Friday, March 11, 2011

A Radical Profeminist's Favorite Quotes

Know who is playing the music before you dance. — Nikki Giovanni

There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference. — June Jordan

The white fathers told us: I think, therefore I am. The Black mother within each of us - the poet - whispers in our dreams: I feel, therefore I can be free. — Audre Lorde in Sister Outsider, "Poetry is Not A Luxury", page 38

[M]y vehicle was going to be truth: not a global, self-deluded truth, not a truth that only I knew and that I wanted other people to follow, but the truth that came from not lying. —Andrea Dworkin, Heartbreak, page 21

To me an important breakthrough, I felt, in my work and that of others was the call to use the term white supremacy, over racism because racism in and of itself did not really allow for a discourse of colonization and decolonization, the recognition of the internalized racism within people of color and it was always in a sense keeping things at the level at which whiteness and white people remained at the center of the discussion. — bell hooks, in Critical Foundations in Young Adult Literature (author: Antero Garcia), page 68

We live in chaos, uncertain about the possibility of building and sustaining community. The public figures who speak the most to us about a return to old-fashioned values...are most committed to maintaining systems of domination---racism, sexism, class exploitation, and imperialism. They promote a perverse version of freedom that makes it synonymous with materialism. [...] Forget about the fact that capitalism requires the existence of a mass underclass of surplus labor. Lying takes the form of mass media creating the myth that [the] feminist movement has completely transformed society, so much so that the politics of patriarchal power have been inverted and that men, particularly white men, just like emasculated black men, have become the victims of dominating women...When this collective cultural consumption of and attachment to misinformation couples with the layers of lying individuals do in their personal lives, our capacity to face reality is severely diminished as is our will to intervene and change unjust circumstances. — bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, page 27-29

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just." — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal. — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)

I have come to believe, over and over again, that what is important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. — Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider, "The Transformation of Silence Into Language and Action", page 40 '

[T]hose who point out that women are being victimized are said to victimize women. Those who resist the reduction of women to sex are said to reduce women to sex. Subordinating women harms no one when pornographers do it, but when feminists see women being subordinated in pornography and say so, they are harming women. Words do nothing except when feminists use them. Go figure.' — Catharine A. MacKinnon, Women's Lives, Men's Laws, page 350

There’s nothing inevitable or neutral about heterosexuality. — Bev Jo

If I hated men, I would treat men the way that men treat women! — Beth Chamblin

Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us. — Andrea Dworkin, ‘The Rape Atrocity and the Boy Next Door’, speech at State University of New York, 1 March 1975. In Our Blood, chapter 4

They will kill me but they will not kill my voice, because it will be the voice of all Afghan women. You can cut the flower, but you cannot stop the coming of spring. — Malalai Joya

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