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Reclaim the Night Speech

October 31, 2011

This is a speech I gave at Reclaim the Night Perth, 28th October 2011.

Women are a colonised people. Under male supremacy, our original selves are forcibly buried and we are reshaped, our Selves conditioned for use and abuse by the men who occupy us. And this is a truly encompassing occupation. They not only occupy our time and energy, they infiltrate and invade, they alter what it is we believe about ourselves, they construct our identities from birth into being for them.

Under male supremacy, rape and sexual violence is the fabric of the culture in which we live. Women’s purpose is shaped according to what men value about us. We are valued in accordance with our fuckability, our submissiveness, our conformity to their value system which posits women as whores. We are vulnerable, we are penetrable, we are for use and abuse, we are colonised and we are for men.

Men construct the world around this value system. They buy and sell women and girls as sex and call it prostitution. They create degraded images of women being hurt and fucked and raped and call it pornography. Women and girls survive this occupation. We see ourselves starving and trussed up in shop windows, on the sides of buses, on newsstands and in the grocery store. And we survive this. We see little girls wearing Playboy bracelets, young women and girls being branded by the sex industry, stamped as whores, stamped as being owned. And we are still surviving this.

Tonight we are reclaiming more than the night. We are reclaiming ourselves. We are saying, loudly and clearly, “no woman is a whore”. And we are standing with every woman who has been beaten, every woman who has been raped and we are reclaiming ourselves. Men have shaped our realities for far too long, it is time we take back what is ours.

see
that no matter what you have done
i am still here.
and it has made me dangerous, and wise.
and brother,
you cannot whore, perfume, and suppress me anymore.
i have my own business in this skin
and on this planet.
Gail Murray

5 comments

  1. dani – your RTN speech is fantastic. I really like the way you are so clear & strong & there’s absolutely not a millimetre of space there for anything but anti-patriarchy. Brava!
    in admiration & sisterhood, Lavender.


  2. Great speech Allecto. Really solid. I wish I’d been there to hear it. Hope I can make it next year.


  3. Wow


  4. Awesome!!! Such powerful words, such a strong woman saying them!


  5. I can only imagine how powerful and inspiring this was for those in attendance!! I have a mental picture in my head, but I doubt it comes close to the truth! As always, much respect, Eddie

    Also, thank you for your reply the other day.



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