More from the It’s Your Body issue of YES! Magazine featuring exclusive Alice Walker interview, plus a father's notes ’from the frontlines’ of bringing up girls.
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  Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions         October 2012 

Alice Walker infographic by Ayla HarbinTHE YES! INTERVIEW
Why a life worth living is a life worth fighting for.

Alice Walker: “Go to the Places That Scare You”

by Valerie Schloredt

Alice Walker is a poet, essayist, and commentator, but she’s best known for her prodigious accomplishments as a writer of literary fiction. Her novel The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1983 and quickly became a classic of world literature.

Walker’s writing is characterized by an ever-present awareness of injustice and inequality. But whether describing political struggle, or meditating on the human relationship to nature and animals, as in her latest book, The Chicken Chronicles, her work conveys the possibility of change. In her vision, grace is available through love and a deep connection to the beauty of the world.

Alice Walker spoke to YES! about the challenges of working for change, and the possibility of living with awareness—and joy.


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  More from the Fall issue of YES! Magazine …  

What I really want to tell my daughters about autonomy and sex, in the midst of a war on women.
Father Walking photo by Inid ChristopheNotes from the Frontlines of Bringing Up Girls

by Tomas Moniz

The other day I found myself telling my two daughters, 16 and 14, “Don’t have sex until you’re in your 20s—but here are some condoms!”

Let me explain. I had just discovered that my eldest daughter spent the night with her boyfriend. And though I believe that sex is powerful and beautiful and a profound ritual for entering adulthood, I am still a dad, worried about her well-being. I worry if I’ve provided her with enough information, worry about social pressures she may be under, worry about shame, STDs, pregnancy. But I am also hopeful, happy to be there for her as she becomes an adult, someone she knows she can depend on. For these reasons, I have consistently brought up sex with my girls, and I have consistently been rebuffed, their stares punctuated with rolling eyes or sighs of exhaustion. “Dad, please.”

However, although I broach the subject with my daughters any chance I get, we don’t actually talk as directly as I’d like. So I find myself offering platitudes like: “Remember, please remember, you can always stop. You can always say no, even after you’re in the car, in the room, out of your clothes, in the bed. No means no. Stop means stop.” And I believe it is important for me to voice these truths about a woman’s right to be in control of her actions, but I wish there was more I could do as a male ally and, perhaps more importantly, as a father.


See other articles from the Fall issue of YES! Magazine.


Order now and start with the Bodies issue!

Bodies, the Fall 2012 issue of YES! Magazine

  What’s New Online  

Slowing down GDP growth can mean more time to do things we love. Photo by Brett Davies.
Reggie Clemons photo courtesy of Amnesty International USA.
Chicago Teachers Photo by Sarah Ji
Shop Rite Grocery Photo by City of Philadelphia.

Manifesto for a Post-Growth Economy
by James Gustave Speth

What single change stands to give Americans more free time, healthier ecosystems, and more meaningful jobs?
Is an End to the Death Penalty in Sight?
by Laura Moye

What’s the good news about the troubling practice of execution in the United States? We’re already abolishing it, state by state.
Time for Some Good Jobs Guarantees
by Brooke Jarvis

Corporations often take big helpings of public funds, saying that they’ll provide jobs in return. But how can communities make sure they deliver?
A Healthy (and Profitable) Oasis in Philly’s Food Deserts
by Sarah Treuhaft

Why a seemingly ordinary chain of grocery stores suggests that community collaboration may be the key to success for businesses in struggling neighborhoods.

  Did you miss…  

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:: A Graceful Exit: Taking Charge at the End of Life
How can we break the silence about what happens when we’re dying?

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  Reclaim Your Body  

Antoine photo by Sins InvalidSpeaking For All Bodies (Not Just the “Perfect” Ones)

In Sins Invalid, performance artists shatter stereotypes around sex and disabilities to reclaim the body’s redemptive power.

  Web Picks  


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One Billion Rising

Eve Ensler has said that nothing is more important than stopping violence against women. Her new short film encourages us to rise up and do just that.

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