Frances Wasserlein on love and the movement to end violence against women:
Leaves were falling, the year was 2005, and Frances, Mo, Carmen and I were in Thornton Park standing beside Marker of Change, the Women’s Monument, a project in which Frances played a pivotal role. Here is a transcript of the interview Frances contributed that day to the “Video Speak Out” for the Remember Our Sisters Everywhere, ROSE, online community.*
“I spent, I don’t know, thirty years pissed off, angry, banging on tables, shouting at people, and I think that anger is a completely appropriate response in the moment to an evil that you see being done or something you want to change. It makes total sense to me. But I actually think that what moves people is love, real love. And the secret to love is loving. And if we can crank open our hearts and actually love each other, and let it in and let it out, we’re going to be better. We’re going to be stronger, we’re going to recognize that we have managed to survive. We’re going to see the survival and the spirit of survival in everyone around us, and we’re going to be able to compassionately deal with what’s going on. We’re going to stop marginalization of people who are poor and different. We’re going to be able to welcome strangers into our midst and not be afraid. We’re going to vanquish fear, and fear is what’s at the bottom of all of this. And if we can do that, we can find compassion, and recognize it in ourselves and others. Then we have a chance. We just have to start. ”
Later, after completing the filming of all the interviews, we recognized that Frances had offered the Video Speak Out a natural culmination with her hopeful and compassionate call for love. Love shines through all the interviews, and Frances brought this love together.
Thank you Frances, for everything. Thank you for your courage to speak out in so many challenging circumstances over the years. I can’t imagine how those years would have unfolded without you, I am so grateful for each opportunity I had to stand with you, my beautiful friend, my feminist sister.
*(ROSE was called The Global Women’s Memorial back in 2005.)