The first slave ship is recorded to have docked at Jamestown in 1619. One Sir John Hawkins was at the helm. Captain’s Hawkins ship? Why, The Good Ship Jesus, of course.
It is not clear how many slaves Captain Hawkins brought ashore that day, but one thing is very clear. As the first slave disembarked, he fell to his knees at the whip of his new Master.
Ah. But why are we talking about the Trans-Atlantic African Slave Trade in conjunction with the call for emancipation of women?
Here we go.
As the Slave Trader took his whip to the back of that first African slave, understand that his whip was not new leather. In fact, that whip was well broken in. Because you see, long before that first African slave felt his master’s whip, a woman was on the losing end of that whip, and worse.
You see, man perfected the art of slavery, the art of human domination, the art of psychological control and intimidation of another human being on the very backs of women.
Missed that part in history class did you? No. You didn’t. Teachers do not teach you all you need to know, only what the establishment wants you to know.
You see, it’s important that America’s young understands, believes, that women wholeheartedly accepted their subjugation, repression, and subordination. It is important, to men, that young women accepting that their rightful, God given place in life, in society, and in the church is at the foot of man. Their masters.
For as the African slave was disembarking ships by the thousands, American women were well into their servitude.
Here’s a fun fact for you. The court ordained the plantation owner as lord and master over his stable of slaves. He could punish as he saw fit; he could kill as needed/warranted. He was the law and order over his stable; a stable that included his wife and children.
Collectively, this group was happily (or not) referred to as the plantation owner’s familia, of which he was the head, just as today the man is considered as the head of the family.
Back to the American women, because she was watching the developing situation, and she was growing more and more concerned.
In April, 1633, Anne Hutchinson, a woman ahead of her time, an aggressive woman who didn’t know her place, though it had been pointed out to her many, many times, spoke up against John Wilson, the then leader of the church.
Her attack on Wilson soon enough found her labeled an Antinomian, that is, someone who dares question the laws of man; but what she actually did was counter the Puritan religious opinions of the clerics, more importantly, the head cleric.
Of course, she was tried for heresy and expelled from the colony; fortunately, that was all.
But the discord regarding the ideologies within the church only grew and grew. Women, following Hutchinson’s lead, were becoming very vocal. (Note: Some credit Ann Hutchinson with initiating the feminist movement.)
In April, 1690, probably having tolerated enough from women, probably feeling their strength in numbers, the church began what is accepted as the most notorious and hideous assault on women in the history of such assaults, and there have been many.
Consider briefly these facts. Hitler’s Nazi murderers are credited with six million plus unthinkable murders. Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge is credited with roughly two point five million murders in the infamous Cambodian Killing Fields, what can only described as genocidal. Japan’s Prince Asaka is scored with over half a million Chinese (mostly civilian women and children) who were brutally mutilated and slaughtered in the streets of Nanjing alone. But the number of lives, women’s lives, that God ordained clerics unconscionably took (and some believe continue to take today) in their phony witch hunts (femicide) are said to fall in the tens of millions.
Hitler took himself out before he could be captured; his ovens were shut off. Pol Pot was charged with war crimes; his death was recorded as a heart attack, but highly suspected as a suicide. Prince Asaka was recalled to Japan in shame. He was charged with war crimes, but was granted immunity, as he was a member of the imperial family, by General Douglas MacArthur (politics always before justice). But here is the kicker, not one charge, not one indictment is recorded against any member of the church in connection with the millions upon millions of women’s murders, which included traumatic dismemberment, the pouring of hot oil into orifices, including vaginal, and of course the infamous burnings at the stake, and the dipping (alive) into vats of boiling oil, all in a very public, very ceremonial, very celebratory forum.
Mission accomplished. Women were successfully repressed.
In the eyes of man, now well situated in his Patriarchal Social System, women were now less than slaves. In the eyes of the church, they were officially sub-human, the very gateway to hell, a creature not even God acknowledged.
But, how could this be so in America? A new land, with a new Constitution that clearly stated “with liberty and justice for all?”
That’s an easy one. The Constitution, when drafted, applied to Americans, not slaves; and, if you’re sticking with me, you’ll recall that the women and children were considered part of the familia, the slave count.
In actuality, liberty from the English Crown was a man vs man thing. For other than the taxation thing (money), political and religious doctrines pretty much remained the same.
One of the biggest influences on American politics is still one Sir William Blackstone.
Blackstone was a very influential British judge whose published position on woman was that they needed to be dominated by men. He held that men had the legal right to beat women in order to keep them in check. He called this, The power of chastisement.
Women in the new country, just as in the old, would be subordinate and submissive; women would know their rightful place in society. And for those that refused, by being disobedient of her man, arrogant in tone, the local governments had in place guidelines by which the man was expected to execute his responsibilities as husband, and punish her. These guidelines were detailed, right down to the size of switch he could us, and where on her body he could place his blows.
Fun fact time; even today the American Supreme Court quotes this hegemonic masculinity proponent, this misogynist, Blackstone, in their court decisions.
But Sir Blackstone wasn’t the only old country jurist who came to the new land.
In 1905, a Texas appellate court overturned the conviction of a man found guilty of assault and attempted rape of his wife citing a court ruling issued by one Lord Hale, in England, in the year 1500.
Lord Matthew Hale, in case you were wondering, was just another English misogynist jurist the colonist couldn’t quite break from. Lord Matthew Hale. The man detested rape, but detested women even more. Essentially called them all liars that could not be trusted; he also liked presiding over witch trials.
His misogynist rulings, which essentially mocked, intimidated, and put the fear of God into women, were still being quoted in American rape trials up through the 1970’s; probably still are in some parts of the country.
Why is it important to mention these British jurists and their rulings? Because these archaic, misogynistic men influence rape cases in 21st Century American courts. And, that’s why rape prosecution in America today isn’t taken as seriously as it should be.
I love hearing about the glorious Harvard Law School School grads, and all the other haughty taughty so called top tier law schools grads, but it seems to me not one law school in America has produced a single American lawyer. These schools have only managed to produce clones of English jurist.
I often wonder what a truly American judicial system would look like.
Until that happens, sadly, American women will continue to be repressed, and subjugated, and degraded, humiliated, and yes, beaten, just like Master Blackstone and Master Hale said they should be.
I know what you’re thinking. The African slave realized emancipation. They’re free (somewhat). Why can’t women realize emancipation?
And in there lies the connection between the American woman and the Trans-Atlantic African Slave. It was actually the Anti-Slavery Movement that afforded women the opportunity to (finally) raise their voices and establish themselves as a movement, a cause for emancipation.
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln; if you note the Women’s Rights Movement Timeline of Events offered below (#13), you will also note it begins in 1848.
The unfortunate reality of this post is, while the Trans-Atlantic African Slave was able to gain emancipation just 244 years after that first ship docked in 1619, women are still fighting for their emancipation.
Once more, thank you for reading, and I hope you come back for the next post in this series in which I will explore at least one reason woman remains repressed; why legislators turn their backs to her. It’s a money thing called: America’s porn industry.
Below please find some links utilized in producing today’s post. For a complete list of sites address violence against women, please visit my Resource page at https://dhesbarpublications.wordpress.com/resources/.
And as always, please do not hesitate to offer a comment, or ask a question.
- A Review of Sir William Blackstone and the Common Law: Blackstone’s Legacy to America http://chalcedon.edu/research/articles/a-review-of-sir-william-blackstone-and-the-common-law-blackstones-legacy-to-america/
- Enslaved women and slavery before and after 1807 http://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Focus/Slavery/articles/paton.html
- Free Blacks in the South: Why Did They Stay? – The Root http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2013/07/free_blacks_in_the_south_why_did_they_stay.html
- Matthew Hale on the rape of a wife http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415639989/downloads/rape-marriage.pdf
- Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanjing_War_Crimes_Tribunal
- Pol Pot https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pol_Pot
- Sir William Blackstone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blackstone
- Slavery in the United States https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States
- The Cross and Gendercide http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2014/05/the-cross-and-gendercide/
- The First British Slave Ship http://www.nairaland.com/241597/first-britsh-slave-ship-reach
- When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse. Wilson, K.J. Hunter House. Available at Amazon.com.
- Why Men Oppress Women | Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201208/why-men-oppress-women
- Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S.: History and Timeline of Events (1848-1920) http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenstimeline1.html
- Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S.: Timeline of Key Events in the American Women’s Rights Movement 1921–1979 http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenstimeline2.html
- Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S.: Timeline of Key Events in the American Women’s Rights Movement 1980–Present http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenstimeline3.html
- Women’s role’s during 1500’s-1600’s https://prezi.com/z2fradukfwak/womens-roles-during-1500s-1600s/