The number one priority of any movement dedicated to ending violence should be to bring marginalized grassroots women into all spaces, make them feel safe and prioritize their voices.
And: the histories that leave us fragile are often those that bring us to a feminist room. This is what I want to reflect on here. What are the implications for feminism that our points of entry are often sore points? How many of us became feminists because of experiences of violence? I cannot separate my feminist history from my experiences of violence. What a tangle. Messy.
Breakfast cereal is toasted, granulated defeat, sprinkled with sugar, riboflavin, and iron filings. It’s all already there for you, and you just pour milk on top. Breakfast cereal is enjoyed by children because children are too passive and stupid to make a real breakfast for themselves.
“Now if someone says anything [negative] about [our work] it’s more funny than anything. When it’s a man, we’re like: ‘Why are you getting so defensive about vaginas?’”
Water is heavy, so it’s hard to get it up hills, and unwieldy, so difficult to contain or pack. It’s for these reasons the occupants of the International Space Station drink recycled urine. It’s also easily contaminated. It has been, at various times and in various places, a cultural, social, political or economic resource. It can be fought over and squandered. It can create great riches, for the companies and shareholders who monopolise our water supply today.
In England, Margaret Thatcher’s government abolished state-owned regional water authorities in 1989, and water was privatised. Eleven of England’s 18 water utilities are at least partly owned by foreign entities, including the giant conglomerate Macquarie (Thames Water); HSBC (Yorkshire Water); and the American equity fund KKR (South Staffordshire Water). Severn Trent recently resisted a takeover by a Kuwaiti oil fund. Scotland’s water is still in public ownership, and the Welsh get water from a non-profit company.
Berger’s being a tad polemical; he’s writing declaratively not just to point out what he believes to be true, but to satirize the circumstances forcing this behavior: women’s situation and subjective experience has been—and still is, often—written by men in declarative statements. Women are relegated to the role of subject, and often a woman’s power stems not from her skill to author her own experience but from her adeptness at anticipating and fabricating her image so she will be found pleasing by those who do. Authority isn’t inherent for women, Berger suggests. It’s granted from the outside.