The Technique of Woman Slavery: Jezebel and Mammy

Talking about black's slavery we have to admit, that female slaves had to handle and face both: the myth of a female and the myth of the Negro. It was a hard situation for ladies as these were position at the crossroads of two ideologies, which afflicted them. Whereas men could break free only the stereotype of the Negro, female had to escape both - stereotype of the Negro and stereotype of the woman at all. Because of this both blacks and women were characterized as infantile, irresponsible, submissive and promiscuous. Moreover, in political and cost-effective aspect these were dependent on white men. What more they have in common is the fact that both organizations were subservient, powerless in relationships with white men. These were also considered to be some sort of outsiders and inferiors.

Looking at the age of slavery we can point out two types of African-American women: Jezebel and Mammy.

As very good as the Mammy's is concerned, we can think about Hattie McDaniel, the Mammy in "Gone with the Wind". That which you see is over weight black woman dressed in an extended robe, a brain kerchief and a big smile which follows her on a regular basis. In the American record, Mammy was a female who took health care of white's family, especially looking because of their children. She was responsible for local management and a house servant. She has a strength, experience and inclined to do her duties. She was the main house servant and other folks were subordinated to her. Mammy was a female who could do almost anything, and did it better still than anyone else could do. She was often indispensable. What's also important about Mammy, is that she was also a in-home psychologist who often were required to serve as a pal and consultant. She was where white women could not be, including playing with children, cooking and cleaning. Most of us think of any Mammy as a maid, who acquired to work because of her slave position, but the truth is that she was more than that. Naturally, she was doing all the things which maid usually will, but also she was just like a family member, taking care of white family's personal issues.

She was very protecting, giving her good care and love on the white children. She was totally devoted to the family because she often did not have her own family and children. Also her relationships were limited scheduled to her responsibilities. Furthermore Mammy normally was on the call at all hours, she almost did not have private time, she was often tired and tired, being under the scrutiny of the white family.

There were some advantages for Mammy like departing the plantation as waiting around maid for their traveling mistresses, or understanding how to read and write by family members.

Nowadays we can see the stereotype of Mammy in the films or in the pictures, which show us unwanted fat, middle-aged, nonsexual and smiling dark woman, but it isn't how we should visualize and perceive Mammy.

According to historical facts, these were not excess fat, because they didn't eat a whole lot. They were alternatively young, they almost never approved the 50 limit. Furthermore, not necessarily these were totally black, because they were very often daughters of women raped by white men. The erotic exploitation of dark-colored women by white men was sadly frequent situation through the antebellum period. In other words, dark-colored women were sexually exploited by rich whites, middle income whites, and poor whites. Intimate relationships between blacks and whites - whether consensual or rapes - were taboo. Nonetheless they took place often. All black women and girls, no matter their physical appearances, were vulnerable to being sexually assaulted by white men.

Summing up, Mammy was really taking care of the kids she was increasing them and she was very important person in family. But we still have to indicate that she was a slave and didn't have much choice, so somehow she experienced to accept her fate. However if we compare Mammy's obligations with these of the field staff member, we can confess that her situation was very good way better. It had been also less challenging. Comparing to the field staff member Mammy could expect better treatment in conditions of providing her with food, clothing, treatment and sometimes education.

The Second kind of black female in times of slavery was Jezebel, who stood in the opposition of the Mammy's image.

Talking about Jezebel we ought to think about young beautiful, intimate free, promiscuous girl, who was often governed by her sex drive.

The perfect example of Jezebel was shown by actress Nina Mae McKinney in a movie "Hallelujah!". In those times Jezebel completely stood in opposition not and then Mammy, but also to all or any white women who were portrayed as self respected with sexual purity. Jezebel was a woman who recognized what she wanted, very seductive with a lot of emotions rather than ashamed of her sexuality.

Black men after raping white women were castrated or hanged, whereas white men had no problems with legislations after raping black slave. Legally they cannot take action so easily, because slave women were properties. White men often urged the slave women to have a sexual relation by giving them gift ideas. But also Jezabel made agreements with white men. Sometimes they had a decision to focus on the field or to be a intimate fascination for a white guy, what made her more indie than her hard working friends. Also dark-colored women agreed voluntarily for having gender with white men, because they realized that if they refused they could be obligated to it and raped, beaten or even sold. Giving themselves to white experts they gained the opportunity for some advantages. If they were well-liked by them they were often awarded. That is one of why dark women were called lust and promiscuous. Jezebel was the object of disdain, hate and envy from the medial side of white women. During those times white women were covering most of they bodies with a lot of clothes, because nudity was perceived as too little civility, morality and erotic restrain. They considered those to be immodest and sexually aberrant. As I have mentioned before, being Jezebel got many disadvantages, one of these was probability of rape. As a result she often got pregnant. The dog owner benefited from this situation, because he previously supply of next slaves. Sometimes slaves even received a prize for being pregnant, for example - these were given a pig.

Then according to those facts, we're able to call a Jezebel as a 18th and 19th century prostitute. Actually the simple truth is that this image persists till today. The 50 % naked, attractive and hot image now looks good and modern African-American women very often want to be a Jezebel.

However this image shows us not a slave and prostitute but an independent woman who is confident about her sexuality, her race and appearance. I feel that nowadays the Jezebel's image has replaced Mammy's as the dominant image of dark girl in pop culture. We can observe it in films, video clips, even on the avenues. Black women want to be Jezebel nowadays.

They like to show sexual purity, talking about women's needs and intimate abilities. However a few of them could even do not know about the origins of the Jezebel image. Alternatively I think that we can also find lots of Mammy's images among dark women. Except of what have been said above, Mammys were also provided in commercials. Mammy image was frequently used to sell household items, food, detergents or beverages. She was offered as the over weight black woman, cooking or doing house-works and of course smiling. To sum up, there is no denying that the images and stereotypes of the slave women through the times of slavery definitely had a direct effect of the look and behavior of the modern-day African- American female.

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