Wild Man Mask King (Everything you need to know to form a band like Slipknot)

Sia “Elastic Heart” feat. Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler (Official Video)

iron john 2

Jacob Ludwig Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm

Grimm, Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859) – German philologists whose collection “Kinder- und Hausmarchen,” known in English as “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” are the brothers transcribed tales directly from folk and fairy stories told to them by common villagers. Iron John was written in 1812.


ONCE UPON a time there lived a King who had a great forest near his palace, full of all kinds of wild animals. One day he sent out a huntsman to shoot him a roe, but he did not come back. “Perhaps some accident has befallen him,” said the King, and the next day he sent out two more huntsmen who were to search for him, but they too stayed away. Then on the third day, he sent for all his huntsmen, and said, “Scour the whole forest through, and do not give up until ye have found all three.” But of these also, none came home again, and of the pack of hounds which they had taken with them, none were seen more. From that time forth, no one would any longer venture into the forest, and it lay there in deep stillness and solitude, and nothing was seen of it, but sometimes an eagle or a hawk flying over it.

This lasted for many years, when a strange huntsman announced himself to the King as seeking a situation, and offered to go into the dangerous forest. The King, however, would not give his consent, and said, “It is not safe in there; I fear it would fare with thee no better than with the others, and thou wouldst never come out again.” The huntsman replied, “Lord, I will venture it at my own risk; I have no fear.” The huntsman therefore betook himself with his dog to the forest. It was not long before the dog fell in with some game on the way, and wanted to pursue it; but hardly had the dog run two steps when it stood before a deep pool, could go no farther, and a naked arm stretched itself out of the water, seized it, and drew it under. When the huntsman saw that, he went back and fetched three men to come with buckets and bail out the water. When they could see to the bottom there lay a wild man whose body was brown like rusty iron, and whose hair hung over his face down to his knees. They bound him with cords, and led him away to the castle. There was great astonishment over the wild man; the King, however, had him put in an iron cage in his court-yard, and forbade the door to be opened on pain of death, and the Queen herself was to take the key into her keeping. And from this time forth every one could again go into the forest with safety.

The King had a son eight years old, who was once playing in the court-yard, and while he was playing, his golden ball fell into the cage. The boy ran thither and said, “Give me my ball.” “Not till thou hast opened the door for me,” answered the man. “No,” said the boy, “I will not do that; the King has forbidden it,” and ran away. The next day he again went and asked for his ball; the wild man said, “Open my door,” but the boy would not. On the third day the King had ridden out hunting, and the boy went once more and said, “I cannot open the door even if I wished, for I have not the key.” Then the wild man said, “It lies under thy mother’s pillow, thou canst get it there.” The boy, who wanted to have his ball back, cast all thought to the winds, and brought the key. The door opened with difficulty, and the boy pinched his fingers. When it was open the wild man stepped out, gave him the golden ball, and hurried away. The boy had become afraid; he called and cried after him, “Oh, wild man, do not go away, or I shall be beaten!”

The wild man turned back, took him up, set him on his shoulder, and went with hasty steps into the forest.

When the King came home, he observed the empty cage, and asked the Queen how that had happened. She knew nothing about it, and sought the key, but it was gone. She called the boy, but no one answered. The King sent out people to seek for him in the fields, but they did not find him. Then he could easily guess what had happened, and much grief reigned in the royal court.

When the wild man had once more reached the dark forest, he took the boy down from his shoulder, and said to him, “Thou wilt never see thy father and mother again, but I will keep thee with me, for thou hast set me free, and I have compassion on thee. If thou dost all I bid thee, thou shalt fare well. Of treasure and gold I have enough, and more than any one in the world.” He made a bed of moss for the boy on which he slept, and the next morning the man took him to a well, and said, “Behold, the gold well is as bright and clear as crystal; thou shalt sit beside it, and take care that nothing falls into it, or it will be polluted. I will come every evening to see if thou hast obeyed my order.” The boy placed himself by the margin of the well, and often saw a golden fish or a golden snake show itself therein, and took care that nothing fell in. As he was thus sitting, his finger hurt him so violently that he involuntarily put it in the water. He drew it quickly out again, but saw that it was quite gilded, and whatsoever pains he took to wash the gold off again, all was to no purpose.

In the evening Iron John came back, looked at the boy, and said, “What has happened to the well?” “Nothing, nothing,” he answered, and held his finger behind his back, that the man might not see it. But he said, “Thou hast dipped thy finger into the water; this time it may pass, but take care thou dost not let anything go in.” By daybreak the boy was already sitting by the well and watching it.

His finger hurt him again and he passed it over his head, and then unhappily a hair fell down into the well. He took it quickly out, but it was already quite gilded. Iron John came, and already knew what had happened. “Thou hast let a hair fall into the well,” said he. “I will allow thee to watch by it once more, but if this happens for the third time then the well is polluted, and thou canst no longer remain with me.” On the third day, the boy sat by the well, and did not stir his finger, however much it hurt him. But the time was long to him, and he looked at the reflection of his face on the surface of the water. And as he still bent down more and more while he was doing so, and trying to look straight into the eyes, his long hair fell down from his shoulders into the water. He raised himself up quickly, but the whole of the hair of his head was already golden and shone like the sun. You may imagine how terrified the poor boy was! He took his pocket-handkerchief and tied it round his head, in order that the man might not see it. When he came he already knew everything, and said, “Take the handkerchief off.” Then the golden hair streamed forth, and let the boy excuse himself as he might, it was of no use. “Thou hast not stood the trial, and canst stay here no longer. Go forth into theworld, there thou wilt learn what poverty is. But as thou hast not a bad heart, and as I mean well by thee, there is one thing I will grant thee; if thou fallest into any difficulty, come to the forest and cry, ‘Iron John,’ and then I will come and help thee. My power is great, greater than thou thinkest, and I have gold and silver in abundance.” Then the King’s son left the forest, and walked by beaten and unbeaten paths ever onwards until at length he reached a great city. There he looked for work, but could find none, and he had learnt nothing by which he could help himself. At length he went to the palace, and asked if they would take him in. The people about court did not at all know what use they could make of him, but they liked him, and told him to stay. At length the cook took him into his service, and said he might carry food and water, and rake the cinders together. Once when it so happened that no one else was at hand, the cook ordered him to carry the food to the royal table, but as he did not like to let his golden hair be seen, he kept his little cap on.

Such a thing as that had never yet come under the King’s notice, and he said, “When thou comest to the royal table thou must take thy hat off.” He answered, “Ah, Lord, I cannot; I have a bad sore place on my head.” Then the King had the cook called before him and scolded him, and asked how he could take such a boy as that into his service, and that he was to turn him off at once. The cook, however, had pity on him, and exchanged him for the gardener’s boy .

Now the boy had to plant and water the garden, hoe and dig, and bear the wind and bad weather. Once in summer when he was working alone in the garden, the day was so warm he took his little cap off that the air might cool him. As the sun shone on his hair it glittered and flashed so that the rays fell into the bedroom of the King’s daughter, and up she sprang to see what that could be. Then she saw the boy, and cried to him, “Boy, bring me a wreath of flowers.” He put his cap on with all haste, and gathered wild field- flowers and bound them together. When he was ascending the stairs with them, the gardener met him, and said, “How canst thou take the King’s daughter a garland of such common flowers? Go quickly, and get another, and seek out the prettiest and rarest.” “Oh, no,” replied the boy, “the wild ones have more scent, and will please her better.” When he got into the room, the King’s daughter said, “Take thy cap off, it is not seemly to keep it on in my presence.” He again said, “I may not, I have a sore head.” She, however, caught at his cap and pulled it off, and then his golden hair rolled down on his shoulders, and it was splendid to behold. He wanted to run out, but she held him by the arm, and gave him a handful of ducats. With these he departed, but he cared nothing for the gold pieces. He took them to the gardener, and said, “I present them to thy children, they can play with them.” The following day the King’s daughter again called to him that he was to bring her a wreath of field-flowers, and when he went in with it, she instantly snatched at his cap, and wanted to take it away from him, but he held it fast with both hands. She again gave him a handful of ducats, but he would not keep them, and gave them to the gardener for playthings for his children. On the third day things went just the same; she could not get his cap away from him, and he would not have her money.

Not long afterwards, the country was overrun by war. The King gathered together his people, and did not know whether or not he could offer any opposition to the enemy, who was superior in strength and had a mighty army. Then said the gardener’s boy, “I am grown up, and will go to the wars also, only give me a horse.” The others laughed, and said, “Seek one for thyself when we are gone, we will leave one behind us in the stable for thee.” When they had gone forth, he went into the stable, and got the horse out; it was lame of one foot, and limped hobblety jig, hobblety jig; nevertheless he mounted it, and rode away to the dark forest. When he came to the outskirts, he called “Iron John” three times so loudly that it echoed through the trees. Thereupon the wild man appeared immediately, and said, “What dost thou desire?” “I want a strong steed, for I am going to the wars.” “That thou shalt have, and still more than thou askest for.” Then the wild man went back into the forest, and it was not long before a stable-boy came out of it, who led a horse that snorted with its nostrils, and could hardly be restrained, and behind them followed a great troop of soldiers entirely equipped in iron, and their swords flashed in the sun. The youth made over his three-legged horse to the stable-boy, mounted the other, and rode at the head of the soldiers. When he got near the battle-field a great part of the King’s men had already fallen, and little was wanting to make the rest give way. Then the youth galloped thither with his iron soldiers, broke like a hurricane over the enemy, and beat down all who opposed him. They began to fly, but the youth pursued, and never stopped, until there was not a single man left. Instead, however, of returning to the King, he conducted his troop by bye-ways back to the forest, and called forth Iron John. “What dost thou desire?” asked the wild man. “Take back thy horse and thy troops, and give me my three-legged horse again.” All that he asked was done, and soon he was riding on his three-legged horse.

When the King returned to his palace, his daughter went to meet him, and wished him joy of his victory. “I am not the one who carried away the victory,” said he, “but a stranger knight who came to my assistance with his soldiers.” The daughter wanted to hear who the strange knight was, but the King did not know, and said, “He followed the enemy, and I did not see him again.” She inquired of the gardener where his boy was, but he smiled, and said, “He has just come home on his three-legged horse, and the others have been mocking him, and crying, ‘Here comes our hobblety jig back again!’ They asked, too, ‘Under what hedge hast thou been lying sleeping all the time?’ He, however, said, ‘I did the best of all, and it would have gone badly without me.’ And then he was still more ridiculed.” The King said to his daughter, “I will proclaim a great feast that shall last for three days, and thou shalt throw a golden apple. Perhaps the unknown will come to it.” When the feast was announced, the youth went out to the forest, and called Iron John. “What dost thou desire?” asked he. “That I may catch the King’s daughter’s golden apple.” “It is as safe as if thou hadst it already,” said Iron John.

“Thou shalt likewise have a suit of red armor for the occasion, and ride on a spirited chestnut horse.” When the day came, the youth galloped to the spot, took his place amongst the knights, and was recognized by no one. The King’s daughter came forward, and threw a golden apple to the knights, but none of them caught it but he, only as soon as he had it he galloped away.

On the second day Iron John equipped him as a white knight, and gave him a white horse. Again he was the only one who caught the apple, and he did not linger an instant, but galloped off with it. The King grew angry, and said, “That is not allowed; he must appear before me and tell his name.” He gave the order that if the knight who caught the apple should go away again they should pursue him, and if he did not come back willingly, they were to cut him down and stab him.

On the third day, he received from Iron John a suit of black armor and a black horse, and again he caught the apple. But when he was riding off with it, the King’s attendants pursued him, and one of them got so near him that he wounded the youth’s leg with the point of his sword. The youth nevertheless escaped from them, but his horse leapt so violently that the helmet fell from the youth’s head, and they could see that he had golden hair. They rode back and announced this to the King.

The following day the King’s daughter asked the gardener about his boy. “He is at work in the garden; the queer creature has been at the festival too, and only came home yesterday evening; he has likewise shown my children three golden apples which he has won.” The King had him summoned into his presence, and he came and again had his little cap on his head. But the King’s daughter went up to him and took it off, and then his golden hair fell down over his shoulders, and he was so handsome that all were amazed. “Art thou the knight who came every day to the festival, always in different colors, and who caught the three golden apples?” asked the King. “Yes,” answered he, “and here the apples are,” and he took them out of his pocket, and returned them to the King. “If thou desirest further proof, thou mayest see the wound which thy people gave me when they followed me. But I am likewise the knight who helped thee to thy victory over thine enemies.” “If thou canst perform such deeds as that, thou art no gardener’s boy; tell me, who is thy father?” “My father is a mighty King, and gold have I in plenty as great as I require.” “I well see,” said the King, “that I owe thanks to thee; can I do anything to please thee?” “Yes,” answered he, “that indeed thou canst. Give me thy daughter to wife.” The maiden laughed, and said, “He does not stand much on ceremony, but I have already seen by his golden hair that he was no gardener’s boy,” and then she went and kissed him. His father and mother came to the wedding, and were in great delight, for they had given up all hope of ever seeing their dear son again.

And as they were sitting at the marriage-feast, the music suddenly stopped, the doors opened, and a stately King came in with a great retinue. He went up to the youth, embraced him and said, “I am Iron John, and was by enchantment a wild man, but thou hast set me free; all the treasures which I possess, shall be thy property.”

THE ENDiron hans


(The Above Telling of Iron John was found at  Pink Monkey Library)

Unmasking masculinity helping boys become connected men by Ryan McKelley | TEDxUWLaCrosse:

Dr. Ryan McKelley, shared an early experiment from the 13th century where infants were denied social interaction. The nature of the study was to find out what language would naturally develop without influence from a caregiver. However, the study failed because all of the infants died.

Study after study has shown that social isolation is a risk factor for development of disease. It highlights the importance of social connection for mental and physical health, yet the stereotype is that men are less capable of emotional connection than women, notes McKelley.

McKelley suggests otherwise. Studies show when men’s physiological responses to emotional stimuli are measured, their internal experience is similar to that of women.

McKelley wants men to do away with the mask. Sometimes emotional restriction is necessary, but it doesn’t need to be the default mode, he says. He challenges men to eliminate phrases like “man up” or “stop acting like a girl.” They should understand that opening up and being vulnerable is courageous. Taking small risks to open up will give them a broader experience of all of their emotions and allow them to make deeper connections.

McKelley is a licensed psychologist and UW-L associate professor of psychology.

Slipknot “Duality” [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
I push my fingers into my eyes…
It’s the only thing that slowly stops the ache…
But it’s made of all the things I have to take…
Jesus, it never ends, it works it’s way inside…
If the pain goes on…

I have screamed until my veins collapsed
I’ve waited as my time’s elapsed
Now, all I do is live with so much fate
I’ve wished for this, I’ve bitched at that
I’ve left behind this little fact:
You cannot kill what you did not create
I’ve gotta say what I’ve gotta say
And then I swear I’ll go away
But I can’t promise you’ll enjoy the noise
I guess I’ll save the best for last
My future seems like one big past
You’re left with me ’cause you left me no choice

I push my fingers into my eyes
It’s the only thing that slowly stops the ache
If the pain goes on,
I’m not gonna make it!

Put me back together
Or separate the skin from bone
Leave me all the pieces, then you can leave me alone
Tell me the reality is better than the dream
But I found out the hard way,
Nothing is what it seems!

I push my fingers into my eyes
It’s the only thing that slowly stops the ache
But it’s made of all the things I have to take
Jesus, it never ends, it works it’s way inside
If the pain goes on,
I’m not gonna make it!

All I’ve got…all I’ve got is insane…
All I’ve got…all I’ve got is insane…
All I’ve got…all I’ve got is insane!
All I’ve got…all I’ve got is insane!

I push my fingers into my eyes
It’s the only thing that slowly stops the ache
But it’s made of all the things I have to take
Jesus, it never ends, it works it’s way inside
If the pain goes on,
I’m not gonna make it!

http://slipknot.wikia.com/wiki/Duality (link to site explaining song meaning and lyrics)

Iron John

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bly (link to Robert Bly) excerpts below:

Robert Bly was influenced by the Swiss psychiatrist  Carl Jung who developed the theory of archetypes, as the discrete structures of the Psyche which emerge as images in both art and myths. The Powerful King, the Evil Witch and the Beautiful Maiden are, according to Jung, imprints of the collective unconscious and Bly wrote extensively about their meaning and relations to modern life. As an example and in accordance with Jung, he considered the Witch to be that part of the male psyche upon which the negative and destructive side of a woman is imprinted and which first developed during infancy to store the imperfections of one’s own mother’s. As a consequence, the Witch’s symbols are essentially inverted motherly symbols, where the loving act of cooking is transformed into the brewing of evil potions and knitting clothes takes the form of spider’s web. The feeding process is also reversed, with the child now in danger of being eaten to feed the body of the Witch rather than being fed by the mother’s own body. In that respect, the Witch is a mark of arrested development on the part of the man as it guards against feminine realities that the his psyche is not yet able to incorporate fully. Fairy tales according to this interpretation mostly describe internal battles laid out in externally, where the hero saves his future bride by killing a witch, as in “The Drummer” (Grimms tale 193). This particular concept is expanded in Bly’s 1989 talk “The Human Shadow” and the book it presented.

Slipknot “Vermillion” Pt. 1 [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

She seems dressed in all the rings
Of past fatalities
So fragile yet so devious
She continues to see
Climatic hands that press
Her temples and my chest
Enter the night that she came home

Oh (She’s the only one that makes me sad)

She is everything and more
The solemn hypnotic
My Dahlia bathed in possession
She is home to me

I get nervous, perverse, when I see her it’s worse
But the stress is astounding
It’s now or never she’s coming home

Oh (She’s the only one that makes me sad)

Hard to say what caught my attention
Fixed and crazy, aphid attraction
Carve my name in my face, to recognize
Such a pheromone cult to terrorize

I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me


I’m a slave, and I am a master
No restraints and, unchecked collectors
I exist through my need, to self oblige
She is something in me, that I despise

I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me

I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me


(She isn’t real, I can’t make her real)
(She isn’t real, I can’t make her real)

Slipknot “Vermillion” Pt. 2 [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

She seemed dressed in all of me,
Stretched across my shame.
All the torment and the pain
Leaked through and covered me
I’d do anything to have her to myself
Just to have her for myself
Now I don’t know what to do,
I don’t know what to do when she makes me sad.

She is everything to me
The unrequited dream
A song that no one sings
The unattainable,
She’s a myth that I have to believe in
All I need to make it real is one more reason
I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do when she makes me sad.

But I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me

I catch in my throat choke
Torn into pieces
I won’t, no!
I don’t wanna be this…

But I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me
I won’t let this build up inside of me

She isn’t real
I can’t make her real
She isn’t real
I can’t make her real

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bunyan (link to John Bunyan) selected poems below:

Of The Boy and Butterfly

by John Bunyan

Behold, how eager this our little boy
Is for a butterfly, as if all joy,
All profits, honours, yea, and lasting pleasures,
Were wrapped up in her, or the richest treasures
Found in her would be bundled up together,
When all her all is lighter than a feather.

He halloos, runs, and cries out, ‘Here, boys, here!’
Nor doth he brambles or the nettles fear:
He stumbles at the molehills, up he gets,
And runs again, as one bereft of wits;
And all his labour and his large outcry
Is only for a silly butterfly.


This little boy an emblem is of those
Whose hearts are wholly at the world’s dispose.
The butterfly doth represent to me
The world’s best things at best but fading be.
All are but painted nothings and false joys,
Like this poor butterfly to these our boys.

His running through nettles, thorns, and briers,
To gratify his boyish fond desires,
His tumbling over molehills to attain
His end, namely, his butterfly to gain,
Doth plainly show what hazards some men run
To get what will be lost as soon as won.


Of Child With Bird At The Bush

by John Bunyan

My little bird, how canst thou sit
And sing amidst so many thorns?
Let me a hold upon thee get,
My love with honour thee adorns.
Thou art at present little worth,
Five farthings none will give for thee,
But pr’ythee, little bird, come forth,
Thou of more value art to me.
‘Tis true it is sunshine to-day,
To-morrow birds will have a storm;
My pretty one come thou away,
My bosom then shall keep thee warm.
Thou subject are to cold o’nights,
When darkness is thy covering;
At days thy danger’s great by kites,
How can’st thou then sit there and sing?
Thy food is scarce and scanty too,
‘Tis worms and trash which thou dost eat;
Thy present state I pity do,
Come, I’ll provide thee better meat.
I’ll feed thee with white bread and milk,
And sugar plums, if them thou crave.
I’ll cover thee with finest silk,
That from the cold I may thee save.
My father’s palace shall be thine,
Yea, in it thou shalt sit and sing;
My little bird, if thou’lt be mine,
The whole year round shall be thy spring.
I’ll teach thee all the notes at court,
Unthought-of music thou shalt play;
And all that thither do resort,
Shall praise thee for it every day.
I’ll keep thee safe from cat and cur,
No manner o’ harm shall come to thee;
Yea, I will be thy succourer,
My bosom shall thy cabin be.
But lo, behold, the bird is gone;
These charmings would not make her yield;
The child’s left at the bush alone,
The bird flies yonder o’er the field.


This child of Christ an emblem is,
The bird to sinners I compare,
The thorns are like those sins of his
Which do surround him everywhere.
Her songs, her food, and sunshine day,
Are emblems of those foolish toys,
Which to destruction lead the way,
The fruit of worldly, empty joys.
The arguments this child doth choose
To draw to him a bird thus wild,
Shows Christ familiar speech doth use
To make’s to him be reconciled.
The bird in that she takes her wing,
To speed her from him after all,
Shows us vain man loves any thing
Much better than the heavenly call.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_man (link to definitions of Wildman) excerpts below:

Iron John 3

The wild man (also wildman, or “wildman of the woods”, archaically woodwose or wodewose) is a mythical figure that appears in the artwork and literature of medieval Europe, comparable to the satyr or faun type in classical mythology and to Silvanus, the Roman god of the woodlands.

The defining characteristic of the figure is its “wildness”; from the 12th century they were consistently depicted as being covered with hair. Images of wild men appear in the carved and painted roof bosses where intersecting ogee vaults meet in the Canterbury Cathedral, in positions where one is also likely to encounter the vegetal Green Man. The image of the wild man survived to appear as supporter for heraldic coats-of-arms, especially in Germany, well into the 16th century. Renaissance engravers in Germany and Italy were particularly fond of wild men, wild women, and wild families, with examples from Martin Schongauer (died 1491) and Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) among others.

The medieval wild-man concept also drew on lore about similar beings from the Classical world such as the Roman faun and Silvanus. Several folk traditions about the wild man correspond with ancient practices and beliefs. Notably, peasants in the Grisons tried to capture the wild man by getting him drunk and tying him up in hopes that he would give them his wisdom in exchange for freedom. This suggests a connection to an ancient tradition – recorded as early as Xenophon (died 354 BC) and appearing in the works of Ovid, Pausanias, and Claudius Aelianus – in which shepherds caught a forest being, here called Silenus or Faunus, in the same fashion and for the same purpose.

On top of mythological influences, medieval wild man lore also drew on the learned writings of ancient historians, though likely to a lesser degree.  These ancient wild men are naked and sometimes covered in hair, though importantly the texts generally localize them in some faraway land, distinguishing them from the medieval wild man who was thought to exist just at the boundaries of civilization. The first historian to describe such beings, Herodotus (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC), places them in western Libya alongside the headless men with eyes in their chest and dog-faced creatures.  After the appearance of the former Persian court physician Ctesias’s book Indika (on India), which recorded Persian beliefs about the subcontinent, and the conquests of Alexander the Great, India became the primary home of fantastic creatures in the Western imagination, and wild men were frequently described as living there. Megasthenes, Seleucus I Nicator’s ambassador to Chandragupta Maurya, wrote of two kinds of men to be found in India whom he explicitly describes as wild: first, a creature brought to court whose toes faced backwards; second, a tribe of forest people who had no mouths and who sustained themselves with smells. Both Quintus Curtius Rufus and Arrian refer to Alexander himself meeting with a tribe of fish-eating savages while on his Indian campaign.

“Be A Man” by Joe Ehrmann at TEDxBaltimore 2013
Joe Ehrmann has been an educator, author, activist, pastor and coach for more than 25 years. He was a college All-American athlete who played professional football for 13 years. Among numerous awards, Joe has been named “The Most Important Coach in America” for his work to transform the culture of sports.

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/08/08/the-masks-men-wear/ (link to Art of Manliness/) excerpts from article below:

Masks helped primitive tribes deal with change and danger. Transitions and crises could threaten the unity of the tribe. The unchanging face of the mask was a symbol of stability and continuity, and the masquerades were thus used to convey meaning, purpose, and structure during these shifts.
And of course, masks were and are not simply for symbolic use. They also serve as straightforward, functional headgear designed to protect the face. Ancient warriors like the samurai and medieval knights donned headgear and masks not only to protect their mugs, but to intimidate the enemy. Functional masks are the only type of mask to still enjoy widespread use today. From the helmets of football players and motorcycle riders to the masks of hockey goalies and doctors, these masks protect the face while also serving to get the wearer “in the zone.”

But masking served a deeper purpose for the male psyche as well. Men have always had to put on a psychological or social mask-a front to hide weakness from their rivals and adhere to a culture’s standard of flinty manliness.

Researchers who study primates, like baboons, have learned never to tranquilize a male in front of his rivals. Once the male goes down, his competitors see the opportunity to pounce on him and will viciously attack the helpless baboon. No such problem exists when researchers tranquilize female primates. One can see then why male primates that are sick or injured will put on displays of vitality and vigor when their rival is around, only to go back to licking their wounds when once again by themselves. Biologists theorize that perhaps our human ancestors dealt with same issue-they couldn’t appear vulnerable or their rivals would see an opening, an opportunity. So our male ancestors learned to hide weakness and act tough. But constantly putting up this front can be psychologically taxing.

Masks were avenues of transformation and self-discovery for men. They were empowering, allowing men to act out the drama of nature, spirit, and desire in a controlled environment.

The idea of the Wild Man was popularized in recent times by Robert Bly’s book about men entitled Iron John. In the book, Bly analyzes the Grimm fairy tale of Iron John and how it relates to a man’s mental and emotional development. To Bly, Iron John is the archetypal Wild Man. He’s covered in hair, he’s big, and he’s earthy. Iron John lives in the forest where it’s dangerous and mysterious. He scares civilized society because he doesn’t always follow the rules.

But according to Bly, the Wild Man isn’t some macho dude or savage man who takes pleasure in violence. The Wild Man is filled with masculine strength or what Bly calls Zeus Energy. The Ancient Greeks called this energy thumos or spiritedness. The Wild Man is the opposite of the pony-tailed New Age guy who only cultivates his nurturing or feminine side. The Wild Man has a fierceness that he’ll use to fight for what he thinks is right. The Wild Man isn’t afraid to shout what he wants and mean it. In short, the Wild Man isn’t afraid or ashamed of being a man.

In Iron John, the Wild Man takes a young boy out into the woods away from his parents and in the process teaches the boy about being a man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bly  (link to Robert Bly)

wild man

The Pilgram  

by John Bunyan

Who would true Valour see
Let him come hither;
One here will Constant be,
Come Wind, come Weather.
There’s no Discouragement,
Shall make him once Relent,
His first avow’d Intent,
To be a Pilgrim.

Who so beset him round,
With dismal Storys,
Do but themselves Confound;
His Strength the more is.
No Lyon can him fright,
He’l with a Gyant Fight,
But he will have a right,
To be a Pilgrim.

Hobgoblin, nor foul Fiend,
Can daunt his Spirit:
He knows, he at the end,
Shall Life Inherit.
Then Fancies fly away,
He’l fear not what men say,
He’l labour Night and Day,
To be a Pilgrim.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_movement (link to Men’s Movement definitions and changes thru history)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masking_(personality) (link to definitions of Masking)

“To conquer others is to know power.  

To conquer yourself is to know The Way.”

~Lao Ma from Xena Warrior Princess


Threat or Threatened? (the Violence of Being Born Male)

When women speak up about stopping sexual harassment and violence against women, they often encounter men who protest in one form or another, and we use words like “minimization” and “denial” and “perpetuation” when we deconstruct their behavior patterns, all of which lands flat or on deaf ears unless we’re preaching to the choir.

I’d like to take this time to appreciate the men in the choir and anyone willing to listen and help sing:

bell hooks and Kevin Powell: Black Masculinity, Threat or Threatened (a discussion about black masculinity in popular culture today presented by Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts)

Kevin Powell is an activist, public speaker and author of 12 books, including his new title The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood.

bell hooks is an author, activist, feminist and scholar-in-residence at The New School.

Below: When your friends and family stay silent, they consent…

Violence against women: It’s a Men’s Issue (TedTalk) by Jackson Katz is an anti-sexist activist and expert on violence, media and masculinities. An author, filmmaker, educator and social theorist, Katz has worked in gender violence prevention work with diverse groups of men and boys in sports culture and the military, and has pioneered work in critical media literacy. Katz is the creator and co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which advocates the ‘bystander approach’ to sexual and domestic violence prevention. You’ve also seen him in the award winning documentary “MissRepresentation.”

Below are helpful links to articles and podcasts specifically dealing with recovery and healing from trauma:

On Being: “Beyond PTSD to Moral Injury”

On Being: “How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations”

On Being: “Depression and Resilience”

Mourning or Thanksgiving? (Honoring the Great Spirit: Lakota voices)

Above: John Trudell: “Let The Spirit Live”

John Trudell quote

Above: John Trudell “Bone Days”  (full album)

Track List:

1 Crazy Horse
Madeline Sahme / John Trudell
2 Other Close Times
Madeline Sahme / John Trudell
3 Undercurrent
John Trudell
4 Carry the Stone
John Trudell
5 Ever Get the Blues
John Trudell
6 Lucky Motel
Madeline Sahme / John Trudell
7 Bone Days
John Trudell
8 Takes My Breath
Rick Eckstein / John Trudell
9 Spectator
John Trudell
10 Sorry Love
John Trudell
11 Nothing in Her Eyes
John Trudell / Tsukamoto
12 Doesn’t Hurt Anymore
John Trudell
13 Hanging from the Cross
Madeline Sahme / John Trudell

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below: Sun Dancer, Arlette Loud Hawk tells us what it was like for her as a young Lakota woman growing up during the last Lakota uprising at Wounded Knee in 1975.

above: Lakota Voices – Arlette Loud Hawk: Part 1

above: Lakota Voices – Arlette Loud Hawk: Part 2

Illustration of Sun Dance (center symbol: cotton wood tree)

R is for Rape and M is for Military (Abuse of Women’s Rights Grows)

1 Department of Defense Directive 6495.01 defines sexual assault as intentional sexual contact characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. The crime of sexual assault includes a broad category of sexual offenses consisting of the following specific Uniform Code of Military Justice offenses: rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, forcible sodomy (forced oral or anal sex), or attempts to commit these offenses.

Girl Power Academy Newspaper Box by K.J. Legry
Girl Power Academy Newspaper Box by K.J. Legry

Embattled: Human Rights Watch (link to the following report excerpts):

A note on terminology:

Many survivors’ groups, support service organizations, and others working on sexual violence strongly prefer the term “survivor” to “victim.” “Survivor” implies greater empowerment, agency, and resilience, and many individuals do not want to be labeled solely as “victims.” This is often important to their healing process and sense of identity. That said, some individuals feel “victim” better conveys their experience of having been the target of violent crime. In recognition of these differing views, this report uses both terms.

“Retaliation” is used in this report to include adverse actions taken both by peers (social retaliation) and by the chain of command (professional retaliation) against persons who have reported a criminal offense (sexual assault). The National Defense Authorization Act defines retaliation as “(a) taking or threatening to take an adverse personnel action, or withholding or threatening to withhold a favorable personnel action, with respect to a member of the Armed Forces because the member reported a criminal offense; (b) ostracism and such act of maltreatment, as designated by the Secretary of Defense, committed by peers of a member of the Armed Forces or by other persons because the member reported a criminal offense.” Professional retaliation is also referred to as a “reprisal” and is typically handled by the Inspector General. It includes a range of actions such as transfer or reassignment, disciplinary action, poor performance evaluations, and change in a work assignment inconsistent with the military member’s grade. In this report, Human Rights Watch uses the term “retaliation” for all such adverse actions, including those referred to as “reprisals.”


Military service regulations further define the terms “ostracism” and “maltreatment” referenced in (b) above as requiring “the intent to discourage someone from reporting a criminal offense or otherwise discourage the due administration of justice.” Ostracism includes insults or bullying, exclusion from social acceptance or friendship because the victim reported a crime. Maltreatment refers to treatment by peers or by others that, when viewed objectively under all the circumstances, is abusive or otherwise unnecessary for any lawful purpose and that results (or reasonably could have resulted) in physical or mental harm or suffering. Human Rights Watch used the term “ostracism” and “maltreatment” in their ordinary senses without inferring the underlying intent of the person doing the retaliation. This report examines forms of retaliation that do not necessarily align with actionable offenses that meet the elements of proof required for a charge of retaliation under military law.

figure 1: sexual assualy and investigation in the us military 2014

There is a right to a remedy for all victims of sexual assault. Since retaliation often interferes with survivors’ ability to access a remedy, governments should take all appropriate measures to end retaliation. Recognizing the ways that retaliation can interfere with victims’ access to a remedy under human rights law, international best practices on the treatment of victims require that governments “take measures to minimize inconvenience to victims, protect their privacy, when necessary, and ensure their safety, as well as that of their families and witnesses on their behalf, from intimidation and retaliation.”

Survivors recounted suffering a range of negative actions after reporting sexual assault or harassment, both professional and social. Many considered the aftermath of the assault—bullying and isolation from peers or the damage done to their career as a result of reporting—worse than the assault itself.

Human Rights Watch has concluded that these experiences constitute harmful retaliation consistent with the definition provided in the National Defense Authorization Act. Even if some of the acts were not intended as retaliation, many occurred because the service member reported a sexual assault. In addition, the victim’s beliefs about the incident and, more importantly, their beliefs about the military’s response has a long lasting impact.

The Danielson Famile “Southern Paws” (audio)

According to a 2014 Department of Defense survey conducted by RAND Corporation, 62 percent of active service members who reported sexual assault to a military authority in the past year indicated they experienced retaliation as a result of reporting. The survey defined retaliation to include professional retaliation (such as adverse personnel action), social retaliation (ostracism or maltreatment by peers or others) and administrative action or punishments. Because only active service members participate in the survey, service members who left the military—either voluntarily or involuntarily—after reporting a sexual assault are not included, so the actual rate of retaliation may well be higher.

The military conducts workplace and gender relations surveys every two years. The 2014 RAND survey shows that reported rates of retaliation have not changed since the last workplace survey in 2012, despite aggressive efforts by the military to reform its handling of sexual assault cases, including efforts to address retaliation.

In the 2014 survey, more than half the victims who made a report (53 percent) indicated experiencing social retaliation; 32 percent reported professional retaliation; 35 percent indicated experiencing administrative action (such as a reprimand); and 11 percent reported being punished for an infraction (such as underage drinking). In a separate 2014 Defense Department Survivor Experience Survey, 40 percent of victims who made an unrestricted report of sexual assault reported experiencing professional retaliation, 59 percent experienced social retaliation, and one-third experienced both.

Many survivors we interviewed, some of whom did not initially report their assault, said they did not want to report because they had seen what happened to others. As one said, “I know how it works in the military. If you report, you are out [of the military].” One Marine who was ostracized after reporting walked in on her roommate being violently gang-raped. When she asked her roommate if she would report the assault, her roommate said that she would not report because “I don’t want to end up like you.”  When a trainee turned her drill sergeant in for sexual misconduct in 2012, she experienced such intense abuse in retaliation that she later discovered his other victims made a pact never to reveal what he had done to them.

The significant strides the military has recently made in improving reporting rates will be erased if victims see that others who report experience retaliation, and that the military does not respond to it effectively.

While most survivors surveyed report experiencing retaliation, few will see their perpetrator tried and punished for a sex offense, as is true generally for these offenses in both the military and civilian contexts. According to the December 2014 Report to the President on Sexual Assault in the Military, in FY 2014, of the 3,261 cases within the Defense Department’s jurisdiction that had outcomes to report,[36] 910 (28 percent) had sex offense charges preferred (initiating the court-martial process); 496 (15 percent) cases proceeded to trial; and 175 (5.4 percent) were convicted of a sex offense.

Thus for a victim deciding whether or not to make an unrestricted report, the risk is 12 times greater that the service member will experience retaliation as a result of their report than that the service member will see the offender (if a service member) convicted for a sex offense after a court martial.

Figure 2 limite justice for service member victims

Survivors told Human Rights Watch about the acute trauma caused by having the people who were supposed to defend their lives in battle turn on them at the very moment they most needed support. As Senior Airman Bridges, who reported sexual harassment and assault, said, “They are supposed to be your family. When sexual assault happens, you’re no longer family.”
Survivors also described situations in which the command appeared to encourage the peer alienation of the survivor. Several service members reported that their isolation was a result of instructions by commanders to their peers not to talk to them. One Marine Corps Judge Advocate General suggested that this instruction may be a mistakenly broad interpretation by junior leaders of general guidance requiring people not to talk with a victim about an ongoing investigation. Regardless of the reason why such instructions are given, the resulting isolation for the victim can be devastating.
In some cases to remove victims from a hostile work environment was a positive move for survivors. Others, however, considered the assignments to be deliberately demeaning and intended to punish them for reporting sexual violence or harassment. It may understandably be difficult for the military to find a suitable temporary position for someone in their specialty on short notice and “fill-in” duties may seem demeaning even when they are not intended to be so.  However, being put in a position outside of their specialty for an extended period took some survivors off their career paths and was deeply demoralizing.

Figure 3: whistle blower protection for sexual assault victims in us military 2013

“Under the current military whistleblower regime, victims must choose between reporting an assault and keeping their career. As a 40-year military law practitioner said, if you make a complaint, even if you can prove it, “You may as well get out. Your career is dead. There is no protection for victims.”

Figure 4: Alleged perpetrators outnumber victims in board cases related to sexual assault harrassment

Military Equal Opportunity

Service members do not have access to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and are unable to sue for discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, the Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) program was created to combat discriminatory behavior (including sexual harassment) on the basis that discrimination is at odds with the obligation of men and women in uniform to treat all with dignity and respect; and is contrary to good order and discipline and can jeopardize mission readiness by undermining unit cohesion.

Weather Forecast War and Horoscope section from the Daily Maze by K.J.Legry for Girl Power Academy
Weather Forecast War and Horoscope section from the Daily Maze by K.J.Legry

Assessment of Progress

Out of the 6,131 reports of sexual assault in FY 2014, there were 4,768 Service Member victims who made a report for an incident that occurred during military Service16, a 16% increase from FY 2013. As reflected in Figure 2, 25%, or about 1 in 4 of the estimated 18,900 Service member victims who experienced unwanted sexual contact made a Restricted or Unrestricted Report for an incident that occurred during military service. In fiscal year 2012, 11%, or about 1 in 10 of the estimated Service members who experienced the crime reported it. The estimated 25% reporting rate in fiscal year 2014 is the highest ever recorded for the Military Services.

The 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study

– Of the 4.3% of women who indicated experiencing unwanted sexual contact in the past year and who reported the matter to a military authority or organization, 62% perceived some form of professional or social retaliation, administrative action, and/or punishment associated with their report (53% social retaliation, 35% adverse administrative action, 32% professional retaliation, and 11% punishment for infraction19). However, because the data do not provide for the circumstances regarding administrative action or actions, which victims perceive as professional retaliation, we are unable to draw any conclusions regarding these numbers. Data for men were not reportable due to the small number of male respondents in this category.


For the past few years, the Pentagon has launched an extensive, public effort to combat sexual assault. It has set up a special office for victims’ advocates, commissioned reports to study the problem and stepped up training. The efforts have encouraged more victims to speak out. Reports of sexual assaults increased 41 percent from 2012 to 2014, according to Department of Defense data.

Retaliation, however, remains constant. Nearly two-thirds of service members who report sexual assault — 62 percent — say they experienced some form of social or professional retaliation from their fellow service members in 2014, according to a study conducted by military research firm RAND Corp. on behalf of the Defense Department. The number hasn’t changed since at least 2012, the last time the question was asked.

The Department of Defense data only tells part of the story. The above  Human Rights Watch report interviewed more than 150 service members who said that they have been sexually assaulted. Many of those interviewed said that they had been harassed, physically attacked or threatened by their peers for reporting. Professionally, some service members said they were stripped of their ranks, assigned to menial tasks and even pushed out of the military — all because they reported an assault.


Video: “Nalestan” Official Video by 143Band (Paradise&Diverse)
“Nalestan, is a song dedicated to all Afghan Women who are suffering in Afghanistan Society. In this song we have tried to shout out all the pains they are having.”  (Nalestan is our Second songs dedicated to all women around the globe who are suffering from being a woman.)

My first Rap, which made me the First Afghan Female Rapper, is Faryade Zan “Woman’s Shout” is about all the problems that Afghan Women and they keep silent. I asked all the females to stand up and Say No Violence. Right After this song, my cousins has burnt themselves because they had to marry an old man. Unfortunately one of them died because of more than 70% of burns with her skin but my other cousin is alive yet and their Dad in put in jail because of selling his daughters. I dedicate this song Nalestan to them and all other woman in the globe. We, as women in most countries, are the generation that Man can do whatever they want to us. Why should we keep silence for what they are all doing for us. The music was composed by 143Band. We made the scenario and shoot it in Herat- Afghanistan. Herat is a Western city in Afghanistan which is so religious. I just wanted to show all the men that I am not afraid of anything and I can shout out my voice.
Even some few women were telling bad words while I was shooting that Music Video. But I will continue and make their mind open to what the hell is going on.”

Video: Death’s Gift by “143Band” (Paradise & Diverse)

Hell's Kitchen (Mars Bakery) Girl Soda Atlas excerpt by K.J.Legry for Girl Power Academy
Hell’s Kitchen (Mars Bakery) Girl Soda Atlas excerpt by K.J.Legry for Girl Power Academy


C is for Choice (defining the goals of Reproductive Rights Activists)

“The right to abortion is part of every woman’s right to control her reproductive choices and her own life. We must reject all efforts to coerce women’s reproductive decisions. The goals of reproductive rights activists must encompass the right to have children as well as the right not to.” (From the book: Our Bodies Ourselves)

Below: Reporting by Lawrence Hurley. Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Texas.; Editing by Sue Horton)  Nov 14, 2015

For original and related articles: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/14/usa-court-abortion-states-idUSL1N1382ZR20151114#AbFIj3FOxA0a7LxU.97
U.S. top court’s Texas abortion ruling to have broad impact in states:

Nov 14 The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to hear a challenge to tough abortion restrictions in Texas raises questions about the legal fate of similar laws in more than a dozen other states.

The court’s ruling, due by June, could spell out the extent to which states can impose clinic regulations likely to restrict access to abortion as an outpatient procedure. If the court upholds the Texas law, similar laws would also fall. But if the court rules in favor of the state, then more states would be able to follow suit.

“Broadly speaking, the rule the Supreme Court crafts will impact all different types of regulation,” said Steven Aden, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that supports abortion restrictions.

A number of conservative-leaning states have passed laws in recent years governing abortion providers and clinics.

The case before the Supreme Court focuses on two provisions of a 2013 Texas law. One requires clinics providing abortions to have costly hospital-grade facilities and the other requires abortion clinic physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (50 km).

Ten of the 50 U.S. states have imposed admitting-privilege requirements similar to those in Texas, while six have enacted laws requiring hospital-grade facilities that mirror the Texas law, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents abortion providers in the case before the Supreme Court.

In total, 22 states have specific licensing standards for abortion clinics, although not all are as strict as Texas’, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports the right to an abortion, but whose research is cited by both sides in the debate.

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that if the Texas law is upheld, “copy cat laws around the nation will proliferate, creating disparities in access to care.”

Courts have blocked six of the Texas-like admitting privileges laws, including measures in Wisconsin and Alabama.

A Mississippi law mandating admitting privileges, which would have led to the only abortion clinic in the state closing down, was put on hold by a lower court in 2012. That case is pending at the high court and will likely be put on hold until the justices rule in the Texas case.

Courts have been more favorable toward tightened rules for clinics providing abortions. Four of the six laws similar to Texas’, including measures in Missouri and Virginia, have been allowed, at least in part, to go into effect.

12 other states including Florida, South Carolina and Arkansas, have this year considered enacting similar laws but the bills did not pass, according the Guttmacher Institute.

Out-of-state organizations on both sides of the issue regularly intervene in advancing or trying to kill legislation in states around the country.

Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group, has draft legislation that it encourages states to adopt. The group talks to state legislators, testifies in hearings and joins in defending laws in court. On the other side, groups like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union lobby against new abortion restrictions.

Even when the Supreme Court in 1973 ruled that women had a constitutional right to have an abortion in the Roe v. Wade case, it made it clear that states could regulate clinics, said Denise Burke, American United for Life’s vice president of legal affairs.

If Texas wins in the high court, “it will give additional encouragement to states to follow Texas’ lead,” Burke said.

She cited Nebraska and Ohio as states that would be among those most likely to enact new laws.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Texas case is unlikely to directly affect other aspects of the broader abortion wars. Courts, for example, have consistently struck down stringent laws that aim to ban abortions at earlier stages of pregnancy. In January 2014, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Arizona officials seeking to reinstate such a ban.

But the justices will be asked again in coming months to take up the broader issue, with appeals coming that concern bans in Arkansas and North Dakota, both of which were struck down by lower courts.

Below: NY Times article (excerpts) Adam Liptak reported from Washington, and Manny Fernandez from Houston:

**for full article with informational links: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/30/us/s

Texas Ruling on Abortion Leads to Call for Clarity

JUNE 10, 2015
A room at the Whole Woman’s Health clinic in McAllen, the sole abortion provider in its area.Court Upholds Texas Limits on Abortions

JUNE 9, 2015
The remaining clinics, lawyers for abortion providers said, would be clustered in four metropolitan areas: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. “There would be no licensed abortion facilities west of San Antonio,” the providers’ brief said, “and the only abortion clinic south of San Antonio would have a highly restricted capacity.”

State officials said the law was needed to protect women’s health. Abortion providers said the regulations were expensive, unnecessary and a ruse meant to put many of them out of business.

“This case presents a very, very dramatic impact in the type of restrictions on access to abortion clinics that we’ve seen over the past few years,” said Nancy Northup, the president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, whose lawyers were part of the legal team representing the clinics that sued the state. “If this case is not taken by the Supreme Court, it’s going to allow a continuation of the closing of clinics by these sneaky, underhanded methods.”

Amy Hagstrom Miller, the chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health, one of the abortion providers that sued Texas over the law, praised the Supreme Court’s move. “We’re relieved that the high court has, once again, prevented anti-choice politicians from pushing safe and affordable abortion care entirely out of reach for Texas women,” Ms. Miller said in a statement.


The bill was passed by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature and signed into law in July 2013 by Rick Perry, the governor at the time. Mr. Perry, who is running for president, said in a statement on Monday that the Supreme Court’s stay “unnecessarily puts lives in danger by allowing unsafe facilities to continue to perform abortions.”

“I am confident the court will ultimately uphold these common-sense measures to protect the health and safety of Texas women,” he added.

Texas Republican leaders, who have said that the law’s restrictions were intended to protect the safety of women seeking abortions, defended the measure, which was known as House Bill 2, or H.B. 2. They expressed confidence the Supreme Court would ultimately weigh in on their side.

“H.B. 2 was a constitutional exercise of Texas’ lawmaking authority that was correctly and unanimously upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “Texas will continue to fight for higher-quality health care standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable — the unborn, and I’m confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law.”

The state’s Republican lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, an outspoken opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage, said in a statement that the Supreme Court was “continuing their attack on states’ rights with a narrow majority of activist justices.”


On June 9, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, largely upheld the contested provisions. A panel of the court ruled that the law, with minor exceptions, did not place an undue burden on the constitutional right to abortion.

The court said women in West Texas could obtain abortions in New Mexico, a ruling at odds with one from a different panel of the same court that said Mississippi could not rely on out-of-state abortion clinics in defending a law that would have shut down the state’s only clinic.

On June 19, the panel in the Texas case declined to grant the challengers a stay. They filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court that night.

This is the second time the Supreme Court has issued a reprieve to the clinics. In October, the court allowed more than a dozen clinics in the state to reopen.

Above Video: Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards testifies before Congress (This is a Five Hour “Hearing” 2015)

extra Thanks to Libba Bray’s article~ https://libbabray.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/why-i-stand-by-planned-parenthood/

Anti-Choice Agenda To Demonize Women:

We are always told that violent anti-choicers are a mere fringe. Obviously, few anti-choicers commit murder or arson. But, as the Matthew Shepard case reminds us, extreme vocabulary creates a climate of moral permission for extreme acts. This is a movement whose main spokespeople, many of them mantled in clerical or political authority, regularly use words like ‘baby killers’, ‘murder’, ‘holocaust’, and ‘Nazis’, thus legitimizing just about anything. After all, the conspirators who tried to assassinate Hitler are heroes.  ~Katha Pollitt, “Subject to Debate” column in The Nation (November 16, 1998)

Pro-Choice Agenda for Women’s Reproductive Rights:

Young women need to know that abortion rights and abortion access are not presents bestowed or retracted by powerful men (or women) — Presidents, Supreme Court justices, legislators, lobbyists — but freedoms won, as freedom always is, by people struggling on their own behalf. ~Katha Pollitt, “Subject to Debate” column in The Nation (May 1, 2000)

“Progress of the White Wash” (Clorox Bleach Advertisement Decoupage) by K.J.Legry

bell hooks feminist discussion series: Who is Listening / What is Liberating / And How to Take Shelter

The three following discussions are each over an hour long.  Please enjoy them at your own pace.  Diehards may feel free to watch them back to back of course.

bell hooks~ Black Female Voices: Who is Listening  A public dialogue between bell hooks + Melissa Harris-Perry  (a week-long residency at The New School)

Melissa Harris-Perry: founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South, Professor of Political Science at Tulane University, author, and host of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry,”

To read an online copy of bell hooks  FEMINISM IS FOR EVERYBODY Passionate Politics go to:


bell hooks~ Are You Still a Slave? Liberating the Black Female Body Eugene Lang College The New School (http://www.newschool.edu) presents a conversation with bell hooks, scholar-in-residence at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts (http://www.newschool.edu/lang) and other leading voices in black feminism and the LGBTQ community: author Marci Blackman (Tradition), film director Shola Lynch (Free Angela and All Political Prisoners), and author and activist Janet Mock (Redefining Realness), about liberating the black female body.

For more than three decades, bell hooks (née Gloria Watkins) has been recognized internationally as a scholar, poet, author, and radical thinker. The dozens of books and articles she has published span several genres, including cultural and political analyses and critiques, personal memoirs, poetry collections, and children’s books. Her writings cover topics of gender, race, class, spirituality, teaching, and the significance of media in contemporary culture. According to Dr. hooks, these topics must be understood as interconnected in the production of systems of oppression and class domination.

The bell hooks residency at The New School is an opportunity for students to engage with education as a practice of freedom. They can participate in a series of intimate conversations and public dialogues on subjects ranging from politics to love, race to spirituality, gender to lived bodies.

bell hooks~ How Do We Define Feminist Liberation?  Eugene Lang College The New School presents a conversation with bell hooks, with R&B singer Lisa Fischer (20 Feet from Stardom) and actress Kim Sykes (Pariah) about celebrating black female power.

Lisa Fischer performing “Gimme Shelter” at the BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech in Brooklyn, NY 8-7-14.

(note of interest: bell hooks was among the visiting writers and speakers during K. J .Legry’s freshman college orientation.  She conducted K. J.’s smaller group workshop about diversity.)

F is for Father Tongue / M is for Mother Tongue (an essay by Ursula K. Le Guin)

u is for ursula“…when women speak truly they speak subversively–they can’t help it: if you’re underneath, if you’re kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains. That’s what I want–to hear you erupting. You young Mount St. Helenses who don’t know the power in you–I want to hear you.”  ~Ursula K. Le Guinursula k le guin photo quote 1

Ursula K. Le Guin gave the following address at the 1986 Bryn Mawr College Commencement:  https://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/leguin/  It was first published in a collection of essays, Dancing At The Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places, New York: Harper & Row, 1989 (147-160).

Thinking about what I should say to you made me think about what we learn in college; and what we unlearn in college; and then how we learn to unlearn what we learned in college and relearn what we unlearned in college, and so on. And I thought how I have learned, more or less well, three languages, all of them English; and how one of these languages is the one I went to college to learn. I thought I was going to study French and Italian, and I did, but what I learned was the language of power – of social power; I shall call it the father tongue.

ursula k le guin photo quote 2a
This is the public discourse, and one dialect of it is speech-making-by politicians, commencement speakers, or the old man who used to get up early in a village in Central California a couple of hundred years ago and say things very loudly on the order of “People need to be getting up now, there are things we might be doing, the repairs on the sweathouse aren’t finished and the tar-weed is in seed over on Bald Hill; this is a good time of day for doing things, and there’ll be plenty of time for lying around when it gets hot this afternoon.” So everybody would get up grumbling slightly, and some of them would go pick tarweed-probably the women. This is the effect, ideally, of the public discourse. It makes something happen, makes somebody – usually somebody else – do something, or at least it gratifies the ego of the speaker. The difference between our politics and that of a native Californian people is clear in the style of the public discourse. The difference wasn’t clear to the White invaders, who insisted on calling any Indian who made a speech a “chief,” because they couldn’t comprehend, they wouldn’t admit, an authority without supremacy-a non-dominating authority. But it is such an authority that I possess for the brief – we all hope it is decently brief – time I speak to you – I have no right to speak to you. What I have is the responsibility you have given me to speak to you.

The political tongue speaks aloud-and look how radio and television have brought the language of politics right back where it belongs – but the dialect of the father tongue that you and I learned best in college is a written one. It doesn’t speak itself. It only lectures. It began to develop when printing made written language common rather than rare, five hundred years ago or so, and with electronic processing and copying it continues to develop and proliferate so powerfully, so dominatingly, that many believe this dialect – the expository and particularly the scientific discourse – is the highest form of language, the true language, of which all other uses of words are primitive vestiges.

And it is indeed an excellent dialect. Newton’s Principia was written in it in Latin, and Descartes wrote Latin and French in it, establishing some of its basic vocabulary, and Kant wrote German in it, and Marx, Darwin, Freud, Boas, Foucault – all the great scientists and social thinkers wrote it. It is the language of thought that seeks objectivity.

I do not say it is the language of rational thought. Reason is a faculty far larger than mere objective thought. When either the political or the scientific discourse announces itself as the voice of reason, it is playing God, and should be spanked and stood in the corner. The essential gesture of the father tongue is not reasoning but distancing-making a gap, a space, between the subject or self and the object or other. Enormous energy is generated by that rending, that forcing of a gap between Man and World. So the continuous growth of technology and science fuels itself; the Industrial Revolution began with splitting the world-atom, and still by breaking the continuum into unequal parts we keep the imbalance from which our society draws the power that enables it to dominate every other culture, so that everywhere now everybody speaks the same language in laboratories and government buildings and head-quarters and offices of business, and those who don’t know it or won’t speak it are silent, or silenced. or unheard.

You came here to college to learn the language of power – to be empowered. If you want to succeed in business, government, law, engineering, science, education, the media, if you want to succeed, you have to be fluent in the language in which “success” is a meaningful word.

White man speak with forked tongue; White man speak dichotomy. His language expresses the values of the split world, valuing the positive and devaluing the negative in each redivision: subject/object, self/other, mind/body, dominant/submissive, active/passive, Man/Nature, man/woman, and so on. The father tongue is spoken from above. It goes one way. No answer is expected, or heard.

In our Constitution and the works of law, philosophy, social thought, and science, in its everyday uses in the service of justice and clarity, what I call the father tongue is immensely noble and indispensably useful. When it claims a privileged relationship to reality, it becomes dangerous and potentially destructive. It describes with exquisite accuracy the continuing destruction of the planet’s ecosystem by its speakers. This word from its vocabulary, “ecosystem,” is a word unnecessary except in a discourse that excludes its speakers from the ecosystem in a subject/object dichotomy of terminal irresponsibility.

ursula k le guin photo quote 3

The language of the fathers, of Man Ascending, Man the Conqueror, Civilized Man, is not your native tongue. It isn’t anybody’s native tongue. You didn’t even hear the father tongue your first few years, except on the radio or TV, and then you didn’t listen, and neither did your little brother, because it was some old politician with hairs in his nose yammering. And you and your brother had better things to do. You had another kind of power to learn. You were learning your mother tongue.

Using the father tongue, I can speak of the mother tongue only, inevitably, to distance it — to exclude it. It is the other, inferior. It is primitive: inaccurate, unclear, coarse, limited, trivial, banal. It’s repetitive, the same over and over, like the work called women’s work; earthbound, housebound. It’s vulgar, the vulgar tongue, common, common speech, colloquial, low, ordinary, plebeian, like the work ordinary people do, the lives common people live. The mother tongue, spoken or written, expects an answer. It is conversation, a word the root of which means “turning together.” The mother tongue is language not as mere communication but as relation, relationship. It connects. It goes two ways, many ways, an exchange, a network. Its power is not in dividing but in binding, not in distancing but in uniting. It is written, but not by scribes and secretaries for posterity: it flies from the mouth on the breath that is our life and is gone, like the outbreath, utterly gone and yet returning, repeated, the breath the same again always, everywhere, and we all know it by heart.

John have you got your umbrella I think it’s going to rain. Can you come play with me? If I told you once I told you a hundred times. Things here just aren’t the same without Mother, I will now sign your affectionate brother James. Oh what am I going to do? So I said to her I said if he thinks she’s going to stand for that but them there’s his arthritis poor thing and no work. I love you. I hate you. I hate liver. Joan dear did you feed the sheep, don’t just stand around mooning. Tell me what they said, tell me what you did. Oh how my feet do hurt. My heart is breaking. Touch me here, touch me again. Once bit twice shy. You look like what the cat dragged in. What a beautiful night. Good morning, hello, goodbye, have a nice day, thanks. God damn you to hell you lying cheat. Pass the soy sauce please. Oh shit. Is it grandma’s own sweet pretty dear? What am I going to tell her? There there don’t cry. Go to sleep now, go to sleep….Don’t go to sleep!

It is a language always on the verge of silence and often on the verge of song. It is the language stories are told in. It is the language spoken by all children and most women, and so I call it the mother tongue, for we learn it from our mothers, and speak it to our kids. I’m trying to use it here in public where it isn’t appropriate, not suited to the occasion, but I want to speak it to you because we are women and I can’t say what I want to say about women in the language of capital M Man. If I try to be objective I will say, “This is higher and that is lower,” I’ll make a commencement speech about being successful in the battle of life, I’ll lie to you; and I don’t want to.

ursula book
Early this spring I met a musician, the composer Pauline Oliveros, a beautiful woman like a grey rock in a streambed; and to a group of us, women, who were beginning to quarrel over theories in abstract, objective language – and I with my splendid Eastern-women’s-college training in the father tongue was in the thick of the fight and going for the kill – to us, Pauline, who is sparing with words, said after clearing her throat, “Offer your experience as your truth.” There was a short silence. When we started talking again, we didn’t talk objectively, and we didn’t fight. We went back to feeling our way into ideas, using the whole intellect not half of it, talking with one another, which involves listening. We tried to offer our experience to one another. Not claiming something: offering something.

How, after all, can one experience deny, negate, disprove, another experience? Even if I’ve had a lot more of it, your experience is your truth. How can one being prove another being wrong? Even if you’re a lot younger and smarter than me, my being is my truth. I can offer it; you don’t have to take it. People can’t contradict each other, only words can: words separated from experience for use as weapons, words that make the wound, the split between subject and object, exposing and exploiting the object but disguising and defending the subject.

People crave objectivity because to be subjective is to be embodied, to be a body, vulnerable, violable. Men especially aren’t used to that; they’re trained not to offer but to attack. It’s often easier for women to trust one another, to try to speak our experience in our own language, the language we talk to each other in, the mother tongue; so we empower each other.

But you and I have learned to use the mother tongue only at home or safe among friends, and many men learn not to speak it at all. They’re taught that there’s no safe place for them. From adolescence on, they talk a kind of degraded version of the father tongue with each other – sports scores, job technicalities, sex technicalities, and TV politics. At home, to women and children talking the mother tongue, they respond with a grunt and turn on the ball game. They have let themselves be silenced and dimly they know it, and so resent speakers of the mother tongue; women babble, gabble all the time…. Can’t listen to that stuff.

Our schools and colleges, institutions of the patriarchy, generally teach us to listen to people in power, men or women speaking the father tongue; and so they teach us not to listen to the mother tongue, to what the powerless say, poor men, women, children: not to hear that as valid discourse.

I am trying to unlearn these lessons, along with other lessons I was taught by my society, particularly lessons concerning the minds, work, works, and being of women. I am a slow unlearner. But I love my unteachers – the feminist thinkers and writers and talkers and poets and artists and singers and critics and friends, from Wollstonecraft and Woolf through the furies and glories of the seventies and eighties – I celebrate here and now the women who for two centuries have worked for our freedom, the unteachers, the unmasters, the unconquerors, the unwarriors, women who have at risk and at high cost offered their experience as truth. “Let us NOT praise famous women!” Virginia Woolf scribbled in a margin when she was writing Three Guineas, and she’s right, but still I have to praise these women and thank them for setting me free in my old age to learn my own language.

The third language, my native tongue, which I will never know though I’ve spent my life learning it: I’ll say some words now in this language. First a name, just a person’s name, you’ve heard it before. Sojourner Truth. That name is a language in itself. But Sojourner Truth spoke the unlearned language; about a hundred years ago, talking it in a public place, she said, “I have been forty years a slave and forty years free and would be here forty years more to have equal rights for all.” Along at the end of her talk she said, “I wanted to tell you a mite about Woman’s Rights, and so I came out and said so. I am sittin’ among you to watch; and every one and awhile I will come out and tell you what time of night it is.” She said, “Now I will do a little singing. I have not heard any singing since I came here.”1

Singing is one of the names of the language we never learn, and here for Sojourner Truth is a little singing. It was written by Joy Harjo of the Creek people and is called “The Blanket Around Her.” 2
maybe it is her birth
which she holds close to herself
or her death
which is just as inseparable
and the white wind
that encircles her is a part
just as
the blue sky
hanging in turquoise from her neck

oh woman
remember who you are
it is the whole earth

So what am I talking about with this “unlearned language” – poetry, literature? Yes, but it can be speeches and science, any use of language when it is spoken, written, read, heard as art, the way dancing is the body moving as art. In Sojourner Truth’s words you hear the coming together, the marriage of the public discourse and the private experience, making a power, a beautiful thing, the true discourse of reason. This is a wedding and welding back together of the alienated consciousness that I’ve been calling the father tongue and the undifferentiated engagement that I’ve been calling the mother tongue. This is their baby, this baby talk, the language you can spend your life trying to learn.

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We learn this tongue first, like the mother tongue, just by hearing it or reading it; and even in our overcrowded, underfunded public high schools they still teach A Tale of Two Cities and Uncle Tom’s Cabin; and in college you can take four solid years of literature, and even creative writing courses. But. It is all taught as if it were a dialect of the father tongue.

Literature takes shape and life in the body, in the womb of the mother tongue: always: and the Fathers of Culture get anxious about paternity. They start talking about legitimacy. They steal the baby. They ensure by every means that the artist, the writer, is male. This involves intellectual abortion by centuries of women artists, infanticide of works by women writers, and a whole medical corps of sterilizing critics working to purify the Canon, to reduce the subject matter and style of literature to something Ernest Hemingway could have understood.

But this is our native tongue, this is our language they’re stealing: we can read it and we can write it, and what we bring to it is what it needs, the woman’s tongue, that earth and savor, that relatedness, which speaks dark in the mother tongue but clear as sunlight in women’s poetry, and in our novels and stories, our letters, our journals, our speeches. If Sojourner Truth, forty years a slave, knew she had the right to speak that speech, how about you? Will you let yourself be silenced? Will you listen to what men tell you, or will you listen to what women are saying? I say the Canon has been spiked, and while the Eliots speak only to the Lowells and the Lowells speak only to God, Denise Levertov comes stepping westward quietly, speaking to us. 3
There is no savor
more sweet, more salt

than to be glad to be
what, woman,

and who, myself,
I am, a shadow

that grows longer as the sun
moves, drawn out

on a thread of wonder.
If I bear burdens

they begin to be remembered
as gifts, goods, a basket

of bread that hurts
my shoulders but closes me

in fragrance. I can
eat as I go.

As I’ve been using the word “truth” in the sense of “trying hard not to lie,” so I use the words “literature,” “art,” in the sense of “living well, living with skill, grace, energy” – like carrying a basket of bread and smelling it and eating as you go. I don’t mean only certain special products made by specially gifted people living in specially privileged garrets, studios, and ivory towers – “High” Art; I mean also all the low arts, the ones men don’t want. For instance, the art of making order where people live. In our culture this activity is not considered an art, it is not even considered work. “Do you work?” – and she, having stopped mopping the kitchen and picked up the baby to come answer the door, says, “No, I don’t work. People who make order where people live are by doing so stigmatized as unfit for “higher” pursuits; so women mostly do it, and among women, poor, uneducated, or old women more often than rich, educated, and young ones. Even so, many people want very much to keep house but can’t, because they’re poor and haven’t got a house to keep, or the time and money it takes, or even the experience of ever having seen a decent house, a clean room, except on TV. Most men are prevented from housework by intense cultural bias; many women actually hire another woman to do it for them because they’re scared of getting trapped in it, ending up like the woman they hire, or like that woman we all know who’s been pushed so far over by cultural bias that she can’t stand up, and crawls around the house scrubbing and waxing and spraying germ killer on the kids. But even on her kneebones, where you and I will never join her, even she has been practicing as best she knows how a great, ancient, complex, and necessary art. That our society devalues it is evidence of the barbarity, the aesthetic and ethical bankruptcy, of our society.

ursula book 3
As housekeeping is an art, so is cooking and all it involves – it involves, after all, agriculture, hunting, herding…. So is the making of clothing and all it involves…. And so on; you see how I want to revalue the word “art” so that when I come back as I do now to talking about words it is in the context of the great arts of living, of the woman carrying the basket of bread, bearing gifts, goods. Art not as some ejaculative act of ego but as a way, a skillful and powerful way of being in the world. I come back to words because words are my way of being in the world. I come back to words because words are my way of being in the world, but meaning by language as art a matter infinitely larger than the so-called High forms. Here is a poem that tries to translate six words by Hélène Cixous, who wrote The Laugh of the Medusa; she said, “Je suis là où ça parle,” and I squeezed those six words like a lovely lemon and got out all the juice I could, plus a drop of Oregon vodka.

I’m there where
it’s talking
Where that speaks I
am in that talking place
that says
my being is
my being there
is speaking
I am
And so
in a stone ear

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The stone ear that won’t listen, won’t hear us, and blames us for its being stone…. Women can babble and chatter like monkeys in the wilderness, but the farms and orchards and gardens of language, the wheatfields of art – men have claimed these, fenced them off: No Trespassing, it’s a man’s world, they say. And I say,

oh woman
remember who you are
it is the whole earth
We are told, in words and not in words, we are told by their deafness, by their stone ears, that our experience, the life experience of women, is not valuable to men – therefore not valuable to society, to humanity. We are valued by men only as an element of their experience, as things experienced; anything we may say, anything we may do, is recognized only if said or done in their service.

ursula book 6
One thing we incontestably do is have babies. So we have babies as the male priests, lawmakers, and doctors tell us to have them, when and where to have them, how often, and how to have them; so that is all under control. But we are not to talk about having babies, because that is not part of the experience of men and so nothing to do with reality, with civilization, and no concern of art. – A rending scream in another room. And Prince Audrey comes in and sees his poor little wife dead bearing his son – Or Levin goes out into his fields and thanks his God for the birth of his son – And we know how Prince Audrey feels and how Levin feels and even how God feels, but we don’t know what happened. Something happened, something was done, which we know nothing about. But what was it? Even in novels by women we are only just beginning to find out what it is that happens in the other room – what women do.

Freud famously said, “What we shall never know is what a woman wants.” Having paused thoughtfully over the syntax of that sentence, in which WE are the plural but “a woman” apparently has no plural, no individuality – as we might read that a cow must be milked twice a day or a gerbil is a nice pet – WE might go on then to consider whether WE know anything about, whether WE have ever noticed, whether WE have ever asked a woman what she does – what women do.

Many anthropologists, some historians, and others have indeed been asking one another this question for some years now, with pale and affrighted faces – and they are beginning also to answer it. More power to them. The social sciences show us that speakers of the father tongue are capable of understanding and discussing the doings of the mothers, if they will admit the validity of the mother tongue and listen to what women say.

But in society as a whole the patriarchal mythology of what “a woman” does persists almost unexamined, and shapes the lives of women. “What are you going to do when you get out of school?” “Oh, well, just like any other woman, I guess I want a home and family” – and that’s fine, but what is this home and family just like other women’s? Dad at work, mom home, two kids eating apple pie? This family, which our media and now our government declare to be normal and impose as normative, this nuclear family now accounts for seven percent of the arrangements women live in in America. Ninety-three percent of women don’t live that way. They don’t do that. Many wouldn’t if you gave it to them with bells on. Those who want that, who believe it’s their one true destiny – what’s their chance of achieving it? They’re on the road to Heartbreak House. But the only alternative offered by the patriarchal mythology is that of the Failed Woman – the old maid, the barren woman, the castrating bitch, the frigid wife, the lezzie, the libber, the Unfeminine, so beloved of misogynists both male and female.

Now indeed there are women who want to be female men; their role model is Margaret Thatcher, and they’re ready to dress for success, carry designer briefcases, kill for promotion, and drink the Right Scotch. They want to buy into the man’s world, whatever the cost. And if that’s true desire, not just compulsion born of fear, O.K.; if you can’t lick ’em join ’em. My problem with that is that I can’t see it as a good life even for men, who invented it and make all the rules. There’s power in it, but not the kind of power I respect, not the kind of power that sets anybody free. I hate to see an intelligent woman voluntarily double herself up to get under the bottom line. Talk about crawling! And when she talks, what can she talk but father tongue? If she’s the mouthpiece for the man’s world, what has she got to say for herself?

Some women manage it – they may collude, but they don’t sell out as women; and we know that when they speak for those who, in the man’s world, are the others: women, children, the poor…. But it is dangerous to put on Daddy’s clothes, though not, perhaps, as dangerous as it is to sit on Daddy’s knees.

There’s no way you can offer your experience as your truth if you deny your experience, if you try to be a mythical creature, the dummy woman who sits there on Big Daddy’s lap. Whose voice will come out of her prettily hinged jaw? Who is it says yes all the time? Oh yes, yes, I will. Oh I don’t know, you decide. Oh I can’t do that. Yes hit me, yes rape me, yes save me, oh yes. That is how A Woman talks, the one in What-we-shall-never-know-is-what-A-Woman-wants.

A Woman’s place, need I say, is in the home, plus at her volunteer work or the job where she’s glad to get sixty cents for doing what men get paid a dollar for but that’s because she’s always on pregnancy leave but childcare? No! A Woman is home caring for her children! even if she can’t. Trapped in this well-built trap, A Woman blames her mother for luring her into it, while ensuring that her own daughter never gets out; she recoils from the idea of sisterhood and doesn’t believe women have friends, because it probably means something unnatural, and anyhow, A Woman is afraid of women. She’s a male construct, and she’s afraid women will deconstruct her. She’s afraid of everything, because she can’t change. Thighs forever thin and shining hair and shining teeth and she’s my Mom, too, all seven percent of her. And she never grows old.

There are old women – little old ladies, as people always say; little bits, fragments of the great dummy statue goddess A Woman. Nobody hears if old women say yes or no, nobody pays them sixty cents for anything. Old men run things. Old men run the show, press the buttons, make the wars, make the money. In the man’s world, the old man’s world, the young men run and run and run until they drop, and some of the young women run with them. But old women live in the cracks, between the walls, like roaches, like mice, a rustling sound, a squeaking. Better lock up the cheese, boys. It’s terrible, you turn up a corner of civilization and there are all these old women running around on the wrong side-

ursula book 7I say to you, you know, you’re going to get old. And you can’t hear me. I squeak between the walls. I’ve walked through the mirror and am on the other side, where things are all backwards. You may look with a good will and a generous heart, but you can’t see anything in the mirror but your own face; and I, looking from the dark side and seeing your beautiful young faces, see that that’s how it should be.

But when you look at yourself in the mirror, I hope you see yourself. Not one of the myths. Not a failed man – a person who can never succeed because success is basically defined as being male – and not a failed goddess, a person desperately trying to hide herself in the dummy Woman, the image of men’s desires and fears. I hope you look away from those myths and into your own eyes, and see your own strength. You’re going to need it. I hope you don’t try to take your strength from men, or from a man. Secondhand experience breaks down a block from the car lot. I hope you’ll take and make your own soul; that you’ll feel your life for yourself pain by pain and joy by joy; that you’ll feed your life, eat, “eat as you go” – you who nourish, be nourished! If being a cog in the machine or a puppet manipulated by others isn’t what you want, you can find out what you want, your needs, desires, truths, powers, by accepting your own experience as a woman, as this woman, this body, this person, your hungry self. On the maps drawn by men there is an immense white area, terra incognita, where most women live. That country is all yours to explore, to inhabit, to describe.

But none of us lives there alone. Being human isn’t something people can bring off alone; we need other people in order to be people. We need one another.

If a woman sees other women as Medusa, fears them, turns a stone ear to them, these days, all her hair may begin to stand up on end hissing, Listen, listen, listen! Listen to other women, your sisters, your mothers, your grandmothers – if you don’t hear them how will you ever understand what your daughter says to you?

And the men who can talk, converse with you, not trying to talk through the dummy Yes-Woman, the men who can accept your experience as valid – when you find such a man love him, honor him! But don’t obey him. I don’t think we have any right to obedience. I think we have a responsibility to freedom.

And especially to freedom of speech. Obedience is silent. It does not answer. It is contained. Here is a disobedient woman speaking, Wendy Rose of the Hopi and Miwok people, saying in a poem called “The Parts of a Poet,” 4

parts of me are pinned
to earth, parts of me
undermine song, parts
of me spread on the water,
parts of me form a rainbow
bridge, parts of me follow
the sandfish, parts of me
are a woman who judges.

ursula book 8
Now this is what I want: I want to hear your judgments. I am sick of the silence of women. I want to hear you speaking all the languages, offering your experience as your truth, as human truth, talking about working, about making, about unmaking, about eating, about cooking, about feeding, about taking in seed and giving out life, about killing, about feeling, about thinking; about what women do; about what men do; about war, about peace; about who presses the buttons and what buttons get pressed and whether pressing buttons is in the long run a fit occupation for human beings. There’s a lot of things I want to hear you talk about.
This is what I don’t want: I don’t want what men have. I’m glad to let them do their work and talk their talk. But I do not want and will not have them saying or thinking or telling us that theirs is the only fit work or speech for human beings. Let them not take our work, our words, from us. If they can, if they will, let them work with us and talk with us. We can all talk mother tongue, we can all talk father tongue, and together we can try to hear and speak that language which may be our truest way of being in the world, we who speak for a world that has no words but ours. I know that many men and even women are afraid and angry when women do speak, because in this barbaric society, when women speak truly they speak subversively – they can’t help it: if you’re underneath, if you’re kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.

That’s what I want – to hear you erupting. You young Mount St. Helenses who don’t know the power in you – I want to hear you. I want to listen to you talking to each other and to us all: whether you’re writing an article or a poem or a letter or teaching a class or talking with friends or reading a novel or making a speech or proposing a law or giving a judgment or singing the baby to sleep or discussing the fate of nations, I want to hear you. Speak with a woman’s tongue. Come out and tell us what time of night it is! Don’t let us sink back into silence. If we don’t tell our truth, who will? Who’ll speak for my children, and yours?

So I end with the end of a poem by Linda Hogan of the Chickasaw people, called “The Women Speaking.” 5

Daughters, the women are speaking
They arrive
over the wise distances
on perfect feet.
Daughters, I love you.

© 1986 by Ursula Le Guin. All Rights Reserved.

ursula revolution quote 2


1 Sojourner Truth, in The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, ed. Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Garber (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985), pp. 255-56.

2 Joy Harjo. “The Blanket Around Her,” in That’s What She Said: Contemporary Poetry and Fiction by Native American Women, ed. Rayna Green (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984), p. 127.

3 Denise Levertov, “Stepping Westward,” in Norton Anthology, p. 1951.

4 Wendy Rose, “The Parts of a Poet,” in That’s What She Said, p. 204.

5 Linda Hogan, “The Women Speaking,” in ibid., p. 172.