The Unique Experience of Women Slaves Essay

1336 Words 6 Pages
Women slaves were subject to unusually cruel treatment such as rape and mental abuse from their master’s, their unique experience must have been different from the experience men slaves had. While it is no secret that the horrors of the institution of slavery were terrible and unimaginable; those same horrors were no big deal for southern plantation owners. Many engaged in cruelty towards their slaves. Some slave owners took particular interest in their young female slaves. Once caught in the grips of a master’s desire it would have been next to impossible to escape. In terms of actual escape from a plantation most women slaves had no reason to travel and consequentially had no knowledge of the land. Women slaves had the most unfortunate …show more content…
She spent the majority of her life trying to escape his efforts and that of his family. Elizabeth Keckley was born a slave. Her master’s the Burwells entrusted her with the responsibility of caring for their first daughter. Keckley was not spared punishment for her mistakes even though she was the primary caregiver to the family’s baby. In one incident she accidentally dropped the baby girl on the floor and was punished, she said, “[t]he blows were not administered with a light hand, I assure you.” It is often thought that house slaves received preferential treatment, however Keckley was a prime example that even house slaves and those close to the head family were severely punished for their accidents. In the life of Maumer Juno she had a slightly different experience, she talked about her fondness for her mistress and how she was treated by her. Her treatment was something not many slaves could expect.
Women slaves that had the ill-fated misfortune of catching the wandering eye of their master had to develop ways around their sexual antics. There were no laws to protect them against rape. Women slave who had their owners baby were not even permitted to declare it unless the father acknowledged them. Starting in the early adolescence for Harriet Jacobs she was tasked with dodging every attempt by her master. Not only did Harriet’s unwanted experiences begin at a young age she also spent most of her adult life trying to escape

Related Documents