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Rights to my Silence

ari_hall's picture

A right is an entitlement to obatin something, and I do not beleive one has rights over me; my thoughts, my opinions, my ideas, my silence, especailly my silence. To have a right to it is to have power over me. Only I know what is hidden in my silence, whether it be gold or trash, and only I should have the right to it, it is my property. In thinking about feminism, can keeping silence be a way in which one keeps power? I feel that at certain times it is necessary to speak to be heard so that others will recognize your existence and not step all over you. But i think one can be silent and still talk. Through movement, through dance, through words, through prayer, through action messages, ideas, concerns can be voiced. Silence speaks a different language.


EmmaBE's picture

But if silence "speaks a

But if silence "speaks a different language", doesn't it have the potential to be misunderstood? How can concerns be wholly voiced in silence if not everyone knows what you mean by that silence? (Do forms of silent communication such as dance and prayer 'count' as silence?) bell hooks claims that feminism is for everybody, so shouldn't we all speak the same language? 

I'm very curious about the idea that power can be found in silence. I find the capitalist implications of your comparison of silence as property as power very interesting - do we find agency in possessing silence? Do we find sisterhood? Is a communal silence empowering? Is communal speech?

Fdaniel's picture

I agree with Emma, its

I agree with Emma, its interesting to view silence as property  and a source of power. Although I do agree that silence can be empowering I find it hard to see silence as the most empowering option. If one speaks they are freeing themselves of the guilt, sadness and worry that came along with their silence. Once they are able to speak they open up plenty of oppurtunties to connect with others that have similar experiences. If we stay silent how can we bond? How can we create a "sisterhood?" its nearly impossible to really find something in common with someone that doesnt express how they feel or their emotions.