I've been thinking about Daniel's webtext since we discussed it on the blog Friday. Maybe it's because I'm naturally drawn to pieces even remotely feminist or because it's asking us to take such a...different point of view, but her piece did exactly what she meant for it to do: make us uncomfortable. She says that we're aware of this happening but we chose to turn a blind eye to it because we're uncomfortable thinking about it. We're content with putting away these people asking for our help because we don't want to have to deal with it.
I think this piece takes an interesting structure because she's drawing us to become aware of our treatment of these people in more than one way. We're having our attention drawn to the treatment of these prisoners, these women asking for our help and we're being made aware of just how cruelly we're treating these people, potentially just because they are women. Why are we allowing ourselves to be okay with this?
In one of the comments on the blog Friday, someone brought up Heilbrun's piece (I think) where she brought back up when she mentioned that women are still not allowed to portray honest biographies of themselves because it makes us seem either selfish or just draws negative attention to ourselves. Another person mentioned that she thought we were being manipulated because Daniel was part of a community that wants to abolish prisons, an idea I'm uncomfortable with but one that she makes a great case for with the interviews that she's chosen.
So, with this clear bias, are we being given an honest portrayal of these women or is this critique just meant to provoke us to agree with Daniel? Are we less inclined to believe Daniel's point of view because we want to continue keeping this "public secret" or are we annoyed because she's manipulating our emotions to go with her? I'll admit that I was feeling bad for the women she was interviewing when one of them mentioned how they were in trouble with the law and they ignored her cries for help, claiming she should just "go home and listen to your parents."
But even then, her views are skewed because she's just talking about a women's prison, and their experiences. How are the men treated? Undoubtedly bad but are they treated worse because they "can handle more" or are women the victims because they believe they can just put us in a box and tell us how we can and cannot be?
With all these biases occuring, how reliable is the author in the first place? Its unrealistic of us to think this is a completely honest portrayal of these women's experiences...but is it? Are we not willing to believe her because all she gave us were female perspectives or are we unwilling to believe her for other reasons? Are we still stuck on the notion that women can't be honest?