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Race, Gender, And Class Stratification Response Paper

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"Some Could Suckle Over Their Shoulders" Response

Morgan's article takes history under the skin by historicizing the body itself. In particular, she examines the ways in which the body has been used to construct boundaries: between male and female, between human and animal, between races, and between the "norms". The authors are also referring to the early notions of colonist that the Amerindian and African woman was for the sole use of laboring and bearing more laborers due to their 'monstrous' bodies. Other ideologies were the emphasis of their sexual activities. For instance, Ligon describes how the African women were unfamiliar with marriage and complied with whichever man desired her. Colonialist projects to explore unknown lands and their natives created juxtapositional bodily boundaries between the woman of color and the white woman. Clearly, colonialists' objective, travel to conquer, was a blatant sign of their greed and belief of supremacy. Only the colonialist benefited from these misrepresentations of women of color. Racial theories were then developed to justify those boundaries; nevertheless, the techniques used to enforce them, from literary fallacies to social discipline. The concept of 'difference' creates a division and allows domination of a group of people in that it seems to be in the beginning a tool to encounter and understand diversity, yet downfalls. It downfalls when it leads to conflict and misunderstanding due to the fact that differences are not neutral; therefore, one group feels the need, either religiously, economically, or what have you, to imbue themselves with power; hence, the famous tactic to divide and conquer. Several examples are the references in the 16th and 17th century descriptions of animal-like symbolism because of long breast, unwomanly characteristics via unknown speech, and loss of beauty due to attitudes that display servitude.



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