(Soc101) Weekly Reading Response

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A review of the reading "Hernando Washington," provided by a sociology course

Submitted: April 08, 2011

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Submitted: April 08, 2011

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Upon reading “Hernando Washington” by Lisa McIntyre, I was initially confused about the senselessness of the situation—not so much about Hernando’s actions but rather those of his victim, Sarah. It was puzzling to think that she had so many opportunities to get help, not only on her own initiative but also with the help of others. However, when I apply the sociological imagination, the situation makes much more sense. I had to first consider my own environment in comparison to Sarah’s. I am living in a world where women are armed with self-defense classes, Mace (or, a steak knife if one is still waiting on her financial aid), an overall higher authority over their own bodies and safety. Sarah was living in a time where NOW had begun to organize its first convention in Texas in 1979, when Phyllis Schlafly was continuing her fight against the ratification of ERA (Cimons). With this in mind, I can now understand why Sarah may have felt powerless in escaping. On a more small-scale level, it was also brought to my consideration the place Sarah was taken to. As the author repeatedly mentioned in the reading, South Chicago was not a very safe place to live, and the police actually made a mockery of the crime that happened there. She brought the point further by mentioning how “people [didn’t] have much power to call on ‘the establishment’ to help them, so life is like a jungle” (26). So, perhaps others carried the same mentality that Hernando had in regards to the value of life. Maybe that was why only one person took the initiative to call the police when she was trapped in the trunk, surrounded by a small group of people (22); what was the point of asking for help if no one was willing to give any? For this reason, it makes sense to me, armed with my steak knife, how if no one is willing to give you help, you only become concerned with your own survival. Works Cited Cimons, Marlene. \"Phyllis Schlafly Heads for Houston.\" The LA Times 11 Nov. 1977. Web. 24 June 2010. McIntyre, Lisa J. 2009. The Practical Skeptic: Readings in Sociology (4th Edition). New York: McGraw Hill. Pages 18-27


© Copyright 2020 Alyssa Benson. All rights reserved.

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