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 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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Re: Re:

Postby thegreekdog on Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:30 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:You're just jealous that you're not owned by your wife.


Hmm... I'm not sure it's accurate that I'm not owned by my wife.
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Re: Re:

Postby PLAYER57832 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:28 pm

Symmetry wrote:
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.

No, we don't "know". You wish to think so, but in many cases what held people into slavery was actually society. Individually, they often DID have a choice. However, unlike your pretense, blacks alive back then knew that just being free did not mean having more options and opportunities. In fact, a "free" black could, as was pointed out earlier, be taken back into slavery, could be abused almost with impunity.

Again, none of this says that slavery was "good", but if it were as you seem to envision, then it likely would not have endured as long as it did.

This is part of what makes Sally Hemmings truly remarkable and the story of such note, that it WAS an exception and did happen despite all of the "mores" of the time. When you call Jefferson a rapist, you diminish not just Jefferson, but Sally as well. And, I would say many other women as well.

Part of what always distinguishes women of note versus men of "note" historically is how they are able to find ways to break the bounds that very much existed. Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white. If she were white, the dalliance would have been looked far more askance thant it was, because a white woman "visiting" Jefferson would have been "noticed", even if done in secret. With Sally, there was no need for any such pretense.

Again, I don't know, but you also don't know what really went on back then, in their minds. Further, what we do know doesn't point to this being an oppressive and unwanted relationship on Sally's part, rather more of a mutually beneficial exchange or union. Your assumption that the label of "slave" is enough for you to understand the whole situation is prejudice, not thoughtful reasoning. Sorry, but that is how I feel.

And, further
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Postby Symmetry on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:14 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:This is part of what makes Sally Hemmings truly remarkable and the story of such note, that it WAS an exception and did happen despite all of the "mores" of the time. When you call Jefferson a rapist, you diminish not just Jefferson, but Sally as well. And, I would say many other women as well.

Part of what always distinguishes women of note versus men of "note" historically is how they are able to find ways to break the bounds that very much existed. Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white. If she were white, the dalliance would have been looked far more askance thant it was, because a white woman "visiting" Jefferson would have been "noticed", even if done in secret. With Sally, there was no need for any such pretense.


I'm genuinely amazed that you're now arguing that slavery was a good thing. Also, "Hemings".
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Re:

Postby PLAYER57832 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:52 pm

Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:This is part of what makes Sally Hemmings truly remarkable and the story of such note, that it WAS an exception and did happen despite all of the "mores" of the time. When you call Jefferson a rapist, you diminish not just Jefferson, but Sally as well. And, I would say many other women as well.

Part of what always distinguishes women of note versus men of "note" historically is how they are able to find ways to break the bounds that very much existed. Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white. If she were white, the dalliance would have been looked far more askance thant it was, because a white woman "visiting" Jefferson would have been "noticed", even if done in secret. With Sally, there was no need for any such pretense.


I'm genuinely amazed that you're now arguing that slavery was a good thing. Also, "Hemings".
Oh PLEASE. I specifically did no such thing.
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Re: Re:

Postby Symmetry on Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:55 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:This is part of what makes Sally Hemmings truly remarkable and the story of such note, that it WAS an exception and did happen despite all of the "mores" of the time. When you call Jefferson a rapist, you diminish not just Jefferson, but Sally as well. And, I would say many other women as well.

Part of what always distinguishes women of note versus men of "note" historically is how they are able to find ways to break the bounds that very much existed. Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white. If she were white, the dalliance would have been looked far more askance thant it was, because a white woman "visiting" Jefferson would have been "noticed", even if done in secret. With Sally, there was no need for any such pretense.


I'm genuinely amazed that you're now arguing that slavery was a good thing. Also, "Hemings".
Oh PLEASE. I specifically did no such thing.


Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white.


Care to walk that back?
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Re:

Postby john9blue on Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:09 pm

Symmetry wrote:
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.


do you think it's possible for an employee to do the same with their boss? even if the boss is extremely demanding because they know the employee badly needs the job?

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


sure, rape is sexual activity without the consent of both parties.

that definition, like all definitions, is subjective. you know this all too well, and i'm not interesting in dealing with your bullshit morphing of the english language to get words to mean what you think they should mean.

maybe once you realize that the world and the english language aren't black and white, then we can have a meaningful talk.
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Re: Re:

Postby john9blue on Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:11 pm

Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:This is part of what makes Sally Hemmings truly remarkable and the story of such note, that it WAS an exception and did happen despite all of the "mores" of the time. When you call Jefferson a rapist, you diminish not just Jefferson, but Sally as well. And, I would say many other women as well.

Part of what always distinguishes women of note versus men of "note" historically is how they are able to find ways to break the bounds that very much existed. Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white. If she were white, the dalliance would have been looked far more askance thant it was, because a white woman "visiting" Jefferson would have been "noticed", even if done in secret. With Sally, there was no need for any such pretense.


I'm genuinely amazed that you're now arguing that slavery was a good thing. Also, "Hemings".
Oh PLEASE. I specifically did no such thing.


Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white.


Care to walk that back?


oh for f*ck's sake LOL.

there is literally no way you are this dense.

you think EVERYTHING that resulted from slavery was bad?

every action that was ever performed due to slavery was morally wrong?

and if we say that any result wasn't morally wrong, then we are condoning slavery as a whole?

i just can't believe the magnitude of your idiocy. you have to be trolling.
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Re: Re:

Postby Symmetry on Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:18 pm

john9blue wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:This is part of what makes Sally Hemmings truly remarkable and the story of such note, that it WAS an exception and did happen despite all of the "mores" of the time. When you call Jefferson a rapist, you diminish not just Jefferson, but Sally as well. And, I would say many other women as well.

Part of what always distinguishes women of note versus men of "note" historically is how they are able to find ways to break the bounds that very much existed. Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white. If she were white, the dalliance would have been looked far more askance thant it was, because a white woman "visiting" Jefferson would have been "noticed", even if done in secret. With Sally, there was no need for any such pretense.


I'm genuinely amazed that you're now arguing that slavery was a good thing. Also, "Hemings".
Oh PLEASE. I specifically did no such thing.


Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white.


Care to walk that back?


oh for f*ck's sake LOL.

there is literally no way you are this dense.

you think EVERYTHING that resulted from slavery was bad?

every action that was ever performed due to slavery was morally wrong?

and if we say that any result wasn't morally wrong, then we are condoning slavery as a whole?

i just can't believe the magnitude of your idiocy. you have to be trolling.


I'm not trolling John, I just disagree with you. Calm down a bit, yeah?
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Re: Re:

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:33 am

thegreekdog wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:You're just jealous that you're not owned by your wife.


Hmm... I'm not sure it's accurate that I'm not owned by my wife.


Then we must conclude that every time y'all had sex while married, you were raped.
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Re: Re:

Postby PLAYER57832 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:44 pm

Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
Symmetry wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:This is part of what makes Sally Hemmings truly remarkable and the story of such note, that it WAS an exception and did happen despite all of the "mores" of the time. When you call Jefferson a rapist, you diminish not just Jefferson, but Sally as well. And, I would say many other women as well.

Part of what always distinguishes women of note versus men of "note" historically is how they are able to find ways to break the bounds that very much existed. Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white. If she were white, the dalliance would have been looked far more askance thant it was, because a white woman "visiting" Jefferson would have been "noticed", even if done in secret. With Sally, there was no need for any such pretense.


I'm genuinely amazed that you're now arguing that slavery was a good thing. Also, "Hemings".
Oh PLEASE. I specifically did no such thing.


Ironically, the fact of slavery would have provided Sally far more of a "cover" and protection than if she were white.


Care to walk that back?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!Now you are the one being truly objectionable.


Had you bothered to quote the entire bit, you could not honestly say I was claiming slavery was a good thing. Given the conditions of the time, given that particular master(and some others, I will add), some black slaves did fare better than free blacks. Saying that slavery was not in all cases as harsh as you wish to pretend is not in any way "endorsing" slavery or saying slavery was truly a good thing.

See, unlike you, I can recognize that evil happens not just among henious people without morals, but also by generally good people who have good intentions but just don't take the time to fully understand OR who are simply themselves trapped by their society and thus not able to change.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Phatscotty on Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:08 pm

There are records that Jefferson gave Hemmings an allowance and paid a very high price for her and her brothers tutoring.

I thought the secret to slavery was refusing the slave an education?
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:14 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?

Too bad, because my "agenda" is nothing more or less than truth and real understanding of history as opposed to your pretense of passing judgement without really bothering with more than the most superificial of survey of terms.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:19 pm

Phatscotty wrote:There are records that Jefferson gave Hemmings an allowance and paid a very high price for her and her brothers tutoring.

I thought the secret to slavery was refusing the slave an education?

No,not always, even in US history. In fact some slaves received training, education and/or developed trades with the full blessing of their masters.. increased their valued, among other things.

However, it also led to them being treated better and no longer wanting to work in the fields. It was the plantation owners, particularly the larger ones, that felt they needed slave labor to make a profit competitively... and that strove to keep the slaves "in their place" to keep that system. Of course, they had plenty of justifications, but even in the US, slavery took many forms.
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Postby Symmetry on Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:10 am

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?

Too bad, because my "agenda" is nothing more or less than truth and real understanding of history as opposed to your pretense of passing judgement without really bothering with more than the most superificial of survey of terms.


So, do think she was free? I'd say that was pretty key to her situation.
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Re: Was Thomas Jefferson a rapist?

Postby Symmetry on Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:48 pm

Phatscotty wrote:I thought the secret to slavery was refusing the slave an education?


Not really, dude.
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