Inspiration

“This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognized at all.  For once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of.  Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives.  And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.

-Audre Lorde, The Uses of the Erotic

“Our society is founded on a very limited definition of power, namely wealth, professional success, fame, physical strength, military might, and political control.  My dear friends, I suggest that there is another kind of power, a greater power: the power to be happy right in the present moment, free from addiction, fear, despair, discrimination, anger, and ignorance.  This power is the birthright of every human being, whether celebrated or unknown, rich or poor, strong or weak.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

“The danger of falling into the habit of demanding that our bodies – fat bodies, or otherwise ‘ugly’ bodies – be pretty too is that by doing so we are reinforcing the cultural importance of prettiness.  We are acknowledging a longing for social acceptance, a willingness to indulge prettiness pressures so long as we are allowed to play too.  It is a classically liberal stance: all we want is our fair share.

I’d prefer to occupy a space outside the pretty/ugly paradigm, a space where the parameters are self-determined.

-Lesley Kinzel, Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body

“Women matter.  Women are half of us.  When you raise every woman to believe that we are insignificant, that we are broken, that we are sick, that the only cure is starvation and restraint and smallness; when you pit women against one another, keep us shackled by shame and hunger, obsessing over our flaws rather than our power and potential; when you leverage all of that to sap our money and our time-that moves the rudder of the world.  It steers humanity toward conservatism and walls and the narrow interests of men, and it keeps us adrift in waters where women’s safety and humanity are secondary to men’s pleasure and convenience.”

-Lindy West, Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman