Author Archives: Ita Flores

Girl

Girl is a piece that is poignant in how it points out sexism in a girl’s day-to-day life. It can be inferred, that the story is a dialogue between a girl and her mother or some kind of female mentor. It is striking how casually sexist ideals are taught to young girls as simple rules of the world. It begins by outlining basic routines and tasks that are expected to be completed of a girl and slowly the lessons include more and more mature forms of sexism. “this is how to sew a button; […] this is how to hem a dress […] and so to prevent yourself from looking like [a] slut.” Throughout the piece there is a constant repetition of “the slut you are so bent on becoming” which speaks to a greater issue in society where a woman’s sexuality is seen as inherently sinful.

There are prominent examples of sexism that are taught to the girl in the story such as, “this is how to bully a man; this is how a man bullies you” and even dark examples like, “this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child.” However, I find that the most telling examples throughout the story are the ones that bring up the microaggressions against women. “Don’t eat fruits on the street-flies will follow you,” “this is how you smile,” “this is how to behave in the presence of men who you don’t know very well,” and “you are not a boy.” these are some of the lessons that stood out the most.¬†“Don’t eat fruits on the street-flies will follow you” is telling a girl to stop doing something so that something else she has no control over does not happen, a girl can’t control if the flies do or do not follow her, but she must stop eating fruit in an effort to stop them, she shouldn’t tempt the flies or attract them. This relates to rape culture and goes back to how women’s sexuality is seen as sinful, how women dress or how they act can imply that “they are looking for something” or that “they wanted to be raped in the first place.” The mentor in the story is teaching the girl this, and though the mentor is incorrect in following this logic, it comes from a place of wanting to protect, “this is how you prevent a tragedy in our current culture” might have been a better title for the lessons. The teachings even come down to things as minimal as how to smile, women’s actions aren’t just policed through their sexuality but their behavior as well. A women must behave a certain way in order to be perceived as a certain kind of woman, her thoughts and words are out the door if her mannerisms don’t reflect it. The mentor’s lessons are all given an effort to protect and “this is how to behave in the presence of men who you don’t know very well” implies this heavily. Men are seen as people to be feared and are immediately unworthy of trust, women must behave a certain way so as to avoid the wrath of a man whose mind and ways of acting are still unknown, a woman’s behavior is a preventive course of action. The ultimate lesson taught in the story is the reminder that the girl learning all this is not a boy. It seems quite obvious, like there is no need in pointing it out, but this single fact is the reason this story exists in the first place. “You are not a boy” and therefore are not allowed to act as you are, this is the difference between people who are required to live by guidelines and those who are not.

Ita Flores Introduction

Hello everyone, my name is Ita Flores. I’m an artist and I’ve lived in New York all my life. I work as an assistant teaching artist in Downtown Manhattan. I love music, art, reading, and politics. Over the summer I went to a few music events, museums, art shows, and the movie theaters. I enjoy exploring and walking around New York. By winter break, I plan on having a completed demo of a video game I’m in the process of making.

a picture from my trip to the MET

My strength as a writer would be that I have many opinions on several topics and my weakness would be that I have trouble explaining what I mean concisely. I enjoy reading, a strength I have would be that I can read quickly and understand texts well enough to discuss them, a weakness is that when I find a text uninteresting, long passages become  harder to parse for me. As a thinker, my strengths are that I read a lot about many topics and that I have many thoughts and opinions on them, I am very interested in philosophy and I tend to question many things in my day to day life. I think what I dislike the most about reading and writing is that they require the time in order to be truly immersed with them. I enjoy that writing gives me the space put my thoughts down on paper and see them more mapped out. Reading provides a place where I can think about hypotheticals in way that feels more real and closer to me.

I have a no experience with OpenLab, but I am well versed with technology online.

My favorite genres include, fiction (political, fantasy, and science) , drama, and magical realism. I also read short stories. I don’t think I have an all-time favorite text, but recently my favorites are, the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan, Demian by Hermann Hesse, and the short story, Folding Beijing by Hao Jinfang.

I think fiction is a genre in literature that can be used to tell stories that can range from realistic history to wildly imaginative dramas. Fiction gives us the opportunity as a society to be thoughtful and creative. I plan on working within the vein of art in the future and learning about how our world operates is huge part of being an artist, literature, fiction specifically, is another medium through which we can communicate. I hope to learn all that I can this semester, especially, learning about the current state of the world through works of literature.

Thank you for reading!