In Kerman’s words…

By Emily Hodgkins

(Robert Rigo)
(Robert Rigo)

Piper Kerman came to talk to a few gender and sexuality classes before she spoke on Wednesday night, engaging in a question fueled discussion. Kerman talked about the booming popularity of the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” which is based off of her book.

“Every writer fantasizes success, because you would never finish a book if you didn’t,” she said. She also addressed the dramatization of the series compared to the book, saying it didn’t matter because “on a really fundamental level, it isn’t about me. It’s about the setting. It’s about the women.”

When asked about the outrageous scenarios depicted in the series, she laughed and said, “Incredibly weird (expletive) happens in prison.” As for the hyper-sexualized aspects of the series, Kerman said, “Female sexuality is important and worth celebrating and worth depicting. Just because you put someone in a cage doesn’t make them stop being a human, and sexuality is human.”

Finally, Kerman relayed her advocacy for more educational programs in prisons.

“Failures in public education have a direct relationship to incarceration,” she said. “When people get access to public education while or after incarceration, they just don’t go back to prison and have an easier time joining the workforce. Education simply changes the way you interact with the world.”

Emily Hodgkins
Collegian Correspondent