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
20
45%
Kittens
13
30%
 
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.



IN YO FACE!!!


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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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:44 pm

Symmetry 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.

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.

Try reading, instead of assuming and stop twisting what I say to suit your agenda.
That you cannot even deal honestly in this debate is pretty much proof that you lack any stance.

I did not say she "took advantage of him." Nothing I have said makes Jefferson a victim, except of his times. I said that Sally might well have welcomed or encouraged the situation AND that your assumption of her being a naive and oppressed child is not necessarily the truth.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:00 pm

If you want me to argue in line with your agenda, you'll be disappointed. Nevertheless, in your scenario, do you thinks she was free?
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Re: Re:

Postby BigBallinStalin on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:03 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!


You're just jealous that you're not owned by your wife.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:15 pm

Symmetry wrote:If you want me to argue in line with your agenda, you'll be disappointed. Nevertheless, in your scenario, do you thinks she was free?

Free to object, others have shown that was likely already.

Free in general.. no woman was free back then. Most could not even own property or make major decisions about their own lives. Yet, many were happy. And that is the real crux. When you say Jefferson was a rapist, you make Sally to be a victim, and not just any victim, but a victim of one of the worst crimes a woman can endure.. many would say worse than murder, and you make Jefferson out to be an ogre.

But.. I notice you also ignored the other part of what I said, about why rape is such a harsh crime. You might think more on that.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Symmetry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:23 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:If you want me to argue in line with your agenda, you'll be disappointed. Nevertheless, in your scenario, do you thinks she was free?

Free to object, others have shown that was likely already.

Free in general.. no woman was free back then. Most could not even own property or make major decisions about their own lives. Yet, many were happy. And that is the real crux. When you say Jefferson was a rapist, you make Sally to be a victim, and not just any victim, but a victim of one of the worst crimes a woman can endure.. many would say worse than murder, and you make Jefferson out to be an ogre.

But.. I notice you also ignored the other part of what I said, about why rape is such a harsh crime. You might think more on that.


I think you've known me here for a fair amount of time. I didn't take your arguments lightly. Nor did I ignore them.

The ogre stuff- your words, not mine.
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Re: Re:

Postby PLAYER57832 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:31 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?

Not necessarily. Many supposedly "free" women were truly brutalized in a fully legal way, legal because it was in "marriage" or, worse, the "cure" was for the guy to marry the woman he raped. And, to muddy the waters yet further, many women would actually accept that result, even if they definitely did not "ask" for the intercourse. They would accept marriage, or in some cases a monetary pay off (a wealthy person and no wealthy woman/girl primarily) and (if they were really lucky) "safe" marriage to another, because the consequences of not being married, of having the rape known were so horrible.

Marriage was simply not an option to Sally. The only option she has was to perhaps be "paired" to a black man, perhaps whom she cared about OR to "get" a white man. Of the white men "available", Jefferson would, based on evidence, have been among the better choices. And, based on the evidence, the idea that she might have chosen this in lieu of the alternatives available to HER in HER time, even compared with what freedom was available to blacks in that day, does not seem far fetched.

I mean, I am saying she might well have chosen to be the paramour and companion to a prominent and well respected man who treated her and here children decently, got them educated and eventually led to them being set up as independent whites, instead of being the wife of an almost certainly poor black man, enduring hard labor and constant risk. I don't think the idea of traveling to Paris and wearing fancy dresses instead of the simple smocks most even free blacks wore is such an obviously horrible choice that she would never have chosen it herself.

DID she, ultimately have a "choice". Ultimately, no one today can really know. But, there is a good chance that she felt very fortunate, not abused and not taken advantage of. The question is not if what happened would be considered rape today, or even necessarily if Jefferson would have considered it rape (I don't think even you dispute that he would not have thought so). The question is whether Sally would have considered it in those terms or anything even close... or if she, in stead, would have considered the relationship to be among the most fortunate of circumstances. Reports that do exists tend to suggest the latter, that she not only considered herself fortunate, but quite likely actually cared for Jefferson.

No one really knows for sure, but I find it unlikely that what happened was rape. At the very least, I would not assume it is rape simply because Sally was a slave. Slavery was horrible at times, but not always. It is perhaps harder to look at the "nicer" aspects of slavery objectively because we intuitively have such a gut opposition to the idea. However, the trouble with that is that by ignoring the "good", no matter how fleeting or exceptional (Sally was absolutely an exception!). we cannot truly understand. Not fully understanding means we are likely to make mistakes.

One thing I would say, in that context... I already talked about modern workplaces and decisions men (and now women, of course) make. There is another parallel. When you get abuse in business sometimes its a jerk who just likes being a jerk, but more often it is that those in power are passing down rules, making decisions and not really paying attention to how the rules are implemented. It may be a TV star who discovers that children are making her T-shirts, a tech exec who finds that workers are not being paid reasonable wages and are being effectively locked in their factories, etc... OR, it might be that a guy is under pressure to get a grain silo cleared and sends a couple of teenagers in to clear out the packed corn without safety gear, just ignoring the rules that say they have to have harnesses, be older, etc.

Its much easier to think that any and all slave owners were just nasty people who did nasty things than it is to recognize that they were human beings with complex feelings and emotions, mostly trying to do good, just as much as people today. Like today, many failed to question things. We, today, automatically question the right of slavery, automatically understand it to be bad. But, I wonder if there are not issues today that we don't question that our great grandchildren or great, great, great, great, great grandchildren will find wrong just as we consider slavery wrong today.
Last edited by PLAYER57832 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:33 pm

Symmetry wrote: The ogre stuff- your words, not mine.

Except, that is the point. The word "rape" is not a casual term. Anyone who would truly commit rape is, by definition an ogre.. or a rapist, which is really part of the same thing.

(in fact, some suggest that these old tales really are semi code for things like rape, murder and other henious actions).
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Re: Re:

Postby Symmetry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:40 pm

PLAYER57832 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?

Not necessarily. Many supposedly "free" women were truly brutalized in a fully legal way, legal because it was in "marriage" or, worse, the "cure" was for the guy to marry the woman he raped. And, to muddy the waters yet further, many women would actually accept that result, even if they definitely did not "ask" for the intercourse. They would accept marriage, or in some cases a monetary pay off (a wealthy person and no wealthy woman/girl primarily) and (if they were really lucky) "safe" marriage to another, because the consequences of not being married, of having the rape known were so horrible.

Marriage was simply not an option to Sally. The only option she has was to perhaps be "paired" to a black man, perhaps whom she cared about OR to "get" a white man. Of the white men "available", Jefferson would, based on evidence, have been among the better choices. And, based on the evidence, the idea that she might have chosen this in lieu of the alternatives available to HER in HER time, even compared with what freedom was available to blacks in that day, does not seem far fetched.

I mean, I am saying she might well have chosen to be the paramour and companion to a prominent and well respected man who treated her and here children decently, got them educated and eventually led to them being set up as independent whites, instead of being the wife of an almost certainly poor black man, enduring hard labor and constant risk. I don't think the idea of traveling to Paris and wearing fancy dresses instead of the simple smocks most even free blacks wore is such an obviously horrible choice that she would never have chosen it herself.

DID she, ultimately have a "choice". Ultimately, no one today can really know. But, there is a good chance that she felt very fortunate, not abused and not taken advantage of. The question is not if what happened would be considered rape today, or even necessarily if Jefferson would have considered it rape (I don't think even you dispute that he would not have thought so). The question is whether Sally would have considered it in those terms or anything even close... or if she, in stead, would have considered the relationship to be among the most fortunate of circumstances. Reports that do exists tend to suggest the latter, that she not only considered herself fortunate, but quite likely actually cared for Jefferson.


On the choice front, we can know- she was a slave. It's genuinely odd to me that you avoided mentioning slavery in that long reply.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby john9blue on Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:37 am

hey sym, do you think it's even POSSIBLE for two people that the state recognizes as master and slave to have a mutually consenting sexual relationship?
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Postby Symmetry on Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:05 am

john9blue wrote:hey sym, do you think it's even POSSIBLE for two people that the state recognizes as master and slave to have a mutually consenting sexual relationship?


No, I think that the very nature of slavery rules out the idea of mutual consent when it comes to a master and his slave.

Now, will you answer my my question about how you define rape?
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