Based on this reading, what were the most important ways in which

Based on this reading, what were the most important ways in which the life of a female slave differed from that of male slaves?

Various historical happenings define and shape the world that the current generation knows it. Among such historical events is slavery. Slavery is the process where colonial masters took people from other continents, especially Africans, to work in their farms under degrading conditions. Even though it was done away with more than a century ago, slavery as a topic remains relevant since its academic exploration leads to a better understanding of racial, gender, and political aspects of the time and how they continuously shape the current times. Focusing on gender, it is clear that enslaved women were treated differently than men since they were subjected to the same inhuman conditions and were exposed to a higher risk of being sexually assaulted. Besides, unlike enslaved men who mainly worked in fields, enslaved women were required to work in households, fields and still be mothers to their children.

First forward, enslaved women were treated differently than male ones because their treatment involved instances of sexual abuse. Enslaved men worked in a field where they were unpaid despite working long hours under inhumane conditions. However, their treatment is nothing compared to enslaved women who, despite working long hours and being subjected to inhuman conditions, had to ensure sexual advances. Thistlewood’s disrespect of women saw him subject his female slaves to sexual assaults. This is well evidenced by Burnard (2004), who notes that Thistle wood “was drawn to slave women for sexual gratification in addition to harsh conditions.” In all honesty, this is degrading and tends to rip them off basic human decency and dignity.

Another significant difference between the female and male slaves is where they worked. Enslaved men mainly worked in the fields. The major hurdle was the hard labor that lasted for long hours. However, for women, they hard to work both in the areas and in the household. In the field, they worked as hard as their male counterparts. They were both subjected to hard work, whipping, and no pay. Like men, they were subjected to no compensation. Dramatically, unlike men, enslaved women were required to work at their masters’ households after hard work in the field. Summing this up, Burnard (2004) notes that “most slave women, therefore, were victims of a ruthless and exploitive labor system.” This means that despite being tired out of the hard manual labor, they also picked household chores, hence denying them proper sleep.

Furthermore, there is a difference when it comes to reproductive roles. Unlike men who could not conceive and give birth, enslaved women were also required to reproduce. One might think that enslaved women were not allowed to reproduce, but then the case of Thistlewood reveals that enslavers wanted women to give birth to next-generation enslaved people. Burnard( 2004) notes that “what differentiated female slaves from their male counterparts was their dual role as producers and reproducers.” Unlike men, women who got pregnant were met with indecent motherhood defined with hard labor and rampant cases of sexual assault. This made their experiences a lot more different than those of men.

It is clear that enslaved women were subjected to crueler experiences than men. Even though women were less muscular than men, they were required to work in the same fields as men. As if that is not enough, women were also required to work as house helps, limiting their time for rest. This, in turn, created a chance for their colonial masters to abuse them sexually. The colonial masters further demanded enslaved women to conceive of giving birth to children who would later be the next generation enslaved people to make the situation worse.