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Monday, December 15, 2008

The Real Aphra Behn

Bill Ayers recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about who he really is. This got me thinking about who I really am. After all Aphra Behn is my identity as a Guerrilla Girl On Tour but it’s not my real name. Some people may think that being anonymous is a way to hide and that I should cast off my mask and my pseudonym and celebrate the woman that I am. In keeping with the holiday spirit let me celebrate myself as Aphra Behn by sharing with you the following facts: I was born a feminist and an activist. My first protest was a rally at my High School against the Vietnam War. I have been a member of Catholics for a Free Choice and I have participated in numerous pro-choice rallies some of which involved acts of civil disobedience. Some of these I am proud of and some I am not. I am a survivor of domestic violence and have actively worked in the violence against women movement for over 20 years. As a member of Guerrilla Girls and Guerrilla Girls On Tour I have carried out acts of vandalism, though none to the extent of the Weather Underground. As a waitress in New York City in the early 80’s I worked with a fellow waitress named Bernadine Dorn, the former Underground member, who I very much admired. I agree with Bill Ayers that “talking and listening to the widest range of people is not a sin, but a virtue” and I hope that I can continue this journey as Aphra for a very long time.

- Aphra Behn
© 2008

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