“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”—Steve Jobs’s Best Quotes - Digits - WSJ / via @jenvalentino (via amzam)
“We’ve been taught that the spirit is outside our bodies or above our heads somewhere up in the sky with God. We’re supposed to forget that every cell in our bodies, every bone and bird and worm has spirit in it.”—Gloria Anzaldúa (via connecticutyankee)
“Fat acceptance doesn’t simply advocate in favor of fatness. Fat acceptance is also about rejecting a culture that encourages us to rage and lash out at our bodies, even to hate them, for looking a certain way. It’s about setting our own boundaries and knowing ourselves, and making smart decisions about how we live and treat ourselves, and ferociously defending the privacy of those choices. It’s about promoting the idea that anything you do with your body should come from a place of self-care and self-love, not from guilt and judgment and punishment. It’s about demanding that all bodies, no matter their appearance or age or ability, be treated with basic human respect and dignity. That’s the world I’d like to build. For all of us.”—
But it was when the professor told us that, one day, when sexism is over, the government could make abortion illegal again, that I truly lost it — both my patience and, as it turns out, the A that I’d been biting my tongue to earn. She presented this nugget of information not as an idiosyncratic view of her feelings about abortion, but as a tenet of feminist thinking about abortion, and it was one that stood in opposition to everything I understood about abortion and its importance to the feminist movement
I asked questions. Who would get to decide that sexism is over — a majority vote of the still mostly-white and mostly-male Congress? A national plebiscite? Does the end of sexism mean that no one is ever raped again, even by the emotionally disturbed? Do feminists really concede that abortion is wrong-but-necessary, and isn’t that just feeding into the stigma attached to it? It’s hard to ignore a raised hand in a room of 12 students, and harder when the student isn’t going to be ignored — and the sheer stupidity of the idea that abortion policy should be based on a political decree that sexism is “over” was just too much for me to bear.
For my professor, the challenge seemed to be more than she was willing to take. There was no Socratic give-and-take that I’d come to love about my other classes; I was supposed to accept that she was right, I was wrong and that what she said was feminist gospel.
Shutting up was a lesson that my parents hadn’t quite managed to instill in me, but if my professor’s word was Feminist Gospel, then I wasn’t sure where I belonged any longer. I was just sure that, if she was the Perfect Feminist, then I wasn’t willing to sacrifice what I thought about women’s equality to be one.
It was a disheartening experience. I supported pro-choice politicians with my votes and my voice, but it never crossed my mind to support women’s groups with my (admittedly limited) money. I eventually became a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and lived the dreaded gender wage gap and had the joyful experience of informing no less than two bosses about the sexual harassment I was experiencing from politicians, it never occurred to me that this is part of what galvanized a generation of feminists before me.