatively affected American society. American society adapted these fallacious ideas that European media contained, and therefore those misconceptions transcended into the 20th century causing works of literature such as the Laughing boy, to be created based on the stereotypes. In the novel, Laughing Boy written by Oliver La Farge, the woman in the story, Slim girl represents the squaw stereotype of Native American women, because she sells her body to white men even after she is married to a well respected Native American man (570). What La Farge successfully communicated in his novel is that is it not in the nature for Native Americans to be apart of white society and if Natives attempted to link the two cultures, they would fail. Also that a noble Native American woman will undoubtedly be corrupted by a white society, causing her to decline and have “no salvation in either the Indian world or the white world” (571). The Laughing Boy was praised and was said to be…show more content…
Native American activist groups such as AIM were viewed as sexist by Native women because they also adapted western view of women as inferior. Kathleen Smith, a Native American woman in AIM, was quoted saying that the “AIM leaders are particularly sexist, never having learned true Indian history where women voted and participated equally in all matters of tribal life” (577). This shows that the Natives were not spared from western ideas and media containing their beliefs. This affected Native American Activism because, although Native American women and men often had the same goals, women were ignored when they brought up other issues specifically pertaining to Native American women and children (577). This discrimination in Native American activist groups caused Native American women to form organizations such as WARN or the Women of All Red Nations, that specifically cater to the needs of the Native American woman (577). WARN would not have been necessary if activist Native American men, had held the views and concerns of Native American women equal to their own. Also the Native American men would not view Native American women as inferior if they were not affected by western ideas and media. In this way the media indirectly influenced the creation of an organization specifically geared towards women. Native women also created works of literature such

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