Letter from the Editor Dear Reader,
ED. 7 VOL 1
ROLLINS COLLEGE CENTER FOR INCLUSION AND CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT ATTEN: THE INDEPENDENT 1000 HOLT AVENUE, WINTER PARK, FL 32789
STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF KENZIE HELMICK CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER CAITLYN PATEL CO-FOUNDERS SCOTT NOVAK MARY CATHERINE PFLUG SENIOR DESIGNER FRANCISCO WANG YU DESIGNERS MCKINNON BELL CAPRI GUTIERREZ SAMANTHA MARIS JORDAN MCLEAN JULIA TAYLOR ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS SAMANTHA ANDERSON CHRISTINE COLE GHINA FAWAZ ELIZABETH FLEMING MAISIE HANEY SARA MEHDINIA SENIOR EDITORS JACK GABRIEL EMILY O’MALLEY KATE TARAMYKIN COPY EDITORS HANNAH BUTCHER FIA FRASZ ELIZABETH TREPANIER RACHEL ULANGKAYA CONTRIBUTORS ANNIE BAUMM NATALIE GEORGE ALLESON LAWLESS ALEKHYA REDDY HOWARD TURSI
MAA BRUCE-AMANQUAH ASHLEIGH KUTRYB RAUL TAVAREZ RAMIREZ DANIELA SAFFRAN
To be honest, I am tired. I am tired of a school environment in which liberal, feel-good promises of equality, diversity, and yes, global citizenship, are proclaimed alongside underwhelming institutional support for first generation or low-income students, survivors, people of color, and the disabled. I am tired of hearing the news of the latest act of violence, of hate, of racist vitriol, of watching the systemic creep of fascism and white supremacy that threatens to consume our entire world. Lastly, I am tired of continually reminiscing on the fact that I am, indeed, so tired. And as I quickly stumble through my last year of college in a world that is evermore precarious and unstable, I find that I have no idea who I want to be, what impact I want to make, or whether the world will even be standing for whatever I choose to make a difference or be worthwhile. Most of my waking moments are filled with dread, anxiety, and existential angst, only to be amplified every time I get another news notification on my phone. The content of our magazine this semester proves that I am not alone. Our section titles, catered each issue to the submissions we receive, best capture this general trend. These headings—history, philosophy, mortality, and reflections of the self—accurately capture the sort of big questions that persist throughout our contemplations of our state of affairs, our purpose, and our lives. It seems as though I, and everyone around me, is engrossed in these heavy topics, emotionally and physically burnt out, confused, or hurt. But, do not mistake my own exhaustion as cynicism or nihilism. Not all of the world is corrupt, and what happens within it certainly does matter. The mere fact that we, and most especially our contributing authors, have the strength to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), and to truly reflect upon, mull over, and open up to our deepest vulnerabilities, fears, and questions is indicative enough of the enormous strength each one of us still has—regardless of how tired we may feel. If our content this issue is divided between the topics of history, philosophy, mortality, and self, then what connects these various categories is the overarching theme of resilience: of facing challenges, trauma, or unstabling questions, and choosing to continue anyways. Pieces like “Reverence & Death,” “Life in the Icebox,” “A to B,” and “The Smell of Autumn” all exhibit the enormous strength those around us hold, detailing personal experiences of both pain and persistence. Writing has always been, and always will be, one of the most important and powerful forms of communication. Since its founding, the Indie has always sought to be a platform in which members of the Rollins community could express such critical voices. For as long as this magazine continues to be put into print, it will continue to do so. However, as transformative as I believe writing can be, it’s time for us to do so much more than write. It’s time for us to reach out to one another, to our community, and to those beyond the Rollins bubble, and start to take collective action, to organize and mobilize one another. These problems that we grapple with each and every day can only be solved through working together. Admittedly, it is truly hard to feel as though there is hope. There are plenty of days in which I feel like I am drowning. But I ask you, reader, just like I ask myself, not to give up. To keep writing, of course, but also to keep learning from and connecting with those around you. In solidarity, Kenzie Helmick Editor-in-Chief
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Giving Gender Roles the Boot Raul Tavarez Ramirez
Renaissance Feminism: How Three Women Broke the Rules Natalie George
How to be a Modern Cosmopolitan Natalie George
A City Left Unbuilt and a Sign That Reads Do Not Touch Alekhya Reddy
The Colors of Climate Change Alekhya Reddy
Alienation of Reproductive Labor: Marx, Feminism, and the Medicalization of Childbirth Kenzie Helmick
Reverence & Death Alleson Lawless
Ghost of a Grandchild Emily O’Malley
Tide’s Too Low Annie Baumm
Who Am I? Maa Bruce-Amanquah
Life in the Icebox Anonymous
Photography by Maisie Haney
Mind Works Howard Tursi
A to B Hannah Butcher
The Smell of Autumn Anonymous
Before Daniela Saffran
dontburstmybubble Ashleigh Kutryb
Giving Gender Roles the
Written by Raul Tavarez Ramirez Illustrated by Samantha Anderson
Autumn in New York City. Women who have been feverishly waiting all year take out their high boots and assemble outfits that match Central Park’s fallen leaves. They strut down Fifth Avenue, the leather of their boots becoming one with their legs as they exude female empowerment along the way. In most cases, it would be difficult to imagine something so iconic to womanhood as high boots being worn by the other sex, but just like high heels and pants, over-the-knee boots made their way to women’s wardrobes after men enjoyed them for years. However, women’s appropriation of high boots was much more than a simple change in fashion. It was part of a wider feminist outcry, a pure manifestation of changing gender roles. The first instance of men’s widespread use of boots was sparked more by practicality than fashion. The Assyrian military invented the army boot around 740 BCE to create an all-weather, all-year unit able to fight the enemy in any location. As historian Paul Kriwaczek describes, they were “knee-high leather footwear, thick-soled, hobnailed and with iron plates inserted to protect the shins.”1 Although the Assyrian boot fell out of use when full-body metal plate armor became common during the Middle Ages, they made a comeback during the 15th century, when men who rode on horseback needed extra protection for their legs. This coincided with the time in which firearms started to replace conventional weapons such as swords, rendering full-body armor useless.2 Soldiers prioritized mobility and versatility, so they removed the iron plates that were characteristic of Assyrian boots. Since high boots were used by men who engaged in traditionally masculine activities, they became symbols of male dominance. This started to change in 19th century Britain when plays involving “principal boy” roles showed up in the pantomime scene and started to fill up London’s theaters. The “principal boy” is a heroic male character played by a female whose outfit often consisted of tight short skirts with fishnet stockings and knee-high leather boots. This was one of the only socially accepted contexts for women to wear male outfits, which in turn “provided a marvelous opportunity, [in a time] when female attire went down to the ankles, to display a shapely pair of limbs and to increase the male audience.”3 Around the same time, certain prostitutes in London wore thigh-high patent leather boots as a fetish item. This gave the shoes a negative and denigrating connotation that made them undesirable for women uninvolved in the sex work industry.4 Although
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females wore boots during the 19th century, they were far from achieving the wardrobe-staple status that characterizes them today. Men were actually using them as weapons, turning women into pure sexual objects and reminding them of their subservient role in society. Things remained the same until the 1960s. War is known for transforming most aspects of society, and WWII was no exception. Christian Dior presented the “New Look” in February 1947, a collection of clothing with which he aimed to revolutionize womenswear and bring back the femininity lost during the violence of WWII.5 The look included tight jackets that cinched the waist and emphasized the bust and hips. Although praised by some, the collection was heavily criticized by others. These included renowned fashion designer Coco Chanel, who said that “only a man who never was intimate with a woman could design something that uncomfortable.”6 The critiques were not without reason. The extreme highlighting of the waist was reminiscent of corsets and restricted the wearer’s movement, all while enhancing her physical features and sexualizing the female image. The New Look’s flaws met a feminist backlash, with designers looking for masculine fashion items that could be introduced in a woman’s wardrobe to tone down Dior’s repressive femininity. In 1962, coinciding with the second wave of feminism in the United States, fashion house Balenciaga introduced a line of knee-high boots for women. However, it was not until 1963, when Yves Saint Laurent presented a collection of thigh-high boots made from alligator skin, that they truly became a staple item
Vogue. (1963). Le YSLook [online image].
for women. The image above corresponds to an excerpt of Vogue’s spread about Saint Laurent’s collection.7 These designs were so relevant to the fashion industry that they secured a multi-page article in one of the world’s most influential fashion magazines. Even though this spread clarifies that the boots are feminine through the capitalized, bold text, their presentation blurs the line between feminine and masculine gender roles. The photo on the left shows only the boot, drawing the reader’s attention to the intricate details of the alligator skin. It avoids showing the model’s face, as if introducing a traditionally male object to female wardrobes is a crime and the perpetrator must be hidden. The photo on the right tells a different story, with the model’s face almost in full display while she wears a headpiece with a visor similar to those worn by male Air Force pilots. Her pose is relaxed yet firm, reminiscent of the posture conquerors adopt when stepping on new lands. It is a daring picture that represents the effective transition of a masculine item into womenswear. As Dominican fashion designer Maylé Vásquez said, “what happened with high boots is the same as what happened with pants; their outfits changed just like their role in society, as they were introduced to the workforce and took on activities previously reserved for men.”8 Fashion designers all over the world followed Yves Saint Laurent’s innovation and introduced high boots to their lines. The popularity of this type of boot led to a brief period of transition in which both men and women could be seen wearing over-the-knee boots on the streets. At Biba, a premier shopping destination in London during the 1970s, lines reached the sidewalk when the retailer received new shipments of the boots.9 Nonetheless, as the designs were made more and more feminine with the introduction of elements such as stiletto heels, over-theknee boots started to disappear from male collections. After some time, almost all high boots available for men were cowboy-inspired designs that were meant to be used during equestrian ceremonies as traditional dress, not as everyday items. Meanwhile, the variety of styles available to women
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increased staggeringly. A designer’s yearly female Fall collection was not complete without a pair of thigh-high boots. They went from simply being a popular item to being a recognized symbol of female empowerment. The image of a woman walking with a pair of high-heeled leather thigh-high boots represented (and still represents) wealth, domination, and power. Such interpretations were solidified even further by pop culture. Artists such as Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna usually perform on stage while wearing over-the-knee boots. Perhaps an even more iconic image is when, in 2006’s “The Devil Wears Prada,” Andy Sachs walks out of a building wearing a pair of Chanel thighhigh stiletto boots. This scene represents Andy’s transformation into both a fashion assistant and a “true woman,” thus furthering the boots’ role as a determining factor of feminine attitude and power. One of the best examples, though, is in the music video for Jennifer Lopez’s single “Ain’t Your Mama.” She struts around, dances, and jumps wearing waist-high denim boots. Is there a better way for a woman to destroy traditional gender roles than singing an anthem against female subordination to men while wearing shoes that used to represent male dominance and power? Probably not. Despite their surprising rise as feminist icons of empowerment, high boots retained some of the qualities that made them undesirable for women in the first place. The boots’ nature makes them much more appealing when worn by tall women because of the silhouettes they emphasize, thus “discriminating” against shorter women and reinforcing controversial societal constructs surrounding female beauty. Additionally, laced shiny leather boots are still commonly regarded as fetish items and are associated with female prostitution. Nevertheless, the boots here might still represent female empowerment. When wearing shiny leather boots in a sexual context, women usually assume the role of a dominatrix in BDSM, meaning they have control over their male partner. The woman in this case becomes the leader of the sexual encounter, a role rarely taken by females in these situations. With time, boots not only became an emblem of women’s rising position in society, but also came to
represent male inferiority and nonconformity. Nowadays, besides the ones used in traditional equestrian ceremonies, some of the only high boots widely accepted for men to wear are fishing waders or rubber hip boots used primarily in low-income jobs like agriculture and sewage maintenance. While a pair of over-the-knee boots on a woman serve as a sign of their wealth, style, and high social position, the same thing on a man represents hardship, resource scarcity, and dirty work. When it comes to nonconformity, another context in which men openly wear high boots is when in drag. Some men wish they could go back to past times, when they could walk on the streets while wearing high boots and not be judged for it. This is evidenced by a myriad of online threads that have titles such as “What do you think of men wearing knee high boots?”10 or “Can we bring back tall boots for men?”11 or “Is it weird if a straight man likes to wear long boots that are flat?”12 Basically, all the threads follow the theme of men being jealous of women as they are able to wear high boots, saying how great it would be if they could also wear them and trying to reclaim what once was theirs. Although many people leave comments saying that they can and should wear whatever they want, others are reluctant and say that knee-high boots are exclusively for women. This represents the transformation that started in the 15th century, as high boots are now considered a decidedly feminine item that men should not wear. In the end, over-the-knee boots have functioned not only as an important element of the fashion world, but also as a window through which the changing views of men and women in society can be analyzed. Thanks to their transformation from footwear that symbolized male power and domination to a staple in women’s wardrobes that represents their empowerment and importance, and their history coinciding with events such as the second wave of feminism in the United States, these boots provide an impressive and refreshing outlook on societal constructs. Simply put, the history of high boots is the history of changing gender roles. It is a story of women taking something that society tried to use as a weapon against them, and turning it into the epitome of their presence, relevance, and power. g
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RENAISSANCE FEMINISM: HOW THREE WOMEN BROKE THE RULES
Written by Natalie George Designed by Kenzie Helmick
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Content Warning: This piece mentions rape.
he Italian Renaissance, which began in wealthy and culturally connected Italian cities in the 14th century, was an intellectual rebirth for classical art and philosophies. Countless male artists were exalted as gods for beautiful visions that they made material, while female artists were less commonly taught, nurtured, or praised. Although the Renaissance is considered a revolution for new ideas and beliefs, the social standings of women were hardly progressive during this era. Women were expected to be silent, respectful, and, therefore, perfectly obedient wives.1 Some women during the Renaissance rejected the idea of living their lives as quiet, subservient companions to men. Educated women were often ridiculed within their social spheres for trying to advance themselves academically. However, wealthy women were more often allowed to be educated due to their elevated position within society.2 Artemisia Gentileschi, Lavinia Fontana, and Sofonisba Anguissola all made names for themselves as mistresses of the arts, although they might not have garnered recognition during their respective lifetimes. These female Renaissance artists strove to establish themselves as equals to men during a time when it was nearly impossible to do so. During their careers, they used their trade to comment on their positions within society as women, utilizing common Renaissance themes and artistic styles, such as idealized human forms and biblical stories, to craft masterpieces. Fontana was trained by her father to be an artist.3 She was an upperclass woman who, unlike many other female Renaissance artists, actually gained recognition for her work during her lifetime. She was named the Portrait Ordinary for Pope Gregory XIII and was a member of the Old Roman Accademia di San Luca.4 Many academics have rightly attributed Fontana’s success during her lifetime to her privileged upbringing. Of course, Fontana’s privilege did not give her skill, but it did give her the opportunity to be recognized for her work.5 Fontana, like many other artists during the Renaissance, collected “curiosities” from the ancient world. These artifacts and antiquities influenced her paintings and pulled her towards the common theme of biblical stories, as with her painting Judith with the Head of Holofernes, a depiction that, though still aligned with the classic Renaissance style, strays slightly from those of her male counterparts.
This painting, which she created in Italy in 1600, was an oil-on-canvas rendition of the story of the Jewish woman Judith holding the head of the dead general Holofernes. In the Bible, Judith is depicted as being a wise, cunning, and religious leader for her people.6 When she goes to kill Holofernes to protect her community, she takes on the role of a seductress and plays the part skillfully until she is given the opportunity to kill him.7 After murdering Holofernes, Judith returns to her people a hero, where she is exalted as being the best of all women.8 The story of Judith actually represents a rare instance in the Bible where a woman is overtly depicted as being superior to a man, in this case the general Holofernes. Fontana, like Judith, is an exception to the role that women were traditionally given, a social positioning that may have influenced her portrayal of the Biblical figure. Judith is given the idealized human form, as was common for subjects in Renaissance paintings. The entire composition is dominated by dramatic colors to match the scene of the painting. Judith’s dress is finely detailed, with swaths of drapery covering her body and intricate jewels dominating her bodice. This helps to highlight both her successful attempt at seduction and the skill of Fontana as an artist. Judith faces the viewer, without emotion, sending a clear message that she has no remorse for the man she just killed.9 Her servant views the head of Holofernes with a look of both happiness and disgust over the act that has been committed. The servant is thrilled that the oppressive general can no longer control their community, yet as a traditional Renaissance woman, the servant expresses distaste for the dead body of Holofernes. However, Judith shows no such worry over holding the dead man’s head. To the traditional male viewer during the Renaissance, this artwork would not appear overwhelming feminist at first glance. However, due to the fact that Fontana was a renowned female artist, this piece takes on a deeper meaning of female superiority and triumph over male oppression. Judith’s raised sword is used to symbolize this victory; Judith overcame the oppressor Holofernes, just as Fontana did to those who spoke against her work due to her gender. Similar to Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi also depicted a female biblical hero who triumphed against male oppression. Gentileschi crafted a unique rendition of Susanna and the Elders (1610) (Figure 2) to represent both the popular biblical story and artistic style for
“These female Renaissance artists strove to establish themselves as equals to men during a time when it was nearly impossible to do so. During their careers, they used their trade to comment on their positions within society as women, utilizing common Renaissance themes and artistic styles, such as idealized human forms and biblical stories, to craft masterpieces.”
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Figure 1: Lavinia Fontana. Judith with the Head of Holofernes. Italy. 1600. Oil on canvas. H. 51 in. x W 43 in. Museo Davia Bargellini, Bologna.
the Renaissance, andalso to comment on her belief regarding victims of rape and harassment. Gentileschi, similar to Fontana, was taught by her father. While working in his studio, however, she was raped by one of her fellow painters. She later brought a trial against her rapist, Agostino Tassi.10 During her trial, Gentileschi was essentially tortured by the court as a way to test the honesty of her claims. The same process was not used to test Tassi’s honesty, so it became obvious that this was a warning to all other women who might rise up against their aggressors.11 In the end, the court ruled in favor of Gentileschi and banished Tassi from Rome. Gentileschi’s rape case is likely the first ever successful rape case on record.12 Because of this event, Gentileschi rarely ever received recognition for her artistic work and was simply remembered as the first classical feminist because she spoke out against her rapist.13 In the modern era, Gentileschi was rediscovered and has since received high praise for her artistic talent and her work as a leading feminist during her time.14 Gentileschi rejected a traditional female role within society in all forms of the sense. She was a single mother, which was highly frowned upon at the time, and many records hint that she taught one of her daughters to paint, just as her father had done with her.15 Gentileschi also ran her own business and managed the sale of her artworks, so she was constantly under attack for not having a husband to handle such matters for her.16 Gentileschi supported the idea of female independence and power against men, as is evident in her piece, Susanna and the Elders.17 This oil painting depicts the classical biblical story of Susanna being harassed by a group of elders while she bathes. While bathing, two elders accost Susanna and threaten to
say that she was having an affair if she did not sleep with them.18 Susanna refuses and is put on trial for adultery. She is sentenced, but she is then exonerated by the prophet David before the sentence can be carried out and the elders are sentenced to death for lying.19 During the Renaissance, many artists depicted this story in various ways due to its connection to the debate of sexuality’s place within society.20 Although Gentileschi followed the idea of painting a rendition of Susanna and the Elders from other Renaissance artists, her work focused on the plight of Susanna, as opposed to the immorality of the elders. Other depictions of the scene, and the biblical story in general, usually focus on the sin of the elders lying about what they had done instead of emphasizing Susanna’s innocence.21 Additionally, in the story, when Susanna is condemned for adultery, the elders place their hands on Susanna’s head. In this way, the elders fulfilled their lustful desire to touch Susanna.22 Susanna is exalted within the story not because she survived such a harrowing ordeal, but because she remained silent, chaste, and modest, which were the ideal virtues that a Renaissance woman should have.23 Gentileschi understood that this was why Renaissance male society loved the story of Susanna so much, so she decided to alter it to suit her own agenda. Gentileschi borrows the Renaissance themes of idealized human forms and pastel colors, yet she uses these methods to create a different story for Susanna. Susanna has perfect body proportions for the Renaissance and her beauty matches exactly what Renaissance society believed was
Figure 2: Artemisia Gentileschi. Susanna and the Elders. Italy. 1610. Oil on canvas. H. 67 in. x W 48 in. Schloss Weissenstein, Pommersfelden.
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a flawless, natural woman. In her painting, Gentileschi painters, including Anguissola, often included their focuses the composition almost completely on Susanna, positions within society or other characteristics about with the figures of the Elders being concealed behind the themselves, while male self-portraits tended to just wall. This was to overtly show the viewer that Susanna revolve around their occupation.30 Anguissola also used was the most important subject of the painting. Unlike her portraits for “assertion and self-advertisement”.31 other depictions of Susanna, Gentileschi also painted That is, to show her skill as an artist because, in her her as absolutely disgusted with the Elders’ actions. painting Bernadino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola, Other works show Susanna simply ignoring the Elders she included another male artist actually painting her.32 or turning away from them shyly, but since Gentileschi Anguissola has both subjects within the composition was a rape survivor, it is understandable that she would look out towards the viewer. They are both idealized present an honest view of the situation. Gentileschi and wearing lavish and highly detailed clothing, but is able to depict herself Anguissola has through her subject, taken great care to e m p owe r i n g S u s a n n a show herself in the while also showing the better light, thus horrors that a woman establishing herself might be forced to as the prominent endure at the hands subject within the of men. Parallel to painting. Anguissola Gentileschi, the artist wears a deep red dress Sofonisba Anguissola with a high, starched also manipulated a collar to highlight her classic Renaissance style wealth and status. She to suit her own needs. is also shown holding F i n a l l y , a staff, which depicts Anguissola’s selfher power over the portrait, Bernadino composition and Campi Painting Sofonisba Bernadino Campi. Anguissola (Figure 3), Additionally, Campi which was created in is depicted not only 1559 in Italy, borrowed painting the portrait from the popular as a form of service Renaissance style of to Anguissola, but he self-portraiture and an also paints the details idealized human form, on Anguissola’s while also highlighting dress, which would Figure 3: Sofonisba Anguissola. Bernadino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola. Anguissola’s elevated have been a job Italy. 1559. Oil on canvas. H. 44 in. x W 43 in. Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena. social and artistic status reserved for the when compared to her male counterpart. Anguissola lower assistants within a workshop.33 In this way, in was born into a very wealthy Italian family, and when addition to Anguissola painting herself as more central, she was fourteen, her father sent her and her sister to higher, and larger in the painting, she solidifies herself study art with Bernadino Campi.24 In 1558, Anguissola as the superior to Campi. Although Anguissola never painted a portrait for the Duke of Alba.25 He was so openly went against the patriarchal society during her impressed with her skill that he later wrote to King lifetime, it is obvious to the viewer that she attempted Philip in Spain, who requested that Anguissola join to convey feminist views through her work while his court so that he could commission portraits from also using Renaissance themes of an idealized human her.26 Once she arrived in Spain, Anguissola became form, intricate details rendered in oil paint, and figural immediate friends with the new Queen Isabel. They arrangement in the composition. both enjoyed art and could play the clavichord, so Artemisia Gentileschi, Sofonisba Anguissola, and they gravitated towards each other within the Spanish Lavinia Fontana all shared a common desire to display court.27 Anguissola’s lifelong friendship with Queen their talents for the world to see, while also establishing Isabel helped to solidify her career. After the queen’s themselves as unique within Renaissance society. These death, Anguissola was given an allowance so she would women worked to showcase their positions on the not have to worry about the monetary component of treatment of women in Renaissance society, in addition painting and could simply focus on perfecting her to their expertise in painting. By depicting other women craft.28 Until her death, she painted countless portraits and themselves in a position of power when compared for noblemen and women, in addition to multiple selfto men, they threatened the patriarchal framework of portraits. Renaissance society.34 Most importantly, by creating In general, self-portraits are the most personal these particular works, they influenced countless other work that an artist can create because it allows women and artists to help establish arguably one of the them to decide how the world views them.29 Female most noteworthy eras of art. g
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A city left unbuilt and a sign that reads “do not touch” Written by Alekhya Reddy Illustrated by Elizabeth Fleming
a dome that is left 100 years later held together by ash and what if’s a decision made by one an outcome of hope and finality but what’s been left 100 years later is the fire that will withstand the strongest of winds and the quietest of nights until the metal that grows beneath will no longer find its way to future generations and wipe out an entire land for years to come until atomic weapons are put away far from the reach of children who can’t help but push buttons that aren’t meant to be touched wanting what they can’t have as the sign clearly reads “do not touch” g
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the colors of climate change Written by Alekhya Reddy Illustrated by Elizabeth Fleming
Years of destruction in the same places Warnings from experts in the field, From the lost leaves on the oak tree To corals robbed of their essence, Leaving fish left displaced. So now all the fish, all the deer, All the whales and dolphins in the deep Atlantic, Lions, leopards, and zebras in Maasai Mara Canâ€™t immerse themselves in this reality. They exist in colors that donâ€™t exist, Colors belonging to universes seven seas away. The humans, the scientists, the leaders Protect themselves with shields of ignorance. To them there is nothing that makes them stronger Than the bliss of dreaming in black and white, Refusing to acknowledge the truth in front them; The truth that is easily dismissed. Facts, animals, nature, and humanity Are dismissed along with it. Check back in 20 years to see the colors that exist then. g
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Written by Alleson Lawless Photography by Maisie Haney
was three years old the first time my mom was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I was unaware of what that meant, I just knew that there was a panicky rush to foist me off on somebody—anybody—and that she disappeared for a few days. I was five years old when she spent a week in bed and my dad was the one who made sure I got on the bus each morning and that I ate and I bathed. I was six when she moved out and I had no idea for a week that she was gone until I found out she was not just hiding like she had when I was five. I was eight when they found a pill regimen that made her functional. I was nine when she became a better option than my dad. But pills can only last so long. I was 17 when she went back to the hospital. I was 18 when she went off her medication for surgery and became someone angry and mean and threatening. I was 21 when she sold everything I owned while I was at work because we’d had a fight and she was feeling vindictive. I never went back home. I was 22 when she stopped paying the mortgage and the bank foreclosed on my childhood home and I still could not bring myself to take her calls. I was 23 before I could talk to her again. I was 25 when I decided that she was toxic and I needed space. I moved to Ohio. I grew up. I had friends and a job and a place of my own and I limited our conversations to once a month or so. I moved to Louisiana. She came to visit. I was in the hospital for surgery. She
insisted on sleeping in my bed after my release and held on to me at night. I realized later she took my bank card with her when she left. She couldn’t afford the gas back to Birmingham. I moved back to Alabama. She promised to visit but never did. I visited her a couple times but always tried to keep the visits short. I felt bad, but this person was not my mother. This person was a product of too much medication and too little support. Six months after a regrettable visit, she was dead. My brother and I debated what was appropriate for someone who alienated everyone with her mental illness. In lieu of flowers, we asked for donations to a local mental health charity. We purchased work by a mentally ill poet to be her epitaph. We took up a cause and dedicated our contribution to her. We cleaned out a storage locker, burned all her psychosis journals, picked through what we wanted, donated her furniture, and threw the rest of her hoard away. We went back to our lives and jobs and families. We filled out paperwork and organized insurance policies and everything fun. We also mourned. But, you see, I started in the middle of her story. I started with the things that affected me: how I was hurt and how I was wronged. But she was more than just
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the sum of me. She was more than the sum of the name “Mom.” She had an entire life before I was even a thought. And, while this could have been an alleviation for her future misery, it was not. The first 30 years of her life were equally terrible to the last. American Horror Story: Janice—that’s all she got. Abuse and pain and children she loved so much who could barely stand to talk to her and whose births were the final push her serotonin production needed to just…quit. So, after her death, I was left wondering, Is that it? Is that all she gets? That’s not fair. I never much believed in an afterlife. I think it sounds more stressful than comforting. If I must spend eternity “singing with the heavenly hosts,” oblivion sounds like a better option. Forever is scary, and besides, even if there is a forever, I don’t need to be there for it. But my mom deserved it. My mom deserved to have at least some form of existence where she was healthy and happy and whole. It’s not fair if this life is the only one she gets. And yeah, life’s not fair, nobody said life was fair, but that’s bullshit. So, I imagined her. I imagined her in some other place where she could be everything she was meant to be. She could be fully realized, and she could look back at us with a new perspective and know that, as hard as our relationships were, we tried. We simply didn’t know how to fix it, so eventually we avoided it instead. Then, when my dad died a few months later, I imagined him there, too, with her. His life was not the horror show of my mom’s, but, you know, he was my dad. And now, though they’d been divorced for 25 years, they were together and they were perfect and they were the loving, accepting parents I never had when they were alive. Essentially, I had to forgive. I had to forgive her for
being sick. I had to forgive my dad for his disconnect. I had to forgive my brother and myself for not knowing. There were signs. The deteriorating handwriting, the slurred speech patterns, the forgetfulness—but we chalked it up to aging. I had to forgive everything because anger and resentment are too hard to maintain. Cruelly, she was better off and so were we and I had to stop blaming the world for what could not be fixed so that I could move on. I was thinking a lot about Janice as we moved through the South. Partly, it was the pending trip through Birmingham. In the five years since my mom died, I’d been back once. There’s nothing left there but one friend, one sibling, and a metric ton of memories, some pleasant and some less than. Everything and everyone else are gone. But there is also more to Mom’s ghost than that just a place. There is also the learned forgiveness and consideration I found strangely applicable to our upcoming stop in Mississippi. William Faulkner was equally as sick as my mom. With what, we’ll never know, but it’s apparent there was something. Instead of MAOI inhibitors, though, he selfmedicated with alcohol. But, because he’s Faulkner instead of someone else, we glorify his illness instead of cataloging the ways in which he wronged us. His alcoholism has become part of his mystique, anyway. In his home, we were confronted with a cabinet of empty liquor bottles they found while renovating. We were told humorous stories of his attempts at autocracy in the home and how they backfired. He was presented like some sort of bumbling, dour 1980s sitcom neighborhood grouch. We were given literature about how he actively antagonized his neighbors and even immortalized one mentally handicapped young
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“I NEVER MUCH BELIEVED IN AN AFTERLIFE. I THINK IT SOUNDS MORE STRESSFUL THAN COMFORTING. IF I MUST SPEND ETERNITY ‘SINGING WITH THE HEAVENLY HOSTS,’ OBLIVION SOUNDS LIKE A BETTER OPTION. FOREVER IS SCARY, AND BESIDES, EVEN IF THERE IS A FOREVER, I DON’T NEED TO BE THERE FOR IT. BUT MY MOM DESERVED IT.” man down the block in a book we read. We discussed his issues in the abstract, and they were funny anecdotes, but visualizing it and recognizing how society would deal with an alcoholic deadbeat artist pissing off his neighbors today, well—Faulkner was a shitty person. There was mutiny at the idea of visiting his grave. One of my classmates said, “I don’t respect him, and I think it would be hypocritical to pretend that I do.” I thought, “That’s cool.” I didn’t plan on going, either, because I had been in a van with six other people every day for the last four days and I was crawling out of my skin. Still, I wandered up to the graveyard, anyway. It’s only a couple blocks from the hotel, and I really wanted to recapture the serenity that I ironically found while sitting in one of Faulkner’s Adirondack chairs in the rain earlier in the day. While I was there, I meandered around the graves, looking at the inscriptions on the gravestones, and I wondered who these people really were. Surely Henrietta was more than just William’s wife. Did that baby even have time to develop a personality? Why does Thomson have his own fenced off area? I catalogued the cool air that cannot be found in Florida. I found a bench and had a banana and read in solitude. I also listened to the children behind my bench, playing on a trampoline in their backyard, joyous in the shadow of the dead. And I thought about my mom. If I could give my mom the courtesy of forgiveness, shouldn’t Faulkner deserve the same? Does it make it better that he lost a child? Does it help that part of his tumultuous personality was shaped by grief? Earlier, we made fun of him—some of us reviled him—but what of that is mitigated by his death? I never knew him, so I have nothing to forgive him for, but why should that
make a difference? Forgiveness is not mine to give. Nor is it my classmate’s, nor the curator-of-his-estate’s, nor the person reading his novels who sees Faulkner as a sort of Hemingway-esque anti-hero standing against the odds in the battle for straight white men. We can imagine him, however, somewhere else. Somewhere happy and complete, reunited with his daughters and his wife, living the life he would have had in a perfect world. He deserves that, too. He was human, and he was imperfect, and he deserves better than to be remembered for his sins. What do we do? How are we supposed to take individual lives? We’re left with second- or third-hand stories or our own biased, faulty memories. We’re left with legends and myths and inflations and the hope that, in death, they can get a little bit closer to who they actually were meant to be. But none of it matters. Who they were in life is not who they are now—if they are now. Again, that’s not for me to say. I guess what is for me to say is this: I don’t know if I believe in an afterlife for me. However, I’m not mentally ill or an alcoholic (yet). I’m not living my life on other people’s terms; I’m not a slave to substances, self-prescribed or not, and fighting an illness I can’t avoid. I believe I have more self-determination than I give them credit for. I will have a better life than they were given (I already have). Maybe that’s just a platitude for myself. It’s all subjective. Maybe Faulkner never felt a twinge of guilt for how he treated others. Maybe Janice focused on what she wanted to happen rather than what actually did happen. Or perhaps their life sucked and then they died and it was over and they took as much comfort in the idea of oblivion as I do now. g
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GHOST OF A GRANDCHILD Written by Emily O’Malley Illustrated by Ghina Fawaz
I move like a ghost through my grandparents’ house and think about death. Reading “Bleak House” is exhausting; every 30 pages I begin to doze off. So, I get up and move from room to room, testing different chairs. Read, get up, walk, sit, read, get up, walk, sit, read. We are all going about our own business. My grandma tends to her bills while my grandpa prepares the house to weather the storm. I do my homework and wait for the hurricane. This is my first time living in Florida during a hurricane. I have lived in Florida twice before, once when I was a toddler and once when I was a first-grader. Each time, we left for Colorado at the perfect time to avoid a storm: just before hurricane season. Now, living here for college, it is impossible to avoid. This is the long haul—though starting my second of what might only be three years, it has not felt long at all.
My first time living through a hurricane in Florida, but not my first time in Florida thinking about death. Not even my first time in Florida at my grandparents’ house thinking about death. Apparently, I was a morbid child. My grandma explains at the dinner table. “When you were, oh, maybe three or four,” she tells me over steaming lasagna, “you were always making these plans for if your parents died. You’d come to me and say, ‘Grandma, if my mom and dad die, we’re going to stay with you in the white room. Okay?’” The white room. When I was four, and again when I was six, my grandparents lived at the house featured in many of my earliest memories. There were two guest bedrooms, each decorated with their own color scheme. The green room and the white room. My favorite, the one where my older sister and I slept, was the white room. It had white walls, white curtains, white nightstands, a
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white trunk, and a white daybed with a trundle. I slept on the trundle, and my older sister had the bed itself. The first time we lived in Florida, my younger siblings stayed with my mom in the green room. The second time, I suspect they were on the pull-out couch. Not that I cared. In all of my morbid idiosyncrasies, I never concerned myself with them. My older sister was my childhood best friend, so my primary worry was what would happen to the two of us. “Sometimes,” my grandma says while I eat another forkful of broccoli, “it was, ‘When my mom and dad die...’” The first time we lived in Florida, my dad was stationed in South Korea. The second time, he was deployed to Iraq. This, I suspect, triggered my fascination with death. It was a concern that followed me through my childhood. When I read “Inkheart,” I was distraught because the mother of the main character, Meggie,was dead. I had to know what would happen to my parents— to me—when they died. My parents had me talk to a reverend. When I was in fifth grade, I would sneak away from my family while at the library. Wandering through the shelves, I stopped at a row of books about explaining death to children. There was no way I could ask my mom to let me check them out, so I sat on the floor and read one, then another. There were tsunamis threatening Hawaii when I lived there. To prepare, I packed a backpack full of the things that were most important to me. I had to bring them with me if we evacuated our house. But what about, I wondered, if I died? It fell to me to explain to my parents that I wanted to bring my notebook and my favorite
stuffed animals with me to the grave. I asked if they could make some extra space in the coffin. Of course, my mom tried to explain that when you die, you are not able to use those things anymore, and that it would be much nicer to leave them for my children, who could use them and remember me. I left that backpack full for so long that I was not able to enjoy the precious things inside it. My older sister and I would wander the house and claim objects. She wanted my mom’s teacup collection, and I could have the wedding china. It was vital that I got the Precious Moments figurine that looked like mom. She could have the Winnie the Pooh collection. We would each get one of the curio cabinets. We never made any allowances for our younger siblings. I am surprised it never occurred to us to sneak sticky notes with our names on them under furniture, lying in wait for the day when we could cash them in as proof of what was ours. I do not understand the obsession with death. Hearing the stories of my childhood while biting into lasagna with sauce that looked like blood left me mostly confused as to why I was the way I was. Or maybe, the way I still am. On my desk in my dorm, I have two skeletons, a rabbit and a bird: leftover Halloween decorations that I bought half-price. Perhaps the morbid child of my past is still lurking inside. I worry sometimes that this generation is too focused on death, or at least too comfortable with it. I understand, of course, that there is nothing wrong with releasing oneself from that basest human fear. If it is inevitable, why fear it? On the other hand, why embrace it? Data reported by the National Institute of Mental Health is clear: since 2000, suicide rates have been increasing. When my peers are stressed out by work or school, when they hate a meme, or when they have an embarrassing night out, they echo the same hollow refrain: “I’m going to kill myself!” Often, it is accompanied by a laugh. My therapist and I have agreed that I will avoid jokes like that. Sometimes, I ask my friends to please refrain too. When I was in middle school, I used to imagine myself getting cancer. I would lay awake at night picturing friends and family at my bedside, holding my hand. As I got older, that would include people confessing their secret love for me and the revelation that I, too, had been in love the whole time. It was my secret nighttime ritual. By high school, I was imagining a more morbid death: some form of suicide. And now, I work to actively imagine no death at all. I have shifted away from my fear of skeletons and ghosts, but I’m not running toward an end either. I walk so quietly through the rooms of my grandparents’ house that I might as well not be there. I once spooked my grandma when I slipped into the kitchen to get a glass of water. Thinking about death makes my footfalls a bit heavier. Notice me, they say against the tile. In a time when we joke about dying, I find myself desperately trying to be alive. To want to be alive. To not be the ghost of a granddaughter, clutching a book to my chest while I find somewhere livelier to read. g
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â€œI do not understand the obsession with death. Hearing the stories of my childhood while biting into lasagna with sauce that looked like blood left me mostly confused as to why I was the way I was. Or maybe, the way I still am.â€?
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tide’s too low
Written by Annie Baumm
Photography by Samantha Maris
based on, “I feel like drowning but the tide’s too low.” – dirty heads, (“stand tall”) ACT ONE Scene One Setting: Oceanside. Early morning. 4 a.m. Small, rocky, New England beach, low tide. KEITH stands a few feet from the water, skipping rocks. ENTER JOSEPH with a bucket and small hand shovel. Dressed in rubber clamming bib. Ratty sweatshirt underneath, large rubber gloves. JOSEPH: Morning to ya. (KEITH nods head.) JOSEPH: Fine morning, innit? (KEITH nods head.) JOSEPH: Fine, fine. Ol’ Barbara start me off with a good cup of Joe. Black. Hot. Knows the way I like it. Sits in me all morning, keeping those organs cozy. (KEITH nods head. JOSEPH kneeling into mud, setting up gear and starting to dig.) JOSEPH: Ooh! Gotta love that squish first thing in the morning. (Squishing noise of mud.) (KEITH bends down, picks up another rock, inspects it. Stands, skips rock in water. Five skips.) JOSEPH: (Eyes down, missed the rock skipping) Always prefer the clamming to the lobsterin’. Squid ain’t bad— like that too. The glow in the evening.
Something magical about it. Nah, magical ain’t right. No, it’s...special. (Pause.) Nah, that ain’t it either. KEITH: ‘Other-worldly.’ JOSEPH: Yeah. ‘Other-worldly.’ Sure as hell ain’t no American type thing. The glow. Almost makes you wanna let the little buggers go. Almost. But then you think of the cash. KEITH: The cash. JOSEPH: A’yunt. KEITH: Always liked that bit. JOSEPH: A’yunt. A’yunt. (Pause.) JOSEPH: What’d you mean liked it, Keith? KEITH: I liked it. JOSEPH: Ann Marie’s still in the water, last time I checked. She runnin’ good for you? I know you git her goin’ too fast. I said it before to you. Git her going too fast, too hard. Puttin’ the boots to ‘er. Those Beal boats don’t play that. ‘Sides, it don’t matter how fast you git there. Same bugs gunna be in them traps of yours. Five minutes don’t make much difference. KEITH: Nah, she’s good. You know she’s good. JOSEPH: (Chuckles.) We all know she’s good, Keith. Only won the races three
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years in a row. We know. Just like your ol’ man. (KEITH stops. Still. Pause. Turns towards JOSEPH, looks at him for the first time.) KEITH: What’d you mean my ol’ man? JOSEPH: (Still digging for clams.) Didn’t mean nothing by it. Just saying your ol’ man...he had his glory days too. (KEITH turns back to water. Picks up rock, slides it across the ocean. Eight skips.) JOSEPH: Fastest Beal I’ve seen. Anyone’s seen. He knew how to handle her. KEITH: Enough about it. JOSEPH: Just sayin. Nothin’ wrong with rememberin’. KEITH: Enough about it, Joseph. JOSEPH: Kinda look like ‘em too. Shame tho. Shame. Didn’t know how to handle himself after your mom went off like that. (KEITH stops and goes over to JOSEPH. Stands over him.) KEITH: Enough, God dammit! I said enough. Can’t you hear me, you ol’ slimy– JOSEPH: No need to get all worked up about it. Just rememberin’ is all. KEITH: I don’t want to fucking
remember. Why I came here. Just wanted a nice last morning. Here at Grime’s Cove. Nice morning. Grime’s Cove. Fucking last morning. Then you come along. Fucking ruin it all. JOSEPH: No, don’t pay no attention to me. Just crouched over pickin’ my clams. (Sound of clam hitting bucket.) Just gettin’ my clams. Go back to your business. KEITH: Yeah, yeah. Don’t need to hear any more of that remembering. (KEITH walks back to water. Stands.) JOSEPH: Just skip your rocks there, boy. I ain’t interrupting nothin’. (Slight pause.) JOSEPH: What’d you doing skipping rocks at 4 a.m.? Got nothing better to do? KEITH: Got nothing better to do. (KEITH picks up rock, skips it, four times.) JOSEPH: Outta wait ‘til the tide’s in. Then you’ll really get some distance with her. KEITH: That’s what I’m fucking doing. JOSEPH: Alright, alright. No need to go around cussin’. Got old ears, don’t need to hear that kind of talk. Erodes them, ya know. (Pause.) JOSEPH: Just like your daddy, that sailor tongue. KEITH: I said e-fucking-nough! God dammit, Joseph! Shut your trap! JOSEPH: I ain’t sayin’ nothin’! KEITH: Fucking rememberin’! JOSEPH: Aw, simmer down, boy. Just makin’ small talk. KEITH: Maybe I don’t want to talk.
Just came here for some peace and quiet. Peace and quiet—last morning. All I wanted. Skip a few rocks. JOSEPH: Your dad sure loved skippin’ them rocks. KEITH: What are you fucking playing at? JOSEPH: Just gettin’ my clams. KEITH: Fucking get your clams and fucking go, God dammit. I’ve had enough! Fucking last morning. Let me fucking have this last morning. Jesus Christ, Joseph. JOSEPH: Alright, alright. Last morning. Enjoy it. Enjoy yourself. Look, here’s a good one for ya. (JOSEPH throws KEITH a perfect skipping rock. Pause.) JOSEPH: Last morning. Wonder what your dad would’ve done had he known it was his last morning. Maybe he would’ve come to the house, let Ol’ Barbara do him some eggs. (While JOSEPH’s saying this, KEITH slowly turns towards him, still standing by water. Few yards away.) JOSEPH: Some of that nice black coffee too. I’d imagine he’d want some cozy organs before gettin’ all smashed up. (KEITH takes rock and throws it at JOSEPH.) JOSEPH: What the hell? KEITH: Shut your fucking trap, God dammit! JOSEPH: I ain’t hurtin’ nobody. Just gettin’ my clams. KEITH: I just wanted my final fucking morning. Came here—4 a.m.—get my sunrise before walking on in. Pleasant.
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They say it’s pleasant. After you’re done with the choking part. And the breathing thing. That’ll be painful. It’ll hurt for sure. But then it’s peaceful. Peace. (Pause.) That’s all I wanted and then you came along with your damn rememberin’. JOSEPH: Nope, no. I ain’t here. Don’t think of me as here. Just go along with your walking in and your pleasantness. KEITH: I will. I am. I’m going to. JOSEPH: Gotta wait a few hours though. KEITH: What? So you can go on about your fucking rememberin’? I ain’t got time for that. JOSEPH: Oh, I think you have time. Plenty. Twelve hours. KEITH: Twelve? JOSEPH: Gotta wait for that tide to come up, boy. Then back out again. Don’t want no bodies washing up on shore. (Pause.) KEITH: Hadn’t...I hadn’t thought about– JOSEPH: That would smell. I work with fish every day, boy, and let me tell you, that ain’t a smell I’m about to smell. (Pause.) JOSEPH: Go down to Back Narrow’s, let Barbara get you some nice coffee and then come on back later and have your walk in. (KEITH starts, stops. Looks defeated. Walks back towards JOSEPH, passes by him.) JOSEPH: Have a good one. (KEITH exits.) g
How to be A MODERN
Cosmo o Poli tAN Written by Natalie George Illustrated by Sara Mehdinia
For centuries, philosophers have grappled with an accepted working definition of cosmopolitanism. The debate has continued into the modern era where divisions over ethnicity, beliefs, and morals seem more prevalent than ever. We could solve this issue by creating as many cosmopolitans as possible, so that all people would respect each other and form a single community. But what makes a perfect cosmopolitan? What traits are essential in creating this person? Ancient philosophers may provide a decent answer. One of these philosophers, Epicurus, presented the idea that we shouldn’t fear death because it’s unavoidable and the end to all suffering.1 If we apply this idea to a cosmopolitan mindset, then we shouldn’t be afraid to help others because if everything goes wrong, the worst that would happen is that we die and are finally relieved
of our suffering. Additionally, we shouldn’t obsess over trying to protect ourselves from other men, even though it’s natural to do so.2 Epicurus asserts that there are far more dangerous things in the world to worry about, such as natural disasters. However, one might say he contradicts himself in this fear, because the worst thing the natural disaster can do is kill us, which Epicurus says we shouldn’t fear. If we banded together to protect ourselves from other natural dangers instead of each other, then we would create friendships, which Epicurus says are essential in creating a good life.3 Forging friendships help create a good cosmopolitan because bonds between dissimilar individuals breed acceptance of each other’s values and cultures. A cosmopolitan’s job is to bring people closer together through their similarities while respecting their differences. However, some people argue that these friendships would be superficial and meaningless, formed not for the value of platonic intimacy but instead to simply fulfill the requirements of cosmopolitanism. They say you’d never forge a connection deep enough for them to truly be your friend. Yet that depends on the person. Of course, cosmopolitanism can’t be forced on others and if a person can’t put in the time and effort to make friends in other countries, that’s understandable. However, thanks to the Internet, we can create friendships that transcend national borders and reach hundreds and thousands
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of miles. Cosmopolitans can make this their goal and strive to maintain friendships with people who are very different from themselves. Aristotle’s ideas relating to cosmopolitanism are rather different from Epicurus’s in that they focus on living a life of moderation. He argues that living a life of excess or deficiency is wrong.4 For example, someone could be considered excessive in drinking and be considered a drunk yet deficient in bravery and be called a coward.5 Aristotle believes that the best way to live is moderately, though a perfect middle ground varies depending on who you are. A cosmopolitan would be someone who follows this idea because if they live in excess, they would likely be taking from someone else through gluttony while deficiency would mean they are not contributing enough to the rest of society, or they are deficient in philanthropy. A cosmopolitan would essentially be a global citizen, or a citizen of the world, but Aristotle believed that anything over 100,000 people would be too large of a city. Although many of Aristotle’s ideas can relate to cosmopolitanism, it’s impossible to say that all of his beliefs support the idea, so Aristotle is not a cosmopolitan either. An issue that we must note with Aristotle’s ideas is that he believed some people were natural-born slaves and that Greeks were superior to all other people because they were Greek. This does not in any way negate his other ideas, but it argues against the ideas of
friendship that Epicurus outlined because they didn’t come with any qualifiers. During the time of Aristotle, the idea of national superiority wasn’t uncommon, but a cosmopolitan must reject the idea that Aristotle held because all people should be viewed as equals, regardless of their background or national identity. Diogenes, a famous philosopher from the Cynic school of thought, directly goes against Aristotle’s idea of natural-born slaves or certain groups being superior to others. He explains that everyone deserves to be treated equally, regardless of their education, wealth, or background.6 The Cynics also believe in living a simple, natural life because a lavish lifestyle can’t bring true happiness.7 Cosmopolitans can take this idea as a model by which to form their own lifestyles. If one lives lavishly, they aren’t willing to devote their time and resources to others, the betterment of society, and the world as a whole. Hipparchia, the wife of fellow Cynic philosopher Crates, similarly believes in rejecting exclusionary social norms. She asserts that fitting in with everyone isn’t good when you reject people that aren’t in your in-group.8 Cosmopolitans can follow this belief closely by rejecting society’s negative views regarding certain groups of people. Just because a view towards others is common, doesn’t make it right. However, this might create a problem. How can you be a fellow citizen to bigots if you reject their negative
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“Cosmopolitans should perform virtuous actions for the betterment of themselves and the rest of the world, but they should not follow society’s view on foreign people simply because it is the majority view.”
ideas? The idea is to be accepting of others. You may disagree with people and decide their ideas are hurtful and wrong, but that doesn’t mean you’re no longer their fellow citizen. I’m sure we can all think of at least one relative who holds some unsavory views towards other groups of people. However, just because we disagree with them over their belief doesn’t mean we cut them out of their lives. The Stoics, such as the philosopher Epictetus, hold very similar views to the Cynics in that they believe all humans are equal and belong to a single city.9 By thinking of all humans as living closely to each other, they will appear closer to us in spirit and disposition and we will likewise treat them with the respect that they deserve. Additionally, we should focus on doing virtuous tasks for the betterment of ourselves and others.10 Virtuous tasks could mean many things, but for a cosmopolitan, this could be volunteering or humanitarian work. Epictetus says we should keep the mentality that we can’t influence what happens to us, but we can influence how we respond to it.11 Following this mentality would give cosmopolitans a more positive outlook on life and the issues they are trying to fix in the world. The question may be asked, “How can a cosmopolitan change anything in the world if they can’t influence it?” Cosmopolitans are able to change the outcomes of inevitable events for the better, just as Epictetus outlines. For example, a drought or famine will occur in a foreign country; this cannot be stopped. We can’t control nature. However, cosmopolitans would then take action and help those in need to prevent their suffering instead of leaving them to fend for themselves. Cosmopolitans can change the world with the virtuous actions they take. The Cynics, Stoics, Epicurus, and Aristotle all have ideas that relate closely to becoming a cosmopolitan. In my opinion, not one of their beliefs is more important than another, although history has seemed to focus more on Aristotle. The most effective way to become a cosmopolitan would be to combine the ideas previously explained. A cosmopolitan should treat everyone as though they were their own family or close neighbors so that mutual respect develops. They should not fear repercussions for believing in what they do and for treating people fairly. Cosmopolitans should perform virtuous actions for the betterment of themselves and the rest of the world, but they should not follow society’s view on foreign people simply because it is the majority view. They should make their own ideas and not sacrifice themselves for others simply to fit in. Finally, they should remember to live a simple life of moderation where they work to make themselves better for the sake of being a good person. This mixture of philosophical ideas would result in a cosmopolitan who would most certainly make a difference in the world and live a good life in the process. g
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THE ALIENATION OF REPRODUCTIVE LABOR: marx, feminism, & the medicalization of childbirth Written and Illustrated by Kenzie Helmick In his theoretical analysis of the exploitation of workers, Marx distinguishes the reproductive labor of childbirth from social or productive labor, categorizing the former instead as “natural labor,” or activity that is instinctual, animalistic, and pursued without any social coordination or pressure.1 For Marx, these forms of natural labor are functions of the private sphere, isolated and distinct from the sphere of economic activity and exploitation. Following this classification of reproduction, Marx does not believe that this form of natural labor could generate surplus value, and, consequently, never directly applied his theories of alienation to the process of childbirth. However, Marx failed to recognize the benefits reaped by the exploitation of birthers’ reproductive capacities. Domestic and reproductive labor is vital for the reproduction of the labor force, creating “future workers” necessary for the maintenance of the capitalist system. Enforced by gendered norms and expectations, the free provision of childcare also creates economic advantages for cis-male partners who, free from this responsibility, are allowed greater access to economic and political resources and positions of power. The recent emergence of wage reproductive labor, in which surrogates and donors are paid for their reproductive capacities, confirms the existence of an unacknowledged surplus value, as these forms of industry would not exist in a capitalist society without the possibility for profit.2 Marx is also wrong in his characterization of childbirth as an instinctual, thoughtless process inevitably thrust upon uterus-owners. Birthers are “not passive animals at the mercy of their biology.”3 Instead, they intervene and play an active role in shaping their childbirth experience, utilizing instruments and tools of reproduction and creating new social relations. Throughout history, birthers have determined when and how their child births would occur, using various forms of contraceptives, birthing methods, and support and care systems that have evolved and changed over time. These interventions in the preparation for the process of childbirth, rather than impersonal products of a physiological or biological phenomenon, are mediated by social and cultural relations that determine the agency and social roles granted to birthers and their children.4 Even in the process of childbirth itself, birthers are not passive spectators subject to the involuntary whims of their bodies. Physiological conditions, such as uterine contractions, are greatly impacted by the alterable emotional and mental conditions of the birther, as feelings of discomfort or nervousness can hinder labor or render the process more difficult.5 As a result, childbirth is a process that birthers actively engage in and do, mind, and emotions working with and affecting one another. PHILOSOPHY | 23
Given the agency and social dimensions involved in childbirth, the process can and should be reclassified as social or productive labor, susceptible to the various forms of exploitation and fragmentation outlined by Marx in his theories of alienation. While these modes of human reproduction were formerly controlled almost completely by the birthers themselves, they have been co-opted by medical institutions and commodified, generating profits for a web of expanding and interrelated industries, such as hospital complexes, medical and reproductive technology companies, and other forms of pre- and post-natal care. Such medicalization of childbirth has been the driving force behind birthers’ alienation from their reproductive processes. Alienation occurs when laborers and their productive capacities are limited or stifled by an external power that is not an integral or cooperative part of the labor process.6 Free and unexploited work inherently requires skilled and criticallythinking workers who can actively shape and contribute to production. The mechanization of any labor process allows for complete control of labor and, subsequently, total alienation by lessening the need for skilled workers, transferring intellectual potential from laborers to capital and machines and reducing workers to passive attendees.7 Unfulfilled and governed by their work, laborers are subsequently isolated or detached from their essential creative potential, their time spent working, their coworkers and employers, and their final products of labor.8 Similarly, the mechanization of reproductive processes via the medical industry has diminished birthers’ fulfillment from labor. The medicalization imposed by hospitalized births was best embodied by the practice of “Twilight Sleep” and other intensive pain treatments that reached their peak in the early 20th century.9 These medications, focused solely on pain management, rendered birthers unresponsive or unconscious, preventing them from partaking in any aspect of their labor and transforming them to literal objects of medical intervention. Today, the conditions of childbirth are still dominated by medical intervention. Hospitalized births have become
homogenized and make use of certain practices such as forceps, which require doctors to perform additional procedures such as episiotomies, or a surgical incision that expands the vaginal opening, fetal heart rate monitors, or, in many cases, cesarean sections.10 The medical industry from which these practices emerge was, and to this day still is pervaded by systemic racist and patriarchal values that disregard or devalue the bodies of birthers, creating forms of alienation and dehumanization unique to the realm of reproductive labor. According to Marx, humanity’s species-being, or nature, is defined by the ability to supersede animalistic instinct and productively intervene in or alter the natural world.11 As previously described, birthers have historically realized their species-being during childbirth by actively participating in their labor and developing new methods and conditions for intervention in the reproductive practices. However, through medicalization, this ability to participate in labor has been stifled, with the agency of birthers determined or replaced by the control and technical knowledge of doctors and other medical agents. Childbirth is constantly monitored and examined, and the labor processes are divided into steps and assigned certain rates of progression that are measured through factors such as cervix dilation. From these standards, doctors decide the pace of labor that is considered sufficient and which deviations should be considered “disorders.” The diagnoses of normal or abnormal childbirths, along with the pathological representation of childbirth, are then used to justify medical interventions in and control over the reproductive process.12 These interventions oftentimes make use of uncomfortable birthing practices that, while granting doctors eased access to and control over their patient’s bodies, prevent birthers from properly managing or participating in their own labor process. In most hospitalized births, birthers are automatically placed in the supine position. This position, which places birthers on their backs with their feet in the air, impedes labor by forcing the body to work against gravity and push the baby through the upward-sloping birth canal.13 In this position, birthers also experience fewer
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uterine contractions and reduced blood pressure, which prolongs them. Hearing the stories of pain and discomfort experienced labor and creates a more painful experience for the birther. In during a hospitalized birth, birthers then begin to fear or loathe order to mediate the additional strain placed on the body, doctors their own bodies as a source of future harm or pain. From will often assist with labor through the use of forceps, which act this perspective, it appears as though the only thing they can in place of the birther to move the baby through the birth canal. control in the birthing process is the management of their pain, Finally, the use of fetal heart rate monitors, attached by two through the use of medication and more medical intervention. belts fastened around the abdominal, confines birthers to their Anesthesia, used to aid the pain of contractions, literally hospital beds, preventing them from separates the birther from moving or managing their pain and their own body, numbing their â€œWhile these modes of contractions on their own terms.14 extremities and removing them In total, these practices, though from their control. Unable to human reproduction were uncomfortable or even painful move their own bodies, these formerly controlled for birthers, are backed by the body parts, or the patients almost completely by the legitimation of scientific thought. themselves, become listless Veneration of science and the objects subject to the control and birthers themselves, they reliance on technocratic knowledge manipulation of doctors. Finally, have been co-opted by depoliticizes birthers in the decisions the general distress and confusion medical institutions and related to their births, as they do generated by the unfamiliar and not feel as though they are qualified intimidating hospital setting can commodified, generating to question the premises of these cause birthers to emotionally profits for a web of medical interventions or provide or mentally detach from the expanding and interrelated alternatives to their use.15 Meanwhile, process, only processing the the technical jargon and nuances of events after successfully enduring industries, such as medical treatment, in combination the childbirth.17 hospital complexes, with the fast-paced and often-dire The traumatic experiences medical and reproductive circumstances that necessitate new tied to hospitalized births are interventions, makes it difficult to due, in part, to the calculative technology companies, and achieve fully-informed consent in nature of the medical industry, other forms of pre- and which birthers have the ability to which reduces childbirth to a post-natal care.â€? make free and uninfluenced decisions. physiological process removed Moreover, as patients internalize from its social context and the views of the medical world, they dehumanizes the laborer, begin to see their body as a system outside of their control, alienating them from their medical caretakers. Medical creating a fragmented relationship between themselves and personnel are not required nor motivated to offer detailed or their corporeal manifestation.16 Rather than seeing themselves personal care that takes into account the emotional or mental as actively partaking in the functions of their bodies, patients wellbeing and comfort of the patient.18 Instead, doctors and instead view their body as an uncontrollable system that acts upon other agents are often forced to juggle their time between PHILOSOPHY | 25
“The medicalization of reproduction becomes problematic when utilized in a society that considers childbirth as a fundamentally pathological process and uterus-owners’ bodies as inherently ineffective and devalued machines that necessitate medical intervention.” several different birthers, limiting their interactions to brief, intermittent visits. When doctors are present, they focus their attention towards technology, such as fetal heart rate monitors, over the birthers themselves, using the machines—rather than the emotional or physical conditions of the birther—as judgement for progress in the labor process.19 The remittent interactions that do occur with the birthers themselves are subject to the power imbalances between medical authority and patients and the unique intersection of medicalization and patriarchal and racist systems, leading to systemic mistreatment and discrimination. Within medical institutions, doctors are granted full jurisdiction and freedom in their evaluations and treatment of childbirth, leaving the nature of their care completely subjective and dependent on the attitudes of the doctor. Black and poor birthers often have their pain written off as trivial and exaggerated or are forced to undergo unwanted operations or medical treatment. These medical interventions are used as control mechanisms, constraining birthers perceived as unruly or aggressive.20 The medical industry’s legacy of policing and objectifying birthers’ bodies extends to even routine birthing procedures such as episiotomy. Following a successful labor, doctors must repair the incision made during the episiotomy. This procedure became commonlyknown among male doctors as the “husband’s stitch,” allowing medical agents to tighten enlarged or widened vaginal openings, not for the wellbeing of the birther themselves, but for the improved sexual pleasure of their partners.21 Though these forms of brazen objectification are no longer common, the underlying assumptions that reduce birthers to the means to the benefit or advantage of other individuals persist. During childbirth, birthers are treated as mere hosts for the baby. Concerns for the health and safety of the fetus override all other considerations, including any possible consequences for the wellbeing of the birther. These attitudes help to explain the steady rise of Caesarean, or C-, sections which, despite the physical and emotional pain they can impose on birthers— and the existence of personalized, noninvasive measures for smoothing complicated childbirths—are considered by the hospitals to be the most favorable procedure as they create the best “products” in an efficient and timely manner.22 Today, nearly one third of all births are by C-sections.23 Invasive, medicalized birthing techniques such as C-sections can also hinder or slow the formation of a
connection between the birther and their child. This shared bond is often conceived in mainstream representations as an immediate biological response to the sight of their child, or a feeling of overwhelming love driven by hormones and instincts. However, this conception is a widely romanticized portrayal of parenthood. Rather than an automatic attachment, the love between a birther and their child is, quite literally, a product of labor, developed through both childbirth itself and, later, domestic care such as feeding, bathing, and changing.24 Following these especially-invasive procedures, birthers are often physically unable to interact with their or care for their child, nor—exhausted by the pain they have endured or are still experiencing—do they always have the emotional capacity to feel ecstatic joy or affection.25 Like Marx’s laborer distanced from their products, the birther’s alienation from their child creates a threatening power that looms over them. The source of this power is derived from the societal expectations and pressures placed upon birthers, which demand that birthers be the primary source of familial love and affection and promulgate the notion of immediate maternal or paternal connection.26 When these feelings of love and adoration do not occur automatically, birthers can feel guilty or believe that they are inadequate parents, leading to further emotional distress and alienation from themselves. The problem of the current alienating conditions of childbirth is not attributable to medical intervention alone, as technologies used in especially-complicated birthing situations have helped save the lives of both birthers and their children. Instead, the medicalization of reproduction becomes problematic when utilized in a society that considers childbirth a fundamentally pathological process and uterus-owners’ bodies as inherently ineffective and devalued machines that necessitate medical intervention. These ideas have been the foundation for the medical industry’s historical cooptation of reproduction. As these principles have been carried through the development of late capitalism, their damaging effects in an increasingly-commodified world are quickly emerging. From 2000 to 2014, the maternal mortality rate in the US has actually increased in 48 states, a rise attributable to the medical industry’s failure to give proper care and attention to birthers.27 Without intervention, the expansion of technology will continue to reinforce, rather than question, these underlying assumptions, further estranging birthers from their bodies and the products of their labor. g
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Who Am I? I’m sitting in a chair but I’m not tied up I hear gasping but it’s not of pleasure. Something or someone is circling around me I try to scream but something is gagging me. I suddenly feel saliva on my face and it starts to mix with my falling tears. I feel unrestrained but I am still imprisoned. I wake up but it still feels like I’m in the same nightmare. My parents hear my scream but nothing happens. “Let’s start from the beginning, Mina,” says a mysterious voice. “What happened?” asks the voice again. I didn’t want to talk about it, but I had no choice. My parents thought I would be “healed” by going to a shrink. “We have all day, and I’m not going anywhere,” says the shrink. I start to have flashbacks, but nothing makes sense. Everything important is blurry and in black and white. What is going on? Why can’t I remember much? And why am I so itchy and drowsy? The shrink thinks they can break me, but I won’t. “I see you are not going to tell me voluntarily,” says the shrink. They continue, “give her a sleeper!” I try to stop it, but nothing works. Screaming commences, then darkness. I wake up again, but I’m laying on something flowing and putrid.
Written by Maa Bruce-Amanquah Illustrated by Elizabeth Fleming
My head feels like I got hit by a bulldozer multiple times. Where am I? And what is that smell? There’s no light as the darkness consumes. I keep walking through the water on the ground My confused hellos echo off the mysterious walls. The smell gets worse as I keep walking; I hear the sound of flies buzzing. Skeletons and flesh everywhere, I sense something behind me but it is not human. I turn around and then…? I find myself back on a chair at the shrink’s. “Now are you ready to tell me what happened, my dear?” asks the shrink. What I saw was familiar but I didn’t completely understand it. I tell the shrink to go to hell because I’m not telling her squat. “I see, give her a sleeper now,” replies the shrink. I try pushing away but the force is too great. They place me in a large black cage. “You have no idea what you are. Pity” says the shrink with the least amount of sympathy before I lose consciousness. One thing’s clear; my parents don’t love me. I thought the shrink sounded familiar; They don’t see their daughter who needs a cure All they see is an experiment that needs to be tested. They shall face my wrath of the beast. All they will hear is a monster’s roar for vengeance. Who? g
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Written Anonymously Ilustrated by Samantha Anderson
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Content Warning: This piece depicts rape and addiction.
The following story contains true events, written by and from the perspective of a student at Rollins, about their experiences with Title IX at Rollins College. Everything you read in this piece is true. An asterisk (*) indicates a name that has been changed to preserve the privacy of those involved. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that… I didn’t need to open the email beyond that first line to know what it was about: another delay. Delay, delay, delay. Jesus. Nothing to do but wait. Sighing, I skimmed the email. My eyes glazed over before I hit Please let me know if you have any questions. I had several, of course, but none that she could answer. When they warn you that a Title IX investigation is emotionally draining, they don’t tell you that the mental fatigue begins before the investigation does. I spent my morning in bed, staring at the ceiling. Does he know yet? Is he going to attack me? Will the questions be invasive? Am I going to cry? Can someone come with me to support me? Will it really take the full 60 days? No answer to any of the goddamn questions choking my brain, the ones I can’t ask because I don’t want people to know I’m feeling this way. Don’t you want this? Yes, I do. I requested the investigation, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. The odds aren’t in my favor, and the risks are high. But after I was raped, while the full story was left unreported, I relapsed into an addiction to painkillers and turned to alcohol to numb myself. I collapsed in on myself. So, I decided to try again, to do it right. To request an investigation. The first time I ever met with Title IX, they told me that an investigation would be difficult, that Campus Safety would be invasive, that I would be emotionally drained. That I wouldn’t be able to prove it. Prove it? I don’t want to think about proving it. I don’t want to think about it. At that point, I didn’t even know that I’d been raped. I didn’t know what rape was. That revelation came weeks later. In one class, we watched a documentary about legislation related to sexual assault and misconduct. The professor mentioned “the legal definition of rape.” For whatever reason, I looked it up that night. “Hey,” I whispered to Elise* from across our room. The lights were off, and I worried she was already asleep. “Yeah?” Elise finally answered.
I paused for a moment, unsure if I should say what was on my mind. Pause. Pause. Pause. “I looked it up, and it turns out… I was raped.” A breath. “When?” “That time. With him.” Him. Capital H for emphasis. “Oh, man.” “Yeah.” Then, to myself, “Rape.” Heavier than sexual assault. The act hadn’t changed, but the urgency of addressing it had. The pain, the trauma, the fear came back. I cried myself to sleep that night. Learning the definition wasn’t the only thing that motivated me to push for renewed interest in my case. Another reason? Pressure from others. One day soon after it happened, my Resident Assistant, Megan*, took me out for ice cream. We went to Ben and Jerry’s, then sat down on Park Avenue. “I’m so sorry you went through all that,” she said in response to everything I told her about what had happened to me. Then, “Let’s keep walking.” A man had sat down too close to us; she wanted to protect me. We got up and kept walking. That sense of safety with her made the sucker-punch minutes later hurt even more. “But, you know, you’re not my only resident. And if he were to do something to any of the other girls who live on our floor… I just feel like that would be your fault for not putting up more of a fight.” The rest of my ice cream melted and dripped down my knuckles. My fault. Could the worst thing that had ever happened to me have also happened because of me? I went back to my dorm and vomited in the bathroom to get the chocolate ice cream out of my stomach. But I wasn’t able to get her words out of my mind. I had never had positive experiences talking to authority figures about it before, but Megan was only a couple of years older than me. I thought she was a peer. A friend. I was consumed by those two words: my fault. At home, I turned to alcohol, stealing wine, rum, and whiskey from my parents’ liquor cabinet. I had to drink to fall asleep at night, mixing it with my anti-depressant despite the warning label on the pill bottle. I relapsed into my painkiller addiction, taking eight or nine at a time. Elise called a few times to check in, and I pretended things were better than they were. But she knew I was drinking, and she was afraid. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that… The odds of him being found responsible are slim to none.
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The longer you wait before having an investigation, the more difficult it is to prove anything happened at all. I just wanted to let you know that it’s not your fault. My confidant, Dr. Wagner*, reminds me constantly. He has been a lifeline through the process and the good kind of pressure. While others shamed me for doing the “wrong” thing, he encourages me for doing the right thing. We agreed that I couldn’t live like I had been anymore. I had to hand over my pills and work on my sobriety. I had to take care of myself. I had to relieve the weight bearing down on my shoulders. But the email-notified delays were not the only trouble we ran into. Navigating the bureaucracy of the college revealed both individual and systemic issues, issues that have had a chilling effect on campus. We live in an icebox now, where survivors are unwilling or afraid to come forward about instances of sexual abuse. The Title IX office was relocated this past summer to an office suite off-campus, a physical barrier to having a serious conversation. Next to an acupuncture place, of all things. It won’t be back on campus until Kathleen W. Rollins Hall opens. Some girls have reported feeling uncomfortable getting rides from Campus Safety late at night, taking their chances walking without an escort instead. Alcohol abuse and underage drinking on campus seem to be more rampant than ever. Margaret*, a Resident Assistant and friend, told me about the wildfire of fear burning through Ward Hall. The girls read the Timely Notification of the rape that happened in their hall. The wording made them feel like the female survivor was being blamed because she used a dating app. Now, all of the girls are deleting Tinder off their phones, afraid to go on any dates. “When I heard that,” Margaret said, “I joked, ‘Are they going to buy them Chipotle?’ and the other staff member responded, ‘Wait, did you talk to Leon?’ He had seriously suggested that!” She laughs joylessly at the ridiculous thought. Then, we lapse into silence. Where did things go wrong? Maybe it can all be traced to the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Title IX is a federal law. When he took office and appointed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, they were able to change the rules of the game. The
Office of Title IX is not dedicated to survivor advocacy. Instead, it is here to mediate disputes and ensure an even playing field for both parties. What is “even”? How do we decide who deserves rights and when? Who gets to judge fact or fiction? Title IX has to navigate a difficult position: “fairness.” But some issues are specific to Rollins. Not every campus has widespread underage drinking. Not every campus has an inconveniently located Title IX Office. Not every campus has the individual who raped me living on it. Not every campus has a Resident Assistant like Megan. Not every campus is an icebox. I am on suicide watch. At least once a week, I talk to Dr. Wagner about everything going on in my life, usually breaking down into tears or rambling in a panic. He walks me through obvious facts, the most obvious being: “you did not rape yourself.” Accessibility Services had to give me temporary accommodations because my stress level is so high that I skip class to throw up in my dorm’s bathroom. I build my schedule around when he might be somewhere public, like the library or the dining hall, to avoid having to see him. I am in bed for hours, even if I am lying awake, wishing for a glass of wine or some painkillers. I cry every time I see a Timely Notification in my inbox because that means something has happened to another survivor. I wonder if that would have happened if I had only spoken up sooner. But I also try to remind myself that this is not my burden to bear alone. That it is nobody’s burden to bear alone. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that… It is not your fault. g Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to be connected to a counselor. Victim Service Center of Central Florida: (407) 254-9415 Rollins Wellness Center: (407) 6286340
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Mind Works Written by Howard Joseph Tursi Illustrated by Ghina Fawaz
It’s funny how the mind works. With all the problems I’ve got, Sometimes I wish I’d get shot. I wouldn’t have to deal with this stress On my brain, it brings too much pain. When I think about my dad, I feel like saying “Where’ve you been at, Pops? No calls from the phone?” I say to myself, “He must not be home,” But he is, he’s with his other kids. Now isn’t this some shit? All this grief and pain, living insane No food to eat, nor electric, nor heat. What to do? You’re the man now. Just wish I could pay the bills. And when I think of Ma Dukes, it gives me chills, ‘Cause we didn’t have enough and some say that’s tough. But they got no clue, got no shoes for school. Damn, just wanted to be cool for a day. Instead had to make my own way, borrowing a dollar here, a dollar there. Who the hell cared, except mom’s giving up meals so my stomach wouldn’t feel empty. Pops, if you only knew how much you hurt me. g
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A to B Written by Hannah Butcher Illustrated by Ghina Fawaz
n hour before my father destroyed our family, we were in a hotel in Madrid. My father’s words have always been hand grenades: unpredictable, calculated, devastating. A sentence thrown from him could blow up in my face, and I had to be prepared to absorb the impact. He expected this of most people, but Mom always flung it back. As a child, he told me that he had a long fuse attached to a giant stick of dynamite. I always told myself that when he did finally detonate, it was Mom’s fault. After all, he had a long fuse. In Spain, they threw words at each other. My father finally snapped. He lowered his face to Mom’s and seethed, “Stop being such a cunt.” My insides flinched and jumped to my throat. That word drove into my gut, and I wanted to vomit it out. Mom threw it back, though. Coward. Shattered his Invicta watches on the wooden floor. There were boots on the ceiling, screams of silencio from our neighbors. I didn’t know what to do with all the energy burning inside me. My hands moved, my brain burned. I grabbed her suitcase and packed her things. Stuffed my t-shirts, underwear, and dresses into mine. Picked both bags up and rolled them to the door, took Mom by the arm while she was midscream. My mouth just moved. “Come on, it’ll be okay, come on.” She was sobbing when I pulled her through the door. I locked eyes with my little sister, who stood smug, feet planted beside my father. I tugged the door shut. We didn’t use the elevator. Our suitcases resisted the narrow stairs, but we picked them up again and kept going down, down. When we reached the street, we flung the door open and gulped the city air as if we had been drowning in the middle of the ocean and were only just resuscitated. My hands were shaking. “Where do we go?” Just go. I ordered an Uber to the international airport and checked the time: 2 a.m. Mom and I stood on the curb as we waited for Diana. I rubbed her shoulders; I wanted to be her warmth. Gathered our suitcases. Slid into the car. Diana didn’t speak English, so Google was our translator. “What terminal?” her Siri asked us. I looked at Mom, back at the woman in the rearview mirror. I picked a letter. “B.” g
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The Smell of Autumn Written Anonymously
Designed by Francisco Wang Yu
Lying awake I reflect on the last year, Decisions I’ve made, The saudade feeling with the smell of autumn. Feeling helpless. Nauseated and tired, heavy. I lie awake wondering who that person would’ve become. Who I would’ve become with that person. I lie awake thinking about what life would’ve been like with a child. If I’d be proud to even have a child And if that child would’ve been proud to have me as their mother. The smell of autumn and the position of my bed bring me back to a choke, so strong only my throat can remember the grasp for peace that wasn’t given. Thinking I would be at peace with my decision, I’m still left wondering the “if’s.” If and how my body would have changed. If and how I would’ve raised it. If and how my family would have reacted. If and how my nipple would have crusted in manners only breast milk can induce, with the rawness of an infants’ mouth longing for sustenance. It’s been a year and I think about how I’m the only child in my generation of cousins who hasn’t had a baby. It’s been a year and my parents seem to be talking about babies and the process of having one even more than they did before. It’s been a year and I wonder if they hurt as bad as I do about it. If they remember the anniversary. If the smell of autumn singes their nose in ways they want to forget. I never felt a loss so great. But that’s said with every new loss in life. I still hope for the day that person visits me in my dreams and tells me they’re okay and better off the way they came. With no decision, no breath, no freedom to live. This is what the doctors don’t tell you. I don’t find it comforting to talk about it. I don’t know if it’d even help. I have talked about it but maybe not with the right people. And I know I’m not alone in it, but it feels so lonely. People will understand in their own capacity, but they still won’t fully understand, and that’s okay. It takes time. It’s only been a year. g
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Before Written by Daniela Saffran Illustrated by Elizabeth Fleming
Her heart was once fluttering, oozing with joy and life A shimmering stone, her mother would say, always gleaming with brilliance She used to smile and laugh, even at the littlest of things But a great thunder cloud filled her, engulfing her heart in nothing but loneliness and despair She was devoid of any color, any life It was an unimaginable horror No longer was she the happy girl she used to be, laughing with her mother in the kitchen And singing along with her dad on the car radio on the way home from school Her eyes, once bright and glowing Were now dark and desolate Lost and nowhere to be found Her smile, which was always bright, now seemed so dull Almost as if it was sinking into her skull She was bleeding and bruised But no one could see her scars She was screaming so loud But no one could hear her cries She was smiling so bright, That no one could see her pain But she got used to it And it became her Some days she would feel everything come rushing down on her at the same time Other days she would feel nothing at all She could not figure out which one was worse Being sucked underneath the quicksand Or dying from thirst g
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don tburstm y bu bbl e Photography by Ashleigh Kutryb Designed by Caitlyn Patel
My deep love for portrait photography was, of course, the main source of inspiration for this photo series. However, I was also keen on incorporating surreal or fantasy elements, including lots of vibrant colors as I typically prefer to do. This series captures the perceptions and aspirations of girls and young women, portraying a metamorphosis into young adulthood. Mysterious and extraordinary inner visions are displayed, illustrating an outward reflection of an individual’s emotions and dreams at a given time period in one’s life. Reflections of seemingly childish and bizarre desires, thoughts, and identity struggles are explored, as one confronts their vivid imaginations and passions I decided to arrange my work in order of ascending age to communicate the evolution of young women’s self-image. Hence, the first two images convey the carefree spirit of a child as they envision their reality with rich imagination. Images 1 and 2, which include fairies and bubbles, are intended to evoke a sense of playful innocence. Image 3 reveals a young girl time traveling, signifying a child’s development into adulthood as she begins to mature and seek new challenges. Image 4 is the centerpiece of my series, the beginning of the metamorphosis, which contains shadows of her childhood and the emerging light of her new identity. Image 5 portrays a teenager going against gender norms and struggling with self-identity; their shirt symbolizes their feeling of masculinity and the flowers represent outside pressures of conventional femininity. Image 6 represents a teenager coping with the anxieties that accompany their newfound self-awareness as she struggles to bring her future into focus. Image 7 depicts a victorious young woman emerging from water, exemplifying the woman’s sense of fulfillment. Though she is adorned as a queen, she still possesses a small part her childhood curiosity and imagination. g
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FOOTNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY - GIVING GENDER ROLES THE BOOT [p.3]  Kriwaczek, P. (2010). Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization (p. 236). London: Atlantic Books.  Koch, B. (2013). Go Way Back: Over-the-Knee Boots. Retrieved from https://www.ofakind.com/stories/6398-go-way-back-over-theknee-boots.  Limelight Scripts. (2005). The history of British pantomime. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20110421063824/http:// www.limelightscripts.co.uk/scripts/history.htm.  Bucci, J. (2016). Fashion Archives: A Look at the History of Thigh-High Boots. Retrieved from https://startupfashion.com/fashionarchives-a-look-at-the-history-of-thigh-high-boots/.  Tomes, J. (2017). The New Look: How Christian Dior revolutionized fashion 70 years ago. Retrieved from http://www.dw.com/en/thenew-look-how-christian-dior-revolutionized-fashion-70-years-ago/a-37491236.  Zotoff, L. (2015). Revolutions in Fashion: Christian Dior. Retrieved from http://www.hautecouturenews.com/2015/story/christiandior/.  Vogue. (2014). Excerpt from Vogue’s 1963 spread on Saint Laurent boots [Image]. Retrieved from https://andyp1966.files.wordpress. com/2014/09/1963-ysl.jpg.  Vásquez, M. (2018). Women and over-the-knee boots [Phone interview].  Koch. Over-the-Knee Boots.  What do you think of men wearing knee high boots? (2017). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/What-do-you-think-of-menwearing-knee-high-boots.  Moonlitheral. (2010). Can we bring back tall boots for men? Retrieved from https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread. php?t=504162&page=2\.  Is it weird if a straight man likes to wear long boots that are flat? (2015). Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Is-it-weird-if-astraight-man-likes-to-wear-long-boots-that-are-flat.  A word to men who wear high boots. (2009). Retrieved from https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/a-word-to-men-who-wearhigh-boots.36366/.  RidingBootLover. (2016). MEN WEARING WOMEN BOOTS, OKAY OR NOT OKAY? Retrieved from https://www.styleforum.net/ threads/men-wearing-women-boots-okay-or-not-okay.516591/. FOOTNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY - RENAISSANCE FEMINISM: HOW THREE WOMEN BROKE THE RULES [p.6]  Anthony F. D’Elia, “Marriage, Sexual Pleasure, and Learned Brides in the Wedding Orations of Fifteenth-Century Italy,” Renaissance Quarterly 55, no. 2 (2002): 422.  Anthony D’Elia, “Marriage”, 417.  Cheney, Liana De Girolami. “Lavinia Fontana: A Woman Collector of Antiquity.” Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art 2 (2001): 22.  Cheney, “Lavinia Fontana,” 22.  Cheney, “Lavinia Fontana,” 24.  Gallager Branch, Robin. “Blood on Their Hands: How Heroines in Biblical and Apocryphal Literature Differ from Those in Ancient Literature regarding Violence.” In Die Skriflig 48, no. 2 (2014): 3.  Gallager, “Blood on Their Hands,” 3.  Gallager, “Blood on Their Hands,” 4.  Gallager, “Blood on Their Hands,” 4.  Benedetti, Laura. “Reconstructing Artemisia: Twentieth-Century Images of a Woman Artist.” Comparative Literature 51, no. 1 (1999): 48.  Benedetti. “Reconstructing Artemisia,” 48.  Benedetti. “Reconstructing Artemisia,” 44.  Benedetti. “Reconstructing Artemisia,” 50.  Benedetti. “Reconstructing Artemisia,” 44.  Benedetti. “Reconstructing Artemisia,” 45.  Benedetti. “Reconstructing Artemisia,” 45.  Benedetti. “Reconstructing Artemisia,” 46.  Brilliant, Virginia, Kimberly L. Dennis, Mary D. Garrard, Dangerous Women. Miami: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, 2018: 48.  Brilliant. Dangerous Women, 48.  Smith, Kathryn A. “Inventing Marital Chastity: The Iconography of Susanna and the Elders in Early Christian Art.” Oxford Art Journal 16, no. 1 (1993): 3.  Smith, “Inventing Marital Chastity,” 6.  Smith, “Inventing Marital Chastity,” 8.  Smith, “Inventing Marital Chastity,” 11-15.  Perlingieri, Ilya Sandra. Sofonisba Anguissola : The First Great Woman Artist of the Renaissance. New York: Rizzoli, 1992: 35.  Perlingieri, Sofonisba Anguissola. 109.  Perlingieri, Sofonisba Anguissola. 109.  Perlingieri, Sofonisba Anguissola. 120.  Perlingieri, Sofonisba Anguissola. 141.  Cheney, Liana De Girolami. “Concealments and Revelations in the Self-portraits of Female Painters.” Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table Fall, no. 1 (2011): 3.  Cheney, “Concealments and Revelations,” 4.  Cheney, “Concealments and Revelations,” 4.  Cheney, “Concealments and Revelations,” 4.
 Cheney, “Concealments and Revelations,” 8.  Virginia Brilliant. Dangerous Women, 16. FOOTNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY - HOW TO BE A MODERN COSMOPOLITAN [p.20]  Vincent Cook, “Epicurus - Principle Doctrines.” Transbay.net. Accessed November 14, 2019. http://www.epicurus.net/.  Vincent Cook, “Epicurus.”  Vincent Cook, “Epicurus.”  Aristotle, and Terence Irwin. Nicomachean Ethics. INpolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2019.  Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.  “Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers R.D. Hicks, Ed.” Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, BOOK VI, Chapter 2. DIOGENES (404-323 B.C.). Harvard University Press. Accessed November 14, 2019. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/ text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0258:book=6:chapter=2.  “Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers R.D. Hicks, Ed.” Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, BOOK VII, Chapter 1. ZENO (333-261 B.C.). Harvard University Press. Accessed November 14, 2019. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/ text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0258:book=7:chapter=1.  “Diogenes Laertius.”  Epictetus. Handbook of Epictetus. New York: ClassicBooksAmerica, 2009.  Epictetus. Handbook of Epictetus.  Epictetus. Handbook of Epictetus. FOOTNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY - ALIENATION OF REPRODUCTIVE LABOR [p.23]  Dickenson, Donna L. “Property and Womens Alienation from Their Own Reproductive Labour.” Bioethics 15, no. 3 (2001): 205–17.  Ibid.  Russell, Kathryn. “A Value-Theoretic Approach to Childbirth and Reproductive Engineering.” Science & Society 58, no. 3 (1994): 296.  Ibid.  Martin, Emily. The Woman in the Body. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1987.  Stanfield, Ron J. “Marx’s Social Economics: The Theory of Alienation.” Review of Social Economy 37, no. 3 (December 1979): 295–312.  Ibid.  Marx, Karl. “Alienated Labor.” In Karl Marx: Selected Writings, edited by David McLellan, 2nd ed., 85–95. Oxford University Press, 2000.  Rothman, Barbara Katz. “Awake and Aware, or False Consciousness: The Cooption of Childbirth Reform in America.” In Childbirth: Alternatives to Medical Control, edited by Shelly Romalis, 1st ed., 150–80. University of Texas Press, 1981.  Ibid.  Marx, 90.  Nall, Jeffrey. “The Conceptual Tenets of Medicalized Childbirth, An Ecofeminist Analysis.” In Feminism and the Mastery of Women and Childbirth, 39–62. Academica Press, 2014.  Romalis, Shelly. “An Overview.” In Childbirth: Alternatives to Medical Control, 1st ed., 3–32. University of Texas Press, 1981.  Romalis, Shelly. “Natural Childbirth and the Reluctant Physician.” In Childbirth: Alternatives to Medical Control, 1st ed., 3–32. University of Texas Press, 1981.  Nall, “The Conceptual Tenets of Medicalized Childbirth, An Ecofeminist Analysis.”  Martin, Woman in the Body.  Ibid.  Cahill, Heather A. “Male Appropriation and Medicalization of Childbirth: an Historical Analysis.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 33, no. 3 (2001): 334–42.  Romalis, “Natural Childbirth and the Reluctant Physician.”  Martin, The Woman in the Body.  Romalis, “Natural Childbirth and the Reluctant Physician.”  Martin, The Woman in the Body.  Holder, Josh, and Molly Redden. “‘A Third of People Get Major Surgery to Be Born’: Why Are C-Sections Routine in the US?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, October 4, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/04/one-in-three-us-birthshappen-by-c-section-caesarean-births.www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/04/one-in-three-us-births-happen-by-c-sectioncaesarean-births.  Mang, Joanna. “The Myth of the Postpartum Love Rush.” The Outline. The Outline, October 24, 2018. https://theoutline.com/ post/6441/post-partum-hormones-love-myth.  Romalis, “An Overview.”  Mang, “The Myth of the Postpartum Love Rush.”  Macdorman, Marian F., Eugene Declercq, Howard Cabral, and Christine Morton. “Recent Increases in the U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 128, no. 3 (2016): 447–55.
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