Friday, April 19, 2013

The Princess

"If there is a moral to my tale, it's something like this. In spite of everything the little princess had been taught by the male- supremacist elements of her society, by high-school scandals about by Sallie dropped out of school in March, by the novels extolling motherhood as woman's sole function, by the gynecologist's furtiveness, by the existence of law declaring abortion to be a crime by the sleep extortionism of the abortionist--despite all those messages repeating ABORTION IS WRONG!-when the terror was past, she pondered it all, and she thought, "I have done the right thing."

What was wrong was not knowing how to prevent getting pregnant. What was wrong was my ignorance. To legislate that ignorance, that's the crime. I'm ashamed, she thought, for letting bigots keep me ignorant, and for acting willfully in my ignorance, and for falling in love with a weak, selfish man. I am deeply ashamed. But I'm not guilty. Where does guilt come in? I did what I had to do so that I could do the work I was put here to do. I will do that work. That's what it's all about. It's about taking responsibility."

An excerpt from the must-read essay by the brilliant Ursula K. Le Guin, "The Princess" from Dancing at the Edge of the World

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

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