Bridge 4: Talking To Strangers
Interview with Isis Jannierre
Conducted by Olaoluwa Durotoye
Isis Janierre is a Parsons School of Design student studying architecture, she has grown up a Muslim woman in New York her entire life. Isis joined my class later into the semester where we became acquainted, she agreed to share her experiences of sex, religious sex teachings, and how these teachings interact with her surroundings as a system.
Where are you from and is your home community religious?
I’m from Manhattan, NYC. The neighborhood in which I live is not overtly religious, however, there are a few worship centers in the area.
Does your religion teach ultimate forgiveness?
In Islam, if someone repents for their sins, Allah forgives them.
Does your religion teach perseverance through hardship?
In Islam, Muslims rely on the words of Allah to surmount times of strife.
(i.e., “Allah reminds us that all people will be tried and tested in life, and calls upon Muslims to bear these trials with ‘patient perseverance and prayer.”’ -https://www.thoughtco.com/patience-perseverance-and-prayer-2004508)
Could you provide examples i.e. quotes, memories, etc
Does your religion teach that there is a difference between men and women?
Islam teaches there is distinction between men and women not only anatomically, but also in terms of societal roles.
Have any members of your home community been domestically abused or sexually assisted in some way?
Have any members of your New York Community been?
I’m sure there are residents of Uptown Manhattan who have been sexually assaulted. I do not have the charts or figures to confirm.
Were they religious?
Some victims of sexual assault are religious and some aren’t. NYC has a very liberal landscape in terms of belief systems.
Is there a difference in how they were both handled?
Recently, there was a legal provision established that any sexual assault victim of a church/clergy could seek monetary compensation. This is a step to seek justice, however, for victims of sexual assault by way of incest or spousal abuse, they have to adhere to that statutes like anyone else and hope that their case makes it to trial. If not, they don’t receive fiscal compensation of any kind and would have the only option to file another case thus, forcing them to relive their trauma all over again.
My interview with Isis was conducted over text messaging platform, my reasoning for doing so was to create a sense of privacy and would allow Isis time to answer as long as she needed to. In retrospect this was counter-productive. There needs to be human interaction to better communicate questions, I was unable to explain exactly what certain questions were asking. In terms of performance, I need to better be able to deliver. In overthinking the interview process I misjudged what parameters would be necessary to interact respectfully with the interview subject in the instance they have an uncomfortable past with the issue.