Mothers Behind Bars

There are those behind bars who should not be near their children, but those are only the women who have committed crimes against children. Women who love their children, who want to be with their children, and who want to take care of their children, should not have to let their children go. The personal narrative we read about the woman who didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was incarcerated tore my heart. She was so hopeful, so excited, and everything crumbled beneath her and now her child isn’t even sure who she is. And what’s worse is the guard blame her, as if she chose to be pregnant in jail. It was a painful thing to read about a woman who loves and wants to hold her child and then everyone acts like she’s a selfish and terrible person.

That was the 1st part of the reading that really drew me in and angered me. The 2nd was reading about how the CIW thought the solution to the sexism in prisons was to bring in domestic education, so women can get back to their roots and away from criminal behavior. I was having trouble getting through the beginning of the readings because of how angry that made me. The thing I’ve never understood is how people can’t comprehend that you can recognize someone’s differences without completely stereotyping and going the opposite way. In hopes of explaining this better: I read a post about how Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6 was Latina and how a lot of people were upset that she wasn’t really portrayed as Latina. Immediately in response to that, some one said “what do you want her to wear a sombrero and drink tequila??” How do people not comprehend there is a middle path between stereotyping and ignoring? There was no indication that Honey Lemon was Latina other than how she says “Hiro” (slightly rolling the R. Which is also how you pronounce it in Japanese and it is a Japanese name) and that she understood a common phrase that is in Spanish.

It is the same with the women in prison. Why is it difficult to comprehend that women are different than men without going completely to the other end of the spectrum and being completely sexist and misogynistic?

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