Has Society Treated Men and Women Equally Through the Years?

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Has society treated men and women equally through the years? During the most inhuman, barbaric, and sadistic period of history, women seem to be mistreated in a higher degree. For many years women were not only considered the weaker sex but also repressed and dehumanized by the male dominated society. As terrible as The Holocaust that persecuted and killed millions of Jewish and other groups considered undesirable, was the impact of slavery on American slaves. Slavery and male dominant society occurred simultaneously; therefore, women were twice discriminated, abused, and mistreated. There are multiple indirect and direct records of the suffering women went trough during this horrible and sad period in history. “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” by Harriet Jacobs happens to be a vivid account of the incidents in the life of Jacobs, a misfortune girl that as a child tragically lost her parents and discovered she was a slave. Referring to the terrible condition of slavery, she wrote: “You never knew what it is to be slave; to be entirely unprotected by law or custom; to have the laws reduce you to the condition of a chattel, entirely subject to the will of another.” (49) Perhaps the most heartbreaking feeling in the life of slave women happened to be the fact that they were separated from their children at the will of their masters. Being unable to raise their children was hundred times more painful than their heel-strings being cut to prevent them from escaping their masters. Jacob’s grandmother experienced this horrible consequence of slavery when her master died and her five children were divided among the master’s heirs. (9) How painful must have it been for Jacob’s mother to see her children being divided as if they were ... ... middle of paper ... ...d labor, had made herself a comfortable home, was obliged to sacrifice her furniture, bid a hurried farewell to friends, and seek her fortune among strangers in Canada. Many a wife discovered a secret she never known before-that her husband was a fugitive, and must leave her to insure his own safety. Worse still, many a husband discovered that his wife had fled from slavery years ago, and as “the child follows the condition of its mother,” the children of his love were liable to be seized and carried into slavery” (155) Extremely pity, sorrow, and shame is projected throughout Jacob’s book which covers not only her life, but also the common misfortune of many victims of slavery. Undoubtedly the women slaves were repeatedly abused, discriminated, and harassed not only by the society but also by the sadistic masters becoming the most mistreated of a slavery society.
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