I’m all about the great speeches these days… and I have taken as a personal project reclamation of my tools, scholarship and art. From Audre Lorde’s The Master’s Tools will Never Dismantle the Master’s House:
For women, the need and desire to nurture each other is not pathological but redemptive, and it is within that knowledge that our real power is rediscovered. It is this real connection which is so feared by a patriarchal world. Only within a patriarchal structure is maternity the only social power open to women.
Interdependency between women is the way to a freedom which allows the I to be, not in order to be used, but in order to be creative. This is a difference between the passive be and the active being.
Within the interdependence of mutual (nondominant) differences lies that security which enables us to descend into the chaos of knowledge and return with true visions of our future, along with the concomitant power to effect those changes which can bring that future into being. Difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged.
…“We do not know who to ask.” But that is the same evasion of responsibility, the same cop-out, that keeps Black women’s art our of women’s exhibitions, Black women’s work our of most feminist publications except for the occasional “Special Third World Women’s Issue,” and Black women’s texts off your reading lists. But as Adrienne Rich pointed out in a recent talk, which feminists have educated themselves about such an enormous amount over the past ten years, how come you haven’t also educated yourselves about Black women and the differences between us — white and Black — when it is key to our survival as a movement?