Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Haley Scholars (Group A1) Rion Amilcar Scott's “A Rare and Powerful Employee”

[Haley Reading groups Fall 2021]

Rion Amilcar Scott's “A Rare and Powerful Employee” focuses on the first-person perspective of a man who has the job of motivating and supporting women, but he secretly gets over on them. The story is fictional but disturbing because of how real it is that a powerful figure could take advantage of people the way this unnamed character does. 

At one point, the narrator imagines what will happen yet again after he gives a speech: "A line of women will position themselves to talk to me, saying things like my speech restored their faith in men or that my writings are so profound and I nod and say something that seems thoughtful, but is really canned and trite" (73).

What captured your attention more -- the deceptive man at the center of the story or the idea of those vulnerable women? Why?

27 comments:

Unknown said...

Ivorie Arthurs- I feel that this story tells what most people go through on a regular basis with working for a company. You wouldn't believe in a company's morals or core values but you would work like you do. The story shows how flipping between two morals for the sake of a job can be depressing and have a negative effect on your mental state. It also shows that sometimes you have to put your on beliefs aside for the greater cause of something.

Latavia Bryant said...

The deceptive man captured my attention more, especially at the end of the story. The fact that he gives speeches about the war on rape, turns around to recall a cartoon about rape responding with a chuckle as if something was laughable about the scene. Then goes on to say how he was going to have sex with this women as she was at her most vulnerable point telling her story. Makes me wonder how far away is he away from the rapist he speaks about often.

-Latavia Bryant

Kemry H said...

The man captured my attention the most. In the beginning, I thought he meant well by doing speeches about rape, but as I kept reading I realized he wasn't an advocate for those vulnerable women after all. Him only being in it for the money instead of actually wanting to help those women said a lot about him. It's also sickening that after a woman explained her story to him, he felt that it was appropriate to refer to himself as the magician from the movie he'd watched.

Indya Howard said...

The man captured my attention 100% at the beginning of the story I thought he genuinely felt bad for doing what he was doing to these women but as the story progressed I see he didn't feel bad at all and was almost taking pleasure in tricking these women. The part where he talks about the movie scene and how he knew the woman would give herself up to him made me sick. Even though this is a fictional story this is a real issue women face today.

Damya Evans said...

The deceptive man captured my attention the most. Its very obvious that he hates his job and he admits that he's just doing it for the money. This caught my attention because I don't believe that people should do jobs simply for the money, especially a job such as his. He is basically taking advantage of and making a joke out of vulnerable women.

Damya Evans

jasmine j said...

The man captured my attention the most. In the beginning of the story you think he feels bad or sorry for them women and there to actually help. But once he talks to them and get them to open up and feel vulnerable he takes advantage of them to have sex with them. Even though this is a fiction story I have seen and heard about this all the time with boys/men in real life.

Stefani Farrow said...

The man captured my attention for sure. It's crazy how little things throughout your childhood and leading up to adult life can have a big impact on how you think about certain situations. This man has a job of speaking light over situations and giving women the strength they need to reclaim what has been taken from them, but yet doesn't realize that he is one of the men who break these women and causes them to be vulnerable. As a human, you should want to help someone because you know it's the right thing to do, not to reap benefits from it.

Kennedy J. said...

To me a deceptive man is typical and not very likely so that part didn’t catch my attention much. However seeing the amount of vulnerable women coming to a man for help caught my interest. This initially made me question why a woman would think a man could possible help them in their situation. However I started to think about vulnerability on its own and how you will vent and listen to anyone when you’re at such a low point like that. Being at that point can make you naive and desperate. Still I don’t know how much I’d believe a man’s say in my life at that point but I can fully understand why they believed him at the time that they did.

Anonymous said...

The man caught my attention in the story the most. In the story it seemed as if he regretted his job. After reading for a bit longer, you find that this whole war on rape is a hoax and that he mainly was doing it for the money. He didn’t really care about what they were talking about, he just thought about what he would do later with them. Neville G

OLUWATOMISIN AROGUNDADE said...

The deceptive man caught my attention. He knew that he was feeding the audience lies and exploiting them (especially the women. The thing that pissed me off the most was when he was saying to the audience they are "wAgInG a wAr oN rApE". You can't do that because there are millions of rape victims every day, and you can't stop them all. The ending just confirmed that he's capable of rape or he is some sort of a rape apologist given the ending. He is a sick individual.

Taylor Gray said...

What captured my attention more was the deceptiveness of the man at the center of the story. This was because to me the man was being hypocritical and two-faced pretending to care about a serious issue that these women have faced. The fact that he knows what he is doing is wrong, yet he continues to do what he's doing because like he said these women were “fragile, cracked, or thoroughly broken”, so in the end him pretending to care about their stories, he knows that he'll most likely be able to sleep with them if he puts on a good enough act. Also, the fact that his job is to give speeches on the War on Rape to bring hope to these women and the thought that their are still good men out there, versus the way he really feels about his job shows you that a person can put up a good front. A question that came to mind for me was if he keeps getting in situations like the ending, will he start to believe in the future that he's supposed to get something in return for listening to these women stories.

-Taylor Gray

Corey A said...

Corey Anderson- The man most definitely caught my attention because I think it is crazy how he basically put on this mask to pull in these women and to act like he was there for them in their time of need just to take advantage of them and harm them once they took the bait he threw at them.

Jonathan H said...

To me, I was more captivated by the deceitful nature of the narrator. Obviously, the notion of powerful people using their positions to take advantage of others is very prevalent in our world, so seeing that concept portrayed in this story really captivated me.

Ivan Johnson said...

Ivan Johnson - The deceptive main at the center of the story grabs my attention the most. The reason is that he put on a front to get help from others, meanwhile he was doing the things he did for a whole other reason. I say that because there are people in the real world that do the exact thing.

Ja'Kesa Jones said...

The thing that caught my attention the most was definitely the deceptive man. Reason being is because he seems so sweet and so kind in the start. Then as the plot thickens he becomes to be this horrible man who lies to get what he wants. The man has a very positive caring personna so you think until his true colors finally start to unfold. It stood out to me because it is so sad that people will do others like this. It happens everyday its become so common that it has been normalized. It makes it hard for some to trust and to be honest this is a prime exapmle why women act the way they do twords men.

Anijah Barringer said...

What captured my attention the most was the deceptive man for sure. He is trying to restore women and help them get over certain traumas. Yet, in the same breathe he is contradicting what he said. It was very two-faced. And it just had me thinking about how there are people in this world just like this and you wouldn't even know. I thought the deceptive man was genuine at first, but the more I read I came to realize that he was not who he claimed to be on the inside. As the story progress, it did make me sick to my stomach because the man knows what he is doing and knows how vulnerable the women are and he takes advantage of that.
-Anijah B.

Shaquerria C. said...

The vulnerability of a women caught my attention, but the deceptive man caught my attention the most for sure. He and his manager were taking advantage of the women. The man was making money for his manager then the man was also getting something he wanted in return. I feel like everything about this story was wrong. Most of the time men are the one that are doing the raping of females. Then for a man to say they feel for women who have been victims but, in the end, get the same results of a man who is doing the raping does not sit right with me.

Tashauri F. said...

The deceptive man at the center of the story caught my attention the most because of the simple facts that he hates his jobs and only does it for the money. Initially I thought his job was meaningful to him until the truth came out. he wasn't an advocate for these women who experienced rape but he was using his job to take advantage of their vulnerability. It's disgusting that he felt that it was ok to do so after these women have trusted him and opened up to him because of the front he was putting on. This story definently made me think about how people will put on a front to get what they want.

- Tashauri F.

Maurius Gore said...

The deceptive man caught my attention. In the beginning he seemed to regret his job as he has to speak on subjects he doesn’t care too much about, giving false hope to women and making him seem like somebody he isn’t. He is more bored with his job as he says “I nod, knowing what's coming next. This has happened to me hundreds of times.” He shows false interest in her story to make her feel comfortable with telling it when in reality he is in his mind thinking about a scene in a movie where woman is falsely led into having sexual relations with a magician, he relates himself to the magician as they both as a people they aren't to manipulate women's emotions to benefit them.

-Maurius Gore

Nija Hendricks said...

The fact that the women trust this man and feel a "connection" goes to show that they truly are desperate to have a voice. They're described as "fragile, cracked, or thoroughly broken", there is no one to help them so they place their trust in a fraud. Whether they know it or not they've been raped in a different sense once more. It makes me wonder if they're truly oblivious or just tired of holding it in.

Alexis D said...

Between the deceptive man at the center of the story and the idea of those vulnerable women, the deceptive man at the center of the story really captured my attention. The man captured my attention because of the story that he told. The man was giving these speeches about rape, but as I’m reading I’m thinking that that man feels sorry for these women, but as I keep reading he doesn’t even care about the women. The man is a sick human being for tricking these women all for pleasure. Then when he talks about the woman that he knew that gave herself up just gave me goosebumps and it made me upset. This is something that a lot of women face today and the men think it is nothing but really it is. The man just caught my attention mainly because he has no regret or remorse for what he did.

Naomi B. said...

The deceptive man captured my attention the most. He puts on this facade as if he is this intellectual and compassionate man who cares about women and despise men who treat women horribly when really he is manipulative and just like those men. He goes around giving these empowering speeches to vulnerable women just to make money. I don't blame the women for being vulnerable because they have went through so much and obviously goes to these empowering events to seek help or assurance. What stuck out to me the most was when he was thinking back to a porn scene while this women is venting to him about a traumatic time in her life. What makes it even more sickening is that he doesn't feel ashamed at all.
-Naomi B.

Cidney C. said...

The deceptive man captured my attention, especially with the ending. Him having flashbacks to the movie he watched when he was a kid and how it makes him chuckle is highly disturbing. Also, the fact that he zones out while talking to the women and thinks about the movie every single time is also disturbing.

Shakyiah C said...

Like most people, the deceptive man caught my attention the most. For a part of the story while he was explaining the backstory of how he "wrote" War and Rape. I thought that there was a chance that he might have cared for the women at the beginning but obviously that was wrong. He stopped thinking that women were human and only wanted to sleep with them knowing they were vulnerable. It's disgusting that he saw this as a way to leave out his sexual fantasies. It's even worse knowing that there are people like that in world that get away with it and other people that do an even worse version of it.

Tonia Estes said...

The vulnerability of the women caught my attention the most. On page 75, the narrator zones out while the woman is talking, but she doesn't even realize because she is so into telling her own story just shows how truly hopeless women can feel in situations like hers. He literally could not have paid her less attention but the fact that he at least sat down and let her finish her story represents how much these women care about having a voice and platform to tell their stories. It was also interesting how from a young age the narrator notices men manipulating women; he feels weird about it, yet grows up to do the same thing. Something is not adding up there.

-Tonia Estes

Allana Burton said...

The deceptive man caught my attention the most and was something that stood out to me because it was very obvious he was only doing It for the money He portrayed himself as someone who was advocating for women but he was actually the total opposite and was putting on a mask or a face for these women and he was only doing it for money. It is honestly sickening the way he is putting on this show for these women. I was reading in utter disgust.

Harrison B. said...

The deceptive man completely caught my attention. I do not understand how the man gave a speech about the War on Rape, and then completely contradicted himself. Rape is the act of taking advantage of a person sexually. The woman was really moved by his speech, and was having a meaningful conversation with the man. He could not focus on the words she was saying, just her looks. He tries to make it look like he is paying attention to her, but he really is not since he has heard this type of story so many times before. The woman is being vulnerable with the man by telling him her story, and he takes advantage of her. All he can think about is having sex with her.