Culture + Community
The Underbelly of Silence | Typewriter Series
Because the previous installment of this series focused on the power of silence, and because I believe in the both/and of things rather than the either/or, and because so many women have stepped forward in recent months to speak their truths, it seems only fitting that this installment focus on the underbelly of silence, on the pain and fear that so often prevent us from speaking.
Imposed silence is different than sought silence: imposed silence is not a choice by the one who keeps silent; it is a choice made by the person or group of people who choose to misuse their privilege and power to manipulate rather than to empower. And it is a choice made by all of us who stand by as the imposition occurs, all of us who see and hear and know but choose to say nothing, who are complicit in our own silences. Silence festers and spreads; it infects whole communities. But when the first word is spoken, when the silence is finally broken by some brave and beautiful soul, it is like a dam breaking. The water goes where it must.
The following poems are meditations on the Underbelly of Silence — those imposed forms of silence that prevent us from speaking.