“I feel like all the time I see people getting sucked into discussions/disagreements online where they’re already hampered because they’re fighting using language that is stacked against them. Like when people end up using phrases like ‘pro-life.’
I feel like this is what Adrienne Rich was talking about when she said “The oppressor’s language,” or when David Wojnarowicz talked about the “pre-invented world.” Similar to what Audre Lorde was saying too with “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
I think there’s a long queer tradition of resisting how we are framed, and it is one that is useful in a world where things are majorly being reframed for a white-supremacist audience.”
- “Learning from the Sixties,” Audre Lorde
We know what it is to be lied to, and we know how important it is not to lie to ourselves.
We are powerful because we have survived, and that is what it is all about – survival and growth.
Within each one of us there is some piece of humanness that knows we are not being served by the machine which orchestrates crisis after crisis and is grinding all our futures into dust.
- “The Burning of Paper Instead of Children,” Adrienne Rich (excerpt)
or few words
a time of chemistry and music
the hollows above your buttocks
traced by my hand
or, hair is like flesh, you said
an age of long silence
from this tongue this slab of limestone
or reinforced concrete
fanatics and traders
dumped on this coast wildgreen clayred
that breathed once
in signals of smoke
sweep of the wind
knowledge of the oppressor
this is the oppressor’s language