“On heathen ground”: The double bind of women's roles in the Sandwich Islands Mission, 1819–1863
This study argues that Protestant missionary women in the Sandwich Islands Mission were caught in a double bind between different religious and social ideals of women's proper behavior. Internal and external conflict arose as women strove to embody the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions' directives and New England gender ideals, as expressed in "the cult of true womanhood," and fulfill their desire as Christian women to participate in fulfilling "The Savior's Commission" as active, useful missionaries. The ABCFM directives commissioned missionary women to be ideal examples of domestic Christian womanhood as well as to teach Hawaiian children and be supports to their husbands. In an attempt to integrate the directives of the ABCFM with their own desires, missionary women adapted, resisted, and negotiated the boundaries of proper female behavior as they grappled with living in a foreign frontier.
0337: American history