Quote for Today: Minnie Bruce Pratt

And despite the punishments for boundary crossing, we continue to live, daily, with all our contradictory differences. Here I still stand, unmistakably “feminine” in style, and “womanly” in personal experience–and unacceptably “masculine” in political interests and in my dedication to writing poetry that stretches beyond the woman’s domain of home. Here I am, assigned a “female” sex on my birth certificate, but not considered womanly enough–because I am a lesbian–to retain custody of the children I delivered from my woman’s body. As a white girl raised in a segregated culture, I was expected to be “ladylike”–sexually repressed but acquiescent to white men of my class–while other, darker women were damned as “promiscuous” so their bodies could be seized and exploited. I’ve worked outside the home for at least part of my living since I was a teenager–a fact deemed masculine by some. But my occupation is now that of teacher, work suitably feminine for a woman as long as I don’t tell my students I’m a lesbian–a sexuality thought too aggressive and “masculine” to fit with my “femininity.”

― Minnie Bruce PrattS/He

Photo by Tony Ross on Unsplash

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