Culture and Society
We experience two kinds of violence: the violence done to us by others, and the violence we do to ourselves. The latter hurts more, because it’s of our own making.
Just one time I had done something nice. Just one time I had left some forlorn teenage girls an offering of chocolate and words, and suddenly I was the local pedophile. I hadn’t left them Fifty Shades of Grey.
It’s like the French Revolution. One by one, prominent men are wheeled out to the guillotine and dispatched. Of course, the present-day “deaths” are metaphorical. Garrison Keillor is still alive, just out of sight. But “Garrison Keillor,” the charming, folksy, self-deprecating Midwestern humorist, is dead.
We Edwards women are proud of our bodies. My mother has a lovely ass. My aunt has champion ankles. My cousin has long, thick hair worth climbing. And Mae Edwards, my eighty-seven-year-old grandmother, still has the world’s most magnificent breasts.
I’m just drifting off to sleep when a creature in the bushes outside my window screams like a human baby. I run to the kitchen. What is that? I ask my mother. Mother says, That is a fisher. I’m eight and have never heard of such an animal. A fisher, says Mother, is a kind of weasel that lives in the woods. It eats cats. It could even, she says, eat a very small dog.
Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially enter the Boston Marathon. She wasn’t looking to make history; she only wanted to run. But in 1967 the marathon was closed to women. So she entered as “K.V. Switzer” and ran in disguise for four miles until the race director, Jock Semple, jumped off the press truck and shouted, “Get the hell out of my race!” The picture of him trying to rip the number off her chest made headlines.
I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
Ani DiFranco On Music, Politics, And Staying Independent
You have to practice tuning out the noise of the culture to hear the messages transmitted from your gut and your heart. You have to become like a bird-watcher and be vigilant and develop the skills to spot and name the quick flash of awareness in yourself.