The Impact of Slavery on the Integrity of Black Woman
The present chapter is to discuss the movie’s presentation of the black woman’s integrity. More precisely, we plan to conceal how did slavery affected the body integrity of the slave woman and show the different ways in which the black woman went through under the impact of slavery. To achieve this goal, we will be analyzing the character of Sethe within Demme’s adaptation of Beloved. This chapter will be divided into three sections: the first one is entitled “physical violence”; the second one is titled “sexual oppression,” while the last section is entitled “slave womb”.
“The slave woman ought not to be judged by the same standards as others”. Harriet Jacobs
Feminism came as a reaction to gender issues, women claiming for equal right and acknowledged voice among the patriarchal society of the 1960s. American women struggled against gender discrimination within a gender community, however many white feminists tend to marginalize the black women issues of both racism and sexism. White feminists claimed that white experience means universal women’s experience. Black feminism came as a reaction to white feminism in order to draw attention on the suffering of all women. Bell Hooks’ theory addresses the gender and sexual oppression in black women’s lives and highlights on the fact that both racist and sexist oppression contributed to the tyranny of the black woman.
Slave women were struggling against racism and sexism in the same time and both of them had a huge impact of the fate of enslaved black women. Hooks states that “sexism looms as large as racism as oppressive force in the lives of black women. Institutionalized sexism_ that is, patriarchy_ formed the base of the American social structure along with racial imperialism”.
In Beloved, Demme presents the struggle of black women and the exploitation of the human body through many ways.