April 27, 2004

Desperately believing that there is a future.

We love the writing of Dorothy Allison. The way she uses words is so wonderful and powerful, and we wish we had one-tenth of her abilities as a writer.

In the current In These Times, Allison has a piece called 'Notes to a Young Feminist,' in which she talks about what brought her to feminism; the links between feminism, desire, and experience; and her own faith in feminism's future. You can read the whole thing here.

I came to feminism as a lover. Feminism for me was a love affair. I came to feminism as an escaped Baptist. Feminism for me was a religious conversion experience. I came to feminism as a hurt, desperate, denied child, and I would’ve killed for the feminist mama who would take me in her arms and make it all make sense. And I’ve been running after her ass ever since.

I do not necessarily believe that someone can make it all make sense. I am, in fact, in love with the feminist ideal of “get used to being uncomfortable, you’ll learn something.” That is what I need, want, ache for, and I believe absolutely in the future of feminism. [...]

Let me be clear about what I envision as the future of feminism. When they come around to make the movie of your life, when someone comes around to write the biography of you, as that feminist icon or that revolutionary, world-changing activist you are about to become, for God’s sake, make it more than anything small or pretty or over-romanticized. Make it as revolutionary as this tradition in which we speak has been. Make it so dangerous that people will be scared and unnerved when they read it. Take risks. Make illegitimate children. Get lots of lovers. Try some stuff! Make some difference. Without that courage, without that outside agitation, there will be no future of feminism. There will be no change in this country.

Posted by Magpie at April 27, 2004 09:37 PM | Women | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |