What was the reason why some white women were cheating on their husbands with black men during slavery?
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What was the reason why some white women were cheating on their husbands with black men during slavery?

If as history you do not accept that there were many intimacies between white women of high society who owned slaves, you are deceiving yourself and even more so when we read the writings where many white women spoke about the relationships they had with black men during slavery. What could be the reasons behind this behavior considered immoral and promiscuous of women who cheated on their white husbands with black men? This is where the hypersexualization of the black man’s body, the fetish associated with the sexual life of black people and the erotic fantasies that some white women had could be some of the causes.

During slavery there was a system of social hierarchy where whites were above blacks, which socially prohibited marital union between black people considered socially inferior with a white woman considered superior, but it did not prevent racial mixing between both racial groups. , who occupied a different position according to the caste-slavery system imposed in the British colonies in the Americas. But this prevented white women from having intimate relationships with white men, even when these women were legally hunted, which was considered an adulterous woman.

When you hear that white women were promiscuous because they had relations with enslaved but also free black men, all because this behavior was considered taboo, many white women married black men. On the contrary, white men also had intimate relationships with black women, and some entered into concubinage relationships.


How promiscuous were white women during slavery, when they cheated on their husbands with black slaves?

How promiscuous were white women during slavery, when they cheated on their husbands with black slaves? Asking ourselves “why white women like black men” is a question whose answer is within social speculation without a real basis to support this false belief of this preference when we emphasize only the physical characteristics of the black man as the reason for these without understanding the real factors of this Union.

Given the social inequality and racial differences of both, if we start from the Spanish caste system still in force in many Latin American nations in a subtle way, this type of relationship is not viewed favorably, to the detriment of this type of relationship. Within the context of hierarchical relations between the different racial groups in the United States, where the black man occupied an inferior position to the white woman, that tells you that marital relations were practically no

existente, although some historians think otherwise. How common were marital relations between a black slave and a white woman? According to the book, “White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South,” written by Martha Hodes. On seventeenth-century Virginia’s Eastern Shore, two marriages took place between free black men and free white women in the 1650s and three more in the 1660s. In addition, one slave married a white woman, and at least half a dozen slaves fathered mulatto children by white maidservants during the 1680s and 1690s.

Walsh concludes that unions between black men and white servant women were usually consensual, unlike many of the women’s relationships with white men. In the 1700s, sexual relations between southern black men and white women occurred less frequently, or at least much less publicly. Nevertheless, such liaisons continued to exist. In a remarkable job of detective work, Hodes mines bastardy and divorce cases for information about interracial sex and finds a surprising number (including four divorces in Virginia and two in North Carolina granted to white husbands whose wives bore mulatto children). In one 1824 case in Virginia, an elderly man named Lewis Bourne unsuccessfully sued for divorce, claiming that his much younger wife was involved in a seven-year relationship with a local slave. The court apparently concluded that Bourne had failed to adequately control his wife’s behavior and denied his petition.

Did white slaveholder women really sexually exploit black slaves?

We can also talk about the case of the writing “Sexual Exploitation of the Enslaved,” taken from the work of Thomas Foster. The 1825 divorce case of Virginians Dorothea and Lewis Bourne illustrates white women’s agency in initiating intimacy with enslaved men. Neighbors and friends testified that Dorothea Bourne had long pursued a relationship with Edmond, a man enslaved by her neighbors, the Richardsons. Judith Richardson testified that Bourne was often seen “lurking about her Negroes houses,” and others testified that they believed Bourne had several children by Edmond. Notably, these witnesses did not express shock, suggesting that such interactions were not uncommon.

According to Thomas Foster, white women, just like white men, also engaged in sexual relations with enslaved men. As with enslaved women, some light-skinned men often found themselves the particular target of such sexual exploitation. Richard Hinton, a white abolitionist, testified to the American Freedman’s Inquiry Commission that he had never encountered a light-skinned, formerly enslaved man “who has not told me of instances where he has been compelled, either by his mistress or by white women of the same class, to have a connection with them.”

As Thomas Buckley found in his analysis of divorce in antebellum Virginia, roughly 9 percent of Virginia’s divorce petitions from 1786 to 1851 were for interracial adultery, with twenty-three of those petitions coming from white men who complained about their wives’ relationships with black men.

What could be the real reason why a white woman is attracted to a black man?

In recent times, we have seen an increase in this type of marital relationship between a black man and a white woman based on common qualities, affections and interests that go beyond a simple physical attraction.

Starting from the fact that at this moment we are in an era where women have acquired certain rights and freedoms, it can be said that there is a preference for the white woman over the black man due to the characteristics that the black man has in relation to the white man and regarding the size, toughness and thiamine of the black man as the reason for this preference, we would be treating the black man once again as an object.

This would be a negative attitude of the white woman, as a remnant that reminds us of the colonial system, discarding other reasons why the white woman prefers a black man to establish a marital relationship that is mutually beneficial for both. In all people, there are always myths where the expectations that give life are often divorced from the reality of that behavior. The size and appearance of the black man in the fit as the reasons for this preference of the white woman for some black men falls within this myth.

Myth which is often influenced by the social morbidity created around this type of relationship, where the unknown creates unrealistic expectations about the rest and little attention is paid to the real reasons for the marital relationship between a white woman and a black man, where the love of one for the other is the reason for this union. Contrary to many of the marital relationships during the slave system, in which the white woman, like the white man who owned slaves, only saw the black woman, as a simple work tool and, in some cases, an object of pleasure.

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