Agnes Smedley Quotes | Quotes by Agnes Smedley
1So I had to be the doctor to these wounded men until we could remove them to the hospital. There were fifty-four women and forty little boys with the Red Army prisoners, and I went daily to take care of them also.
2Gambling in the mark has been the great indoor sport of the capitalists for months, and consequently food has increased by 25 to 100 per cent.
3No one yet knows what a man's province is, and how far that province, as conceived of today, is artificial.
4When I was a girl, the West was still young, and the law of force, of physical force, was dominant.
5And the woman who could win the respect of man was often the woman who could knock him down with her bare fists and sit on him until he yelled for help.
6In the little hall leading to it was a rack holding various Socialist or radical newspapers, tracts, and pamphlets in very small print and on very bad paper. The subjects treated were technical Marxist theories.
7My mother listened to all the news from the camp during the strike. She said little, especially when my father or the men who worked for him were about I remember her instinctive and unhesitating sympathy for the miners.
8But I see no reason why a woman should not grow and develop in all those outlets which are suited to her nature, it matters not at all what they may be.
9There are many men - such as those often to be found among the Indians - who are refined until they have qualities often attributed to the female sex. Yet they are men, and strong ones.
10Everybody calls everybody a spy, secretly, in Russia, and everybody is under surveillance. You never feel safe.
11To die would have been beautiful. But I belong to those who do not die for the sake of beauty.
12For the first week of the Sian events I was a first aid worker in the streets of Sian.
13I believe only in money, not in love or tenderness. Love and tenderness meant only pain and suffering and defeat. I would not let it ruin me as it ruined others! I would speak only with money, hard money.
14Yet it is awful to love a person who is a torture to you. And a fascinating person who loves you and won't hear of anything but your loving him and living right by his side through all eternity!
15But there were years when, in search of what I thought was better, nobler things I denied these, my people, and my family. I forgot the songs they sung - and most of those songs are now dead; I erased their dialect from my tongue; I was ashamed of them and their ways of life. But now - yes, I love them; they are a part of my blood; they, with all their virtues and their faults, played a great part in forming my way of looking at life.
16I have always detested the belief that sex is the chief bond between man and woman. Friendship is far more human.
17There's something dreadfully decisive about a beheading.
18Like all my family and class, I considered it a sign of weakness to show affection; to have been caught kissing my mother would have been a disgrace, and to have shown affection for my father would have been a disaster.
19But settled things were enemies to me and soon lost their newness and color. The unknown called.
20Professors could silence me then; they had figures, diagrams, maps, books.... I was learning that books and diagrams can be evil things if they deaden the mind of man and make him blind or cynical before subjection of any kind.
21Subjection of any kind and in any place is beneath the dignity of man ... the highest joy is to fight by the side of those who for any reason of their own making or ours, are unable to develop to full human stature.
22I have loved and bitterness left me for that hour. But there are times when love itself is bitter.
23I feel like a person living on the brink of a volcano crater.
24More and more do I see that only a successful revolution in India can break England's back forever and free Europe itself. It is not a national question concerning India any longer; it is purely international.
25New York was a new and strange world. Vast, impersonal, merciless.... Always before I had felt like a person, an individual, hopeful that I could mold my life according to some desire of my own. But here in New York I was ignorant, insignificant, unimportant--one in millions whose destiny concerned no one. New York did not even know of my existence. Nor did it care.
26Now, being a girl, I was ashamed of my body and my lack of strength. So I tried to be a man. I shot, rode, jumped, and took part in all the fights of the boys.
27Thousands of women are crushed and made inarticulate by that system and never develop as their natures would force them to develop were they in a decent environment.
28I have no objection to a man being a man, however masculine that may be.
29Much that we read of Russia is imagination and desire only.
30I joined another circle and the leader gave us a little leaflet in very small print, asking us to read it carefully and then come prepared to ask questions. It was a technical Marxist subject and I did not understand it nor did I know what questions to ask.
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