As you may know, I am a huge fan of Slave Shae. If you don’t follow her already, you may want to. I’ve become a bit addicted to the series of posts she’s doing with a theme of being shared with a Dom she doesn’t know, one whom her Mistress has loaned her to. Addicted in the sense that I check several times a day to see if there’s a new post up.
I love the way she thinks about her life and herself as a slave, the way she describes it.
Yesterday, I was visiting an historical site, a mansion where the owners, wealthy white people, had kept enslaved servants. The tour (which was on audio, not live) talked about the enslaved people as well as the home owners, and shared lots of information that (of course) was a huge contrast in how they lived.
As you entered the mansion, there was a large plaque that really spoke to me.
Words have power.
They express meanings, ideas, and relationships. They impact how we relate to the past and to one another.
As we share this history, we strive to use words that are empathetic to those whose history has been marginalized. For example, we use phrases like enslaved woman, rather than slave. The noun slave implies that she was, at her core, a slave. The adjective enslaved reveals that though in bondage, bondage was not her core existence.
Furthermore, she was enslaved by the actions of another. Therefore, we use terms like enslaver, rather than master, to indicate one’s effort to exert power over another. You may hear other phrases, like slave labor camps or escapee, rather than plantation or runaway. These reinforce the idea of people’s humanity rather than the conditions forced upon them.
I thought that was really beautiful. And at the same time, there is beauty in slave shae’s description of her own slavery. She says:
“I sometimes think this is the best test of whether you are suited to a 24/7 life in slavery: if in waking up into it, you feel a kind of dread, like having to go to work at a bad job, or if you feel a kind of peaceful content, tinged with wonder and anticipation for what’s to come.“
I find comfort in the distinction, and had not realized that I needed that comfort. Thank you, slave shae.
One thought on “A Slave”
Hi Olivia, I will have to check out slave shae. Those are great words on the plaque. Good food for thought.