What has happened (because I hardly look at Tumblr anymore):
I inhabited a system in which any boy goes through life with a kind of automatic social promotion, able to take his turn first, answer first, eat first. His ideas are welcome, people smile at him, feed him, pay him well. When he is in trouble, he is usually helped first, or told there will be no consequences this time, and ‘this time’ turns out to be every time. He is like a child raised in a bubble, but one who was well when he entered. It’s the bubble that makes him sick.
I was surrounded by men taught to speak over women and permitted to lash out aggressively after being challenged by women. Professors—even female professors—called on men first and privileged their ideas, even when they were bad ideas.
This became even more serious to me when I decided to become a writer. I didn’t want to read books written by men like this, and I didn’t want to be one of those men either.
She is drawing and redrawing herself,
her skin sore from erasure.
—Esther Morgan, from “Self Portrait”
The Paris Library floods, 1910.