Race, Gender, Sex - Rollin Reaction Paper

Pages: 3 (1192 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality


This book reflects this very authentically. The main players bob and weave in their own ways between what they want and what they value where sex seems always to be a subplot. The strong and confident Edgar, who wants to showcase his independence and pride, explodes with jealousy and fear when Vicente, whom he wants to help come out of the closet, tells their friends about Edgar's secret (that he is having sex with the school janitor). Edgar scoffs, calling Vicente a faggot while proclaiming proudly how we would really never give away such an important asset of his so easily. As Edgar says to their group: "I would never give my youth up that fast. I not that stupid. 'Sides, he stay married already. Vicente just jealous cuz I can get what I want and he no can." It sounds very much like the reality shows many adults of today have gravitated towards.

In a similar way, when Trina talks of her lover, Erwin, a high-school jock, she openly shares how she knows he loves her because of his wisdom of not wanting her to get pregnant too early. Plus, he always brings lots of condoms. She knows he is not "dickin around," that he really loves her, even if we as readers doubt that he cares of much beyond his football reputation. Still, the confidence that she portrays is pretty solid, even if misplaced. She sees no conflict with what she knows and what the rest of us experience for her. Like Kalihi in Farrah, it is better to act like what you really want than to want something you're fearful of portraying.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Reaction Paper on Race, Gender, Sex - Rollin' Assignment

But the real story across all of the many layers is their use of language. This book is not just about youth and their exploits and naivetes. It is about the Pidgin-ing of a language to fit into the forces that rule their lives. How they roll together Tagalog, Hawaiian idioms, and 1970s American television perplexes everyone while giving a salute to their cultural clashes. How they speak demarks their personal uniqueness, their strange creativity, their defiance; and it even sets them apart from what the school and their peers really value. Filipino culture doesn't express such openness and blatant sexuality. But American TV suggests they should and they grab for what they can reach. They know little about how Pidgin comes from the need of the exploited in the past to speak in their own safe ways, claiming credit for their own existence. There is no director in their story, but still they broadcast their lines in ways that would make any award-winning script blush because of the street crud and credibility. Rolling together word and understandings just further blurs their confusions but it makes the story feel stronger.

I walked away from Rolling the R's without a lot of clarity of what it means to be a vulnerable Filipino kid in their time. The book is full of the politics of immigration, which is racial; it's all about the drug culture and how people of color use it; it glorifies the commercialism and popularity that the mainstream values: but the characters are not closed in to anything that says this or that about their ethnicity. They are racial beings without making their racial realities the focus. The book is poetic, chaotic, disturbing and fragmented, which makes it all the more enjoyable. It is exploitive sexual freedom. Then again, perhaps that says something in its own right about the way Asians in the crossroads were seen at the time. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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