Unruly women: the politics of social and sexual control in the old South
In this richly detailed and imaginatively researched study, Victoria Bynum investigates "unruly" women in central North Carolina before and during the Civil War. Analyzing the complex and interrelated impact of gender, race, class, and region on the lives of black and white women, she shows how their diverse experiences and behavior reflected and influenced the changing social order and political economy of the state and region. Her work expands our knowledge of black and white women by studying them outside the plantation setting.
Bynum searched local and state court records, public documents, and manuscript collections to locate and document the lives of these otherwise ordinary, obscure women. Some appeared in court as abused, sometimes abusive, wives, as victims and sometimes perpetrators of violent assaults, or as participants in illicit, interracial relationships. During the Civil War, women frequently were cited for theft, trespassing, or rioting, usually in an effort to gain goods made scarce by war. Some women were charged with harboring evaders or deserters of the Confederacy, an act that reflected their conviction that the Confederacy was destroying them.
These politically powerless unruly women threatened to disrupt the underlying social structure of the Old South, which depended upon the services and cooperation of all women. Bynum examines the effects of women's social and sexual behavior on the dominant society and shows the ways in which power flowed between the private and public spheres. Whether wives or unmarried, enslaved or free, women were active agents of the society's ordering and dissolution.
44 pages matching married in this book
Results 1-3 of 44
What people are saying - Write a review
_ I _ _ I I _ Adam Crooks African American Antebellum North Carolina apprenticed Apprenticeship Bonds Bastardy Bastardy Bonds behavior Civil Civil War Documentary Confederacy Confederate County’s Criminal Action Papers deserters Divorce Records Escott farm Fayetteville Observer Federal Manuscript Census female ﬁnancial ﬁrst ﬁve former slave fornication free black women gender Governor Vance Granville County Guilford County Hobgood household Hulin Hurley husband illegitimate indicted interracial James lived Lucas male marriage married Martha Mary masters miscegenation Montgomery County Moore mulatto murder Nancy NCDAH Neighbor nonslaveholding North Carolina Piedmont ofﬁcials Orange County percent petition plantation political poor white poor women prostitution race Randolph County rape Rufﬁn Sarah sexual slave slave women slaveholders slavery Slaves and Free social society South Southern Honor state’s Superior Court U.S. Federal Manuscript wealth Wesleyan white women wife wife’s William William Woods Holden Williford wives woman Wyatt-Brown