He was not just some compassionate liberal advocating freedom for the oppressed, he was an actual victim of the system who had risen above it. This strengthened his leadership abilities even further because he was able to use his personal experiences to relate the horrors of slavery to those who had only read about it.
When he tells about the cruelty of the slave overseer Mr. Gore, stating “His savage barbarity was equaled only by the consummate coolness with which he committed the grossest and most savage deeds upon the slaves under his charge” (p. 356), one cannot helped but be moved and outraged. There is no denying that his experiences were as horrendous as Harriets. But there is also no denying that the male and female experiences of slavery were different. The fact is, the male and female experiences in just about any walk of life are different, no matter what the time, place or circumstances. Women have almost always been treated as being inferior to men. They have almost always been treated as sexual objects.
They are usually thought of as weak and helpless, even today. So while male slaves had the unfortunate experience of being treated as inferior to whites, female slaves were taught that they were not only inferior to whites, but also to men. Therefore they were twice as oppressed and made to feel doubly inferior and less of a person.
While Harriet warns in her preface that her story may seem like an overly dramatized version of events, most slave narratives report similar experiences, which leads me to believe that her horrific experiences were sadly not unique. She does however seem to be unique in her ability to express herself through the written word; which is particularly commendable since the majority of slaves were kept illiterate and sheltered from the goings on in the nation, by their masters. Both she and Frederick Douglass overcame these obstacles through courage and strength. And while they did share many similar life experiences, the female experience will always differ from the male experience because men and women are not only different biologically,.