In chapter 6 it focuses on the topic of sexualized women and black women. My feelings reading this chapter are similar to other readers I’m sure. I found myself being shocked and enraged with each page. There is so much degradation to women, specifically black women. I found this author kept making a point that things were done to show the clear differences between races. For example, “Such a scale was employed to indicate the difference between the races,” (Gilman, pg 121) or “if their sexual parts could be shown to be inherently different, this would be a sufficient sign that blacks were a separate (and, needless to say, lower) race, as different from the European..” (Gilman, pg 124). Why were these people so intently interested in seeking out the differences between races? Why was that necessary? I feel like they are treating the women like sex objects and it’s very dehumanizing.
Another thing that irritated me while reading this is that they constantly associate and assume that black women are sexual just because of the way their bodies are. Just because their bodies are more “voluptuousness” doesn’t mean that they automatically have more sexual urges than white people. I don’t see how those can be connected or assumed to be connected/related. Also, just because they were created that way does not mean that they should be regarded as a lower or primitive race.
Hannah VanDyke, Hope College 2017
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