I think that Mecca Jamilah Sullivan does a great job of keeping the perspective of the story in favor of these women. I think in many cases that the assailant would be viewed as the victim which is just sad. The way the story is written is incredibly straight forward. While I normally hate fiction, I think that it is important for stories of black girls to be written and told. A word that was brought up a lot in “Wolfpack” was “dehumanizing”. The headlines pertaining to the attack and counter attack of the man alone are backwards. “Killer Lesbian’s Trial Begins”. Minorities, and female minorities in particular, are dehumanized on a regular basis for various reasons, but Mecca Jamilah Sullivan forces the reader to sympathize with the women. While described as “bloodthirsty” by the media, the reader is aware of the verbal, sexual, and physical harassment that may have justified the killing. It forces the reader to question what they would have done in the same situation as well as not be so quick to judge those for their actions.
In the second half of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, like the first, the pictures and words carry equal weight. While I believe that this story utilizes illustrations in a great way and would have to be written entirely different without the illustrations, I believe that it is Bechdel’s quality writing that makes this story so compelling.
The second half of the graphic novel is less uncomfortable in a sense and far easier to read. In the first half, Bechdel would drop these bombs on the reader such as her father having affairs with younger men, her father killing himself, and her father being abused as a child. While these developments make for a good story, in a way the pictures, while cartoons, make it much more real. Towards the end of the book, the focus is shifted to Bechdel’s attempts at a relationship with her father, in some ways humanizing him after all the things we learned about him in the beginning. I want to say that I expected some sort of resolution in Fun Home, but because of Bechdel’s sultry and morbid style in the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure how the rest would play out, which I enjoyed. It was a complete story and one that I was far more interested in than I expected I would be. It changed my view somewhat on graphic novels and what they can be and the way they can tell stories.
Roxanne Gay explores the effects of celebrities and public figures who choose to reveal themselves as members of the LGBTQ community. It is Gay’s belief that while interesting, these revelations don’t advance the agenda of the community, and that unrealistic expectations are placed on these celebrities to help do so. Gay examines the stories of Anderson Cooper, Frank Ocean, and Sally Ride in this piece to prove her point.
I agree with parts of what Gay says such as her opinion that we expect far too much of people in the public eye. “We expect role models to model the behavior we are perfectly capable of modeling ourselves” (p.169). Anderson Cooper, Sally Ride, and Frank Ocean are probably far too busy (and didn’t ask) to take on as behemoth of a task as engineering change for a whole community. “Despite our complex cultural climate and what needs to be done for the greater good, it is still an unreasonable burden that someone who is marginalized must bear an extra set of responsibilities” (p.168).
While I strongly agree with that sentiment, Gay somewhat loses me when she is discussing Frank Ocean. Her credibility takes a hit when she is discussing the “Odd Future” music collective. When reading it, it is easy to find yourself agreeing with Gay and her opposition to artists such as Tyler the Creator, but with a quick google search she could have found out that Tyler the Creator himself is a member of the LGBTQ community, having come out and addressed it multiple times over the years. While this doesn’t make her point moot, I think that her credibility definitely takes a hit as she is attacking a bisexual man for using a slur in a song. I’d imagine it to be similar to a black man using the “N” word in a rap.
Overall, I agree with Gay’s points, but it jumped out at me that she would write this as fact without including necessary details.
After reading “The Supreme Court’s Lonely Hearts Club” by Michael Cobb, most would agree that our society and government’s outlook on marriage is very impractical. While I agree with practically everything Cobb says, I don’t question why the government pushes for marriage as Cobb does. Cobb questions “Why can’t I put a good friend on my health care plan? Why can’t my neighbor and I file our taxes together so we could save some money, as my parents do? If I failed to make a will, why is it unlikely a dear friend would inherit my estate?”(2) almost as if the government and people making these laws don’t understand what love is themselves, and that is my problem with this piece.
The government pushes marriage for the soul purpose of driving the economy. An individual getting married is good for everyone. Tax breaks are given to married people and to people with children because these people spend far more money than a single individual. Applying the same laws to close friends wouldn’t have close to the same economic impact as it does with spouses. In a way he addresses this by saying the reason is that “the only thing that truly distinguishes romance and marriage from other loving intimacies like friendships, other familial relationships and close business partnerships is that sex is (or once was) part of the picture.” But it about sex far less than it is about all of the things that come with it.
I agree with most of his other points, but his whole paper revolves around why the government is fixated on this specific definition of love (marriage), and I think the answer is pretty obvious, because it is in their best interest to do it that way.
In “Against Love” by Laura Kipnis, a logic backed argument is presented against the commonly expected experience of love, or better yet marriage. Kipnis acknowledges that in our early years all of our “survival depended on the caprices of love” (740) and that “exchanging obedience for love comes naturally” (740), but it is due to those characteristics that marriage over time has become a freedom-limiting practice. Provided in the piece is an informal list of privileges we take for granted that are stripped from our lives when we enter a serious monogamous relationship. The freedom to be a slob, eat whatever you want, procrastinate, be in a bad mood, spend money, take risks, and be honest are all sacrificed.
By recognizing the ideology of why people feel the need to fall in love and get married, Kipnis makes her argument so much more compelling. She points out that there are logical reasons for marriage such as the ability to raise a child in a socially accepted environment, and the predictability that comes along with having a spouse. Marriage in society is seen as a happy, desirable, life altering, event that leads to a better life, and those who don’t marry are looked down on as “unlovable” but the more one reads “Against Love”, the clearer it becomes that most of the joy one experiences when marrying is actually due to avoidance of social ostracism.
Overall, while I don’t agree, I think Kipnis’s points and arguments, while very controversial, are very logical and thought provoking. She questions the whole system and rightfully so. It gives the reader a lot to think about far after they are done reading it.