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The Exploitation of Female Slaves

Slaves were mostly black, but there were some female slaves that were considered to be white. Since slaves were considered the legal property of the slave owners, they were sexually exploited by the slave owners as well as the “overseers” or the white supervisors who worked for the slave gangs. This sexual exploitation also occurred because whites basically accepted the Elizabeth concept of “the lusty Moor” and used this and comparable oversimplified conceptions to justify enslaving by arguing that blacks were not wholly humans, that they possessed little or no intellect, had no cultural refinement, was morally corrupt and possessed animals like sexual appeal or sexual orientation.

White adopted racists and other sexist systems of beliefs to argue that only whites were civilized and people other than whites were basically Uncivilized or unsophisticated when compared to highly developed civilizations such as the whites themselves.

The idea and conviction that blacks are sexually promiscuous and vulgar were before the advent of slavery in America. Many Europeans who had traveled to Africa saw natives with very little or absolutely no clothing. The nudity and semi-nudity were mistakenly taken for being sexually promiscuous and vulgar.

White Europeans during the 17th century who were convinced of their own cultural superiority viewed the African customs of taking multiple spouses and their tribal dances as evidence of the African’s unrestrained sexual yearnings.

Female Slaves

A European, William Bosman, gave a description of the Black women on the coast of Guineas as ‘sizzling and hot” and much more warm-blooded than men.  The women were described as ladies who are continuously devising strategies for trapping lovers.

The origins of Black sexuality become known from the writings of these and other Europeans, who cast the Black men as a beast and probable rapists and the women as Jezebel whore.

The Jezebel label was convenient and was basically used as a validation for sexual relations between white men and black women, more specifically sexual relationships with slave owners and slaves. Black women were stereotyped as having an unquenchable craving for sex.

Since according to the White men, Black women desired relationships with them because the Black men could not satisfy their sexual appetite. Therefore White men did not have to rape Black women; they in fact desired and were grateful for having sexual advances made to them by Anglo-Saxon men.

This view was shown to be very wrong by Fredrick Douglas, who himself was a former slave who said that “slave women were at the mercy of the fathers, sons or any other male relatives of her master.