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Dan's picture

Gendered Silence Zine

Chandrea's picture

Silence in Our Silence Class

Since I won't be in class this Thursday I am posting what I would (or let's be serious) would NOT have contributed to class. Anne asked me to post about what I would say in class and I don't know why I'm so nervous writing this. I think it's a combination of things that we've been discussing in class: silence, inaccessibility, language, taking risks. I just read the Kalamara's reading and I don't know if I fully understood it. There were parts of it that I would like to discuss because I felt like I could relate to it, but I'm nervous to discuss it here because I don't have the opportunity to hear other people in our class talk about it first so I can decide whether or not I actually got the point of the reading. It seemed fairly accessible to me until it brought up eastern religions and then I got confused. I don't get the feeling that this article was supposed to be as dificult to read compared to the other inaccessible readings we read together in class but I started to lose my understanding of the reading towards the end. Because I finished reading the article in a confused state, I am hesitant to explain how I understood it. What if I read it all wrong?! Perhaps this is a situation in which I realize that the little inaccessible parts of some of the readings we are assigned lead to me not contributing in class. I don't want to complain about it - I just choose to shut up.

sdane's picture

Can I write in such a way that every time you read it, it tells a different story?

Short but interesting podcast with Maxine Hong Kingston:

Anne Dalke's picture

Metaphorizing Silence

sara.gladwin's picture

Inherited Silences in Eva's Man

Eva is a character whose life seems filled with silences, particularly her own. Often she will refuse to answer, refuse to explain. While I do not intend to take away her agency or voice through my interpretation of Eva’s Man, I wanted to focus particularly on what I see as inherited silences; silences that seem to have been passed down from Eva’s mother, Marie, to Eva. This mother-daughter transition represents a circle of life. This also emphasizes other circles that are present within the book and the relationships portrayed. The style of writing also works to emphasize “cycles.”

Throughout the novel Gayl Jones continually makes use of fragmented story telling, sometimes leaving little or no transition between each story. It becomes impossible to untangle each fragment and the reader is forced to see the way in which nothing is unrelated. Jones refusal to write cohesively is both inviting and uninviting. She mirrors Eva’s own contradictory emotions of desire and refusal. She gives the reader the pieces of the story but refuses to order them or explain them. Readers have to choose how to negotiate reading Eva’s Man. They either have to book at arms length or they can choose to seek clarity; choose intimacy with Eva. In a way, Eva treats the reader like she treats the men and women in her life. We are both a refused and desired audience.

Erin's picture

How to be a women warrior under Chinese Culture?

As one unique representative of Asian cultures, Chinese culture has more traditions than many other countries. Among all these traditions, women remain in a disadvantageous for over 2000 years. The history doesn’t include the appropriate proportion of women until recent century. It’s impossible to understand Maxing Hong Kinston’s The Women Warrior without a broader background of Chinese culture as well as the environment where Chinese American live. Author made her way through to find a voice for herself under the Chinese culture castle.

Girls are told to be quite and silence is considered as a means of self-protection. The term “ghost” is used extensively throughout the article. Such a term was generally used by Chinese people to call foreigners. The phrasing ghost and ghost country clearly impose negative indications considering the unpleasant history every time when westerners showed up in the Chinese territory. The hostility and resistance towards these foreigners, whose appearance and cultures are distinctive in general, never disappeared. Such fear in addition of uncertainties in a new country made silence a default choice for a large group of Chinese Americans from the beginning.

jo's picture

A Rich Reading of Eva And Her Men (Web Event #4)

Reading Gayl Jones’ Eva’s Man, it was clear to me that Eva was oppressed, silenced. I saw her as a victim, and felt really bad for her and sad to think how many other women have had similar experiences. Through our class discussion, however, I began to consider that maybe it wasn’t as simple as that. It was couldntthinkofanoriginalname who first brought this to our collective attention in her post, Reflections on Eva’s Man: “all characters… are apart of a cycle of abuse…there is a larger conversation to be had about this book. One that touches upon male's oppression… and internalized sexism…” It was so easy for me at first to write off the men in Eva’s Man as oppressors, representations of the patriarchy at work. I then realized that everyone in this book, just like everyone in the world, is a victim of the patriarchy, and as such is silenced. Throughout the book, Eva chooses silence, as do some many other characters, and I began to wonder how much agency they actually had, if those silences were only chosen due to the way in which society represses and restricts. Thinking about Adrienne Rich’s analysis of silence as lying what role did Eva’s silences play in her abuse and mistreatment and is this something that she or anyone else ever has control over?

Dan's picture

Zine Text! Because I haven't finished the Illustrations

Gendered Silence

     I started this paper with Christine Kim’s work in mind. What she displays about ownership of sound has become very visible to me; hearing people uncritically, unthoughtfully claim ownership of sound and then subject non-hearing people to the rules we establish without realizing it.

Uninhibited's picture

Erased Identities

Women’s sexuality is a topic often silenced by society in order to perpetuate an image of the “purity” of a woman that fits traditional gender roles.  Women are expected to keep their sexualities private and, even in private, to withhold any outstanding passions or desires. When women break these gendered silences in regards to their sexuality, a tradition is ruptured and often in order to restore previous order, shame and/or violence are used as valid responses. I saw both of these instances in reading No Name Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston. This text, exemplified the complex ways in which women’s sexualities are often a source of shame in the private and public sphere. It also describes how the outcomes of rupturing these traditions can result in unsafe situations for the women who have broken the norm. Her story, can speak to the difficulty of “breaking free” within a society that does not yet accept women’s sexual freedom and that continues to perpetuate this idea by using the silencing of existence through storytelling as a warning for subsequent generations of women.

couldntthinkofanoriginalname's picture

W.E. III: TO SPEAK OR NOT TO SPEAK?...THAT IS THE QUESTION! But how does one even choose when her truth is not even an option?

While reading Eva’s Man, initially, I did not find her silence troublesome.  She sounded like another sexual assault victim who was too traumatized by the abuse and the act of killing to verbalize the effects of them. It was not until I read Freedom’s Silences by Wendy Brown did I begin to realize the complexities of Eva’s silence—as if the fragmented narratives in the book did not hint at them already. I now realize that Eva’s silence, in both being quiet and omitting vital information about her past and the murder, throughout the book  is not as simple as her choosing to be quiet and choosing when to speak just for the hell of it. Better yet, I find that her silence, or lack thereof, speaks to the dangers, mentioned in Brown’s essay, of codifying someone’s experience when one chooses to break silence….or remain in it. Thus, I wish to explore the consequences of Eva breaking or maintaining silence, in regards to her sexuality, through the lens of Brown in hopes of relating her story to a larger, much more pressing issue in the African-American/Black community.

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