The Forest Haven Asylum in Laurel, Maryland was opened in 1925 as a home, school, and social ground for both children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
To be an actor requires levels of strength that are taken for granted in everyday life. To stand on a stage, in front of a camera, and exploit your experiences to become someone else requires a lot of us. A lot of courage, a lot of compassion, and crazy amounts of vulnerability. But what do these things even mean?
I watch her face glow with defiance as her jaw tightens to restrain her voice. Not hours later, I hear her screaming down the hallway, octaves above her usual pitch, with frustration. Our AP Literature teacher will never know the passionate disagreement she feels towards his analysis of The Stranger. He will never know that she believes the book to be closer held to Marxist theory, because she will never tell him that she sees no evidence supporting Mersault’s existentialism. Confinements and prescriptions struggle to infiltrate her imaginative ideation, but her headstrong skull refuses to let anything in or out. Her mask is built firmly with steel and she is sealed shut within. She clings to individuality underlying her fraudulent educational ideology.
The patriarchal society lived in today is commonplace. Women find themselves constantly shorted in conditions ranging from violent rapists found innocent to girls told to cover their shoulders in school so as not to distract the boys in the room. These circumstances are a direct result of a panoptic mechanism abducting the idea of masculine power as dominant over femininity and fixing it into society so subtly that people rarely notice or have the ability to protest it. Foucault presents the central idea of Panopticism in Discipline and Punish: power is “visible and unverifiable,” (555). The sexist society in the United States exhibits these symptoms. For example, as Berger shows the reader in Ways of Seeing, men are visibly seen as favorable in art. However, it is essentially unverifiable because there is no sure way of knowing the inspiration, the intent, or the impetus behind the artist’s painting — consciously or subconsciously. Foucault’s presentation of the Panopticon directly represents and results in the relationship between male and female in today’s society as shown in Berger’s work, Ways of Seeing. As Berger puts it, “Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at” (47).