Thursday, December 01, 2005
Dorothy Allison quote
I'm putting together my lecture for tomorrow, which is using the first two essays in Dorothy Allison's book Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature (Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books, 1994). That said, I'm also procrastinating on actually writing the lecture, so I'm rereading the other essays in the book. Thought I'd share this tidbit (from p. 150 on Skin):
When straight people wear their tolerant expressions, I am reminded of Baptist Sunday school sermons from when I was a child in South Carolina. The preacher would talk about hating the sin but not the sinner, a line that has since become a cliche, btu one that even back then I did not trust. I remember watching his face, shiny-pink and stern, and knowing that he did not make any such distinction. It was like the conversation I had with a relatively mild conservative lady from Houston. She was looking at the table of feminist journals I was selling and looking at me with the most awkward expression of polite distaste.
"I know," she said, "you must be a fine young woman, and you think you can't help yourself." Her face was very patient, very Christian. "But my dear," she concluded, "I will always think your life is a tragedy."
I couldn't help myself. I leaned forward and deliberately touched her, taking her hand. "I understand," I said. "And it's sad. That's just what I could say to you."
jane 6:58 PM [+]