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Front Lawn Speech

May 8, 1970 — Anti-Vietnam War Rally, “Front Lawn,” University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia


. . . many women are beginning to feel the necessity to speak for themselves, for their sisters.

i feel that necessity now . . .

we all feel very strongly about conscription and freedom of the individual, some go to great  lengths to martyr themselves on the issue of the draft. i don’t feel very strongly anymore about the ego scenes of the mike joneses around me. i do feel strongly about my freedom and my sisters’ freedom. Women are conscripted every day into their personalized slave kitchens. can you, with your mind filled with the moratorium, spare a thought for their freedom, identity, minds and emotions? they’re women, and your stomach is full. it suits you to keep women in the kitchens, in underpaid menial jobs, and with the children. you, by your silence, apathy and laughter, sanction the legislators, the pig parliamentarians, the same men who sanction the war in vietnam. you won’t make an issue of abortion, equal pay and child minding centres, because they’re women’s matters, and under your veneer you are brothers to the pig politicians.

and i say to all you highminded intellectual women who say you’re liberated with such force and conviction, i say you make me sick. so women’s lib doesn’t concern you, ask you companion what he would prefer — to talk to you or fuck you? (and if you say you’d prefer to be fucked, you’ve absorbed your conditioning quite well.) and the women in the suburbs are no concern of yours? your mother is no concern of yours? so long as you think you’re liberated, all’s well. you and your sisters and the silent suburban women are all part of a capitalist PATRIARCHAL society which you cannot ignore.

and don’t start to trust the sympathetic men who want a socialist society. where will the women be after the revolution? go, ask them, the men on the let stink — they stink from their motherfucking socks to their long hair, from their jock straps to their mao and moratorium badges. the ones who pretend to espouse our aims are far worse than those who at least wear their true colours on their sleeves. and to my brothers on the drug scene. grass is good. oh yes, but instead of becoming happy and peaceful and oh so motherfucking loving all i can see is you sitting there, asserting, even grooving on your maleness, dominating every joint, every puff. chickies aren’t very good at rapping, aren’t clever or subtle enough. i mean, it’s a male scene, isn’t it, you fat arrogant farts.

okay, i’ve stopped trying to love and understand my oppressors
i know who my enemy is
i will tell you what I feel, as an individual, as a woman
i feel that there can be no love between men and women

maybe after the revolution people will be able to love each other regardless of skin colour, ethnic origin, occupation or type of genitals. but if that happens it will only happen if we make it happen. starting right now.

i feel hatred
i feel anger
without indulging in an equality or marxist argument I say all power to women
because that’s what i feel


and I say to every woman that every time you’re put down or fucked over, every time they kick you cunningly in the teeth, go stand on the street corner and tell every man that walks by, every one of them a male chauvinist by virtue of HIS birthright, tell them all to go suck their own cocks. and when they laugh, tell them that they’re getting bloody defensive, and that you know what size weapon to buy to kill the bodies that you’ve unfortunately laid under often enough.




Source: Trouble: Evolution of a Radical — Selected Writings 1970-2010, by Kate Jennings, (Sydney, ReadHowYouWant, Limited) 2010.