Not all female slaves were that fortunate; however, when it came to their bodies they were able to have some control. Masters also benefited from slaves having children because it mean that the slave woman would have to rely more heavily upon them for food and shelter for the children. Within the transatlantic trade system, black women were already considered a source of sexual pleasure. The drastic shift in perception also resulted in a shift in the plantation environment. The role of the white woman on the plantation was not the same as the role of the black, creole and mulatto woman. Unlike white women who had no option but to birth the children of their husbands in order to maintain the lineage, slave women strategized and manipulated reproduction to the best of their ability in order to escape further bondage or to avoid subjecting potetial children to their same plight.
Phibbah exercised powers beyond her slave peers; as the chief housekeeper, Phibbah had authority over other slaves as well as over Thistlewood. The role of the white woman on the plantation was not the same as the role of the black, creole and mulatto woman. Not only did Phibbah have power on the plantaton but she also had power in the bedroom. Women attempted to control their reproduction while gaining as many advantages as possible from their reproductive capacities when they did reproduce Burnard — They objected to working when heavily pregnant and even more to attempts to separate them from their children before they were willing to wean them. For thirty-three years Thistlewood maintained a love affair, practically a marriage, with a slave. Black women were virtually just as valuable as a cow — with the exception of the sexual pleasure the white slave master could derive from her. Fulfilling the roles of mistress allowed them to at least exercise some power over their bodies and future. The plantation society of which the people of 18th century Jamaica were bound to ostensibly provided the perfect environment for such shallow fetishism to take place. Oddly enough, despite the hyper-sexualization and over-fetishism that black women were subject to, the sexuality of white women was firmly regulated. Speaking from within but also challenging the assumptions of feminism, literary and cultural studies, and queer studies, this volume questions prevailing oppositions between the backward, homophobic nation-state and the laid-back, service-with-a-smile paradise or between giving in ignominiously to the autocratic demands of the global north and equating postcolonial sovereignty with a "wholesome" heterosexual citizenry. That did not stop the female slaves from being the bearers of African tradition and culture. By the late 17th Century, there were more than nine thousand Black slaves in Jamaica. As the object of white male desire, slave women could prosper; however, they could never match the ideal of white womanhood nor achieve respectability. Others claim that Black and mulatto women in Jamaica enjoyed more freedom that their white female counterparts. The pervasive availability of black and mulatto concubines deprived white women of power in society. The effect of white male perspective becomes evident when the white and black women were forced to coexist on the plantation. She lived with her uncle in Kenwood where she was treated without discrimination at all times except dinner time; she was not allowed to sit at the dinner table with her white family. Slave women tried to control their reproduction either through abortion and infanticide or through long lactation. Mixed racing was both a voluntary and involuntary process; Black women were oftentimes the target of sexual assault. Black women were central to redefining white female identities. The woman of colour: Since white male sexual desires lingered upon black and colored women, white women were mainly in their marriages to show face and to continue to reproduce. Thomas Thistlewood and his slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican world. While white women suffered the loss of their husbands to black and colored women, a small number of black and colored women were able to use white male attention and desires to their advantage. Although the arrival of Black women in Jamaica radically changed the island, there is little scholarship on their impact.
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