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Female Slavery - Essay Example

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Our historical account of the slavery in the American South reveals that some slave-owners were more ruthless to slaves than others. Many slave-owners raped and beat their slaves, and sometimes cut the limbs of the slaves who tried to escape, while other slave-owners were less physically abusive, treating their slaves with more 'kindness' and even provided them with some convenience…
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Female Slavery
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Download file to see previous pages While Female slaves were treated as sexual objects by their master as they were viewed as an item devoid of morals, bestowed the label of being 'promiscuous' and were given 'male' responsibilities at home and in the field, the treatment of male slaves were similarly cruel and debasing as they also suffered extreme and unjust pain and abuse in the hands of their owners which stemmed from the fact the slave-owners in the American South viewed their subjects as non-humans.
According to the account of Deborah Gray White, author of the book "Female Slaves: Sex Roles and Status in Antebellum South." The female slaves did not did not play the conventional stereotyped female function as it was characterized in nineteenth century America, and in spite of how harshly most historians typecast women as subordinate or submissive in their duties in relation to slave men, it will be difficult to reconcile these roles with the realities in the plantation South. White wrote that,
1"The high degree of female cooperation, the ability of slave women to rank and order themselves, the independence women derived from the absence of property considerations in the conjugal relationship, 'abroad marriages,' and the female slave's ability to provide supplementary foodstuffs are factors which should not be ignored in consideration of the slave family " (28).
White maintains that depictions of "female slaves" as 'full-time field-hands' are practically indistinguishable from the male slaves. White mentions the "full female hands," compelled to "slave" like "males," and suggests that 2"It is difficult, however, to say how often they did the same work, and it would be a mistake to say that there was no differentiation of field labor on Southern farms and plantations. The most common form of differentiation was that women hoed while men plowed." In addition, White's account of the slavery in the South upset and horrifies the readers as she enlightens them about the horrors and inequalities that slave women were compelled to deal with in her daily affairs.
In her book, white tackles two of the most common misconceptions of female slavery: Jezebel and Mammy. The author swiftly reveals the that the stereotype that slave women were 'promiscuous', 'dirty' women with an unappeasable lust for her white master, is very deceiving. White further asserts that, 3"The choice put before many slave women was between miscegenation and the worst experiences that slavery had to offer. Not surprisingly, many chose the former." Consequently, the actuations of the slave woman yielding to the sexual advances of her white master resulted to her labeling as unchaste and immoral or a Jezebel. The second typecast tackled is that of mammy, the caring black woman who is concerned for the welfare of the white children.
White, moreover, in great depth, describes the real lives and adversities that slave women faced everyday. According to White, although the female slaves' work in the fields was essential, her real worth was set in keeping the male slaves sexually fulfilled in order to reproduce more generations of slaves in the future. Consequently, almost all female slaves had families, but they were more disassociated compared to the families of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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