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Sheila Rowbotham

  • ... the so-called women's question is a whole-people question.

  • Language conveys a certain power. It is one of the instruments of domination. It is carefully guarded by the superior people because it is one of the means through which they conserve their supremacy.

  • Innocence is impossible when people have never had the choice of becoming corrupt by dominating others.

  • In order to create an alternative an oppressed group must at once shatter the self-reflecting world which encircles it and, at the same time, project its own image onto history.

  • Power in the hands of particular groups and classes serves like a prism to refract reality through their own perspective.

  • Values linger on after the social structures which conceived them.

  • The oppressed without hope are mysteriously quiet. When the conception of change is beyond the limits of the possible, there are no words to articulate discontent so it is sometimes held not to exist. This mistaken belief arises because we can only grasp silence in the moment in which it is breaking.

  • When a man curls his lip, when he uses ridicule, when he grows angry, you have touched a raw nerve in domination.

Sheila Rowbotham, English historian, feminist theorist, writer, socialist