Your Insider Guide to the GRE

[not sponsored or endorsed by the ETS]

Free GRE Test Questions

Question 1 of 1
Section: Verbal Reasoning - Reading Comprehension

(Practice Mode: Single selected Question » Back to Overview)


From their earliest writings, the Euro-American colonists portrayed the native American women as overburdened drudges who performed masculine chores that exceeded their physical strength, suffered abuse by their husbands, and had no rights or privileges, while the native American men idled and routinely engaged in the frivolous diversions of hunting and fishing. Though this perception of stark imparity between the genders in the native American society has persisted for four hundred years, it was wrong.

The division of labor in the native American society was far more equitable and complementary than most Euro-Americans believed. While women were responsible for agriculture, childcare and household management, men performed the more physically arduous tasks like hunting, clearing forests to make new land fit for agriculture, making tools and weapons, and fighting wars. The work done by women was both socially and economically important, and therefore, rather than being a marker of their low social status, conferred prestige and respect upon them in the community.

Moreover, most native American tribes practiced matrilineal patterns of inheritance and were matrilocal, which meant that the husband moved into his wife's house upon marriage. The wife owned both the house and the agricultural land and tools, and she remained their sole proprietor upon marriage. If mistreated by her husband or loaded with unjust labor by him, a woman could easily divorce him or evict him from her house. While public roles and positions of authority were usually taken up by men, most men acted in consultation with their wives in important family and communal decisions. The marital relationship was often egalitarian.

The distorted picture of native American gender-relations that the Euro-Americans presented was a result of their ethnocentric biases. They viewed their own ethnic group as civilized, and therefore, believed that a civilized society was one in which men worked hard to provide sustenance for their families through economic activities like farming and trade, hunting and fishing were gentlemanly sports for the unproductive rich, and women occupied a "privileged" position in which they were exempt from hard physical labor and economic activities and had time for leisure pursuits. The perceived slothfulness of the native American men and the perceived drudgery of the native American women were, therefore, in stark contrast to the Euro-American ideals of civility - masculine diligence and feminine idleness. The Euro-Americans concluded that the native Americans were savage and contemptible. This perceived superiority of the Euro-American culture served to provide a moral justification for continued usurpation of native American land and destruction of native American society.

Primary Source: The "Squaw Drudge": A Prime Index of Savagism, by David D. Smits

Secondary Sources:

Sub-Question 1 of 2

[For the following question, consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.]

According to the passage, the Euro-American colonists perceived the native Americans to be culturally inferior to them because of which of the following reasons?

[ Note: Select one or more answer choices ]

AThe native American women were underprivileged and exploited by irresponsible native American men.
BThe Euro-American men did not perform physically arduous tasks like clearing forests to make new land fit for agriculture.
CThe agricultural practices of the native Americans were not as technologically-advanced and productive as those of the Euro-Americans.

GRE Essay Writing Tasks: How to Use your Time


Effectively make use of the given time for the GRE Analytical Writing Assessment. Implement the below strategies to increase your chances of attaining high GRE AWA scores and improving your overall writing abilities.

Six Helpful Tips for Properly Preparing for the GRE


Standardized tests are similar in many ways and there are certain strategies that can be applied to almost all of them, GRE included. If you are looking for the most efficient and effective methods of preparing for an exam of this magnitude, then take a look at these tips and see if you can apply them to your own GRE preparation process.

Finding the Right Time to Take the GRE


Deciding when to take an exam can be a difficult process for something with as much importance behind it as the GRE. Since the GRE is so widely accepted and offered year-round, there are a plethora of options available. This article aims to offer advice on optimal timings to sit for the GRE that will give you a competitive edge.