gertrude stein – from “the mother of us all”

“Yes, but what is man, what are men, what are they? I do not say that they haven’t kind hearts, if I fall down in a faint, they will rush to pick me up, if my house is on fire, they will rush in to put the fire out and help me, yes they have kind hearts but they are afraid, afraid, they are afraid, they are afraid. They fear women, they fear each other, they fear their neighbor, they fear other countries and then they hearten themselves in their fear by crowding together and following each other, and when they crowd together and follow each other they are brutes, like animals who stampede, and so they have written in the name male into the United States constitution, because they are afraid of black men because they are afraid of women, because they are afraid afraid. Men are afraid.”

“And women.”

“Ah women often have not any sense of danger, after all a hen screams pitifully when she sees an eagle but she is only afraid for her children, men are afraid for themselves, that is the real difference between men and women.”

“But Susan B, why do you not say these things out loud?”

“I say they are afraid, but if I were to tell them so their kindness would turn to hate. Yes the Quakers are right, they are not afraid because they do not fight, they do not fight.”

“But Susan B. you fight and you are not afraid.”

“I fight and I am not afraid, I fight but I am not afraid.”

“And you will win.”

“Win what, win what?”

2 thoughts on “gertrude stein – from “the mother of us all”

  1. Echoes in this, which I just came across in someone’s Facebook status:

    “‎A man who is not afraid is not aggressive; a man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really free, a peaceful man.”
    – J Krishnamurti

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