Patriarchy in the Mennonite Community: Background information when reading Women Talking

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Women Talking

by Miriam Toews

Women Talking by Miriam Toews X
Women Talking by Miriam Toews
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  • Published:
    Apr 2019, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts
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About this Book

Patriarchy in the Mennonite Community

This article relates to Women Talking

Miriam Toews' novel Women Talking is inspired by events that took place in Manitoba Colony, a Mennonite community in eastern Bolivia with a population of about 2,000. From 2005-2009, hundreds of girls and women were drugged and raped during the night, which religious leadership claimed was the work of God or the devil, punishing them for their sins. In reality, a group of eight men from the community were using an anesthetic made for cattle on the women and attacking them while they were unconscious, night after night, often assaulting multiple women in a single home before moving on. In 2011, these eight men, ranging from ages 20 to 48 were convicted of sexual assault; seven of them were sentenced to 25 years, and the eighth, deemed an accessory, was sentenced to 12 years.

Mennonites are a Protestant group that originated in Europe in the 16th century. In the 19th century many groups emigrated to the Americas after facing religious persecution. (The Manitoba Colony is named after ...

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