Extra Credit: The Adventures In World Making Event

The Adventures in World Making event that was held in Old Main 220, showcased eight SUNY Cortland graduate students discussing novels they read and topics on two discussion questions. The first four graduate students were discussing a novel each of them were assigned to. They  talk about how the narrator’s dealt with coming to the United States and the characters experience of a culture shift. Amber Kent, a current graduate student, discussed the novel Nervous Condition by Tsitsi Dangarembga. Tambu, who is the main character of the story, is very poor in a white-dominated part of Africa called Rhodesia. Dangarembga, discusses throughout the book her experiences of the mistreatment of colonialism and oppression from the white colonists in the 1960’s. Amber gave a very brief summary of the novel, but the theme she developed from reading this is, “cultural shapeshifting”. The reason for her coming up with this theme is because Tambu becomes more fixed and established in a mission school she is involved in. Though the mission school has numerous amount of white young woman, she starts to embrace different beliefs from her traditional taught parents. The second graduate student, I didn’t really get her name and couldn’t understand her essay, but her novel she was assigned was Small Island by Andrea Levy. The third graduate student who presented her essay was, Liz. She talked about the novel, The Hickoriss Girl. Liz  talked about how this novel relates to realism and the supernatural. By giving us a deeper analysis of characters Tilly and Jess she showed they that, “they endure powers to open the gates of the superbnatural”.

Brittany, who was the fourth graduate student to present her essay about the book, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She discussed the difference between the African and American culture and how the characters had seen racial differences in different parts of the world. One of the topics that Brittany talks about is how Adichie discusses that there is still a racial hierarchy in Nigerian culture, however, as light-skinned or mixed-race people are considered more attractive. She uses the example of the  people on magazines are those of lighter skin. But when Ifemelu, who is the wife of Obzinie, and Obinze go to America and England respectively, they find that racism is a much more pervasive part of life. These four graduates presented these books in The Adventures in World Making event, to provide the audience of the Coming of Age Story.

Before I left to go to my last class of the day, I heard the presentation of Mike, who is a graduate student with Professor Savonick. For his presentation, he had to write an essay about two discussion questions. The first discussion question was, what does race, class, gender, and language play in equality? The second question was, How does text move us to think about gender and race differently? I didn’t to stay for much of Mike’s presentation, but I got a good portion of his presentation. He talked about the Tangentials and how we as people dismiss them for personal gain. Tangentials are according to Mike, “diverging from a previous course or line”. He link to this to the idea of people can’t really seem to provide equality in race, class, gender, and language because of the tangentials that are rather more favorable. The Adventures in World

Effects of Rape

Being sexually assaulted can have a very significant impact on one’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. What outsiders of the assault tend to focus on is the physical aspect of the assault and usually neglect the emotional and social aspects, which go hand in hand. After being assaulted it’s very common for survivors to engage in self-blame, much like what Myriam Gurba did in the book Mean. And it is also very common for that blame to bleed into every aspect of the survivor’s life. Gurba presents evidence of both of these things in great detail throughout the book.

As seen in Mean, Myriam Gurba shows multiple examples of how her experience caused her to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Before telling her traumatic story that she tries to hoard, she tell us that PTSD is the only mental illness you can be given through someone else’s violent actions. Some actions that were committed consisted of, the man who gave her gay cousins aids, and her grandfather who gave her grandmother aids are a different “mean” she explains. She states, “I’m mean, but I am not so mean that I’ve ever raped anyone. I’ve never grabbed a strange woman, pulled down her underpants, shoved my face into her pussy, and inhaled. That’s a special kind of mean” ( Mean, 109). Mentally, Gurban loses all the trust in majority of men she meets after her experience with the rapist. One of the examples that shows this, is when she is at the grocery store with her mother. “He was approaching me. Besides the whole grain loaves, he paused. His hand reached for the hot dog buns. It squeezed. I came back to my body almost as immediately as I’d left it when I realized the shopper was not him”  (125). Her mind quickly changed the face of the man into the man who raped her. Post-traumatic stress disorder to her was composed of an “advanced set of art skills”, that made all men be seen as the same (125). Each one of the aisles that she walked past while shopping gave her fear of seeing the man yet again. Post-traumatic omnipresence, caused for features and apparel such as a curve bald head, a sharp grin, a bright white T-shirt, tightly laced Nikes and a five o’clock shave to trigger her to think about the rapist.

Not only did the effects of rape cause for Gurba’s mental state to manipulate her in seeing the man who raped her in every man she sees, but it conducts her brain to develop guilt and shame about what had been done to her. In the matter of guilt, she reminisces on what happens after she was raped. After seeing the news and recalling dates around Thanksgiving, the fall, and December; she comes to the idea that she could’ve stopped him. She states, “If I’d chased him into the alley, caught up to gim, taken off my shoe, and beaten him with it like Mom taught me you’re suppose to do with cockroaches” (139). She believes that even in doing this and dying is better than living with the guilt that she has. Though invisible, it still bears down on her that if she had done something to him maybe he wouldn’t have followed, harassed, and beaten women. When it comes to being shameful about her experience of being raped, she reflects it on her future. She feels this feeling of shame comes when she thinking about the rapist getting caught and she will have to testify against in him in court. She conveys this shame and self-blame on her desires of becoming a lawyer for her small town. She states, “Let’s say they remembered me as the girl who took the witness stand and cried when she described getting grabbed and having things put where they don’t belong” (140). She is ashamed that in the future that the level of respect from her co-workers in the courtroom wouldn’t ever be given. She believes she would always be known as the girl who was raped and they girl who never fought back.

In the midst of all of this, Gurba is still experiencing the worst of her PTSD symptoms. It doesn’t seem like she is going to get out of it anytime soon, maybe even get worse. She keeps hallucinating about the rapist being around her, each time she is by herself. The affects of rape can damage any person who has experienced it. With Gurba’s style of writing and dark humor we can not only witness her experience very clear, but what she suffered with as well.

Discussion Questions:

After addressing the nurse about the situation that has happen and given the response the nurse gave, what should Gurba actually do about with what she has experience?

On the page 109, in your own words, what does Gurba mean about a person having a special kind of “mean” ?

Treatment of Woman through Rap Lyrics

For the found poem assignment I chose to use the lyric in the song, U.O.E.N.O. it by Rick Ross featuring Future. The two lines I scrambled in my found poem are, “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it”, and ” I took her home and enjoyed, she ain’t even know it”. The reason I chose this lyric is not only due to the anger that develops when hearing the song but, presenting how the ideal of treating women is presented in our generation. People tend to think that women are being treated better than the past. In actuality a system has been created to manipulate and mistreat women of all races in this world. Whether it is the workplace, sports, or simply in relationships women are seen as the weaker link to men who lack respect and character. The reason I used orange and blue in the found poem is because of the meaning in which they hold. The meaning of the color orange according to the Bourn Creative, “is associated with balance, sexuality, and freedom “. The color orange I also associated with the female gender symbol, to express how a situation such as the rapper Rick Ross raps about drugging women and raping them, creates a sort of symbol of freedom in the sex. Blue according to Bourn Creative is associated with, “depth, trust, loyalty,and sincerity”. The reason I corresponded this color with the male gender symbol is because these are the characteristics in which all men need to develop in relationship with all women whether we know them or not.