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Chapter 10 –Intimate LifeI.Mastering OneselfMany people think that no matter how hard you try you will end up a being a replica of your parents but that is not true, family does shape us but we have a choice in the development of our selfhood and identity We must submit to self-evaluation, exploring our innermost thoughts and desires as well as the people closet to us if we want to understand the world around us and gain control over our livesRigorous reflexivity provides some limited but real power over the forces that would control our imaginations and actionsoIt allows us to assess and perhaps to alter hwo those forces affect our thinking and behavior II.The Family since Colonialism and Slavery The family was very different in colonial times than it is todayMarriages were governed more by economic practicalities than by romance, and required parental permissionA daughter “belonged” to her father and was “given away” at her weddingin exchange for the groom’s promise of financial support, a ritual that continues to this day “Model of Family government” masculine domination; marriages governed by economic practicalities and required parental permissionsoMost white women were excluded from the formal labor market, relied on men, forced into unhappy marriages, controlled by their husbandsoIf a women wanted to make due on her own she either had to inherit money from her dead husband or pretend to be a manThis gendered system designated public life (work, politics) as male and private life (child rearing, housework) as femalea. The Black Family under Slavery Since colonial times, racial domination has wreaked havoc on many nonwhite families oNative American boarding schools separated children from parents, Asian immigrants forbade from entering the country, etc. No other nonwhite group suffered from a systematic attack on the institution of the family as much as blacks did under slavery Slavery basically abolished the role of husband and father for most enslaved black menoCouldn’t provide for family, couldn’t prevent family from being shipped to another plantation, couldn’t prevent master from beating his son or raping his daughter The black family wasn’t even considered a family under the harsh rule of slaveryBlack motherhood was denied under slavery
A slave women didn’t have control over her sexuality or her reproductive capabilities-her womb and breasts belonged to her white masterSlave women were forced back into the fields long before the lactaid period was over; children were malnourished and many didn’t surviveThose that did were beaten, sexually molested, put to work and forced to watch their parents endure the same treatment, and some were shipped to other plantations, never to see their parents againOn many plantations what existed was not a slave “family,”, but a “reproductive unit”, controlled by the master who desired as many