The Uses of the Erotic – Audre Lorde

“The erotic is a resource within each one of us that lies in a very deeply female and spiritual plane. It is firmly rooted in the power of all our unexpressed and unrecognized feelings. In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed that can provide energy for change. For women, this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered source of power and information within our lives. We have been taught to suspect this resource, it has been vilified, abused, and devalued within western society. On the one hand, the superficially erotic has been encouraged as a sign of our inferiority; on the other hand, women have been made to suffer and to feel both contemptible and suspect by virtue of its existence. It is a short step from there to the false belief that only by the suppression of the erotic within our lives and consciousness can women be truly strong. But that strength is illusory, for it is fashioned within the context of male models of power.”

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