Privately coming forward as a survivor of any sexual or physical abuse is hard enough. To publicly name the abuser is often a fraught path. Nonetheless, victims then and now still come forward. Indeed, the last year has been dominated by the revelations of women and some men who have been sexually abused. Over years ago, a similar tempest arose as abolitionists tried to awaken the American conscience on slavery and sexual assault. The particulars of a plantation and a movie studio are certainly different.
The Loathsome Den– Sexual Assault on the Plantation: #MeToo
There is ample evidence of sexual relations, from rapes to what appear to be relatively symbiotic romantic partnerships, between white slave masters and black women in the Antebellum South. Much rarer were sexual relations between white women and black slave men, yet they too occurred. Using an intersectional socio-historical analysis, this paper explores the factors that contributed or may have contributed to the incidence of sexual encounters between elite white women and slave men, the power dynamics embedded in them, and their implications in terms of sexual consent. The paper demonstrates how upper-class white women who engaged in these relationships used sex as an instrument of power, simultaneously perpetuating both white supremacy and patriarchy. The lash and the foul talk of her master and his sons are her teachers. When she is fourteen or fifteen, her owner, or his sons, or the overseer, or perhaps all of them, begin to bribe her with presents. If these fail to accomplish their purpose, she is whipped and starved into submission to their will.
Slavery constituted the principal backdrop against which whites and blacks encountered one another for over two hundred years, from the s to the s. The overwhelming majority of slave owners were white, and the overwhelming majority of slaves black. There was probably more black-white sex during this period than at any other time thus far in American history. Most of it was unwanted sex, stemming from white males' exploitation of black women-the subject of many pages to come.? But what about mutually desired sex or what I refer to as sexual intimacy?
But fewer probably know that it was his wife, Martha , who dramatically increased the enslaved population there. When they wed in , George may have owned around 18 people. Martha, one of the richest women in Virginia, owned The high number of people Martha Washington owned is unusual, but the fact that she owned them is not. Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers , a history professor at the University of California-Berkeley, is compiling data on just how many white women owned slaves in the U. White women were active and violent participants in the slave market. They bought, sold, managed and sought the return of enslaved people, in whom they had a vested economic interest. Owning a large number of enslaved people made a woman a better marriage prospect. They Were Her Property upends a lot of older scholarship.