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Double Standards in Slavery....

Created: 02/02/12

Replies: 6

Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimberlyb's Gravatar
kimberlyb

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 9

Double Standards in Slavery....

Why do you think slave owners treated slaves so badly, looked down on them and considered them nothing more than property but yet they were worthy enough to sleep with? That type of affection is very intimate and personal and the best way to "mix" germs, but yet it was commonplace among the men and women.


The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read.
-Abraham Lincoln

Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lorie

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 24

RE: Double Standards in Slavery....

I completely agree with you. It makes no sense. The men must have felt a sense of entitlement to sleep with whomever they pleased. They would have none of the boundaries that they would have with their wives or other white women since the slave women couldn't object to anything. When there were children as a result, the men seemed to be able to disassociate themselves from their children.

I guess in pursuit of sex these men chose to ignore the health risks. In The Healing, the "master" even denied what killed his child because he considered it a "slave disease".

Another double standard that makes no sense to me is that white families let black slaves raise their children, but still considered the blacks to be dirty and otherwise undesirable. You would think they'd want to isolate their children from the slaves. This was also demonstrated in more contemporary books like The Help or the comparable Indian novel, The Space Between Us.


Posted Feb. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sarahd

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 84

Expert

RE: Double Standards in Slavery....

This is an interesting point, but I don't think there was affection in many of these interactions. Unfortunately, once a woman has been objectified and turned into a functionary - someone who works - it stands to reason that there would only be a short jump for that woman to soon to be seen as an object for sex, too. In my mind, it's the same kind of situation that can be seen throughout history from people like Henry VIII and other men of power: once a man has decided that they are in charge and others are servile, they are justified in demanding anything.


Sarah D
Posted Feb. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 33

RE: Double Standards in Slavery....

It is about control and humilation for economic power.
If you have no control over how your body is used, then you can breakdown the mind of the person so they can be controlled.
The rationale and reasons given for slavery - were construed so that the masters could justify what they were doing and gave structure to an institution that was for making money.
This reasoning was also done so whites without slaves would also believe in the institution -- and feel better about themselves (at least we are not slaves) and want to keep the institution intact.

Rape of women has always been a element of control and warfare when subjecting women as an individual or as a group for ethnic or racial reasons --


Posted Feb. 15, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 76

Expert

RE: Double Standards in Slavery....

The double standard that I found most interesting in The Healing was the one between the 'house slaves' and the 'swamp slaves'. The hierarchy - master/mistress; house slaves; swamp slaves - was very evident. There was little contact or understanding between the two groups of slaves. The house slaves found the swamp slaves almost as repugnant as the whites found the blacks. Until Polly arrived and fused the two groups the differences were clear. A great deal of denial for self preservation takes place in this story.


Posted Feb. 15, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terryd

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 10

RE: Double Standards in Slavery....

The female slaves were considered property - to be used by the white master for his economic or physical needs. When their sex resulted in the birth of another slave, that was a bonus! I believe the master stated he was not interested in buying slaves at the market. He was more interested in increasing the population from within, so what's the harm!


Posted Feb. 16, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
gwendolyndawson

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 63

Expert

RE: Double Standards in Slavery....

I think it was a power play more than anything. The experts say that rape is more about power over another human being than about love or affection or even pleasure. So, I suspect that the white masters sleeping with their female slaves is just one more example of asserting power over other human beings.


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