This is the third installment of “Student Feature”–a new addition to the WGS blog. Student-scholars enrolled in WGS courses have consented to share their experiences inside and outside the classroom with the Hope community. Today, the “Student Feature” focuses on WGS 200 student-scholar Kelly Gotham’s experience watching Cry It Out!
Claiming My Education: Cry It Out (Student Feature)
by Kelly Gotham
On Saturday, February 23, 2019, I attended Hope College’s production of Cry It Out. The play was about three new moms and how they navigate their new lives with children. Jessie and Lina have coffee together on the patio between their houses while simultaneously watching their children on the baby monitors. They discuss what it is like being home with a baby and Lina compares it to being held hostage. One day, their neighbor, Adrienne, shows up she is clearly not like Jessie and Lina. She is dressed in a suit and was constantly looking at her iPad and not engaging in conversation with the other two. We later learned that she owns a jewelry company (which keeps her preoccupied), and we also learn Adrienne experienced a painful labor when she gave birth to her daughter. Adrienne’s husband, Mithcell, later confides to Jessie about Adrienne’s postpartum depression and refusal to hold the baby. Later, after Adrienne confronts Jessie about speaking with her husband, Adrienne tells her truth; she explains her birthing complications, and Adrienne’s confession provides an entirely different outlook. The play ends with Jessie’s preparations to return to work.
I learned some more about the reality of being a mom and how they feel alone even though there are so many women with the same feelings. Throughout the story, it was evident that they all had different challenges and life certainly is not perfect. It gave me a perspective from the mom’s point of view that parenting is tough and there is a lot that it entails. It was a very real and un-sugarcoated story that is meant to captivate the audience.
Cry It Out relates to Octavia E. Butler’s Mind of My Mind (1977), specifically regarding privilege and socioeconomic status. In Butler’s novel, the actives (telepathic humans with control of their telepathy) are similar to Adrienne because they have more power than others. For example, Adrienne affords a mansion and assistants; the actives have power over “Mutes” (or humans), controlling the mutes’ behavior to ensure the telepaths have access to wealth.
Are you a WGS major or minor? Are you enrolled in a WGS course? Would you like to contribute to “Student Feature”? Email wgs AT hope DOT edu.