Small Staid & Tolentino Response

The first piece I read was a poem titled “Pentimenti” by Mairead Small Stead. This poem was published in Narrative Magazine as one of 2014-2015’s poems of the week. The piece talks about her experiences in Italy — experiences ranging from drinking wine with friends to appreciating the country’s artwork. In my opinion, this piece is written for people who are well-traveled and have experience dealing with different cultures (specifically Italian culture). As someone who has never left the continent, I do not feel that this piece was written for me. I’m unfamiliar with most of the scenes she’s describing and most of the terms/locations she referenced sounded like gibberish to me. As a result, I looked up many of the places she discussed. Although I still feel as though I’m missing out on the bread and butter of the poem, at least the research allowed me to have a slightly stronger understanding of the piece.

 

The second piece was an article titled “Ivanka Trump wrote a painfully oblivious book for basically no one.” The article was written by Jia Tolentino and was published this past May. The piece blasted Ivanka Trump’s book — ostensibly written for businesswomen — for being tone deaf and valueless. As a result, I think this piece’s audience is businesswomen who see through Ivanka’s charade. As a male, then, the only way I could have an “in” into this piece is to empathize with the struggles that females face in the workforce and put myself in their shoes. As a person of color, I believe it’s a bit easier to empathize with the discrimination women feel, although it still isn’t 100% analogous.

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