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Colonization and Sex

In: Historical Events

Submitted By melziibaby
Words 1993
Pages 8
The Caribbean’s history is rooted in colonialism. When Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Caribbean it was inhabited by the indigenous people of the region. This eventually led to the other major European players to take up settlement in the region. Eventually, these settlements supplemented by a slave labour force from Africa grew into a large colonised settlement. This became an engrained system and as such many of the remnants of colonization still have a strong grip on how people operate in the region. Ideas of sex, sexuality and sex work which are now prominent in the region was shaped during this time of the historical development of the region.

According to Elizabeth Hartney, sex work is the term for engaging in sexual activity for money or otherwise working in the sex industry. Depending on the work, activities might include: physical contact with a paying client, creating or being the subject of sex-related photos or videos, engaging in phone sex, participating in live sex shows. This is short is prostitution. Kamala Kempadoo (1999) gives an invaluable background into the history of Caribbean sex work and how it was influenced by colonial powers. It is stated that “prostitution is inextricably tied to the power and control exerted by European colonizers over black women….” Research showed that slave masters not only had complete control over the labour of their work force but also over the sexual labour of their women. The slave masters exercised their control and prostitution quickly became an institutionalized part of slave society.

Another remnant of slavery is the patriarchal society it left the Caribbean. Johnson (1997) says that patriarchy is a kind of society in which men and women participate, to form a male dominate, male identified and male centred society. All positions of authority, from the heads of state to the heads of the...

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