Sunsara Taylor on “Safe Space” vs. Fighting to END ALL OPPRESSION

from a talk given on June 25, 2015

July 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


These days, the idea of “safe space”—how many people have heard that phrase, “safe space”? [Most hands in the room go up.] OK, these days the idea of “safe space,” of forging a little corner on some campus or in some crevice of a so-called “movement”—where people can be protected from oppression, is being promoted as what we should fight for and set our sights on. This is puny and frankly, it’s disgusting. [Applause.] Not only is the idea of a “safe space” an illusion (because until all oppression everywhere is ended, no one will truly be safe from it), but this approach is also completely parasitic and self-centered—because while you are hiding in your little corner trying to be “safe,” you are just sitting back and letting millions be brutalized, raped, tortured, terrorized, and more. We don’t need a “safe space” to hide from oppression while others are devoured by it, we need a world without oppression.

Besides, we have proven over and over that the MOST liberating and uplifting place to be is not in some corner where we’re correcting each other about who has the right to say what about whom, but it’s going right up in the face against this oppression. Standing up and stopping it. We have found this right inside the Hooters restaurant when we took it over and brought everything to a halt. We found this liberated space and uplifting space right inside the porn stores in front of their walls of torture porn and incest porn and rape porn when we took them over and put our bodies on the line and spoke out and brought alive the real cost this puts on women. We found this liberated space right in front of the Supreme Court on January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade,* where for the first time in 40-some years their March for “Life,” their March for Female Enslavement, was brought to a halt because we went in the streets and we shut it down. [Applause and cheering.] We found this in the streets of Texas last summer when the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride was down there bringing things to a halt, blocking traffic, getting hauled away in handcuffs because we were standing up against these laws that are closing down abortion clinics this week.

This is liberating for those who are part of it. This is part of wrenching out a different culture. This is part of becoming a new people. And this is part of fighting to change the world for everybody. This is liberating. This is the culture we need. This is the movement we need.

Not hiding in a corner. Daring to change the whole world and coming together to stand up now and setting an example for everyone. [Applause.]

And bringing out this slogan, everywhere—on our stickers, on our signs, and everywhere we go: Women are NOT bitches, hos, punching bags, breeders or sex objects. Women are FULL HUMAN BEINGS. This is liberating.


To learn more about the fight to break the chains and unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution:

Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity

For the full talk this excerpt is part of:

To get involved in the summer effort to Take Patriarchy By Storm:

End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women section of this website


* Roe v. Wade was the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. [back]




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