to take responsibility for a state of affairs

from lesbian-feminist philosopher Joyce Trebilcot’schapbook 1983 chapbook “Taking Responsibility for Sexuality”

Notice first that to take responsibility for a state of affairs is not to claim responsibility for having caused it. So, for example, if I take responsibility for cleaning up the kitchen I am not thereby admitting to any role in creating the mess; the state of the kitchen may be the consequence of actions quite independent of me.

Similarly, in taking responsibility for her sexuality, a woman is not thereby claiming responsibility for what her sexuality has been, but only for what it is now and in the future.


Joyce Trebilcot


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