Milton Isaiah Rivera


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Discussion post #5

Posted by Milton Isaiah Rivera on

Whenever I have to prepare myself to do written tasks/assignments I usually read the background information beforehand, and make sure I familiarize myself with whatever reading that has been given to me. After I do this I write my introduction and try to include my main points in there, so that I can simply just expand on those instead of making it up as I go. What I need to know before I go in though is, do I have a bias? Is there a side I can choose? And also whether or not I agree with the author of the given texts. Once I’ve done this I begin to formulate my ideas based on the writer’s ideas, but if I can’t do this I will write a list of reasons why I don’t like the particular article. What I learn when writing is how frustrating it can be to write without knowing beforehand what I want to write, and this is something I’ve done a lot. When I was in high school I would simply write essays without any background assignments helping me out, and while I did get A’s in all of my English classes I still regret not learning how to do outlines that can help out with my writing. So, I’m glad that in class it is required of me to do so, and because of this, I have familiarized myself with how a basic outline should look. All in all, I hope that I remember to use the strategies I learned in this class and apply them to other classes since it helped out immensely.

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Reading Response #3 “Who Needs Feminism When You have Feminity?”

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While I do like the premise of the essay, and how it introduces a new aspect of a woman’s thoughts on her society and how she should behave in it, I found this essay lacked some credibility. I didn’t really pay attention to minor things such as spelling or grammar, but when a piece of data was introduced, and it wasn’t followed by a source I felt bored reading the essay. I didn’t know if the writer was making the data up, or if they got their data from a heavily biased and unreliable news source so I knew to take their words with a grain of salt. Besides that, I thoroughly enjoyed the title and the contents of the essay, and overall I would give it a B+/A-.

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Reading Response #2

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While reading Beauchamp’s essay I noticed a big trend within the incel community, which is these men are unattractive, insecure, and bullied (she also notes that some of these men may have autism). These traits, in the mind of an incel, make them unattractive to women, and make women reject or just plain out treat them as though they are not human. One could sympathize for them, but the misogyny of these men simply can’t be ignored, and I feel conflicted whether to be sympathetic or disgusted by their ideology that women are selfish. So, with this being said they also have some rage, and the radicals of this group have off ramped the whole objective of the group by killing actual human beings since they aren’t accepted by women. The reader of the essay is informed that the incels of today’s day and age, the radical ones, aren’t the ones of the past, and that when creating this original group it was a safe space for men to talk about their experiences (a safe space for misogynistic remarks as well). The reader is informed that these men have had it rough due to their looks, and this is why they behave in this way, but the reader should keep in mind that their behavior isn’t excusable. Beauchamp’s essay gives us a view into a wider context through these men because if one group can be derailed like this, imagine other groups with the same demographic. This essay reminded me of the New Zealand shooting that happened last year where a group of men shot up a mosque, and used the phrase “sub to pewdiepie” while doing so. This completely devasted the YouTuber, and led to him telling his fans to stop using the phrase because it had been soiled by these men. So, if incels want to continue to use forums to talk about women or their own life experiences they should find another name, one which doesn’t carry the deaths of human beings.

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Discussion post #4

Posted by Milton Isaiah Rivera on

For my fieldwork I chose a group of Satanists in a book club Facebook chat, I don’t know why I chose that group, but I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of Satanism because they don’t worship Satan rather they fight for secularism. Satanists get a bad name in the media, being seen as witches who practice magic, and yes this was the case before 2013, but they are rebranding themselves as something different. Alas, due to this initial introduction they are still seen as bad and evil because of their old practices in the dark arts, and even things such as Tarot Cards being seen as an introduction into Satanism to my Hispanic family. This new age of Satanism though is reintroducing new ideas, and even the books which are spoken about in the Facebook chat are ridiculed if they mention magic in any way since that isn’t what the group supports anymore. I have noticed many privileges in joining this chat, when I first saw the books they were speaking about I was immediately drawn to go to Barnes and Noble to buy a book, but when I went none of those books were there. Instead, shelves lined with the bible covered the religion section of the store, this is where I noticed my first privilege. While I am an atheist myself, I come from a catholic family so if I wanted to know what my family believes in and what they stand for I can simply go to the religion section, pick up one of the myriads of bibles (containing the same words with different shells; hardcover or paperback or even leather). Another thing I can do is simply say I’m an atheist, and people won’t look at me funny but when I mentioned Satanism to my friends they all wished me luck, and were surprised when I said that the group was actually full of nice people. I don’t really have any fixed positions, I’m a pretty neutral go with the flow kind of person, I like to look at both sides before making a decision so I doubt that my views will conflict with their; especially since I share some viewpoints with the group (i.e reproductive rights, atheism/non-theism). For life history and personal experience, I will be talking about how I went to church, and I live by a church, but there aren’t really many churches for Satanists to come gather as a group to discuss their opinions. This all isn’t to say that this group is struggling, they have tax-exemption from the government like all other Christian Churches so they still continue to thrive in that area.

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Response to “Out Patients” by Elise Wu

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While Ms. Wu was trying to find an online community that catered to her specific psychological disability, what she found was the people who were annoyed by these people with FD. When portraying this community she talks about how the families/spouses are confused about how to confront the FD patients who they know are lying, but they don’t know if it is manipulation or not. The verbal portrait she creates is one of worried people who are looking out for themselves, and want to know if they are being tricked into continuing a relationship. Also, these people are searching for a way to get people with FD help, and she comments about how a doctor is consistently trying to plug his book into these comments for people who are looking for help. When describing this doctor, she almost makes him seem desperate for people to read his book instead of actually giving them helpful comments. The sources she’s using are mainly websites that she found linked by the Doctor, and she also looks up what her disorder is on the website which is when she first discovers this condition. To triangulate data she uses herself, and how her experience with FD has shaped her experiences in hospitals and how she thinks her friends/family might see her as a liar (ethos). She then uses the doctor as her logos, and uses his experiences with these patients to emphasize that it is hard to get these patients help since you can’t medicate it but rather manage it. Finally, she uses pathos when talking about how she is afraid to come out of her shell and claim this title, and how she may be ridiculed for lying about her conditions. The roles of footnotes indicate dates, context, texts, and give better quotes.

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Discussion Post #3

Posted by Milton Isaiah Rivera on

Noticing how attitudes towards Asians have changed I decided to go to a place I have never been before: Chinatown. Specifically, I went to Columbus Park around 5 PM where I noticed I could find a seat with no trouble despite online sources saying I wouldn’t be able to. I credited this to the time of day, and went on with my observance which included the stores around the park as well. Another thing I noticed was there were two sections within the park, one full of adults and one mixed with kids and adults. For the former, adults were smoking and young adults smoked weed while throwing their head back, with eyes to the sky as they laughed at the nonsensical thing of life. This made me miss my old high school years where I used to do the same with my friends, and it caused me to dread growing any older. Nonetheless, even the adult section was segregated between Asians and other races, but even then not all Asian people were banded together and one man performed Tai Chi in a balcony. But of course, we all band together with our friends and people who speak our dialect or language, so I couldn’t attribute people’s racism with this division of groups. While at the kids’ section I noticed something a tad different, parents yelling at telephones, children playing indiscriminately with some kids being in solitude (maybe newcomers?) and just doing their own thing. It almost seemed as though race were unimportant to kids who were just trying to have fun, one group of kids consisted of black, white, Hispanic, and Asian but the thing that connected them was the want to play and the ability to speak the same language. So, within these sections, there were subsections and it was interesting to see that even children’s lives are complex without them even knowing it. Moving onto the stores around the park there were bare, a few had one to two customers inside of them with three waiters just lounging around looking bored. I had a craving for an iced matcha with boba, and of course, I didn’t bring cash to a cash-only store but when I went to chase I noticed it had both English and Mandarin characters displaying its name. When inside I saw employees furnished their cubicles with Chinese lanterns galore, I found this interesting since not a lot of Americans do this with their own cultures (but then again what culture do they have to display?). Once I got the cash I went back to the store and paid for my stuff, and watched as the store owner took over the self-serve pastries to prevent the spread of the disease (based on my assumption). All in all, today felt productive and I didn’t see any racist attacks towards Asians as I’ve seen on Twitter, so I hope one day New Yorkers feel safe enough to take the train because they are missing a lot from not going to Chinatown which endorses all, if not most, Asian cultures.

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Response to “Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler.

Posted by Milton Isaiah Rivera on

There were a plethora of shared beliefs in this article; women should look out for themselves, men are to be manipulated for money, rich men especially, among other things. Specifically, I would like to focus on the aspect of women looking out for themselves because this is highlighted when the two masterminds of the, ‘find a rich man, drug him, and max out his credit card’ operation are in the cop car on their way to be punished for their (in the eyes of the law) wrong behavior. Both women headed this operation and yet when asked which of them was the one who organized this, they pointed at each other rather than just staying quiet. Essentially meaning that this shared belief of looking out for oneself even applies to those of a crime-ridden business; it reminded me of when I was a kid and I broke something but when my mom asked me and my brother pointed to one another. Even though I broke it we both got in trouble so it’s funny to see two grown women do it because we carry that from childhood. Anyways, some insider language in this article includes the bars themselves, I’ve never heard of these bars and yet she presents them as these grandeur places. Background information was immensely helpful while reading this article because I knew beforehand to take everything one of the informants said with a grain of salt, and the writer of this article does the same since she knows she has lied before, so why would she tell the truth? And yet there’s something so compelling to the story that I can actually see it play out. Pressler describes the beauty of the women and contrasts it with their age so well that it almost feels like I am playing a mental movie in my head. The writer remembers that age is vital in our society, and she almost makes it seem that although a woman is pretty it all comes down to her age, which is another shared belief (like it or not) in our society. So, while Samantha was in her 30s and beautiful, she was nonetheless “ancient by stripper standards” she was essentially the Tess in the movie Burlesque. I felt bad for Samantha at that moment, although Pressler isn’t asking us to pick a side but rather is telling a story,  but nonetheless I was on Samantha’s side since it is hard for women at that age and to get married since they are seen as ‘past their prime’ but I also sympathize with the man whose career they ruined. This article made me see both sides of the spectrum, and I appreciate Pressler not only looking in the lens of the hustlers.

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Response to “A Report from Occupied Territory” by James Baldwin

Posted by Milton Isaiah Rivera on

In Baldwin’s essay readers are introduced to a variety of cultural information, such as when the older man (Fecundo Acion) called a policeman ‘sir’ in order to show him respect. In this readers see that there is a certain respect for policemen, and yet they betrayed that respect by beating him for asking questions. Another piece of cultural information we see is the visibility of cops in the community which Baldwin says makes Harlem more of occupied territory than anything else. Therefore exposing the reader to the fact that there is high tension in the community already with all these men carrying guns, and abusing their powers as though they were gods. Some questions fieldworkers may ask to further uncover the culture the article describes include but are not limited to: “Why aren’t the cops put under surveillance like people of color are?”, “how many times has this happened before?”, “will this happen again?”, “is the tension between whites and people of color still high? And will it ever get better?” and there are so many more questions. Some information a fieldworker may need to penetrate the insider perspective is to ask other informants about their experience in Harlem, whether it is good or bad. They should also collect information on all fronts; whites, people of color, and cops to see how their experiences differ. Most importantly they should remain nonbias when they collect this information, and although one group may be more in the right than the other at the end of the day fieldworkers are only here to collect the history of human experience. Finally, to answer one of the questions I asked (will this happen again?) as though I were a fieldworker myself, when reading Baldwin’s report I thought the story took place recently until I read the date so that question pretty much answers itself.

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