Added: August 5, 2017 – Last updated: August 5, 2017

TITLE INFORMATION


Author: Adrienne D. Davis

Title: Slavery and the Roots of Sexual Harassment

Subtitle: -

In: Directions in Sexual Harassment Law

Edited by: Catherine A. MacKinnon and Reva B. Siegel

Place: New Haven and London

Publisher: Yale University Press

Year: 2004 (Published online: October 2013)

Pages: 457-478

ISBN-10: 0300098006 (paper) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

ISBN-13: 9780300098006 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780300135305 (ebk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 19th Century, 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Types: Sexual Harassment; Victims: Slaves



FULL TEXT


Links:

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JSTOR (Restricted Access)

ResearchGate (Free Access)

Social Science Research Network (Free Access)

Washington University (Free Access)

Yale Scholarship Online (Restricted Access)



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


Author: Adrienne Davis, School of Law, Washington University in St. Louis – ResearchGate

Abstract: »In recent years, feminist scholars and activists have demonstrated the ways that U.S. slavery functioned as a system of gender supremacy. It entailed the dominance of men over women as well as whites over blacks. Adding the gender lens has shed immense light on the ways that sex, law, and power operated in the racially supremacist enslaving South. In recent years, this literature has emphasized the ways that slavery's sexual and racial subordination converged around the bodies of enslaved black women. One project within this literature characterizes slavery as a "sexual political economy" to make explicit the connections between its markets, labor structure, and sexual exploitation. It designates slavery a sexual economy to foreground slavery's gender hierarchies and mechanisms of subordination as well as to show how slavery offered early illustrations of the social construction and fluidity of gender and the false dichotomy between public and private relations.
Taking those insights to their logical conclusion, this essay frames enslaved women's sexual coercion through their roles as captive workers to cast the institution of slavery in a new light: as an early and particularly virulent strain of institutionalized sexual harassment. In the process, it shows how we gain better purchase on sexual harassment when we look at antecedents in U.S. slavery. Conceiving slavery as sexual harassment sheds light on how slave law was labor law, plantations were workplaces, and enslaved women's resistance constituted gender activism. Critically, such a framework also recovers the sexual dimension of both slavery and sexual harassment. Casting slavery in this way hopefully yields a richer and more nuanced understanding not only of slavery, but of feminist history, theory, and contemporary activism.« (Source: Social Science Research Network)

Contents:

  Labor in Slavery's Sexual Economy (p. 458)
  Slavery as Sexual Harassment (p. 461)
  Feminist History (p. 464)
  Feminist Theory (p. 467)
  Feminist Activism (p. 470)
  Conclusion (p. 472)
  Notes (p. 472)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States | Sex and the law: Sexual harassment | Slavery: Slavery in the United States