Harriet Jacobs Research Paper

649 Words3 Pages
To slave a person is the most inhumane act one can commit, and unfortunately was very popular during the 18th century. However, have you ever wondered the different impacts slavery caused between men and women? Both Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs showcase, through their writings, the horrors of slavery, and contrast the many similarities and import differences between the experience of slavery between genders. One of the similarities of slavery for both genders was their allowances. Both men and women were only allowed a certain amount of food and clothing to survive throughout a year. As Jacobs mentioned: "Monday evening came. It was always a busy time. On that night the slaves received their weekly allowance of food." The fact that…show more content…
On the other hand, slavery did have some different effects upon men and women. Women suffered the consequences of sexual abuse. Jacobs relates such abuse: "Soon she will learn to tremble when she hears her master 's footfall. She will be compelled to realize that she is no longer a child.If God has bestowed beauty upon her, it will prove her greatest curse." The author tells how sad is the life of a slave girl and how, as soon as she is old enough, and against her will, she would learn about the malice of the world. Meanwhile, male slaves rarely suffered from such abuse, and different from women, slavery mostly affected their manliness. As Douglas says while describing one of the oversees: "It was enough to chill the blood and stiffen the hair of an ordinary man to hear him talk." By saying so, he proved how, at a very patriarchal time, male slaves completely lost the bravery and "superiority" often used to describe white men. Therefore, slavery did have some different effects towards women and men, but always towards a worse condition. All that being said, both narratives provided great comparisons between gender-specific experiences of slavery. Both women and men suffered terribly from the hands of slavery, yet sometimes in different ways. While men and women suffered the consequences of losing their humanity and being physically abused, women also faced sexual abuses, and men were in quest of the manliness that they lost at birth. After all, even though men and women
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