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At least The Guardian does include this

The historical action epic, starring Viola Davis, tells the story of the Agojie, female African warriors who once reigned supreme

This bit:

The Dahomey kingdom, in the west African that region that is now Benin, was established around 1600 and grew strong from both its military prowess and from capturing and selling hundreds of thousands of people from neighbouring tribes and nations to the transatlantic slave trade. It fell in 1894 after war with France led to its eventual colonisation.

It’s possible to put it a little more strongly than that but yes, at least that but is in there.

This amused though:

“But one of the tragedies is that when the French took over the kingdom, when they defeated the Dahomey, not only did they ban the Agojie but also they basically prevented women from moving up in public service, in government, in educational opportunities. As a result, you have decline not only of the Agojie but also of the status of women in that region. That is really the tragedy of the whole situation.”

France, a nation where the Catholic church drew strict gender boundaries and where women did not gain the right to vote until 1944, claimed to be “civilising” Africa but imposed patriarchy.

Of course, in the Kingdom of Dahomey no one at all had the vote.

25 thoughts on “At least The Guardian does include this”

  1. So Dahomey was a major participant in The Transatlantic Slave Trade? Who will they have to pay reparations to? Or is that not how this works.
    In reality, i.e not Guardian World, the French conquest put a stop to their slavery/ human sacrifice/ war-making shenanigans.

  2. France, a nation where the Catholic church drew strict gender boundaries and where women did not gain the right to vote until 1944, claimed to be “civilising” Africa but imposed patriarchy.

    Civilisation is Patriarchy.

  3. Does the Guardian article mention the large scale executions and human sacrifices which took place during the “Annual Customs of Dahomey” as wiki euphemistically puts it.

    A bit tough on those sacrificed but never forget who the real victims were:-

    As a result (of the actions of the evil wypipo), you have decline not only of the Agojie but also of the status of women in that region. That is really the tragedy of the whole situation

  4. It’s astonishing that this film even made it past the research phase, let alone release. A massive and hilarious own goal by the black things matter brigade. But who knows, maybe it’ll segue into the 19th Century anti-slavery movement being derided as colonialism. Which it kinda was.

    John Boyega hardest hit.

  5. “the 19th Century anti-slavery movement being derided as colonialism. Which it kinda was.”

    Yeah. Britain had had what was essentially a religious awakening and decided that slavery was evil and must accordingly be abolished. So she adopted the policy of sending the Royal Navy to impose this creed on “lesser breeds without the law”. It was rather high-handed, wasn’t it?

    P.S. I am aware that by “lesser breeds without the law” Kipling may well have meant yer Krauts. But it’s an irresistible phrase.

  6. In international law, what the British West Africa Patrol did for a century was legally piracy, combined with undeclared warfare.

  7. King Gezo of Dahomey told the British in 1840, as they sought to abolish the slave trade:  “The slave trade has been the ruling principle of my people. It is the source of their glory and wealth. Their songs celebrate their victories and the mother lulls the child to sleep with notes of triumph over an enemy reduced to slavery.”

    When King Gezo died in 1858, 800 slaves were massacred in his memory. Another 800 captured Africans were slaughtered as ceremonial tribute to the deceased King, by other African slave dealers from the Kingdom of Whydah, in what is now southern Benin.

    Pointing this out to the proponents of the reparations shakedown often elicits quite violent reactions.

  8. Not a terrible movie for a grey afternoon, by the way. As exciting, historically accurate and tightly plotted as, say, Braveheart or The Patriot. Viola Davis as the warrior who looks like a dinner lady is following a long line of undersized over-the-hill male actors who turn out to be able to stomp all over bigger, younger, stronger enemies.

  9. I’d say it depends on who’s doing the defining.

    For example:

    a. that lousy foreigner is a pirate

    b. my noble fellow citizen is a privateer

    c. and I am, of course, an honest trader!!

  10. @grikath

    Unless you are getting into privateering, letters of marque etc a commissioned warship cannot conduct armed robbery on the high seas

    It can conduct commerce raiding, but that is as an act of war against the flag state

    It is also a fact that piracy can only take place outside the territorial seas of a coastal state

    Inside them it’s simply armed robbery

  11. Starfish… you’re deluded by modern international naval law..
    Something that is not applicable to 19thC and before.

    Boganboy has the gist of it.

  12. I’d agree with Grikath. International law is a crock of shit devised to enrich lawyers. In reality, international law’s the same as it was in the C19th. Might is right.

  13. Why should I believe markets are efficient?

    So King Gezo was just being an “honest merchant” and a good capitalist, exercising might makes right to kidnap randos and sell them for sterling?

  14. BiS. I’d also argue that ‘international law’ is something THEY tell you that YOU must obey. When your democratically elected government actually tries to do what you elected it for.

    You’ll have noted that all the illegals swarming in should under no circumstances be booted back to where they came from. But the ‘laws’ made up by some little coven of ratbags should be obeyed to the letter.

  15. No, Why Should.

    Gezo was a noble commie making sure that people with the right coloured skin should colonise the Americas. And as all the good lefties demand, the idiotic rightists paid him for the privilege.

  16. Are colonialists chained, whipped, and sold?

    Boganboy

    But isn’t the point that the market in slaves is perfectly rational to you? Even if British slavers were trading with a “commie”?

    Why should anyone believe any market is rational, when slave markets were perfectly rational until fickle, arbiitrary, capricious policies changed?

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