Q&A with Alice Walker (Gaza, Slutwalks, and more)

Posted on June 15, 2011


Guernica / Michael Archer: Q&A with Alice Walker. Alice Walker is a total bad ass and hands down one of my heros.  Here are a few quotes from theinterview that i found particularly powerful (but really, read the whole thing for yourself. It’s amazing):

On Gaza:

  • What we learn from helping each other free ourselves is that liberation, in order to remain in force, must be used constantly to help free others. Not only humans, but other animals, plants, water, mountains, the earth Herself. Saying “Never Again” must mean never again will we let it happen, whatever the atrocity is, because we understand our duty to stand against it, to the extent we can do this. And we grasp the importance of not singling out only our own nation or tribe for our protection. It is freedom itself that we protect; justice itself that we stand up for. We support the common good because we are all, after everything is said and done, children of the same planet.

  • I had never seen as much blatant terrorism as I witnessed in Gaza. Israeli-made; American-made. It is unfortunate that officials of Israel appear to know so little about what their government is doing in the terrorism department. In fact, Israel has a long history of terrorism as does the United States. Both countries were founded on acts of terrorism against the indigenous populations. 
On Slutwalks: 
  • I’ve always understood the word “slut” to mean a woman who freely enjoys her own sexuality in any way she wants to; undisturbed by other people’s wishes for her behavior. Sexual desire originates in her and is directed by her. In that sense it is a word well worth retaining. As a poet, I find it has a rich, raunchy, elemental, down to earth sound, that connects us to something primal, moist, and free.
I love reading something that entirely shakes up my view on something.  Until now I would have been absolutely fine if we all just gave up the word slut.  Alice has shown me otherwise.