Harriet Jacobs once said, “Slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women”. Men faced many hardships during slavery. They were beaten severely, starved, worked to the point where they couldn’t anymore and many more sufferings. On the other hand women also faced these similar hardships, but had to suffer even more. They would have to watch their children being taken away from them and sometimes never see them again. Women had to also deal with their Master trying to sexually harass them. Thus, slavery was indeed more terrible for women due to the facts that they would have to face with many more hardships than men did.
One of the many obstacles which women had to cope with during slavery was losing their children. One night a black woman’s child will be with her and the other morning he/she could be sold off to another Master. In the story, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”, Harriet Jacobs ...view middle of the document...
Another difficulty which black women had to handle was the fact that their masters would try to engage in sexual activities. Many masters would try to make sexual advances towards their women slaves and the women could not rebel. For example, in Harriet Jacobs’ slave narrative, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl”, Harriet’s master tried to make sexual progress towards her. However, to avoid this, she decided to stay with someone she was more comfortable with. He was another slave master, but she used him to stay away from her own. This is only Harriet’s story; just imagine the amount of African American women slaves who had to face sexual tortures and who couldn’t read or write to tell their story. A man wouldn’t have to face these obstacles because they were of no use to their slave masters sexually, but women had to fear being harassed to satisfy their master’s pleasure.
African American women slaves would not have the power to fight back, so they would have to deal with whatever punishment they were given. In the autobiography of Fredrick Douglass, he was tired of his Master whipping him, so he decided to rebel and his master never touched him back from then. However, a woman is helpless when she is about to be whipped because she doesn’t have the strength to fight any man. She would have to take the beating and go back to work without complaining. Unlike Fredrick Douglass where he fought off his master, Harriet Jacobs couldn’t have done the same or any other female slave during that time. Women were too weak physically and couldn’t do anything, but take the whipping.
Consequently, slavery was more terrible to women than it was to man because women had to endure more than they did. The fear of one losing their child at any moment is outrageous and also leaving them in order to make sure their well being is good. Men never had to face as many sexual tortures from their masters as women had to. The whipping of a woman was the same as for a man and there was nothing a lady could have done because they were not physically powerful. Men can endure lots of physical pain, but women can endure both physically and mentally being hurt.