Unit Analysis II Each phase in the the lives of women comes with certain expectations. They are born as daughters, built up to settle down as wives and eventually mothers. For black women, each step in their womanhood is caught between race and gender. They are denied humanity due to their blackness, yet demanded as women to bring life into a world that does not even consider them human. The burden of black womanhood is proven to be inescapable for those who choose or deny the path of domesticity.
The reasoning behind this approach lies beyond the 20th century, in the 19th century in fact, when slavery peeked and the African-American women were forced to be beautiful in order to gain what seemed like their freedom. Victoria Chihos demonstrates this concept in her article, The Role of Woman in Slave Communities, by writing: “Many viewed black female’s lack of modesty as a sign of their impaired moral nature and increased sex drive. The view of the African female as a manipulating temptress thus emerged and it was believed that she used it to her advantage to achieve favours and obtain prestige” (Chihos, “The Role of Women in Slave Communities”). In this excerpt, the sexuality of women is described to be advantageous in many instances. Thereon from slave communities,
He listed the different occupations that derive from the trainings many black women had since before reconstruction. Boyd goes on to argue that black women who faced joblessness and resource disadvantage were no doubt motivated by their desperate circumstance to become independently employed. He does not do a good job of crediting the responsibility of the black woman as Mae C. King did in”Oppression and Power: The Unique Status of the Black Woman in the American Political System.” King mentioned the social structure of the political system unlike the Boyd.
Both Southern white women and female slaves were disadvantaged by the patriarchy present in America, and were considered objects rather than people. These similarities, however, end when the institution of slavery is considered. Slavery during the Antebellum affected both white and black women negatively, but the institution damaged a black women exponentially more than it damaged a white woman. Slave labor changed the way that the Southern household was run, and Southern white women became even more inferior to their husbands because of it. For black women, however, the institution of slavery affected their psychological states, their marriages, and their family life.
Black women are treated less than because of their ascribed traits, their gender and race, and are often dehumanized and belittled throughout the movie. They are treated like slaves and are seen as easily disposable. There are several moments throughout the film that show the racial, gender, and class inequalities. These moments also show exploitation and opportunity hoarding. The Help also explains historical context of the inequality that occurred during that time period.
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, exhibits both acts and opposition towards racism that lead to mistreatment, lost and found opportunities, as well as unlikely friendships White housewives, such as Hilly and Elizabeth, take their maids for granted and verbally abuse them. Aibileen and Minny, two black maids working in Jackson, Mississippi, either missed chances for success or lost them because of racism in their society. Also, Skeeter’s book not only accomplishes her goal of creating a published piece of literature, but also results in new, dangerous friendships with the maids. Moreover, black maids working in white homes are brutalized and treated unfairly for obscure reasons. The housewives disregard their black maids because of societal influences, which leads to maltreatment.
It is all about self worth. She tells her audience what her was value of being a black woman and slave. As she described it, “…I was not to know anything.” (page 55) Because of her culture, she was not of any worth, just seen as a waste of space in this world. After being told her value, she was stuck in a place where she was unsure of it herself.
The Awakening, Creole culture and norms subjectify women through the imprisonment of the Creole culture and norms. These cultural norms confine women to the every wish of their husbands. Thus, women who aspire to be individualistic suffer under the intense regulations of the Creole culture. Edna, originally an American girl, struggles to adapt to the Creole way of life while directly juxtaposed by her peer, Adele. Society reacts differently to these two women depending on their lack of realization of the oppression of Creole society.
She talks about how she was treated by Dr. Flint " But Dr. Flint swore he would kill me, if I was not as silent as the grave." Although in Jacobs narrative she was treated, in Douglass' his grandmother was whipped "The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped, and where the blood ran fastest, there he whipped the longest." He also talks about how bad women had it "He would whip her to make her scream, and whip her to make her hush; and not until overcome, would he cease to swing the blood-clooted cowskin." Then he talks about how slavery was like hell "It was the blood-stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery, through which I was about to pass."
African American women who choose this field of work were almost always undervalued, underpaid, overworked and in most cases unprotected. Some domestic workers also had to face abuse and maltreatment. The work was hard, but there was only little these employed women could do. Women depended on the low paid wages and most of the time had to accept these forms of treatment, since there were no laws for wages or working conditions in the domestic service. “It tends to be perceived as something other than regular employment, as not fitting the general framework of existing labour laws despite the fact that its origins go back to the "master-servant" relationship.”
Overall women were invisible in this time in