by Vliet Tiptree
“…you may hiss as much as you like, but it is comin’.”
–Sojourner Truth in 1853 at the Women’s Rights Convention in New York
I am a woman and I’m no superheroine. I don’t have an academic or other institutional connection, the strength behind me of a life-affirming culture, faith, a clear understanding of my situation, or a firm idea what to do. What I do have is an ongoing intolerable experience that this life I and other women live is blighted by male oppression, and that this blight diseases the trunk of our species’ existence, not just the branches, not just the leaves. Every moment of our existence, this blight injures us. It kills our spirits, ruins our bodies, destroys our happiness, twists our children. It has thrived for so long it sometimes seems ineradicable. This blight has many names: the Patriarchal System, Misogyny, Male Supremacy, Women’s Subjugation. I just call it the System at the moment.
I also have this: the conviction, based on all that I am, that the System can be eradicated.