What I think of every time I see a “Sexy Pocahontas” or romanticized rendition of “Pocahontas and John Smith”.
Actually the true story is Matoaka was married to a Native guy, with whom she had a child. She was not 12, she was an older teenager, and John Smith did not rape her (actually all records indicate that he had a great relationship with her father, until about a decade after he got back to England and made the Disney story up). She was taken as a hostage to England, where she was imprisoned until John Rolfe coerced her into marriage. She had a child, and she died at the age of 22, of an STI. In private communications with her sister, she made it clear that she had been repeatedly raped while imprisoned in the colonies, including by the governor of Virginia.
So yes, sexual violence is what killed Pocahontas. But you’re not doing much justice to her when you casually replicate lies about her life for your own political message. If you wanna be real about her story, actually be real about it. Her spirit has survived hundreds of years of lies and people using it for their own gain, it’s time we share her story in her own words. There are plenty of oral histories from her people, who still survive and are starting to share those stories publicly (feel free to check the Pocahontas tag on my blog for a link to a well-written article featuring said oral histories).