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Virginity for Dorigen and Alisoun

Published December 10, 2015 by lorijss

Virginity for Dorigen and Alisoun
I. Introduction
Most critics overlook the importance of virginity in both Geoffrey Chaucer’s “the Wife of Bath’s tale” and to a lesser extent “the Franklins’ Tale.” Examining what virginity means to Alisoun and her failure, despite her efforts, to prove to herself that marriage is superior to virginity will help us to see her struggle in expressing love. In “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue,” Alisoun emphasizes virginity which she equates with cleanliness, purity and morality. She attributes “losing” her purity to being involved in a man’s world and this is expressed through her guilt about being a sinful wife.  In “the Franklin’s Tale,” Dorigen on the other hand honors virginity and chastity in her lament which makes her forget that she were ever married to Averagus if only for a while to drift off into this otherworldly notion of virginity.
Alisoun made sure that she was getting “paid not played.” Her marriage for the most part was not based on love so it could not possibly prevail over virginity in all its shapes and forms – physical or emotional view. She equates losing her virginity to being in a man’s world and this is expressed through her guilt about being a sinful wife. She then goes into a discussion on how imperfect barley represents marriage while purified wheat represents virginity. However, Alison—the Wife of Bath does not prove that these two barleys are on equal footing due to this physical view of virginity as not only barley but a prize to be won. Virginity then is important to The Wife of Bath’s prologue and tale and to Alison’s behavior as a wife.
Both women present virginity at the onset of their failed or failing marriages. Dorigen does this in the moment of being forced to keep the promise she made to Averagus while Alisoun does this at the beginning of her prologue, knowing that all her five marriages, particularly the last four ones, as failed. Specifically, Alison turns to virginity near the beginning of her prologue after a brief unsuccessful attempt at proving that marriage on top of marriage, was the way to go. Dorigen’s lament is more applicable to Alison in the Wife of Bath’s Tale than to Dorigen herself only because Alisoun is the exact opposite of the women Dorigen listed. The women Dorigen talks about exemplified chastity and virtue and knew what love was and as a result were willing to die for it. Her lament’s brings virginity closer to love which as a more emotional standpoint. When we compare Alison to the women in Dorigen’s lament, this begs the question, did Alison have her way because she was not particularly virtuous and didn’t care about love? Alison’s view of virginity is physical she does not prove that her marriage superseded it. Evidently, Alisoun’s latter view of virginity and Dorigen’s emotional view of it, as a much larger and extensive role than is otherwise admitted by themselves within the tales, to readers and scholars respectively. One view more damaging than the other.
Firstly, in order to delve more into virginity let us first attempt to understand how virginity was viewed in the Middle Ages: Referring to The Physician’s Tale, Sandra Prior states that in medieval Christian understanding virginity meant purity and innocence. It was the most important part of purity in mankind, virginity was what made humans a worthy sacrifice to God. Virginity, she states, then is “protected like it is a special good or chattel, what is being protected is the physical goods – the body” (Prior 172). Hence, Dorigen and Alisoun both upholding virginity is but a reflection of the middle age Christian ideology that virginity is purity. Only this medieval view of virginity as purity does Dorigen express. The idea that virginity was the “prized good or chattel” of the body, explains why Alisoun’s seems to focus so much on the physical aspects of most of her marriages. Alisoun having, laid the foundation of “virginity” being a physical good proceeds to having all her marriages mainly focused on physical intimacy in exchange for money.
Let us examine further how Alisoun fails to show how marriage is superior to virginity due to her physicality of it. Charles W. M Henebry states that the Wife, shows the superiority of marriage, “with the defense of marriage against the claims of St. Jerome” (146-147). Specifically, when she states that if everyone where to live like virgins for the rest of their lives, human beings would seize to exist. This statement shows her emotionally distant view of virginity as she herself does not have any children. Granted, she wanted marriage to be superior but did not succeed in proving to herself that it actually was. She says that the prize is set for virginity and whoever can, can win it —“The dart is set up for virginitee; / Cacche who so may: who rennet best lat see. (74-5).” To her virginity is a physical prize, like a chattel to be won. This shows that she upholds virginity even after her attempt to convince herself that marriage is superior to virginity by the use of Jerome. She also says, “virginitee is greet perfeccioun/ And continence eek with devocioun.(105-106)” is another attempt at upholding virginity which undermines her subsequent attempts at asserting any superiority of marriage to virginity. After this she turns gears and begins to describe the economical and psychological domination that her marriage was based on. She asserts:
“I would no longer in the bed abyde
If that I felt his arm over my syde
Till that he had maad his raunson unto me
Thanne wolde I sufre hym do his nycetee.” (409-12).
This shows that in exchange of going to bed with her husband he has to pay her. Marriage based on such ideals could not possibility be superior to virginity. The fact that she goes into a monologue about what virginity means to her shows that she has not figured out how to make her marriage on a higher threshold than virginity.
The underlying impact that Jankyn’s book of wicked wives had on Alison, is of the good wife or good woman not making an influence, because she doesn’t exist. Marriage for the most part as caused Alison’s pain and heartache. Having gotten married at the age of twelve, she has not had foundational knowledge of healthy marital love. Alison’s fourth husband was a wanderer, and that just thinking of him makes her “drift off” into thoughts of her not being young anymore. However, this can also imply that they both could possibly have cheated on each other. This can be interpreted as she wandering about to find other men and her husband wandering about to find other women. In her retaliation to this “cheating” she did all she could to make him jealous and to exert dominance over him. Her fifth marriage was important in that it was a marriage to a young man and this brought her closer to her youthful days of virginity – the only thing she actually loves. However all hell breaks loose on this nostalgic reason for choosing a younger man when her husband Janekyn chooses to spend his time reading a book about “wikkyd wyves.(685)” When Alice rips three pages out of her husband’s book Book of Wicked Wives, it isn’t jealousy as many scholars are so quick to say, it is guilt. It is an expression of her guilt complex of her not being a “good” wife — devoted, loving and faithful. Not only to Janekyn but to all her previous husbands as well. If she were a “good” wife, Jankyn would have no need to be reading books about evil women and she being a virtuous wife would have dispelled his notions of or acute interest in wicked wives. She stated that he knew more about wicked women “than been of gode wyves in the Bible. (687)” Does this mean that he did not acknowledge his own wife Alisoun as being a good woman? Apparently not, so now she has a guilt complex that Jankyn is only interested in books of these contents because of her. Alisoun is guilty that her expression of love was not enough to counteract her youngest spouse’s keen interest in tales of wicked women. I agree with Storm Melvin that her physical and spiritual barrenness does not spring forth – “good words or good works.(300)” I add that she is physically barren because she is not in love at this moment.
When Alison rips three pages out of her husband’s book (790), this brings into play another complication. She does not talk about how she felt about Jankyn reading misogynistic literature, she only said that he were reading tales about wikkid wives. Let us delve into why Alison’s prologue cannot be trusted wholly. One reason is her distortion of biblical doctrines. She argues that it is okay for her to have more than one husband because of King Solomon (44). She stated that she wished it were lawful for her like king Solomon to be “refreshed” each time she got married (38). Then she exclaims at how it was a gift from God that he had so many wives. She then goes on to say that he was happy with each of his wives and all his wives and him were living joyfully (35-43). She evades noting that it was precisely this that lead to his downfall. Then she talks about Abraham and Jacob who had more than two wives (55-57). She does this in order to absolve her guilt of having gotten married five times with her he-did-it-so-I can-do-it-too-stance. Her spiritual bareness is evident in these distortion of biblical doctrines which would be unlikely if she were spiritual. These distortions lend a hand to her marriages predominantly economically based where Alison consents to bed with her husbands in exchange for finance. So it is no surprise that feelings mean little to Alisoun, adding to her unspirituality..
The three pages symbolizes the three old men that she has had such an unsatisfactory marriage with and represents revenge on all those years of sex without love. She ripping three leaves out of Jankyn’s book can also represent the revenge of rape or sexual exploitation on behalf of the maiden in the tale. This behavior alludes to the quote, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” One of the pages out of the ripped three represents towards her virginity being “ripped” from her at a young age. The other two pages represents her dissatisfaction with her old husbands who could not perform in bed all the way to their graves. This is but a payback to all her husbands for having lost her virginity in an economical manner that as left her, “spiritually barren.” For her virginity, like the book to her husband – is and was her most “prized possession.” She also hits Jankyn in the face (792), when one would think ripping the pages out of his book was enough. So she is not just retaliating to her last husband but to all her prior husbands as well. Therefore her experiences are piled up and she is lashing these out on the last younger husband, Jankyn assuming that he can take a hit better than an old man. Doloras Poloma asserts that the rape in the tale, represents for Alisoun a transition from innocent, pure virgin to corruptible wife (4). Unbeknownst to Jankyn, he reacts in a violent manner, hitting Alisoun so hard that she dropped to the floor and was left deaf (795). The ripping of the pages not only represents revenge of the maiden that got raped in Alisoun’s tale, but suggests why she is immediately omitted out of the story after the rape. Her exclusion only makes sense when we consider that we already see the reprisal of the raped maiden in Alisoun’s behavior towards Jankyn.
Alisoun also took the time out to tell a long tale to showcases her power and ability as a woman. In the tale a knight is just returning from war. He sees a fair maiden and rapes her. Everyone in the kingdom is shocked and he is taken to the palace where King Author allows the queen to decide the knight’s fate for raping the maiden. I agree with Poloma that the rape in the tale represents for Alisoun a loss of her supposed purity and youth. I would add that she is still grappling to reclaim or overcome that loss through a means far from love. The fact that the woman decides what happens to the knight, represents what Alisoun sees as female power over a man after he has done something wrong. When Janekyn thought that he killed Alisoun, he gives her the power to decide what happens in their relationship. This is similar to when the king hands over to the queen the power to determine the faith of the rapist knight.
Also most critics do not seem to question whether the knight can actually take the maiden’s virginity since rape is an act of forceful violence. For example, William Kamowski, states that, “besides committing a rape, the knight has stolen from his young victim her maidenhood” (8). I do not believe that her virginity was actually taken from her because she did not consent to having sex with the knight so by virtue she is still a virgin. These critics fail to acknowledge the emotional aspects of virginity like Alisoun. How does Alisoun fail to do this? She herself states that the knight “takes away” the maiden’s virginity evidently not attributing virginity to a state of mind as she detaches it from its emotional component. She attributes virginity to something of a prized physical good hence why a man can steal or take it away. If virginity is something emotional can it be as “taken away” as easily?
The origins of Allison’s focus on the physical is in medieval views of virginity as a physical good — “prized chattel,” which in turn formed the foundation of her marriages. This focus on the physical as evidenced through her prized-chattel view on virginity also forms the foundation of her focus on physical attraction. The Wife goes on to describe that “during the funeral she was struck by the handsomeness of Jankyn’s feet (Henebry 154).” Most scholars do not discuss the significance of this line, which displays physical attraction being the main focus of her heterosexual relationships.
“As help me God! Whan that I saugh him go
After the bere, me thought he hadde a paire
Of leggess and of feet so clene and faire
That al myn herte I yaf unto his hold.(595-599)”

This shows us that physical attraction is precisely how she got all her husbands, perhaps not the first since she were only twelve years old. It also shows the importance of physical attraction to Alison and suggests that she herself partly used this to her advantage in her attainment of husbands. She also talks about how she having a gapped tooth worked to attract Jankyn, “gat-tothed as I was, and that bicam me weel; (603)” According to the editors of the Norton Anthology, to be gap toothed in medieval handbooks of physiognomy, meant to have a “bold” and “lascivious” nature (115). Peter G. Beidler discusses the physical appearance of Alisoun, specifically concerning the line, “A foot-mantel aboute hir hips large,” where he tries to convince Chaucer’s readers of the possibility of them being wrong about reading that line to mean that the Wife of Bath has large hips. Most people, he asserts, including himself read this as literally meaning that Alisoun has large hips. Beidler argues that because Chaucer is writing in middle English we can take into possibility that what Chaucer meant is for “large” to be read as an adverb describing how her “foot-mantle was draped loosely around her hips, rather than as an adjective describing the size of her hips” keeps readers focused on what he believes Chaucer can only see—which is her clothes. So Beidler’s speculation is that “large” means “loose.” I will reverse this hypothesis to claim that sometimes the easiest explanation is the truest. Perhaps she does have big hips and it can be shown under her garments and it is her hips that is a part of the reason, (however small or large that is) in her getting husbands. Were her hips part of her physical attractiveness? The fact that she is financially independent in those times tells us that she for the most part had her way with all her husbands, financially. There is a connection between her having “large hips” and her four husbands. This adds weight to how she was able to continue attracting husbands than if her garments were being “loosely worn.” This same physical attraction attribute spills over into the Tale where the knight lusted after the physical attraction of the maiden through rape. Chaucer seeing only The Wife’s clothes does not add any significance to the Prologue and especially the Tale. Alisoun’s own obsession with physical aspects of relationship with her overt expression of sexual favors tells us that Chaucer wanted us to see Alison the way she was and the way she was, was a physically focused individual. In return this was how she saw others and virginity – physically.
Dorigen’s lament is very applicable to Alisoun, the fact that this is even possible gives one a clue as to how Chaucer might’ve ended the Canterbury Tales had he completed it, although this is not what this paper is about. Dorigen’s lament implies that virginity is the best existence for a women. She drifts off into this otherworldly notion of virginity forgetting for a moment, vows of marriage and the pain of having to keep them. Her lament gives rise to numerous virgin women that would rather commit suicide than to be exploited by men. Alisoun in contrasts flips the script on this and exploits men for their money thereby eluding sexual exploitation. Then Dorigen’s goes on to talk about women who would rather die than lose the chastity that they have kept. “Hath ther nat many a noble wyf er this/ Ad many a mayd, y-slayne hirself, allas!/ Rather than with hir body doon trespas. (1364-66)” Alisoun would rather live and couldn’t care less about being faithful to her husband as long as she is cashing in. However financial security comes at an expense with her “spiritual bareness” and lack of a convincing expression of love. In this striking contrast between Dorigen’s lament and Alison’s traits we are given a clearer picture of Alisoun’s personality — one that outlived five husbands due to her physical focus on virginity which ensured that money would help her to survive. Chaucer would have connected Dorigen and Alisoun’s character on a way that would allow them to learn from and or complimented each other.
II. Virginity for Dorigen
Dorigen’s view of virginity is more emotional and this helps readers to be more convinced that the marriage reconciliation at the end of the tale with Averagus would have a happy-ever after. Dorigen talks about the fifty virgins who would rather die than be raped by men whom they apparently have no feelings for. Dorigen ties virginity to dignity and the necessity of having feelings for men, hence a deduction is made of her emotional view of virginity. This view is responsible for her being able to show her feelings for Averagus whereupon Aurelius acquiesced and broke the prior vow she made with him so that she could return to her husband, Averagus. Another way to interpret this is that Aurelius could interpret her facial expressions and see whom she truly wanted to be with. So just before Aurelius releases Dorigen from the vow he states “…I see well your distress…/I have wel levere evere to suffer wo/Than I departe the love bitwix yow two” (1528-1532). Aurelius is simply reflecting what he could read about Dorigen. Hence Dorigen’s emotional view of virginity set the stage for her view of her marriage as likewise emotional. In essence, she is more responsible for Aurelius breaking the vow with her than is otherwise noted by readers and scholars, including the feminist interpretation that Aurelius denied Dorigen the power of choice. Dorigen’s emotional stance towards virginity makes a more convincing happily-ever after with her husband Averagus.
Now that a clearer picture of Alisoun as now been painted, her Tale will be examined as one that does not prove any superiority of marriage to herself and possibly to her fellow pilgrims. Firstly the rapist knight is a representation of her husbands who have supposedly stolen her innocence and made her “corruptible.” However, in the tale we do not hear of the rape-victim. We see the knight searching far and wide to find out what women truly desires, if he does not find the answer to this in a year he will have his head taken by order of the Queen to King Arther. When he finally reaches upon an old woman, commonly referred to as the hag, he promises that he will do whatever she wants in exchange for the answer; then she gives him the answer. What Allison is trying to say through the hag in the tale, is that she Allison is older and more experienced and knows what a woman wants due to all her experiences specifically those that she has had with numerous men. Noticed that before he stumbles upon the hag there were numerous younger woman telling him all sorts of responses concerning what a woman wants that did not feel right until he finally got to the hag. They both go to the court and the night tells the queen what he has learned from the old woman.
My life lady, generally quote he,
wommen desyren to have sovereyntee
As well over hir housbond as hir love,
And for to been in maistre him above. (1037-40)
When we fast forward to this and the hag asks the knight if he would have a young and beautiful woman that is not faithful but cheats or a hag that will be faithful for time and eternity. Then Allison posits that the night and the hag lives happily ever after. There is one critical dilemma here, what becomes of the maiden? Can this couple, specifically the knight who as supposedly learned his lesson, live in happiness not knowing what became of the raped maiden? Love is a juxtaposition here, an isolated incidence of violence is a predisposition to love. This does not prove any superiority to virginity, at least from Allison’s Tale. This only tells us that in order to have a successful marriage there must be an act of violence that links to some form of happiness in a relationship.
Another example for when violence is seen as a catalyst for love is when critics like Warren Smith believe that when women such as Laodamia and Portia in Dorigen’s lament kill themselves rather than live without their husbands, “it only serves to verify the depth of their love. (387)” One can even argue that this is in stark contrast to Allison because in no way form or shape would she kill herself rather than live without her husbands. Evidently a woman killing herself rather than being with another man after her husband’s death is not an act of love but rather a retaliation to her oppression and the limitations in her choices. Suicide—violence should never be an expression of love under any circumstance. Also, there is one thing Alison would say contributed to her supposedly happy marriage, a beating from her husband who is twenty years younger than her.
III. Conclusion
Separating the Tale from the Prologue, the rapist knight living happily ever after with the hag does not dispel a possible revenge from the maiden. When the Tale and Prologue is joined together, the violated maiden as already gotten her revenge through Alisoun hitting Jankyn and ripping the pages of his book. After Alisoun scares Jankyn into thinking she was dead after he hit her, Alisoun and Jankyn’s abuse of each other leads to an unconvincing happy-ever-after, where Jankyn allows Alisoun to call the shots out of his own guilt and fear. The hag teaches the knight a critical lesson to allow the woman to have what her heart desires, but there is still this underlying notion that some sort of violence —rape must be the instigator of some happy marriage. Since the knight did rape the maiden. Alison’s marriages have been based on superficial elements – sex, money and a fight of dominance in the relationship. Hence physical, economic and fury based marriages cannot supersede virginity and the Pilgrim audience must caution themselves after hearing The Wife of Bath’s Tale.
Alison and Dorigen to a lesser extent tales prove that virginity is the best existence for a woman when a marriage is failing or have failed. Alison tales if anything proves that violence, money and sex are the physical components that predominate all of her marriages stemming from her indoctrination of virginity as something physical. Alison’s prologue and tale also ended up only proving that virginity — though her view of it was physical, was better. However, the proof was done in a manner that served to corrupt her, her perception of love and maneuverings of her marriages. Her physical view of virginity ended up making her happily-ever-after tale with Jankyn doubtful especially since, she even outlives Jankyn. Not only that, her happily ever after ending of the hag and the knight is also unconvincing because both ignored a possible revenge from the raped maiden. Dorigen tale on the other hand upheld virginity only briefly in the hectic moment of feeling as if she had to keep a vow she made with Averagus. This was dissipated owing to her emotional view of virginity which formed the foundation of her viewing her marriage emotionally, then in essence saving it. Female and male antagonism can only be dissipated with love of a spiritual and emotional base and not through physicality of violence or dominance..
Works Cited

Chaucer, Geoffrey. “The Franklin’s Prologue and Tale.” The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and
the General Prologue. Comp. and ed. V. A. Kolve, and Glending Olson. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005. 212-33. Print.
Baym, Nina, and Robert S. Levine. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 8th ed. New
York: W.W. Norton, 2013. Print.
Beidler, Peter G. “Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s “Foot-Mantel” and Her “Hipes Large.” The Chaucer
Review 34.4 (2000): 388-97. Web.
Henebry, Charles W. M. “Apprentice Janekyn/Clerk Jankyn: Discrete Phases in Chaucer’s
Developing Conception of the Wife of Bath.” The Chaucer Review 32.2 (1997): 146-
61. Print.
Kamowski, William. “The Sinner Against the Scoundrels: The Ills of Doctrine and “Shrift” in the
Wife of Bath’s, Friar’s and Summoner’s Narratives.” Religion & Literature 25.1
(1993): 1-18. JSTOR. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.
Palomo, Dolores. “The Fate of the Wife of Bath’s “bad Husbands””. The Chaucer Review 9.4
(1975): 303–319. Web.
Prior, Sandra. “Virginity and Sacrifice in Chaucer’s Physician Tale.” Constructions of Widowhood and Virginity in the Middle Ages. Ed. Cindy L. Carlson and Angela Jane
Weisl. London: Macmillan, 1999. Print.
Salih, Sarah. Versions of Virginity in Late Medieval England. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: D.S. Brewer, 2001. Print.
Smith, Warren S. “Dorigen’s Lament and the Resolution of the Franklin’s Tale.” The Chaucer Review 36.4 (2002): 374-90. Web.
Storm, Melvin. “The Miller, the Virgin and the Wife of Bath.” Neophilologus 75.2 (1991): 291. ProQuest. 7 Dec. 2015 .

An African American Jamaican Explication of London by William Blake

Published November 28, 2015 by lorijss

An African Jamaican Explication of London by William Blake

Cities are notorious for insinuating dark and dreary emotions from internal corruption and oppression. London by William Blake paints a dark portrait of London as a city in desolation. Even though he may be writing about the environment at present, the depressing imagery of the poem can be applied to not only London but just about any corrupt city in the world. Not only is this poem a depiction of his time in London but a premonition of what’s to come. Repetition and juxtaposition are the most powerful devices that Blake uses as through this he is able to paint that haunting and sorrowful picture of gloom in every stanza. This in turn adds to the poem’s universality towards human suffering.
Repetition is at its strongest when he is repeating not necessarily words but dark emotions:
In every cry of every man
In every Infant’s cry of fear
In every voice, in every ban
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear: (5-8)
Here Blake is emphasizing the intricate reasons for every expression of grief. I think the repetition of ending sounds in words at the end of each line such as “Man” and” ban,” “fear” and “hear” represents the crying calls to be heard or for social consciousness.. “The mind-forged manacles I hear,” is him simply stressing the oppression that stems from political, economic and religious corruption. This line we see its universal application, it’s as if Blake is urging one to break free from the shackles of slavery, obviously in this case it would mean mental slavery. The speaker hearing these “mind-forged manacles” ears are tuned to the clanking of the chains tied to each person’s foot as they walk under the captivity that elicit their cries.
The description of these appalling conditions allows flexibility in interpretation. When he states “how the Chimney sweeper’s cry,” one can even imply that this sound of a cry is enough to seep into one’s soul; so this is more than hearing. “Every blackening church appalls” is stating that the conditions that the people are under while cleaning chimneys tells us that the church is allowing people to work under these appalling conditions by not being proactive about it at the time Blake is writing the poem. Here he is highlighting religious corruption or hypocrisy. There is a premonition of death because the chimney smoke can get into your lungs, thereby shortening your lifespan through respiratory diseases. This could mean that the smoke from the chimney is “blackening” the skins of the fair-skinned child workers. We see the juxtaposition here, “blackening” could symbolize the moral decay of the church. It could also mean that the skin of fair-skinned workers are “blackening;” they are now toiling like the enslaved Africans, including children, in the British colonies. Except now the conditions are a result of the Industrial Revolution. I think the word “blackening” in this poem leaves room for that sort of racial interpretation.
The last stanza serves as a reminder as to what it’s like walking the streets of a gloomy London all day. Then what that boils down to as the day nears its end. The dark tone seems to have been building up from bad to worse. When a reader subconsciously ties blackening from previous stanza with “midnight” from last stanza, there is another juxtaposition. Day fades into midnight as if to say day is “blackening.” What makes this very effective is what he describes after the scene is set –prostitution. This “blasts the new-born Infant’s tear,” could mean new born babies are born blind because of a parent’s venereal disease (Baym et al). It may mean that the prostitution doesn’t make the person fit to be a parent and so when the child is growing up he or she shed “tears” as a retaliation to their parent’s unfit parenting. Some might not know who the father of the child is given that history of prostitution. The missing parent causes an infant to cry as they suffer more without two parents. The line “Plagues the Marriage hearse” tells the apparent undermining of the sanctity of marriage. Married people engaging in prostitution as a way to make ends meet shows the deep rooted social issues Blake is letting his readers become aware of.
The strength of this poem lies it’s effective use of repetition of the word cry, and allowing the word “blackening” to be interpreted through different lenses. Its application goes far beyond just London, it is universal and represents that common human experience of suffering. Perhaps the repetition is Blake’s way of telling readers that the conditions described, repeats itself in the present day by day but that this will become the very history that will repeat itself in years to come. The speaker’s repetition of dreary emotions is a catalyst for change. Granted the cries doesn’t fall on deaf “unempathetic” ears, social awareness leads to social change. This may be what the speaker was trying to imply by ending the poem on such a gloomy note that these conditions, if we don’t nip it in the bud, will become a catastrophe.
Works Cited
Blake, William. “London.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 9th ed. Vol. D. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. 132-33. Print.

Baym, Nina, and Robert S. Levine. “London.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 9th ed. Vol. D. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. 132-33. Print.

 

Homo-eroticism in Hip Hop culture Part 2

Published February 14, 2012 by lorijss

“By and large the industry doesn’t really care about creating art that’s socially redeeming or challenges patriarchy. The music industry is largely amoral, and concerned mainly with making money,… “Making music that’s socially uplifting is not a priority. Priority is making music that’s socially viable, and I think that the artists know that and they do what sells.” – Bryon Hurt

The continued prevalence of Homo-eroticism in hip hop cultures is worthy of debate. I don’t know why these issue aren’t discussed more, I think most Black American males involved with hip hop are too ashamed or afraid to discuss homo-eroticism aka homosexual tendencies/natures in hip hop culture. The concentration of Homo-eroticism/homosexuality in hip hop culture came from prison culture, a dude telling another dude to “cut off his dick and put in his mouth” came from prison culture. Most rappers are consciously or unconsciously trying to be as homophobic as most Jamaicans are but they’d be protested against because homosexuals have rights under the US Constitution. This is probably why most rappers run away when approached with the subject of homosexuality in interviews.
Hip Hop culture is a play-ground for homo-eroticism because when male rappers refer to woman as “bitches” and “hoes” they are objectifying women as having no value. This bonds male rappers and separates them from the bond that they are suppose to have with women to create functional heterosexual relationships. This can even explain dysfunctional relationships among black American females and males but this isn’t my specialty so Ill leave it as that. In other words males rappers rap about other males in a way that displaces women from the position in which they should be in, if the male rappers are to be as heterosexual as they claim to be. Males rappers brag about other males being in a spot that really should be exclusive to a female. Male rappers rapping about dying for their “homies” and protecting their “homies” but never once say that they’ll die or protect for a female is but one of the strongest suggestion of homosexual connotations in hip hop music&culture.
I am going to compare Sean Paul  to rappers in general, to explain homo-eroticism among male rappers because Sean Paul for the most part is a Jamaican DJay. By comparing Sean Paul, a DJ to rappers one can more evidently see the excessive homo-erotic bonding between males in hip hop culture, and the homosexual connotations that this eventually leads to. Oh It’s calling rapping in hip hop but in dancehall it is called Djaying. Why am I comparing hip hop to Dancehall? Because the techniques and subculture used in Dancehall IS hip hop’s predecessor. Also I am trying to show that hip hop culture as evolved separately from the Jamaican immigrants that were originally responsible for introducing a lot of it’s subculture and techniques to black Americans, Hispanics etc. What was obviously not introduced by Jamaican immigrants was Homo-eroticism-homosexual connotations in hip hop, it is one of those things that have evolved from American prison culture.

Sean Paul Vs. Rappers

In Sean Paul’s early music videos such as Gimmie the Light, Get Busy, Like Glue, Temperature and I’m Still In Love With You Ft. Sasha, he is generally STANDING OR SITTING BY HIMSELF and DJaying about having a good time, partying, women, sex…etc subject matter is sort of like rap. I have to admit that Sean Paul as got Americanized or pop-like in his lyrics and music videos a large leap from Gimmie the Light but ah well.  I’m going to use Get Busy because that’s one of the early music videos in which Jamaicanization was rampant. In Get Busy there is no reference to other males like most rappers always do, he is simply Djaying about dancing and partying in reference to females. In various scenes,Sean Paul is both but a humble bystander, who is at the same time a humble DJ responsible for the party being entertaining. Notice that throughout the video, he is not dancing with his shirt off surrounded by half-naked girls that can’t dance which is usually the case in hip hop/rap videos. Also, notice that in this music video girls are ACTUALLY dancing, dancing is a art, a way of life, unlike in most hip hop videos there is half-naked girls standing around or jumping around. The thing about these half-naked girls is that they’re not ACTUALLY dancing but looking like “hoochie mamas”  or a “a dime a dozen” “hoes” “porn stars” “strippers.” Near the end of the video Sean Paul is portrayed as dancing with ONE girl, who is decently dressed. Sean Paul as a result flames in heterosexuality while most rappers dwindle in the very homo-sexual connotations that they are trying to run from. Rappers on the other hand have to surround themselves with a lot of stripper-looking, “hoochie mamas” while at the same time degrading these very women and glorifying their “home boys.” Sean Paul’s Get Busy represents authentic Jamaican/dancehall culture in New York city.
Not saying that all of Sean Paul’s videos are exactly like Get Busy but all of his songs like dancehall/reggae music&culture leaves no room for homo-eroticism. I think at the end of the day it’s not about the music video but the lyrics and the songs unless you’re Michael Jackson.There is NO male bonding that displaces women in dancehall/reggae culture.. Whereas in hip hop, most rappers have to “front” by having multiple girls standing around them doing nothing but behaving like “hoes” to hide homosexual connotations which only makes the later more visible. Most rappers are false pretenders or faking it instead of being. Reggae/dance hall music culture does not glorify male-bonding in it’s lyrics nor is there ever any room for homo-eroticism&homosexual connotations, if any of it does(haven’t heard of any) then it is a result of individual dancehall artiste who are ignorantly trying to act like the bulk of rappers. Underground rappers in my opinion by the time they go mainstream have countless connotations of homosexuality, because in the music industry a large part of being a successful mainstream rapper is to exhibit homosexual connotations and this is from my perspective, a Jamaican perspective.

“I’m into having sex I aint into making love…” In his video or song, this could be interpreted as trying to appeal to men. He’s not into making love because that void as already been filled by his homies. Making love with a woman would be disrupting to that bond he has already made with his homies that he entered the club with.  He is not into making love with a woman because he’s already done so with his “homies.” Perhaps he has already or is “making love” with his “homies.” In these lyrics he is also disconnecting from women by objectifying the very woman he claims to be interested in having sex with. What is this saying? Is his claims true? Does he really want the woman? He never objectifies his homies so what is this saying? This is a classic example of homo-eroticism because these lyrics leave room for homosexual connotations. Anyway hip hop has a lot of MALE BONDING that is always at the expense of heterosexuality, and hip hop leaves A LOT of room for homo-erotic tendencies it depends on the hip hop artiste though. Some hip hop artiste exhibit more homo-erotic behavior than others. I’m not going to put out a list because there is alot, Lil Wayne would be near the top of the list.

Homo-Eroticism in Hip Hop

Homo-Eroticism in Hip Hop

Homo-Eroticism in Hip Hop

P-Diddy’s “I Need a Girl.” In the song, he says, “you were more than my girl, we were like brothers,is another example of homo-eroticism in Hip hop culture. He is trying to say that he and his “homies” are closer to him or as close to him as a female is suppose to be if he is heterosexual. He and his “homies” are playing “fight under covers.” In hip hop culture I guess this is normal or ok.

Image taken from this site:http://corrinnebollendorf.com/2010/03/19/homoeroticism-and-hip-hop-a-hush-hush-situation/ Nelly swiping a credit card through a female’s behind is an example of homo-eroticism because he is portrayed has having no emotional attraction/connection to the girl comparably similar to a homosexual male who would also have no emotional attraction/connection to the female because of being homosexual. So Nelly is no different from an homosexual male, this image is a representation of homosexuality. Also Nelly swiping a credit card through the female’s behind is him degrading the woman, so if he is degrading the woman it could be interpreted as not actually attracted to her, he is not trying to look good in front of a female, he is not trying to appeal to a woman’s good taste, he is not trying to appeal to women, specifically women that respect themselves, this imagery only appeals to men. This imagery is sexist and represents a disconnect from women in general. Since he is really appealing to men and not females this can be interpreted as homosexuality in it’s own right. This imagery of Nelly swiping a credit card down a woman’s behind is sexually appealing to insecure men(who claim that they are straight), & homosexual men. Homosexual men may view this as Nelly not being attracted to women but to men and this is how homosexual men get turned on by listening to rap. This whole image is also a glorification of male bonding that displaces heterosexuality or displaces functional heterosexual relationships. The fact that rap music turns-on homosexual men despite alleged homophobia shows the homosociality of hip hop, which after all may not actually be as homophobic as some Americans think it is. This is why Sean Paul cannot be interpreted as having any homosexual connotations while most rappers can, because of the larger homosexuality-connotation atmosphere of hip hop culture.  When I compare these two genres of music&culture I see countless homosexual connotations in hip hop. The more rappers run from their homosexual connotations the more they go towards it. In other words rappers are as “gay” as they try not to be.

I think that hip hop needs to focus on being more authentic and uplifting and that is basically what this whole brag was about. Dancehall has it’s own set of issues but that is for a different post.

What do you know about Black history month?

Published February 9, 2012 by lorijss

This video show the racism and stereotypical behavior towards or about people of African descent at BYU. I am sure all the white respondents in this video are nice, friendly, fun, welcoming individuals, who mean no harm or don’t intend to insult black Americans. Also they obviously don’t consider themselves “racists” or “color-blind racists.” In response to some of the white girls’ thoughts: “Classy”obviously should not or does NOT equal white, and white does NOT or should not equal “classy.” Classy is also very subjective in other words self-defined, but may seem to be more defined by people who are members of the white American culture and ideology which is the most dominant & prevalent culture and ideology in the US. These statements about being “classy” can be interpreted as “racist” or color-blind “racist.” What does it mean “to act” like a “black guy” or what does it mean “to act” like a “white guy?” That question is open to many debates and discussions that I won’t lend a hand to in this post. For the sake of this post, the white girls in the video are basically trying to say that “acting white” is “better”without actually being conscious that that can be interpreted as “racist.”

In this video, all the white respondents can be viewed as racist in it’s own right because they are first of all White Americans. White Americans since the beginning of the United States have always enjoyed unearned privileges at the expense of non-whites, specifically people of African descent. In this video the whites can be interpreted as standing at the pedestal looking down on Black Americans or anyone of African descent without intending to or meaning to, this is on the basis of their own ignorance.  So African immigrants which includes immigrants from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana or Caribbean immigrants which includes, Jamaica at BYU are put into this box of stereotypes that white Americans have. This is due to their ignorance which is a direct result of their upbringing, or their inexperience with having  interactions with people that are directly from African countries and immigrated or black Americans that are born and raised in the US . Whatever the case may be either way the white respondents in this video have had both little social interaction with black Americans or meaningless social interactions with black Americans.  In addition to that these whites don’t understand the concept of white privilege and in order to understand that they have to step outside the box that they’re in & accept their white privileges. In order to accept that  they have white privileges, however major and minor it is, is by going out of their “way” to be in an environment where they’re interacting with blacks or non-whites on a day to day basis, even leaving the US will do. After doing that go back to interacting with whites and they will see it loud and clear if they open their minds. At least that’s what I think. Therefore, as a result of this lacking in experience that I just discussed, these whites are unable to form sensible responses when interviewed. Whether or not they were being interviewed by that dude their views of black Americans would still be ignorant and stereotypical, therefore it can be interpreted as “racist.” On top of that white Americans are the majority at BYU and most of the positions of power and affluence are filled with people that are White Americans. Honestly my personal experience at BYU as a black Caribbean/Jamaican has showed me that BYU is not only the whitest and most white-washed institution in the US but as a result of that both the most “racist” and “color-blind” racist institution. Still due to the fact that most whites at BYU are Mormons who have served a mission, which is basically spending 2 years in another country for the purpose of spreading Mormonism. The melting of stereotypical views is hopeful especially for those who have served missions in African countries, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

What are your thoughts on this video?

Homo Eroticism in Hip Hop culture

Published February 2, 2012 by lorijss

Before Jamaicans came to NYC there was Blues, Soul and Jazz music among Black Americans. Wikipedia states “Jamaican born DJ Clive “Kool Herc” Campbell is credited as being highly influential in the pioneering stage of hip hop music,[14] in the Bronx, after moving to New York at the age of thirteen. Herc created the blueprint for hip hop music and culture by building upon the Jamaican tradition of toasting—impromptu, boastful poetry and speech over music—which he witnessed as a youth in Jamaica…. Rapping is derived from the griots (folk poets) of West Africa, and Jamaican-style toasting.” Although Wikipedia should have stated that Jamaican-style toasting was derived of griots which is of West Africa. Wikipedia can’t be trusted all together anyway.

Homo Eroticism in Hip Hop and Rap Music& Culture.

Homo-Eroticism looks like “LL Cool J with no shirt on, big ten belt buckle”…etc. Showing black men as “strong, naked, greased up”, pants on with no belts, almost like “God-Like objects.” Like the documentary says it’s not just women that are looking at that, gay men are looking at that also. A lot of it is taken from the cultures in American prisons. In prison they don’t have belts on, pants are fallen down, which makes it easier for men to rape other men while in prison. Black American males getting raped by black American males while in prison, things like that don’t happen in Jamaica because it is an extremely homophobic country. Why did prison have any influence on hip hop culture when black American males go to prison there is no women so some of them end up raping other men or being raped by other men.  I have to agree there is deep and profound homo-eroticism in hip hop culture, and it is looked at as ok or normal. Glorifying prison culture in hip hop culture is glorifying male bonding because when males go to jail they are going to be in jail cells along with other males, with no females around. In my opinion there is too much male bonding or a concentrated overemphasis on male bonding in the hip hop culture ongoing to this day.

Hip hop male artistes may say things like

“Me and ma home boy…”

“Me and ma homies…”

There is a lot of “me and ma boy”  going on here,”not much about the woman.” All of that, men under the notion of bonding men at the expense of their very own bragging that they are straight, at the expense of women who are trying to get with a man who pledge being an heterosexual. So in hip hop culture men glorifying male bonding to each other, and degrading women at the same time betrays women or push women aside, can be seen as homosexual in its own right. To the point that I believe that some black American women are contemplating whether or not these dudes are homosexual/bisexual or heterosexual. The betrayal, degradation, objectification of women by men in hip hop is a direct opposition to the heterosexual allegiance front that so many of these rappers put on.

Black American males in hip hop culture may try to cling on to a bond with other males at the expense of their proposed “heterosexual allegiance to females.” I can cite many many countless examples of this but for the sake of keeping this post short I will site one. My experience with this on a personal level with FK(a dude I was interested in) as been when I went all the way to the Bronx to see him and he kept telling me to not touch him the whole time. The first time was kind of interesting I interpreted that as him pushing me aside to bond with a male(who was a complete stranger) that was sitting across from us at another table. This to me was kind of a mixture of culture shock, and betrayal of the strong feelings I had of him in the beginning. Like I said there was also a mixture of him pushing my feelings for him aside, or look at it in a more general way, males hurting or betraying a female in order to bond with a male. The second time he said that to me was almost like the first time, pushing aside having an emotional connection and closeness with a female to “looking good” in front of a male, except there wasn’t a male present the second time. It shows the black American male sometimes act like that even when there are no males around shows how deeply embedded this is in the subconscious mind that they do it without even thinking or questioning it.  Males trying to “look good” in front of another male/other males can be interpreted as homosexuality/bisexual in it’s own right. Since that experience I have been wondering about his sexual orientation. Wondering if he’s a chi chi man(Jamaican word for homosexual), I had some confusion, but now I am sure that it may all have something to do with Homo-eroticism in hip hop Black American male culture. It’s the little things that matter, the little things. Every time I pick up little things there is always a bigger picture to that. Anyway,when it comes to Jamaican men I don’t have to doubt or contemplate their sexual-orientation or call that into question, because that’s apart of the culture. So you see a drastic shift from Hip Hop being started by Jamaican immigrants in the Bronx to Black Americans twisting that up and adding some of their own stuff to hip hop. And hip hop to some degree as taken on a life of it’s own separate from it’s original makers who are Jamaican immigrants. If you look at this video when Byron Hurt asked the Black American drag queens if they are bothered by “homophobia” in rap music one of them said that it turns him on, when asked why, he said because “it’s so aggressive,” “it’s just a big front in front of their boys.”

When Hip Hop male artistes say “I like girls girls girls girls girls I do adore…” If you like girls you don’t actually have to say that you like girls.

P-Diddy’s “I Need a Girl.” In the song, he says, “you were more than my girl, we were like brothers,is another example of homo-eroticism in Hip hop culture.

Hoes…hoes…hoes.” If you don’t want your wife or future wife or daughters to be seen as a hoe then a lot of rappers should take their lyrics into consideration, or be more aware of what they are doing and act like they know what they’re doing especially when interviewed.

When males in hip hop put on this notion that they only want women for sex, is an example of the male trying to prove something to other males, can be seen as homo-eroticism. Cause obviously when male hip hop artiste degrade women in their lyrics they are not trying to “look good” in front of females they are trying to “look good” in front of other males. Males trying to look a certain way in front of other males in hop hop, at the expense of them claiming to be straight, is an example of Homo-eroticism. What woman who respects themselves wants to constantly over and over again listen to lyrics from men who are degrading women? Constantly degrading women in general can be interpreted as you not ever actually having any authentic attraction and connection to a woman, and is an example of homo-eroticism.

You tube comments, below, about this video that I have to agree with.

“Most rappers now are Bi-Sexual (GAY), thats why they have so many WOMEN (bitches, as they say) around them, cuz they have LOW self-esteem and they need to cover up the fact that they GAY!!! If they were not big artists, no girl would deal with most of them.” [I especially agree with this one.]

“One sure sign of homosexuality in hip hop is the degredation of women. This the darkest before the storm. It’s where the homosexual thug hides before he makes the full shift. If he’s bragging about how many women he’s had foregoing making a real connection AND degrading her and expoiting her then yes, it’s a sign of homosexuality.”

“drake, wayne, kanye, and every other skinny jean wearing rappers that look more like women than women do now, so its slidding into the industry if you dont think those rappers are gay or some you have been fooled.”

“Strange that when they discuss homoeroticism in hip-hop they only mention shirtless rappers and don’t mention the blatant homoeroticism of prison-sexuality type rhymes where dudes tell other dudes to suck their dicks, lick their nuts, bend over, etc. Hip-hop lyrics are replete with gay sex acts.”

“This documentary exposed a lot about the alleged “thug mentality” among the rappers. Yes they have as M. Dyson puts it, “homo erotic” behavior going on. Telling another man to suck his this and that ain’t no where near 100% heterosexual. Something else is wandering around in their minds. It’s not normal. Greek-like body nudity and underwear showing in public shouldn’t be taken lightly. For sure it is a prison influence! “

“Damn that homo erodicism stuff was crazy true lol

“To all rappers shut up with your shutting up/

And keep your shirt on, at least a button up/

Yuck, is they rhymers or stripping males?/

Outta work jerks since they shut down Chippendales/”

— MF Doom, Beef Rapp, MF Doom – MM.. Food? (2004).”

“Homies over Hoes…”

“Philosophy class and in my psychology class ironically, everything actually has an influence. Hip Hop is like a chant, it keeps you interested till it becomes part of you. If “men were to be men” you would see ALL white boys doing this in a primitive way. And think about the black people way back in the 60s, this ignorant bliss would be hurting the ancestors. I actually never seen a black youth today speak of ancestral respects either… The culture has been diluted and now mainstreamed in media.”

“No wonder black women are jumping ship.”

“Busta is Jamaican American and Jamaican culture is very homophobic. It is a ILLEGAL to be gay in Jamaica. It truly is against his culture,. In Jamaica they MURDER homosexuals. It is a cultural thing he really does need to get over it”

These things are issues to be discussed and looked at because there have not been much good representation of men in the black American hip hop community. A future post is going to be a discussion on how Homo-Eroticism entered Hip Hop culture in the first place. I have long noticed homo-eroticism in rap music that’s why I stopped listening to rap music for 2 years.

Take responsibility for your financial situation

Published January 31, 2012 by lorijss

“Oh we’ve been through the worst… the joy it brings and the sorrow…oh it was worth it, it was worth it…I’ve been robbed, stabbed, shot, locked up and released then locked up back…looking back my life was really filled with flaws, moving in the fast lane with no time to pause. I was living life on the fast lane, like a train on the track, use me as the perfect example, look at me and where I’m at…” -Buju Banton

One of the most fearful things that people have to come to terms with in life, is taking full financial responsibility. Blaming others for your financial situation seems like an easy thing to do but ultimately if you want to get out of the financial hell that you are currently in you have to take responsibility for it. Every moment you spend blaming others or the system is time wasted, you have to instead do something about it, in spite of it all. Whatever you do about it has to be geared towards making the lives of others better and in the process making your own life better. Let’s say the financial situation is to be blamed on those that you have around you or those that are in your life. It is your responsibility to drop those people out of your life if you feel all they do is make your financial situation like hell, make whatever wise choice that fits your circumstance. Not saying that it is going to be easy but whatever obstacles you have to face will be worth it in the end when all your hard work and perseverance pays off and you look back and say oh I am so glad I did this and oh I am so glad I did that…etc. If you have been robbed by selfish criminals that have nothing else better to do because at one point they have given up and gave in, it’s ok you will blame these criminals, curse them and wish ills upon them because their unwise decision has affected you in a negative manner. But your ultimate and most effective choice sooner or later is to keep it moving, brush that dirt off your shoulders and move on. My dad has been in numerous situations like this in Jamaica so far he has had 5 vehicles stolen from him throughout his life, no matter how hard he tries to make sure that another vehicle doesn’t get stolen, criminals always find away to steal it. The thing about people that rob others they have refused to take responsibility for their financial situation(for whatever reasons) by robbing someone they are trying to force that responsibility for their financial situation on someone else. This is how Jamaica is crime is the number one problem in the country it affects everyone no matter where you live, it will affect you on a personal and professional level. It’s mostly due to political and economical reasons anyway but that is besides the point I am making in this post. If you live in Jamaica crime will personally affect your life because you can follow society’s “rules” and of course there are going to be others that break these “rules” and selfishly to take something that you’ve worked hard for, all in one night. I can list countless obstacles that my dad as faced while living all his life in a third world country such as Jamaica. Things like this are pretty normal in third world countries more so in Jamaica than most other third world countries, Haiti is economically poorer than Jamaica but Jamaica has higher crime rate.. Anyway because of my dad’s strength and perseverance he is still able to look at the brighter side of life his children are a source of motivation and hope for him. You have to step up the ladder you have to take large steps concerning your life; don’t let unfortunate circumstances of the past prevent you from moving on into the future. Remember you create your own destiny; destiny isn’t one of those things that are written in the stars. Destiny isn’t one of those things where some people are meant to be this and that, but unfortunately, not you. Destiny isn’t given to some people and denied to others. Destiny is created by each and every individual, you see people creating their destinies everyday so can you, all you have to do is believe. Believe in yourself believe in others,(family members, loved ones etc) trust the universe, trust yourself and most importantly, trust God. Believe that human beings are going to make it, mankind is going to make it and you’re going to play a role in making that happen. Don’t ever think that the role you play is too small and wouldn’t make a difference it makes all the difference in your own life and in the lives of others. It makes all the difference in the world, if you believe that it will it will.

My mother recently paid down over $100,000 dollars on a house, she foolishly and weakly decided to not bother buying the house, so she basically watched her money go down the drain. That could easily have been used to fund my brother and I’s college education but because of how long she has been putting her own foolish interest ahead of her own children then that’s what it is. Now the reason I have never brought this up is because that’s who she is that’s what I am used to getting from her, it’s actually no surprise. She is now over 50 years old and still in a weak frame of mind where she doesn’t think her children is worth squat. She doesn’t believe in herself so she doesn’t believe in her own children it’s hard for people who are not in my situation to believe this of a mother but it is true. She underrates her children and everyone in her path, she underrates herself. Now obviously if she wasn’t my mother ,originally, she would not be in my life.  I can try as much as I can to reason with her…etc. Since she is what she is she refuses to change for her children good and not even for her own good then there is nothing I can do about that. I have to take responsibility for my financial situation which is what I have been doing anyway eventually things will start to work out. The sooner you realize that you have to take full responsibility for your financial situation, the sooner you will start to reap the benefits of having taken responsibility.  I just have to keep on moving towards the road to Zion without her because for over 20 years she has been trying to hold her children back and this is the age group in which I am realizing who I am. I have fully opened up my eyes and realize that even though she is my mother having her in my life now is not going to contribute to me getting anywhere. You have to drop people out of your life who are setbacks to you, you only have one life, can’t waste it on weak people who can’t summon the strength to make sensible choices. Be mindful of who you choose to have in your life, because you have to live with the choices you’ve made. It might be a slow in some circumstances like the one I have now, process but it is one that is worthwhile and worth it in the end.