The thing I first thought of when viewing this piece is Heilbrun's "Writing a Woman's Life". It is interesting to see how far women have come since that piece has been published. In that piece, Heilbrun talks of women's inability to write honest autobiographies due to fear of misrepresenting what a woman should be in society. Now, there are webtexts of women's interviews, detailing the most private and brutal of experiences, through our prison system. I think Heilbrun would be really proud of the women's voice in this piece, and the way it is using its voice to try to make a change. It could be argued that the only reason the women in this piece are willing to give out these private interviews are because they are prisoners, with nothing to lose, in a desperate place. But all the same, their voice is overpowering in this project, inciting sympathy, sadness, and a desire for listeners to reach out and help them. Ironically, the "shrillness" Heilbrun discussed in her piece is still very much present in this piece-- but how could abused prison women not be shrill? While their "Shrill" voice may be emotional and desperate, the whole point of the piece is to point out that the reason for this voice is because the state of California has created a monster of a prison system.
Like many others have posted about, I saw a lot of heteroglossia in this webtext. Daniel's shows the "plurality of voices" heteroglossia is defined by, through interviews and visual quotes. The interviews show heteroglossia because they often show two different views of a situation, and because the way the blog is set up and framed, you are more inclined to believe the women prisoner's depictions. The only thing that freaks me out is that, in the introduction, it states that Daniel is a member of an organization that seeks to abolish prisons. As sad and horrific the conditions of the prisons seem from these interviews, I can't help but be really happy that Daniel's goal has not been achieved through this project. There still needs to be prisons, they just need to be reformed.
Another thing I thought of is the prison study I learned about in
psychology, where subjects were divided into "prisoners" or "guards",
and after less than 72 hours they had to end the study due to the
"guards" taking their roles to seriously and dominating the prisoners,
beating them and screaming obscenities. I find it interesting because I
think that this also happens in real prisons, and this webtext is proof
of that. Perhaps part of the problem is giving the guards too much
control over a person. Maybe a solution is to better train the people
working in the prison systems to make it so they have a better understanding of their role as a guard, to keep things under control, and don't abuse prisoners.
Again, I don't think abolishing prisons should be an option, but I also don't think that people deserve to live in these less-than-humane conditions.