From "Battle Fatigue"

by Revolutionary Lesbians, 1971

As published in For Lesbians Only: A Separatist Anthology, Sara Lucia-Hoagland & Julia Penelope, eds (Onlywomen Press, London, 1988)

My anger--my resentment—my feelings that I am the wrong one because I allow myself to get caught in those asinine discussions comes from the gut experience and knowledge that as long as women direct their energies toward men –towards male goals and values—nothin will change. And each day that things don’t change—more women die—more women are raped—more women have their whole lives and sense of dignity stripped from them…more young people are murdered and beaten by their parents—more black women face their double oppression…but then I forgot…WE are the ones who are accused of bein ‘insensitive’ to the dignity of human beings.

Tell me—why is it so much more humane to be ‘sensitive’ to what makes someone ‘uncomfortable’ than it is to be angry and resentful at what happens in this society because of that comfort. WHY? And why is there such a fantastic value placed on ‘talking’? I have a feeling it is because then it won’t dawn on anyone to ask ‘what have you done lately?’

All this stuff has become more and more important because we are not the only women in the country who get into these conversations with male-world women and gay men and…And because we have had to give our attention—it is demanded after all—for they only want to spend an hour or so talking about these issues with us (but then there are so many of them and so few of us—so an hour for them is an hour for them—for us it is one more hour spent talking to one more woman who hasn’t got the slightest intention of doin a goddamn thing—why does it never occur to them to sit down and talk to each other?)

One of the effects of all this is that we seldom have time to get down to talking about the things that really matter to us…how we feel about each other…what anxieties we have about being with each other…what we have been working thru…what we want to strive for now…

I think male-world women should just go and ask their males for comfort, support, understanding, etc….they should ask for strength from males and not from women (of course they might just have to face some very nasty truths if they did that…) because when they get support, comfort, and strength from women, all that seems to happen is that it makes them stronger for their men…it means that they have more understanding and energy to give to men—and by giving it to men, they not only do not give it to other women—they get it from women and give it to men. Well—they’ll just have to get along without our energy in that little exchange.