I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.
I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” …Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.
Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking."
— Audre Lorde (via thepeoplesrecord)
When we were working on the ordinance in Minneapolis about the ordinance that defined pornography as a civil rights issue, we had an enormous amount of diversity, which is to say we had people of many different ethnic groups. And even though the city was 96% white we had a very high black group of women, we had a very high American Indian women…we didn’t find it hard to work together, as long as we were working on something. As long as we were working on an issue, we were okay. It was when we started talking theoretically that we had nothing to say to each other. It seems to me that a lot of the answers to feminist questions have to do with the fact that we speak too theoretically to each other, and that we’re not dealing with the actual practices that have to do with our lives. And when we deal with those practices that have to do with our lives we can get along - because our lives are at stake and we know it. And when we know it, we don’t put it aside, we keep it straight in front of our eyes.
…The white women wanted to be white together in the discussions. But, because we refused to let that happen, the white women weren’t white together, and many different groups of many different ethnicities did work together. So, that’s what I recommend. I think that nothing that I’ve seen in the women’s movement has been as important as watching women in Minneapolis work together to do something about pornography. Now, the fact of the matter is, the pornography is absolutely filled with with racist hatred and bigotry, and not to include women of all ethnicities would be to ignore what’s in front of your face. So, a lot of issues are like that. They’re filled with harm and injury to women of all ethnicities, so if we work together we can get somewhere."
— Andrea Dworkin, speaking at The Radcliffe Institute (March 30, 2002)
— KMA Sullivan, Women Are Bitches
Rape is just a “method of conception,” relegating women to the means of conception, instead of, you know, people whose experiences, hopes, and fears actually matter…
Fundamentally, the debate over abortion is a debate over what we make of the fact that some of us in this world can have babies. For pro-choicers, “being able to make babies” is a nifty thing to be able to do, like being able to play the piano or being able to bake pies. It’s your skill, your ability. You should use it how you like…
For anti-choicers, the fact that someone can make a baby means that making babies is what she is for. People mistake the term “objectification” to mean “looking at with lust,” but what it actually means is “reducing someone to an object to be used.” Sexual objectification is assuming that because women turn you on, they are for sex, instead of a person whose sexuality should be an expression of their agency. What anti-choicers engage in is reproductive objectification. Women are among an array of objects to be used. The refrigerator is for storing food. The bookshelf is for holding books. The woman is for making babies. You no more give her a choice in the matter than you would give your refrigerator veto power over what food it hold because it didn’t like your method of shopping."
— Stop Catcalling Me
— Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
And threw you to the ground.
Who’s there that makes you so afraid
You’re shaken to the bone?"
— Sarah McLachlan, Good Enough
— Derrick Jensen, speaking to Dundee Crown High School