"Our speech - "the right speech of womanhood," was often the soliloquy, the talking into thin air, the talking to ears that do not hear you - the talk that is simply not listened to. Unlike the black male preacher whose speech was to be heard, who was to be listened to, whose words were to be remembered, the voices of black women...could be tuned out, could become a kind of background music, audible but not acknowledged as significant speech." - Bell Hooks, Talking Back
How often I have not been listened to or understood! Because my voice was feminine! This holds true with the written word as well. I am an avid reader and writer: long have I known I have no desire for the prevalent masculine paradigm or speech. I prefer female writers who are rich with their own voices: women who are not afraid to write from their own experience, their own strong core. In the written language, there are many unwritten rules as to what is quality writing; in school we are brainwashed to believe there needs to be a beginning, climax, and ending to every story. Many "feminine"-voiced authors do not write traditionally, with a voice that is distant, abstract - or with a story that is linear. Many write tiny stories within the larger story, so that it is possible to understand the greater context from any point. Many write with a very sensual, lyrical, present voice. In my many years of doubt and lack of faith in my own writing, I eventually came to this: at least it is a feminine voice. This feminine voice is needed because so many have been muted. I know that I am one of many ground-breakers, and that, in time, our voices will be just as valued.
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