PROPHECIES AND DISCOURSES ON SEXUAL POLITICS
by Andrea Dworkin
Copyright © 1975, 1976 by Andrea Dworkin.
All rights reserved.
[Delivered at a rally for Lesbian Pride Week, Central
Park, New York City, June 28, 1975.]
For me, being a lesbian means three things --
First, it means that I love, cherish, and respect women
in my mind, in my heart, and in my soul. This love of women is the soil
in which my life is rooted. It is the soil of our common life together.
My life grows out of this soil. In any other soil, I would die. In whatever
ways I am strong, I am strong because of the power and passion of this
Second, being a lesbian means to me that there is an
erotic passion and intimacy which comes of touch and taste, a wild, salty
tenderness, a wet sweet sweat, our breasts, our mouths, our cunts, our
intertangled hairs, our hands. I am speaking here of a sensual passion
as deep and mysterious as the sea, as strong and still as the mountain,
as insistent and changing as the wind.
Third, being a lesbian means to me the memory of the
mother, remembered in my own body, sought for, desired, found, and truly
honored. It means the memory of the womb, when we were one with our mothers,
until birth when we were torn asunder. It means a return to that place
inside, inside her, inside ourselves, to the tissues and membranes, to
the moisture and blood.
There is a pride in the nurturant love which is our common
ground, and in the sensual love, and in the memory of the mother--and that
pride shines as bright as the summer sun at noon. That pride cannot be
degraded. Those who would degrade it are in the position of throwing handfuls
of mud at the sun. Still it shines, and those who sling mud only dirty
their own hands.
Sometimes the sun is covered by dense layers of dark
clouds. A person looking up would swear that there is no sun. But still
the sun shines. At night, when there is no light, still the sun shines.
During rain or hail or hurricane or tornado, still the sun shines.
Does the sun ask itself, "Am I good? Am I worthwhile?
Is there enough of me?" No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask
itself, "What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about
me today?" No, it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, "Am
I as big as other suns in other galaxies?" No, it burns, it shines.
In this country in the coming years, I think that there
will be a terrible storm. I think that the skies will darken beyond all
recognition. Those who walk the streets will walk them in darkness. Those
who are in prisons and mental institutions will not see the sky at all,
only the dark out of barred windows. Those who are hungry and in despair
may not look up at all. They will see the darkness as it lies on the ground
in front of their feet. Those who are raped will see the darkness as they
look up into the face of the rapist. Those who are assaulted and brutalized
by madmen will stare intently into the darkness to discern who is moving
toward them at every moment. It will be hard to remember, as the storm
is raging, that still, even though we cannot see it, the sun shines. It
will be hard to remember that still, even though we cannot see it, the
sun burns. We will try to see it and we will try to feel it, and we will
forget that it warms us still, that if it were not there, burning, shining,
this earth would be a cold and desolate and barren place.
As long as we have life and breath, no matter how dark
the earth around us, that sun still burns, still shines. There is no today
without it. There is no tomorrow without it. There was no yesterday without
it. That light is within us--constant, warm, and healing. Remember it,
sisters, in the dark times to come.
Go to "The Root
Return to OUR BLOOD
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
"Lesbian Pride." Copyright © 1975, 1976 by Andrea Dworkin.
All rights reserved. First published under the title "What Is Lesbian
Pride?" in The Second Wave, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1975. Delivered
as a lecture under the title "What Is Lesbian Pride?"