The self, then, as a performed character, is not an organic thing that has a specific location, whose fundamental fate is to be born, to mature and to die; it is a dramatic effect arising diffusely from a scene that is presented, and the characteristic issue, the crucial
concern, is whether it will be credited or discredited.
…You see, one follows the other. I had known for years that I was a lesbian, had felt it in my bones, had ached with the knowledge, gone crazed with the knowledge, wallowed in the silence of it. Silence is like starvation. Don’t be fooled. It’s nothing short of that, and felt most sharply when one has had a full belly most of her life. When we are not physically starving, we have the luxury to realize psychic and emotional starvation. It is from this starvation that other starvations can be recognized - if one is willing to take the risk of making the connection - if one is willing to be responsible to the result of the connection. For me, the connection is an inevitable one…
…Well, now I feel both bleached and beached. I feel angry about this - the years when I refused to recognize privilege, both when it worked for me, and when I worked it, ignorantly, at the expense of others. These are not settled issues. That is why this work feels so risky to me. It continues to be discovery. It has brought me into contact with women who invariably know a hell of a lot more than I do about racism, as experienced in the flesh, as revealed in the flesh of their writing.
I think: what is my responsibility to my roots - both white and brown, Spanish-speaking and English? I am a woman with a foot in both worlds; and I refuse the split. I feel the necessity for dialogue. Sometimes I feel it urgently.
But one voice is not enough, nor two, although this is where dialogue begins. It is essential that radical feminists confront their fear of and resistance to each other, because without this, there will be no bread on the table. Simply, we will not survive. If we could make this connection in our heart of hearts, that is we are serious about a revolution - better - if we seriously believe there should be joy in our lives (real joy, not just “good times”), then we need one another. We women need each other. Because my/your solitary, self-asserting “go-for-the-throat-of-fear” power is not enough. The real power, as you and I well know, is collective. I can’t afford to be afraid of you, nor you of me. If it takes head-on collisions, let’s do it: this polite timidity is killing me.
As Lorde suggests in the passage I cited earlier, it is in looking to the nightmare that the dream is found. There, the survivor emerges to insist on a future, a vision, yes, born out of what is dark and female. The feminist movement must be a movement of such survivors, a movement with a future.
Cherrie Moraga, 1979. (This Bridge Called my Back)
“People saw me in glasses and my hand-me-down clothes and could not have imagined what I was capable of. And then when I was twelve I got that feeling, the scary witchy one, and before I knew it my mother was sick and the wildness that had been in me all along, that I tried to tamp down with chores and with homework and with promises that once I reached college I would be able to do whatever I pleased, burst out. I couldn’t help it. I tried to keep it down but it just flooded through all my quiet spaces. It was a message more then a feeling, a message that tolled like a bell: change, change, change.”
Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.
Video reblogged from Indie Art Nerd
This post has been featured on a 1000notes.com blog.
this is often my inner monologue.
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