Conclusion

I find that societal restrictions and expectations imposed on slave women were fewer. In this regard, they were free to pursue their daily lives with less opposition from men than elite women. However, slave women comprised an extremely marginalized place in society. Their lives were intrinsically tied to the decisions of their masters. They had little say in issues such as suitable occupations or marriage. This paved way for their exploitation by the upper classes.

'Coal and Vegetable sellers' by Debret. Slave women had greater access to the public life

‘Coal and Vegetable sellers’ by Debret.
Slave women had greater access to the public life

Elite women were well-respected members of the Church and society. Legally, they had similar rights as men. However, societal expectations regarding their behavior were constricting. They lived in near isolation their whole lives, unable to venture in to the public sphere. Therefore, while they were less vulnerable to exploitation, societal constructs made their lives miserable.

'The Lunch'- By Jean Baptiste Debret. Elite women  had greater respect, but were confined to the home.

‘The Lunch’- By Jean Baptiste Debret. Elite women had greater respect, but were confined to the home.

Though elite and slave women had different rights and responsibilities, ultimately, their fate was tied to that of the men that surrounded them.