Revolutionary Pens

A MITA member brought this quote, by Anne Lamott, to our attention. Women’s voices, historically, have been devalued and undermined, and women are still discouraged from speaking their minds, sharing their stories, and formulating unapologetic opinions. Lamott encourages us to speak and write with confidence– to take back our voices and to stand by our stories and our need to tell them in the face of criticism and punishment. Own your superpower: your voice, your perspective, and do not apologize for speaking and writing about life from your perspective. Your perspective matters, and no one can take that away from you. Stay strong, and keep hold of your pens, proverbially and literally.

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A MITA member sent us this poignant pin as a nod of acknowledgement to the intersections between oppressions and the ways in which rules and languages shift according to privilege. The sentiment expressed is simple but the reality behind it is complex and systematic. In a capitalist society, socioeconomic differences can result in dramatic differences in status, the way individuals are treated, and the benefits and or deficits they receive. It is important for us to recognize and be aware of the way in which privilege affects our lives, our experiences; and it’s equally important for us to fight against forms of prejudice– in our belief systems and in our cultures. Situations and the way we view them are shaped by social beliefs that we adopt, and many of these are a result of the structures of race, class, and gender into which we’re built. Never stop questioning what you’re told, challenging things that trouble you, and caring about language. Language is meant for us to study so that it can help us find our way out of harmful social situations and ways of thinking. Part of MITA’s mission is to encourage women and all people affected by social injustice and linguistic prejudice to care, seek, question, and challenge. Keep up the good critical thinking work!

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Telling the truth, whether an authority agrees with it or not, should not be treated as a crime. No one should be threatened, followed, harmed, locked away, or wiped out of existence for telling the(ir) truth, for taking an interest in what is going on in our world, or for reporting what they observe. We forget how dangerous the world can be and how, throughout history and today, women who speak up have been and are punished severely for doing so. The only way to change this is to be stronger together– to speak truth to power until we start to see change. We are comrades in a resistance against the forces that threaten liberty, humanism, and peaceful coexistence. We must remember those who have lost their lives fighting for the pen, so to speak, and continue to lead by their example. Hold your revolutionary fists around your MITA pens!

AnnaPW

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