Sexual Discrimination in Beloved
“Everybody has his liberty and right.” But female was always inferior to male. For instance, wives did all the housework. It was regarded as their obligation to do it. They took care of their children and husbands.
It was unfair. Even though a black woman was beautiful, clever or talented, the white people didn’t want to admit the fact. The black women were the victims of the sexual discrimination system.
The white people always have preconceived ideas with black people. The black women encountered discrimination because of the black skins. No matter how hard they worked, they still couldn’t win the respect of the whites.
They suffered painful in their inner heart. They were knocked down by the whites’ discrimination. The white people always looked at them with an indifferent attitude.
What’s more, the black women had miserable fates. They lived in a patriarchal society. Men had the rights to decide women’s fates. The black women suffered torment from both the black men and white people.
Women were just men’s accessories. The black women were bought and raped and they were just considered as a tool to give birth to children. As Toni Morrison said in The Bluest Eye, “Everyone in the world can give them orders, White woman said, ‘work’.
White child said, ‘give it to me’. White male said, ‘come’. Black male said, ‘lie’. Only their children and black female compatriots won’t give them orders. They endured it all, and it became a part of their self-image.” Black females were stripped of human rights and maternal love.
In Beloved, Ella works on the Underground Railroad. She used to be jailed by a white father and son. “She had delivered, but would not nurse, a hairy white thing, fathered by ‘the lowest yet’. It lived five days never making a sound.” Then she escapes from the sorrowful place.
The black children can’t recall their mother for the children are bought by slaveholders at their early age. Sethe can live with her mother, but her mother will do much hard work.
So her mother has no time to accompany Sethe. Sethe can remember the “mark” because her mother once showed a circle and a cross in her skin. “This is you ma’ma. This.”
And she pointed. “I am the only got this mark now. The rest dead. If something happens to me and you can’t tell me by my face, you can know me by this mark.”
When Sethe wants the same mark, her mother slaps her. Sethe doesn’t know what the mark stands for until she has the same mark. Sethe can’t get her mother’s love because her mother must do strenuous manual labor.
The black women are treated as male slaves. They are still regarded as tools for reproduction. When Sethe’s mother is sold to America, She is raped by the crew. She can’t abide their behaviors and is shameful for being a mother in such a situation.
She abandon these children expect Sethe. “She threw them all away but you. The one from the crew she threw away on the island. The others form more whites she also threw away.
Without names, she threw them. You she gave the name of the black man. She put her arms around him. The others she did not put her arms around.” The black woman just keeps Sethe for her father is a black man.
Baby Suggs have eight children by six different men. So people detest her. “Slaves not supposed to have pleasure feeling on their own；their bodies not supposed to be like that, but they have to have as many children as they can to please whoever owned them.”
The memories of mother are blurry for most children slaves. They are sold when they are young. The mothers also just remember their children’s countenance when they were born. Baby Suggs told Sethe, “I had eight. Every one of them gone away from me.
Four taken, four chased, and all, I expect, worrying somebody’s house into evil… my first-born. All I can remember of her is how she loved the burned bottom of bread. Can you beat that? Eight children and that’s all I remember.”
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