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Yet, many scholars would agree that “even presumably affectionate and long-term relationships must be reconsidered given the context of slavery” (Foster, 2011, p. The enormous imbalance of gender and racial power between the two parties problematizes the notion of a truly consensual romantic relationship between a slave master and his female slave.
These so-called consensual sexual partnerships can be seen, like rape, as an exercise in white patriarchal authority.
In the case of white women and black men, we can use an intersectional analysis to better understand the ways in which elite Southern white women used oppressive, gendered notions of female purity and sexual subservience to maintain racial hierarchy.
As guardians of the home, planter-class white women were responsible for upholding traditional Christian values and keeping peace within the domestic sphere.
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As such, they were valued for their homemaking abilities, maternal instinct, and, perhaps above all else, their virtue.