“The Empowering of Women.”
Jack and Adelle Foley were asked by Oakland’s High Street Presbyterian Church to give a talk on “The Empowering of Woman.” On today’s show Adelle joins her husband in presenting the talk and goes on to read some of her own poetry. The talk begins,
In 1949 the French writer Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex that “women do not say [the collective] ‘we.’” Her book dealt with “the pervasiveness and intensity and mysteriousness of the history of women’s oppression.” How did this oppression arise? How has it been dealt with—now that the United States is (perhaps!) on the verge of electing its first woman president? One of the histories of our time (and of the time preceding us) is the history of giving voice to groups whose voices have been silent and have therefore been—ahistorical. One of the histories of our time has been the creation of history—the creation as we say of “herstory”—for the ahistorical.
“Denn die einen,” wrote the poet/playwright Bertolt Brecht,
sind im Dunkeln
Und die anderen sind im Licht.
Und man sieht nur die im Lichte
Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht.
For some are in darkness
And others are in light
You see those in light
Those in darkness fade from sight.
How does history arise? How does thought, awareness arrive? How does one come to the awareness of “the pervasiveness and intensity and mysteriousness of the history of women’s oppression”?