Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

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Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Yes- Sally Hemings wasn't free to consent
11
25%
No- I'm ok with sexual slavery
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45%
Kittens
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Total votes : 44

Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Symmetry on Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:35 am

chang50 wrote:
john9blue wrote:not assigning as much blame to people in more primitive societies = moral relativism?

not at all.


It is possible to describe behaviour without assigning blame.So you could say TJ was a rapist in a time when it was so commonplace that it was considered acceptable,or at least not as reprehensible as today.Player has argued that the vast majority of women were victims of coercive sex back then and I have no reason to contest this.


Yup- Player argues that the frankly horrific condition of slavery were equivalent to those of any free woman.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:56 am

Symmetry wrote:
chang50 wrote:
john9blue wrote:not assigning as much blame to people in more primitive societies = moral relativism?

not at all.


It is possible to describe behaviour without assigning blame.So you could say TJ was a rapist in a time when it was so commonplace that it was considered acceptable,or at least not as reprehensible as today.Player has argued that the vast majority of women were victims of coercive sex back then and I have no reason to contest this.


Yup- Player argues that the frankly horrific condition of slavery were equivalent to those of any free woman.

OH BULL.

I argue that not every slave owner was Simon Legree, and they were not. You get some kind of sense of superiority in pretending you are far better than people back then, would never, ever make any decisions like they did. I consider that incredibly hypocritical and even naively evil.

When you pretend that only evil people do evil things, then you bypass the need to truly analyze your own actions and attitudes, because, after all you are "not evil".. and that, is the beginning of true harm throughout history, the belief that only "others" are truly evil and do evil things.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:12 am

I am not going to dig up my old post, but I think I can clarify part of my earlier point, when I said that finding a man was a woman's basic career option, life option back then.

Women, historically focus on "relationships" and men more on "careers", though in truth, the "relationship" was a career move for most women. Just like some men have "a dream" that they will pursue-- be it painting, writing, studying law or farming. women may "dream" of a particular beau or circumstance.

My basic argument is that it is quite likely, given the evidence, that Sally pursued or at least welcomed Jefferson's advances. Whether she "loved" him or not is actually irrelevant. I agree that the master/slave relationship is inherently unequal, but NO male/female relationship was "equal" ,in the way we think now, back then.

To put it in the context of men, many men pretend to like their bosses, do things they dislike becuause they want to "get somewhere". They do that in an inherently unequal relationship. Saying that a man could just quit his job is only partially true, becuase in many cases doing so would mean giving up his life -- his lifestyle, career, etc. That is not that dissimilar from the pressures Sally might have felt, even as a slave. And, just like those men, the outcome -- having children who were loved, well-educated, and able to enter white society at a reasonable level (not the same as Jefferson's acknowledged heirs, certainly, but well above what any free black might hope to achieve) was almost certainly deemed "worth it" by Sally.

I find the above far more likely given the facts that we know of the situation.

Does Jefferson get Kudos for his behavior.. I won't go that far, no. However, all of the options Symmetry pretends are real just did not exist. I say calling it rape is a bit much, but it does lie in a murky grey area of morality. We did not live then, were not there, so can only speculate. Looking bast, I am always inclined to give the "benefit of the doubt". I think doing otherwise diminishes us all, is an excuse for people to pretend they are superior, when they actually just have the benefit of many years of social advance and education.
Last edited by PLAYER57832 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Symmetry on Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:17 am

PLAYER57832 wrote:I am not going to dig up my old post, but I think I can clarify part of my earlier point, when I said that finding a man was a woman's basic career option, life option back then.


Let's be clear- Hemings did not have an option, let alone a "career option" as "slave".

PLAYER57832 wrote:Women, historically focus on "relationships" and men more on "careers", though in truth, the "relationship" was a career move for most women. Just like some men have "a dream" that they will pursue-- be it painting, writing, studying law or farming. women may "dream" of a particular beau or circumstance.My basic argument is that it is quite likely, given the evidence that Sally pursued or at least welcomed Jefferson's advances. Whether she "loved" him or not is actually irrelevant.


So your argument is that she must have been asking for it? Based on what evidence? Awful.

PLAYER57832 wrote:I agree that the master/slave relationship is inherently unequal...


No shit, sorry, thanks for agreeing, carry on...

PLAYER57832 wrote:...but NO male/female relationship was "equal" ,in the way we think now, back then.


... but they weren't even close. The correct comparison is slave/master, were they? Or between a kid and a rapist in his 50's.

PLAYER57832 wrote:To put it in the context of men, many men pretend to like their bosses, do things they dislike becuause they want to "get somewhere". They do that in an inherently unequal relationship. Saying that a man could just quit his job is only partially true, becuase in many cases doing so would mean giving up his life -- his lifestyle, career, etc. That is not that dissimilar from the pressures Sally might have felt, even as a slave. And, just like those men, the outcome -- having children who were loved, well-educated, and able to enter white society at a reasonable level (not the same as Jefferson's acknowledged heirs, certainly, but well above what any free black might hope to achieve) was almost certainly deemed "worth it" by Sally.

I find the above far more likely given the facts that we know of the situation.


Which facts?
Comparing slavery to sucking up to a boss seems, at best, odd.

PLAYER57832 wrote:Does Jefferson get Kudos for his behavior.. I won't go that far, no. However, all of the options Symmetry pretends are real just did not exist. I say calling it rape is a bit much, but it does lie in a murky grey area of morality. We did not live then, were not there, so can only speculate. Looking bast, I am always inclined to give the "benefit of the doubt". I think doing otherwise diminishes us all, is an excuse for people to pretend they are superior, when they actually just have the benefit of many years of social advance and education.


Well, at least you're not giving him kudos. I have personally never felt that a clear view of history diminishes the present.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:36 am

Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:I am not going to dig up my old post, but I think I can clarify part of my earlier point, when I said that finding a man was a woman's basic career option, life option back then.


Let's be clear- Hemings did not have an option, let alone a "career option" as "slave".

Only "clear" as mud, or your biased mind. The evidence shows no such thing, only your assumptions that all slaves were treated like the worst cases.

That some slaves were treated well doesn't justify slavery, that is where you keep erring, but it does mean that all slave owners were not the complete ogres you seem to feel better believing. Again, I have no idea why it is so important to you to falsely judge people in the past using a modern yardstick, but it is a plain false standard.

Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:Women, historically focus on "relationships" and men more on "careers", though in truth, the "relationship" was a career move for most women. Just like some men have "a dream" that they will pursue-- be it painting, writing, studying law or farming. women may "dream" of a particular beau or circumstance.My basic argument is that it is quite likely, given the evidence that Sally pursued or at least welcomed Jefferson's advances. Whether she "loved" him or not is actually irrelevant.


So your argument is that she must have been asking for it? Based on what evidence? Awful.
Yeah, the evidence of here being treated well, of her kids having been educated at a time when that was a dream, even a crime for many black slaves... and their reports of the relationship.

Yep, listening to people who actually lived back then, I can see how you would consider "awful" given your determination to see things through your own personal lense of judgement.

Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:I agree that the master/slave relationship is inherently unequal...


No shit, sorry, thanks for agreeing, carry on...

PLAYER57832 wrote:...but NO male/female relationship was "equal" ,in the way we think now, back then.


... but they weren't even close. The correct comparison is slave/master, were they? Or between a kid and a rapist in his 50's.

No comparison, correct.

Begin with a 14 year old in the 1700's was an adult, not "a kid". End with comparing 1950 to 1700 is just plain wrong on many fronts.

Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:To put it in the context of men, many men pretend to like their bosses, do things they dislike becuause they want to "get somewhere". They do that in an inherently unequal relationship. Saying that a man could just quit his job is only partially true, becuase in many cases doing so would mean giving up his life -- his lifestyle, career, etc. That is not that dissimilar from the pressures Sally might have felt, even as a slave. And, just like those men, the outcome -- having children who were loved, well-educated, and able to enter white society at a reasonable level (not the same as Jefferson's acknowledged heirs, certainly, but well above what any free black might hope to achieve) was almost certainly deemed "worth it" by Sally.

I find the above far more likely given the facts that we know of the situation.


Which facts?
Comparing slavery to sucking up to a boss seems, at best, odd.

PLAYER57832 wrote:Does Jefferson get Kudos for his behavior.. I won't go that far, no. However, all of the options Symmetry pretends are real just did not exist. I say calling it rape is a bit much, but it does lie in a murky grey area of morality. We did not live then, were not there, so can only speculate. Looking bast, I am always inclined to give the "benefit of the doubt". I think doing otherwise diminishes us all, is an excuse for people to pretend they are superior, when they actually just have the benefit of many years of social advance and education.


Well, at least you're not giving him kudos. I have personally never felt that a clear view of history diminishes the present.

No, you feel you have the right to judge people based on standard they had no way of even knowing.

Like I said... it makes you feel superior. Just don't confuse that with enlightened understanding.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Symmetry on Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:49 am

What is your enlightened understanding of rape?
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby john9blue on Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:45 pm

Symmetry wrote:Yup- Player argues that the frankly horrific condition of slavery were equivalent to those of any free woman.


and you argue that the horrific act of rape is equivalent to TJ's relationship with his slave.

that's what i hate about stupid people... you can't tell whether they're trolling, or just being stupid.
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Postby Symmetry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:18 am

john9blue wrote:
Symmetry wrote:Yup- Player argues that the frankly horrific condition of slavery were equivalent to those of any free woman.


and you argue that the horrific act of rape is equivalent to TJ's relationship with his slave.

that's what i hate about stupid people... you can't tell whether they're trolling, or just being stupid.


What's your definition of rape John?
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:06 pm

Symmetry wrote:What is your enlightened understanding of rape?

Probably a good deal more than yours, given that I happen to have worked with victims, am female myself, etc. Rape is far less about "the act" than it is about sumission and control.

AND... my being female is pertinent to my job example also. You want to pretend something that doesn't exist. You want both to claim that slavery was worse than it was, though it was certainly bad enough as it was without exacerbating the issue, AND that Sally herself was less intelligent, less strong, less able to make decisions than the evidence shows.

You seem also to be under plenty of illusions about today's world. For example, you ignored my statement that one reason rape is considered such a henious crime is because it is not just "the act" and a "violation", but the reason that is so horrible is, partially because a women who has been raped is somehow less "valuable", less important to others. That, thankfully is changing, but that disdain for women who have been victimized is part of why women have so often not stepped forward to testify.

On the other side, sex was and is very much a tool by many women. I am just old enough to remember being asked , not entirely as a joke, if I was going to school to get my "Mrs.". And, the fact that I was NOT actually put me a bit down on the "pedestal", not up. I did not have it as rough as, say , my mother or grandmother did, but it was only when I got into high school that the idea of women taking a career was really and truly part of the "norm", and even then.. it was career AND a family. The career, not the family part were optional.

So, yeah, you can dismiss and ridicule the idea that Sally H. would have seen sleeping with Jefferson as a beneficial career move, one that by that society's standards she was well able to make. That is even IF, as you assert, she was 14 and not older when she engaged in sexual intercourse with Jefferson. If the other assertions are correct and she was older, then you truly don't have much grounds.

Your SOLE reasoning has nothing at all to do with the evidence or facts of this particular situation. You want to see only the label "slave" and assume that, based on that label you understand the entire situation. That, frankly is the very definition of prejudice -- something you claim to abhore.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:16 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:What is your enlightened understanding of rape?

Probably a good deal more than yours, given that I happen to have worked with victims, am female myself, etc. Rape is far less about "the act" than it is about sumission and control.

AND... my being female is pertinent to my job example also. You want to pretend something that doesn't exist. You want both to claim that slavery was worse than it was, though it was certainly bad enough as it was without exacerbating the issue, AND that Sally herself was less intelligent, less strong, less able to make decisions than the evidence shows.

You seem also to be under plenty of illusions about today's world. For example, you ignored my statement that one reason rape is considered such a henious crime is because it is not just "the act" and a "violation", but the reason that is so horrible is, partially because a women who has been raped is somehow less "valuable", less important to others. That, thankfully is changing, but that disdain for women who have been victimized is part of why women have so often not stepped forward to testify.

On the other side, sex was and is very much a tool by many women. I am just old enough to remember being asked , not entirely as a joke, if I was going to school to get my "Mrs.". And, the fact that I was NOT actually put me a bit down on the "pedestal", not up. I did not have it as rough as, say , my mother or grandmother did, but it was only when I got into high school that the idea of women taking a career was really and truly part of the "norm", and even then.. it was career AND a family. The career, not the family part were optional.

So, yeah, you can dismiss and ridicule the idea that Sally H. would have seen sleeping with Jefferson as a beneficial career move, one that by that society's standards she was well able to make. That is even IF, as you assert, she was 14 and not older when she engaged in sexual intercourse with Jefferson. If the other assertions are correct and she was older, then you truly don't have much grounds.

Your SOLE reasoning has nothing at all to do with the evidence or facts of this particular situation. You want to see only the label "slave" and assume that, based on that label you understand the entire situation. That, frankly is the very definition of prejudice -- something you claim to abhore.


Well it wasn't too long before the "She took advantage of him" argument came out. I note that you didn't give your definition.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:19 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:What is your enlightened understanding of rape?

Probably a good deal more than yours, given that I happen to have worked with victims, am female myself, etc. Rape is far less about "the act" than it is about sumission and control.



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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:37 pm

My definition- sex without free consent.
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Postby Symmetry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:26 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:What is your enlightened understanding of rape?

Probably a good deal more than yours, given that I happen to have worked with victims, am female myself, etc. Rape is far less about "the act" than it is about sumission and control.



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Not really, if submission and control are key, wouldn't slavery fit those terms?
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Re:

Postby thegreekdog on Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:40 pm

Symmetry wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:What is your enlightened understanding of rape?

Probably a good deal more than yours, given that I happen to have worked with victims, am female myself, etc. Rape is far less about "the act" than it is about sumission and control.



IN YO FACE!!!


Not really, if submission and control are key, wouldn't slavery fit those terms?


Of course not silly! They were in love!
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Re: Re:

Postby Symmetry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:01 pm

thegreekdog wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:What is your enlightened understanding of rape?

Probably a good deal more than yours, given that I happen to have worked with victims, am female myself, etc. Rape is far less about "the act" than it is about sumission and control.



IN YO FACE!!!


Not really, if submission and control are key, wouldn't slavery fit those terms?


Of course not silly! They were in love!


Don't go crazy on me, next thing you know someone will call her his mistress.
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