Censuring Joseph Stalin at a public meeting, Soviet premier Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was interrupted by a voice from the audience. "You were one of Stalin's colleagues," shouted the heckler. "Why didn't you stop him?"
"Who said that?" roared Khrushchev. There was an agonizing silence in the room. Nobody dared moved a muscle. Then, in a quiet voice, Khrushchev said, "Now you know why.
Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared," or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive, and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.
Nothing is stranger or more ticklish than a relationship between people who know each other only by sight, who meet and observe each other daily — no, hourly — and are nevertheless compelled to keep up the pose of an indifferent stranger, neither greeting nor addressing each other, whether out of etiquette or their own whim.