"I chose to be a writer in girlhood because books rescued me. They were the places where I could bring the broken bits and pieces of myself and put them together again, the places where I could dream about alternative realities, possible futures. They let me know firsthand that if the mind was to be the site of resistance, only the imagination could make it so. To imagine, then, was a way to begin the process of transforming reality. All that we cannot imagine will never come into being."
— bell hooks, “Narratives of Struggle” (via ellesugars)
(Source: sevenredumbrellas, via catchmeifyoucreon)
"Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you."
— Maya Angelou (via first-third)
(Source: the-healing-nest, via glitterfarm)
"Protection is not in and of itself a bad thing. Patriarchal societies such as ours foster misogyny from which all women need protection. A racist patriarchal society is particularly dangerous for black women. However, protection need not be equated with possession. Of course, until the day arrives when we no longer live in a patriarchal society, women need to be protected from misogyny and paternalism; however, instead of fighting simply to protect women from misogyny, we must all engage in the fight to eradicate patriarchy as well as racism. …Finally, it is one thing to protect an individual so that she may actually live with a greater degree of freedom, that is, make our streets safe so that women may walk alone at night. It is another thing entirely to “protect” someone and in so doing to limit their freedom and mobility. We must be careful to distinguish offers of protection that are made in a context that places limitations on women’s freedom."
— Farah Jasmine Griffin. 2001. ‘“Ironies of the Saint”: Malcolm X, Black Women, and the Price of Protection.’ in Bettye Collier-Thomas and V. P. Franklin, eds., Sisters in the Struggle: African American in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement. NYU Press: 217-8. (via james-bliss)
"Black women wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see Black women. White women wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see women. White men wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see human beings."
— Michelle Haimoff, on privilege (via jatigi)
(Source: homoarigato, via intersectionfeminism)
"Rap music is so diverse in its themes, its style, its content but when it becomes a vehicle to be talked about in mainstream news, the rap that gets in national news is always the rap music that perpetuates misogyny that is most obscene in its lyrics and then this comes to stand for what rap is. Really its for me the perfect paradigm of colonialism, that is to say, we think of rap music as a little third-world country, that young white consumers are able to go to and take out of it whatever they want. We would have to acknowledge that what young white consumers, primarily male, oftentimes suburban, most got energized by in rap music was misogyny, obscenity, pugilistic eroticism and therefore that form of rap began to make the largest sums of money."
I blogged about this phenomenon earlier.
(Source: ellesugars, via becauseiamawoman)
"What men can do to “protect” us is to check out the ways in which they put down and intimidate women in the streets and at home, to stop being verbally and physically abusive to us and to tell men they know who mistreat women to stop it and stop it quick. Men who are committed to stopping violence against women should start seriously discussing this issue with other men and organizing in supportive ways."
— The Combahee River Collective. 1979. ‘8 Black Women, Why Did They Die?’ Radical America 13.5: 46. (via james-bliss)
"Men can lead life-affirming, meaningful lives without exploiting and oppressing women."
— bell hooks (via @Anti_Intellect on twitter)
"Often in my lectures when I use the phrase “imperialist
white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy” to
describe our nation’s political system, audiences
laugh. No one has ever explained why accurately
naming this system is funny. The laughter is itself
a weapon of patriarchal terrorism. It functions
as a disclaimer, discounting the significance of
what is being named. It suggests that the words
themselves are problematic and not the system
they describe. I interpret this laughter as the
audience’s way of showing discomfort with being
asked to ally themselves with an antipatriarchal
disobedient critique. This laughter reminds me
that if I dare to challenge patriarchy openly, I risk
not being taken seriously."
— bell hooks, ‘Understanding Patriarchy’
"Later that weekend, in a Q and A session, author and activist Alice Walker was asked a meandering question about the responsibility of Western feminists to turn their gaze on their sisters in the developing world in particular. Her answer brought forth a spontaneous whoop from the audience: “part of the problem with Western feminists, I find, is that they take after their brothers and their fathers, and that’s a real problem. And that is where, generally speaking, the loyalty is and the solidarity. So, the struggle for many of these women has just been to get what these men have and to share it with them and naturally that means that they don’t connect very much or very deeply with the women in the other cultures of the world. And that’s really a problem."
— Alice Walker quoted by Bim Adewunmi in her article ‘The inconsistency of Femen’s imperialist “one size fits all” attitude’.
"Attraction is not just about a feeling. It’s a heavily mediated experience and part of an industry that pumps billions into creating images of what women should look like. It can be hard to decipher what you are attracted to versus what you have internalized as attractive. This goes for both how we see ourselves and how we see others, and it leaves a lot of room to fester for some really messed up ideology about size, race, and sexuality. White standards of beauty get conflated with romantic ideals and create Cinderella-esque ideas of what romantic femininity should look like, all serving to uphold a certain standard of beauty. This impacts our self-esteem, the kind of energy we put out there, the types of people that are drawn to us, and ultimately who we end up dating."
Samhita Mukhopadhyay (via wretchedoftheearth)
"It would be a mistake to regard the institutionalized pattern of rape during slavery as an expression of white men’s sexual urges, otherwise stifled by the specter of white womanhood’s chastity. That would be far too simplistic an explanation. Rape was a weapon of domination, a weapon of repression, whose covert goal was to extinguish slave women’s will to resist, and in the process, to demoralize their men.
These observations on the role of rape during the Vietnam War could also apply to slavery: “In Vietnam, the U.S. Military Command made rape ‘socially acceptable’; in fact, it was unwritten, but clear, policy.” When GIs were encouraged to rape Vietnamese women and girls (and they were sometimes advised to “search” women “with their penises”) a weapon of mass political terrorism was forged."
— Angela Davis, “Women, Race, & Class” (via thefeministsocietyatnyu)
(Source: socialismartnature, via thefeministsocietyatnyu)
"I mean, when I was looking for a publisher originally for my novel The Gilda Stories in the early 90’s, I had a very reputable literary agent who sent my novel around to all the big houses, and it was rejected by everyone. And my agent said, “Do you really want to see anything?” and I said, “You can tell me the highlights of what they had to say.” One of the letters was “well, we published our black woman this year” and another one was “well your main character is black, she’s a lesbian, she’s a vampire, that’s too complicated.” And all I can say is, 20 years later she’s still in print because a feminist press took a chance on publishing it. I feel like the very limited intellectual and imaginative capabilities of the mainstream often leave writers like me out in the cold."
— Jewelle Gomez (via flamingculture)
(Source: autostraddle.com, via flamingculture)
"The image of aggressive black women dominating their male partners persists despite empirical evidence that African American women are more likely to be victims than aggressors in heterosexual partnerships. Black women suffer higher rates of domestic assault and homicide than women of other racial and ethnic groups. Their romantic attachments are also linked to their growing incarceration rates: black women’s crimes tend to be ancillary to those of their male partners. Black women are also the women most likely to face unassisted child rearing and the vulnerability to poverty that single parenthood entails."
— Melissa Harris-Perry in Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (via daniellemertina)