The end to a new beginning

For this last post, I plan on discussing the ‘ending’ of chattel slavery, and what can be done in today’s society in order to attempt to end the universal sex trade. I will first be discussing Lincolns role in the ‘end’ of chattel slavery.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America. His goal was to emancipate all slaves from their masters and from the states that were rebelling against the Union. As we have learned through Harriet Jacobs slave narrative, it is clear that even the people who were enslaved knew that the North, meant freedom. When Jacobs arrived North she was technically free, her only fear was the master she ran away from. The people who were apart of this Union, were the slave owners, and they wanted to start their own country, because they were against what Lincoln was doing. this is what started the Civil War. In 1863 Lincoln set in motion the first Emancipation Proclamation

This meant, that is the North won the war, that all the slaves were free.

The Civil War ended in 1865, and the North in fact won, free all the slaves. Although most slaves in the South did not hear of the news until several months after, they were still free, and had no loyalty to their master. Although president Lincoln put an end to chattel slavery, it does not mean that there is no reoccurrence seen in today’s society. The ownership of humans is still seen, and not simply in the sex trade.

“The enslavement of the Dinkas in southern Sudan may be the most horrific and well-known example of contemporary slavery. According to 1993 U.S. State Department estimates, up to 90,000 blacks are owned by North African Arabs, and often sold as property in a thriving slave trade for as little as $15 per human being.” (Siasoco, Modern Slavery)

This is just one example of the ownership of humans happening in today’s society. Slavery occurs all around the world, India, Pakistan, China, several places use people against their will for labour. The reason it is not considered a larger issue, is because it is occurring in places that we are not aware of the daily occurrence, and the underground work that is occurring.

What we need to understand is that human trafficking and chattel slavery are one in the same. The ownership of individuals against their will. Human trafficking is the modern day chattel slavery. There are many acts to attempt to save the people who are enslaved within human trafficking rings, and although there are laws against it, there is still a large underground market. In comparison to chattel slavery in the 1800’s, at first it was legal for this to occur. Lincoln was able to put control over this awful cruelty. In today’s society, an underground market for human trafficking has grown, and is less accessible by the government. As said in previous posts, although is it against the law to perform human trafficking there seems to be evidence of government corruption to perpetuate this market.

Here is an article that shows government corruption withing the human trafficking ring, and how they were finally caught. How do we know where else this is happening? When the government is involved the chances of putting an end to human trafficking are slim.

We must support the causes to help end human trafficking. These causes help save the women and children that are forced into brothels, and bring them home.


Hey bloggers! Take a look at this blog, to see the chattel slavery and how it is still occurring! I will be touching on this in my last blog post! Enjoy!

Good Morning, Revolution

by B.

Charles S. Aiken, The Cotton Plantation South Since the Civil War, The John Hopkins University Press (1998).

“What is a ‘survival’? What is its theoretical status? Is it essentially social or ‘psychological’? Can it be reduced to the survival of certain economic structures . . . [o]r does it refer as much to other structures, political, ideological structures, etc.: customs, habits, even ‘traditions’ such as the ‘national tradition’ with its specific traits? . . .

“[A] revolution in the structure does not ipso facto modify the existing superstructures and particularly the ideologies at one blow (as it would if the economic was the sole determinant factor), for they have sufficient of their own consistency to survive beyond their immediate life context, even to recreate, to ‘secrete’ substitute conditions of existence temporarily.”
– Louis Althusser, “Contradiction and Overdetermination,” For Marx.

The plantation regions of the South, the former heartland…

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Economics of Slavery

“An economic market is a place (physical or virtual) that connects buyers (‘‘demand’’) and sellers (‘‘supply’’) either directly or through an inter- mediary”

This post will be focused on the economic effect that both chattel and sexual slavery have on the society in which they take place in. Both forms of slavery seem to have an effect on the markets in which they are in.

Jacobs believed whole heartedly that the North brought freedom. Although the South was the most economically effected by the slavery movement, the North was not immune to slavery. Chattel slavery spread throughout America, and the world. Similarly, mentioned in post one, the sex trade is not just seen in remote European countries like the majority believe, it occurs in Canada and America as well. This is one of the many examples of human trafficking in Canada.

“Slavery became the heart of southern colonial society and the economy at the turn of  the 18th century. When the Dutch monopoly on the slave trade ended in 1690, British merchants began carrying thousands of slaves from Africa and the Caribbean to the southern colonies to work in the tobacco fields.  The English and French forced an astounding six million Africans into slavery. Most went to the West Indies and Brazil, but large numbers did go to the Chesapeake region, perhaps as many as 100,000 in the 1700s. As slaves were imported, and as they increased naturally, the southern colonies evolved from a society with slaves to a slave society.”

These astounding numbers enforce the fact that there were so many free labourers, therefore the slave owners could make a significant amount of profit, without having to pay their workers. Not only were they free labour, but the men and women slaves could be bought and sold, perpetuating an societal economic slave trade. This means that people can be bought and sold for goods, food, or animals. Thus, the slave trade was not confined, it effected the entire economy because of buying and selling within the original economy. It is clear that the chattel slavery movement had a monumental effect on the economy of that time, I will now explore how this differs from the slave trade of today.

In comparison, the sex trade is illegal, therefore there is a much bigger underground market. The chattel slavery movement, for a significant amount of time, was enforced by the law, not foreboded.

“As with the international drug trade and the illicit arms trade, profit is the driving motive for human trafficking. Chuang (2006: 140) refers to human trafficking as ‘‘‘an opportunistic response’ to the tensions between the eco- nomic necessity to migrate, on the one hand, and the politically motivated restrictions on migration, on the other.’’

This underground market for sexual slavery is perpetuated by the market for drugs and arms trade. The fact that that there is a market, shows that there is potential for profit. Although human trafficking is illegal, many believe that there is corruption in some countries to continue the slavery. The reason for this is again, profit. Who ever is involved gains profit for contributing.

Corruption in politicians and law enforcement officers contribute to both the lack of accurate information on human trafficking and the ease with which traffickers transport and exploit victims

When corruption is occuring, the people who fall victem to human trafficking are severely less likely to be found, or even attempted to be found. “According to US government estimates, 600,000 to 800,000 persons are trafficked across international borders annually (GAO, 2006). The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that around 2.5 million people are being trafficked around the world at any given time.” Here is a video to put this into perspective.

The personal tale that he explains within this video is very common and the word is trying to be spread. This summer I walked into Chapters and one of the books that was front and center was SOLD by Patricia McCormick, which is a book about a little girl trying to make money for family, but is sold into the sex trade. The significance of this is that it is clear that there is attempts to make this subject more aware to everyone, in attempts to help society understand that this is occurring everywhere, even in our society.

The women that are victims of sexual slavery are used as a commodity, similar to the men and women that were victims of chattel slavery. These people are interchangeable, and are passed from person to person without any thought of the individual, only the money they can earn off of them. Here is a video to hopefully help us understand and begin to attempt to stop human trafficking.

The heart-ships of slavery

This post will be focused on exactly what occurs in both forms of slavery. The types of hard ships were done to the men and women involved, who were typically the ones to preform these acts of violence. Although there are some aspects in which the brutalities that occurred are similar within both forms, they also greatly differ.

I will begin with discussing what the victems of chattel slavery were forced to endure during their time of slavery. As seen in Harriet Jacobs slave narrative, for the most part, the individuals who were harming the slaves were their masters. The masters were typically white males, who were head of the house hold. The wives of the masters were not in charge of enforcing the slavery, but they certainly did their part in the inhumane treatment. Jacobs was victimized by Mrs. Flint because of Dr. Flints desire to commodify Jacobs. This was common throughout the chattel slavery movement. The slaves were wanted for sex so that their masters could then own their children, and use them as slaves too.

“Slave masters in the southern colonies paid attention to their slaves’ health, clothing, and food supply. Not so much from a sense of humanity, but because the masters wanted the slaves to form families and reproduce. This would lessen demand for expensive imported slaves. As a result by the 1750s, American-born slaves outnumbered African slaves in the North American colonies.”

This is significantly different to the behaviour seen by the ‘masters’ in the sex trade. The main aspects to chattel slavery were cooking, cleaning, and basically obiding by the words of you master. This is all seen in Jacobs slave narrative. Other forms of chattel slavery are: “… domestic service, agriculture, mineral extraction, army make-up, industry, and commerce…The chattels (as they are called in some countries) are expected to cook, clean, sometimes carry water from an outdoor pump into the house, and grind cereal...The majority of the time, the slave owners do not pay the chattels for their services.”

It is clear that violence was an aspect of chattel slavery, Jacobs only expressed a few instances of violence towards her in her life. Sexual advancements were very common for  Jacobs, starting when she was only 15. As a reader we are unaware if Jacobs was ever sexually abused by her master, we know that this is also a common aspect of chattel slavery. “Such chattel slaves are used for their labor, sex, and breeding, and they are exchanged for camels, trucks, guns and money.” Although violence and sexual abuse were common, the mental abuse that these men and women went through is heart breaking. Being told daily that you are only as good as a common household object, and are so simply replaced, can easily cause mental heart-ship.

In comparison to the universal sex trade, the women who are forced into this slavery are typically treated with brutality and violence.

Women involved in sex trade represent an extremely vulnerable population subject to severe health consequences spanning substance use (Ward & Day, 2006; el-Bassel et al., 2001), mental health issues (Ward & Day, 2006; el-Bassel et al., 2001; el-Bassel et al., 1997; Farley & Barkan, 1998; Farley et al., 2004; Burnette et al., 2008) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV (Ward & Day, 2006; el-Bassel et al., 2001; Brahme et al., 2006; Sarkar et al., 2005; Decker et al., 2010) as well as an age-adjusted mortality rate almost double that of the general population (Potterat et al., 2004).  Likely resulting from these threats, extensive health and safety needs have been documented that include medical care, housing, substance use treatment, job skills training, and other support services (Valera et al., 2001; Jeal & Salisbury, 2004; Jeal & Salisbury, 2007; Kurtz et al., 2005).

This quote is very significant. It shows the effects that the way the women are treated has on them. The women forced into sexual slavery typically become addicted to narcotics, are physically and mental abused, and are exposed to several types of diseases. In comparison to chattel slavery, the women in the sex trade are not forced to do household work, but proform sexaul acts for clients. Chattel slavery also involed forms of sexual abuse, but they are less exposed to STI’s and other diseases, because the sexual abuse was typically from one man, their master. The women in the sex trade can sometimes see several men a night. This has not only a physical but a mental tole on the women.

It is impossible to try to understand the horrors that these women endure day to day, and also the men and women who were victims of chattel slavery. For my next blog entry I will be discussing the effect that these types of slavery have on the economies, and where the forms of slavery are typically found.

The path to enslavement

For this post, I will be exploring how individuals are forced into slavery. There are several differences in the ‘choosing’ of slaves within chattel slavery and in the universal sex trade. When examining chattel slavery the process in gathering the men and women who became slaves was a monumental moment in history. The Europeans began to capture African people and bring them to the New World but this was just the beginning. Slavery quickly expanded to America. “The first Africans in colonial America were brought to Jamestown by a Dutch ship in 1619. These 20 Africans were indentured servants, which meant that they were to work for a certain period of time in exchange for transportation and room and board. They were assigned land after their service and were considered free Negroes. Nonetheless, their settlement was involuntary.” This began the chattel slavery movement. It is significant to note that race was a crucial factor in chattel slavery on the 1700’s. “Race was a very important factor in American slavery. In other nations, slaves would be of the same race as their master. An ex-slave could re-enter society with their past forgotten and be accepted once again. On the other hand, American slavery was closely connected to racial differences that led to racial segregation and discrimination. Master and slave could physically be distinguished from one another, which ultimately distinguished one as human and the other as chattel.” This is clearly seen in both Jacobs and Douglas’ slave narratives. The masters throughout these narratives are all white, and the slaves are all black. The masters are racist and put down people based on the fact that they are black, and not white and of the higher class.

As for the next generation of slaves, the children of the women who were enslaved, were forced to follow the footsteps of their mother, this is seen throughout Harriet Jacobs Narrative. “I WAS born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away.” (Jacobs). Each child must follow the conditions of their mother. This is why Jacobs wanted her children to live with her grandmother so deeply, so they could break the cycle, and not live the life that she did. The way in which Jacobs accomplished this is: she was impregnated by another man, and he took hold of the children. The children were then given to Jacobs grandmother to care for until Jacobs was free. I will now explore the differences, and correlations to the universal sex trade slaves.

The Sex trade differs; women are often tricked into slavery. The women are usually brought over from different countries, and forced into the sex trade. Although the movie “Taken” is a fictional movie, it explores the real idea of how women are tricked into become sex trade workers.

Other ways in which women are tricked into the sex trade are that they are promised jobs in foreign countries, and when they arrived they are forced into sexual slavery. They are unable to leave until their debt is repaid, but deductions are constantly made (food, medicine, clothes) therefore, making it virtually impossible to be freed. It is important to note that there “is no dominant trail that marks the journey of a human trafficking victim. Nearly every country in the world plays a role in the ever-shifting make-up of trafficking’s lucrative, underground network.

‘Source countries’, where victims originate, are often those weakened by war, corruption or natural disasters.

‘Transit countries’ act as temporary stops on the victims’ journey to the country where they will be enslaved.

“Destination countries’ must have affluent citizens with enough ‘disposable income’ to buy the traffickers’ ‘products’, which may account for the growing number of trafficking cases being uncovered in Japan, India, much of Western Europe, and the United States.”

The people who are generally targeted in the sex trade are:

“Children: Millions of today’s slaves are kids under the age of 18. Girls are typically trafficked into forced prostitution between 10 and 14.  Poor People- Poverty is listed as a major risk factor for trafficking in almost every published study. Minorities and tribal groups   
- Rural communities and people living in border areas. People in societies already destabilized by war, natural disaster, or civil unrest”

It is clear to see that there are many differing factors in these two different types of slavery. Nonetheless, the humans are virtually imprisoned, and forced against their will to preform duties that they would not do otherwise. Whether the reason is for race, or the way in which they are captured is different, both these types of slavery show brutality, and are inhumane.

sex trade-ing slaves

This first post, for the most part, will be explanatory. This blog as a whole will be focused on the slavery that is occurring in today’s society, in comparison to slavery in the 17 and 1800. After reading Fredrick Duglous’ and Harriet Jacobs Slave Narratives one can see that there are certainly correlations between the slavery that occurred at that time and the slavery that is occurring in the present day. The slavery that was seen in the 17th and 18th century was classified as chattel slavery. Chattel slavery is defined as ”people are treated as the personal property, chattels, of an owner and are bought and sold as commodities, is the original form of slavery” in the wikipedia definitions. The slavery that I will be focusing on that is occurring today is the universal sex trade. The United Nations Centre for Human Rights stated that “In addition to traditional slavery and the slave trade, these abuses include the sale of children, child prostitution, child pornography, the exploitation of child labor, the sexual mutilation of female children, the use of children in armed conflicts, debt-bondage, the traffic in persons and in the sale of human organs, the exploitation of prostitution, and certain practices under apartheid and colonial régimes.” The significance of this is that there are so many forms of sexual abuse that are occurring within our society, that it can be classified as a type of slavery. The definition of the universal sex trade that I will be referring to throughout this blog is: human trafficking, which is the trading of women, or even men, against their will, for the use of sexual pleasure in exchange for money. The sex trade, or human trafficking was typically thought of as something that happens over seas, but it is becoming an international problem, just as chattel slavery became. Here is just one example of human trafficking somewhere close to home

Although prostitution is seen in our society today, one typically does not associate this with the idea of human trafficking. They are wrong. Some women are taken against their will and forced into prostitution, thus being forced into sexual favors in exchange for money. To further explain my point, this is an example of how human trafficking may work:

“Traffickers use force and fraud to compel their victims into forced labor or sexual exploitation. Here’s how that might work: A woman in a poor, Eastern European country sees a billboard advertising glamorous waitressing jobs in Paris or New York City. Eager for a chance to work in an affluent country, where people make their own destinies, she calls the number on the billboard. She’s told that for $3,000, a company will take her to Paris or New York, where she can claim the waitressing job. She ponies up the money, or agrees to pay the company out of her waitressing earnings, and boards a plane.

When the plane lands, however, that woman isn’t taken to a café or a restaurant. Instead, she’s taken to a brothel, where she’s sold to the owner and forced to become a prostitute. She must pay off that $3,000, she is told, in addition to her daily room and board. She’s in a country where she knows no one, where she has no official paperwork and where she’s been threatened with violence or death if she runs away from the brothel.” 

It is important to note that I will not be explaining how chattel slavery and the universal sex trade are the same, but how there are correlations between the two. I will be explaining how, although society has progressed in a sense throughout time, it is impossible to say that slavery a whole has not been abolished. The correlations that are prominent, as seen throughout the two definitions stated, are that people are still being bought and sold. It is also fair to say that in both forms of slavery, sexual abuse is prominent. An instance in which this is seen throughout chattel slavery is in Harriet Jacobs slave narrative when Dr. Flint wants to impregnate Harriet Jacobs, in order to make money off of their offspring. This is not sexual desire for Jacobs, but more so desire for Jacobs as a commodity. This is similar to the sex trade workers, they are not sexually desired by the people in which force them into this work (i.e., agents for prostitution), but they are desired as a sense of profit. It is clear to see that the correlation between the two are; people are being held against their will. In both forms of slavery, chattel and the sex trade, there is an “owner” and a “worker” or “slave” and they may be promised freedom. An example of this within chattel slavery is Harriet Jacobs is promised freedom many times by Dr. Flint, even after Jacobs ran away: “Think what is offered you, Linda- a home and freedom! Let the past be forgotten.” (Jacobs 214). This is significant, because slavery is based and ruled on the sense of one having power and complete control over another’s life. Within the sex trade, the individuals who are enslaved are, for the most part, promised freedom after their debts are paid off. The importance of this promise is that the slaves have something to look forward, work, and strive for. They are less likely to run away, because freedom will eventually come. Jacobs knew the reality of this was false, and bravely ran away, an act that is usually impossible for slaves to succeed in doing, especially in today’s sex trade industry. Here is a story with a more promising ending, that is also closer to home. 

I hope this introduction to my blog has been informative and helpful. My next post will be discussing how the men and women in both chattel slavery and the sex trade are forced into this work.

Slavery: now and then

I am very excited to begin this assignment. I have chosen to construct a blog in hopes to learn and achieve a thorough understanding of this new form of writing. I plan on examining chattel slavery that occurred in the 1800s, in reference to Harriet Jacobs and Fredrick Douglas’s slave Narratives, and comparing this to the slavery that is occuring in our society today, the universal sex trade.