Presumably (I am not an historian of the period) when an escaped slave was recaptured they were punished publicly in horrific ways, with the intention of sending a message to anyone else who was contemplating a dash for freedom. Because, you know, you want to break their spirits, their minds…
This comes to mind from the following two tweets
“In Gilead after a handmaid became pregnant by force, at least she was given housing, food, and medical care. Republicans are against that. The GOP thinks Gilead was too generous.”
and one reply
Five things here.
- The naked hatred of women, of their bodies, of their autonomy, seems pretty baked in, doesn’t it?
- The desire seems to be to punish women for daring to want to have control over their own damned lives, so they never forget what happens if you try to escape.
- The nutjobs and Stalinists – to use the correct terminology – who want to make abortion illegal are not gonna stop once they’ve tasted that victory. Contraception, “inter-racial” marriage, you name it is next. The Sky(god’s) the limit.
- This is intensely gendered and racialised. Rich white women will find work-arounds. Everyone else gets the pointy end of the stick.
- That they will come for you next/soon is the absolutely weakest argument in favour of solidarity.
Thanks to the hard work and courage of the Black Civil Rights Movement and its spin-offs (second wave feminism, anti-war, gay rights, environment), Western societies started, in the late 50s and early 60s, to become less obscene. It was a slow, uneven and always problematic process. It continued, on some issues at least, after the beginning of the anti-democratic roll-back from the mid-70s (neoliberalism is only a tool within that war).
The idea that poor people, women, people of colour “etc” have rights, have dignity, are members of civilisation who deserve equal treatment rather than the back of a hand, a cosh, a whip, tear gas or slow violence in its myriad forms, is an idea that is repugnant to some. They want an image of the 50s, with women in the kitchen, black people “in their place”, gays in the closet, and nature under the thumb. They will accept nothing less. It’s an illusion to think that they can be bargained with, reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and absolutely will not stop, ever, until the gains since the late 50s are dead and forgotten, ploughed under, and the earth salted..