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QUOTES ON FEMINISM

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 3/15/2017 |



“If men could see us as we really are, they would be a little amazed; but the cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women: they do not read them in a true light: they misapprehend them, both for good and evil: their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend.”
Charlotte Brontë, Shirley

“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”
Charlotte Brontë

“I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men."

"Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”
Jane Austen

 “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
Jane Austen

“He is a gentleman, and I am a gentleman's daughter. So far we are equal.”
Jane Austen,

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.”
Adrienne Rich

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you...it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.

Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions--predigested books and ideas...marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short...and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different"...The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.”
Adrienne Rich

“I think being a woman is like being Irish... Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the time.”
Iris Murdoch

 “Margaret Atwood, the Canadian novelist, once asked a group of women at a university why they felt threatened by men. The women said they were afraid of being beaten, raped, or killed by men. She then asked a group of men why they felt threatened by women. They said they were afraid women would laugh at them.”
Molly Ivins,

 “Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.”
Gloria Steinem

 “There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. As well speak of a female liver.”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman,

 “If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.”
Bell hooks,

 “Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him -- or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.”
Dorothy L. Sayers,

 “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.”
Rebecca West,

“To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?”
Christopher Hitchens

 “You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”
Roman Payne

 “She talks like you. It’s not every day you hear a four-year-old say Prince Charming is a douchebag who’s only holding Cinderella back.”
"That’s my girl.”
Emma Chase

 “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“A woman knows very well that, though a wit sends her his poems, praises her judgment, solicits her criticism, and drinks her tea, this by no means signifies that he respects her opinions, admires her understanding, or will refuse, though the rapier is denied him, to run through the body with his pen.”
Virginia Woolf

“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.”
Virginia Woolf

“Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”
Virginia Woolf

“As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”
Virginia Woolf

 “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”
Irina Dunn

 “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”
Rebecca West

 “Why do people say "grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”
Sheng Wang

 “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”
Cheris Kramarae

 “I hate men who are afraid of women's strength.”
Anaïs Nin

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
Simone de Beauvoir,

 “I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself”
Simone de Beauvoir

“No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.”
Simone de Beauvoir

 “I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother.”
Martha Gellhorn

 “What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now.
You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank.
Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.”
Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”
Jessica Valenti

 “It's not my responsibility to be beautiful. I'm not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.”
Warsan Shire

 “She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. 'Time' for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.”
Roman Payne

 “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”
Abigail Adams

 “He - and if there is a God, I am convinced he is a he, because no woman could or would ever fuck things up this badly.”
George Carlin

 “She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city”
Roman Payne

 “There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."
Madeleine K. Albright

 “Equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who's confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.”
Joss Whedon

 “We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?”
Caitlin Moran

 “My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.”
Mary Wollstonecraft

 “Men should think twice before making widowhood women's only path to power.”
Gloria Steinem

“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
Gloria Steinem

“Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.”
Gloria Steinem

“Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke . . . She will need her sisterhood.”
Gloria Steinem

 “It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself.”
Betty Friedan

 “No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.”
Margaret Sanger

“I am a Woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal Woman,
that's me.”
Maya Angelou

 “Women make up one half of society. Our society will remain backward and in chains unless its women are liberated, enlightened and educated.”
Saddam Hussein

“Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.”
Jessica Valenti

“Do you really believe ... that everything historians tell us about men – or about women – is actually true? You ought to consider the fact that these histories have been written by men, who never tell the truth except by accident.”
Moderata Fonte

 “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
Audre Lorde

 “Each suburban wife struggles with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night- she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question-- 'Is this all?”
Betty Friedan

 “I was an adventurer, but she was not an adventuress. She was a 'wanderess.' Thus, she didn’t care about money, only experiences - whether they came from wealth or from poverty, it was all the same to her.”
Roman Payne

 “I'm not a concept. Too many guys think I'm a concept or I complete them or I'm going to 'make them alive'…but I'm just a fucked up girl who's looking for my own peace of mind. Don't assign me yours.”
Charlie Kaufman

 “Woman's degradation is in mans idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 “I cannot understand anti-abortion arguments that centre on the sanctity of life. As a species we've fairly comprehensively demonstrated that we don't believe in the sanctity of life. The shrugging acceptance of war, famine, epidemic, pain and life-long poverty shows us that, whatever we tell ourselves, we've made only the most feeble of efforts to really treat human life as sacred.”
Caitlin Moran

 “A girl’s got to use what she’s given and I’m not going to make a guy drool the way a Britney video does. So I take it to extremes. I don’t say I dress sexily on stage - what I do is so extreme. It’s meant to make guys think: ‘I don’t know if this is sexy or just weird.”
Lady Gaga

 “One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.”
Jeanne d'Arc

 “A man once asked me ... how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. "Well," said the man, "I shouldn't have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing." I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.”
Dorothy L. Sayers

 “Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.”
Roman Payne

“In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.”
Joss Whedon

 “Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”
Mary Wollstonecraft

“Women who love themselves are threatening; but men who love real women, more so.”
Naomi Wolf

“Sadly, the signals that allow men and women to find the partners who most please them are scrambled by the sexual insecurity initiated by beauty thinking. A woman who is self-conscious can't relax to let her sensuality come into play. If she is hungry she will be tense. If she is "done up" she will be on the alert for her reflection in his eyes. If she is ashamed of her body, its movement will be stilled. If she does not feel entitled to claim attention, she will not demand that airspace to shine in. If his field of vision has been boxed in by "beauty"--a box continually shrinking--he simply will not see her, his real love, standing right before him.”
Naomi Wolf

“Men are visually aroused by women's bodies and less sensitive to their arousal by women's personalities because they are trained early into that response, while women are less visually aroused and more emotionally aroused because that is their training. This asymmetry in sexual education maintains men's power in the myth: They look at women's bodies, evaluate, move on; their own bodies are not looked at, evaluated, and taken or passed over. But there is no "rock called gender" responsible for that; it can change so that real mutuality--an equal gaze, equal vulnerability, equal desire--brings heterosexual men and women together.”
Naomi Wolf

 “Most men fear getting laughed at or humiliated by a romantic prospect while most women fear rape and death.”
Gavin de Becker

 “But, of course, you might be asking yourself, 'Am I a feminist? I might not be. I don't know! I still don't know what it is! I'm too knackered and confused to work it out. That curtain pole really still isn't up! I don't have time to work out if I am a women's libber! There seems to be a lot to it. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?'
I understand.
So here is the quick way of working out if you're a feminist. Put your hand in your pants.

a) Do you have a vagina? and
b) Do you want to be in charge of it?

If you said 'yes' to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist.”
Caitlin Moran

 “I'm not going to limit myself just because people won't accept the fact that I can do something else.”
Dolly Parton

“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.”
Doris Lessing

“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ”
Roseanne Barr

 “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
Margaret Atwood

 “No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor. ”
Betty Friedan

 “Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.”
George Carlin

“Vaginas beat penises every time.
They're like kryptonite.
Penises are defenseless against them.”
Emma Chase

 “You can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, ‘And are the men doing this, as well?’ If they aren’t, chances are you’re dealing with what we strident feminists refer to as ‘some total fucking bullshit’.”
Caitlin Moran

 “A beautiful woman looking at her image in the mirror may very well believe the image is herself. An ugly woman knows it is not.”
Simone Weil

 “Female friendships that work are relationships in which women help each other belong to themselves.”
Louise Bernikow

 “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”
Charlotte Whitton

 “Right. I look fine. Except I don't,' said Zora, tugging sadly at her man's nightshirt. This was why Kiki had dreaded having girls: she knew she wouldn't be able to protect them from self-disgust. To that end she had tried banning television in the early years, and never had a lipstick or a woman's magazine crossed the threshold of the Belsey home to Kiki's knowledge, but these and other precautionary measures had made no difference. It was in the air, or so it seemed to Kiki, this hatred of women and their bodies-- it seeped in with every draught in the house; people brought it home on their shoes, they breathed it in off their newspapers. There was no way to control it.”
Zadie Smith

 “When God made man she was practicing.”
Rita Mae Brown

 “I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser. ”
Mary Harris Jones

 “I want a Zero Tolerance policy on All The Patriarchal Bullshit.”
Caitlin Moran

 “The emerging woman ... will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied...strength and beauty must go together.”
Louisa May Alcott

“I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.”

Madonna


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