“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you … What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you sicken and die of them, in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.” Audre Lorde wrote those words decades ago, and in the age of #meninist (which not only sounds stupid and reductive, but is), the continual grasp at legislated control over women's bodies and the frequent disregard for the safety, well-being and voices of women (Donald Trump's rhetoric and UNM's rehire of Cristobal Valencia, suspended and censured for sexual harassment come to mind), it may seem harder and harder to find a voice in the face of all the unmitigated violence in the world.
Or maybe the outrage is enough. The misunderstanding of what feminism is is a result of information divined from a mass media controlled by men who define the term and outline its values as they wish—and that legacy is a pretty bitter one. Just as important then, is for women to take up space—in these pages, in public, in the workplace, in their relationships—and voice what they care about, how they take care of themselves, to share and celebrate their triumphs and even the pain of their experiences. Because, as Audre Lorde also said (bless her)—“without community, there is no liberation.”
In these pages are four women in conversation with one another, discussing a variety of subjects—self care and the future, politics and art, the past and the power of self-definition. They include Marya Errin Jones, artist, musician, writer and curator of the Tannex, local politician Maggie Toulouse Oliver, activist Tylina Hardy, and artist Jodie Herrera. No woman can talk too much. No woman can write too much. Here's to taking up space.