Words can open doors and liberate minds, or bind with invisible chains. The philosopher Audre Lourde said, “You cannot dismantle the master’s house, using the master’s tools.” It was our own English language, our own Western culture she was speaking of.
As children of that culture, we have few other tools at hand. And we live in the master’s house. If we must dismantle the walls of the servant’s quarters to make a space large and free enough for all to live in, it’s a labor of love, not a demolition.
One powerful tool of feminism in the 1970’s was consciousness raising. Women would get together in small groups, usually in homes, and with the help of facilitators share experiences. It was a constant revelation along the lines of– ‘that happened to you too? I’m not the only one?’
Those emancipation conversations became a model for organizing political action and also for healing by mutual aid and support.
Words can bind and words can free. This is a place for emancipation conversations.