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Feminism Quotes

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail,

no one will say, "She doesn’t have what it takes." They will say, "Women
don’t have what it takes." ~Clare Boothe Luce

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 door mat or a prostitute. ~Rebecca West, "Mr
Chesterton in Hysterics: A Study in Prejudice,"The Clarion, 14 Nov 1913,
reprinted in The Young Rebecca, 1982

Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we
venture out, we will fall off the edge. ~Author Unknown

The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins

when the doctor says, "It’s a girl." ~Shirley Chisholm
Women belong in the house… and the Senate. ~Author Unknown

I think it’s about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we’ve
been voting for boobs long enough. ~Clarie Sargent, Arizona senatorial

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards
and in high heels. ~Faith Whittlesey

Never let the hand you hold, hold you down. ~Author Unknown

I wish someone would have told me that, just because I’m a girl, I don’t
have to get married. ~Marlo Thomas

Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate
association with their opressors. ~Evelyn Cunningham

Nobody will ever win the Battle of the Sexes. There’s just too much
fraternizing with the enemy. ~Henry Kissinger
The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just
take it. ~Roseanne Barr

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~Cheris Kramarae
and Paula Treichler

I am woman! I am invincible! I am pooped! ~Author Unknown

I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who

makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my
toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage
to treat me like a woman. ~Anaïs Nin

Man endures pain as an undeserved punishment; woman accepts it as a

natural heritage. ~Author Unknown

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition. ~Timothy Leary

I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament. ~Alanis

Morissette, quoted in Reader’s Digest, March 2000
I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes
me a bitch, okay. ~Madonna Ciccone

I was told that whistling wasn’t ladylike, but I knew even then that women
were simply not supposed to be that happy. ~Anonymous, quoted
in Kindling the Spirit by Lois P. Frankel

You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

When I see the elaborate study and ingenuity displayed by women in the
pursuit of trifles, I feel no doubt of their capacity for the most herculean
undertakings. ~Julia Ward Howe

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in

dealing with men. ~Joseph Conrad

History is herstory too. ~Author Unknown

Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their
strengths. ~Lois Wyse
No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself. ~Rabbi

I became a feminist as an alternative to becoming a masochist. ~Sally

Kempton, attributed

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male
citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union…. Men, their
rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less. ~Susan B.

One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a
man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man. ~Marlo

There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.
~Madeleine K. Albright

I ask no favors for my sex…. All I ask of our brethren is that they will take
their feet from off our necks. ~Sarah Moore Grimké

I am working for the time when unqualified blacks, browns, and women join
the unqualified men in running our government. ~Cissy Farenthold
I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves. ~Mary

There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other
jobs should be open to everybody. ~Florynce Kennedy

The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the
arrangement of your chromosomes. ~Bella Abzug

Instead of getting hard ourselves and trying to compete, women should try
and give their best qualities to men – bring them softness, teach them how
to cry. ~Joan Baez, "Sexism Seen but not Heard," Los Angeles Times, 1974

I’ve yet to be on a campus where most women weren’t worrying about

some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I’ve yet to find
one where many men were worrying about the same thing. ~Gloria

Most women are one man away from welfare. ~Gloria Steinem

I refuse to believe that trading recipes is silly. Tunafish casserole is at least

as real as corporate stock. ~Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
Feminism directly confronts the idea that one person or set of people [has]
the right to impose definitions of reality on others. ~Liz Stanley and Sue

I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries of following their men, now
walk ahead. He said there were many unexploded land mines since the
war. ~Robert Mueller

Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for
discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776. ~Susan B.

A man has every season while a woman only has the right to spring. ~Jane

A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.
~Gloria Steinem

How good does a female athlete have to be before we just call her an
athlete? ~Author Unknown

I’ve left Bethlehem, and I feel free. I’ve left the girl I was supposed to be,
and some day I’ll be born. ~Paula Cole, "Tiger," This Fire
The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in
the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their
source. ~Lucretia Mott

It matters more what’s in a woman’s face than what’s on it. ~Claudette

Colbert, quoted in Kindling the Spirit by Lois P. Frankel

To tell a woman everything she may not do is to tell her what she can do.
~Spanish Proverb

Women are not inherently passive or peaceful. We’re not inherently

anything but human. ~Robin Morgan

Men will often admit other women are oppressed but not you. ~Sheila

Be plain in dress, and sober in your diet;

In short, my deary, kiss me, and be quiet.

~Mary Wortley Montagu, A Summary of Lord Lyttelton’s Advice

Being a lady is an attitude. ~Chuck Woolery, Love Connection

Advertisers in general bear a large part of the responsibility for the deep
feelings of inadequacy that drive women to psychiatrists, pills, or the
bottle. ~Marya Mannes, But Will It Sell?, 1964

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man. ~Margaret Mead

Women’s chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy. ~Estelle R.


I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns.

~Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Our Girls"

I am beautiful as I am. I am the shape that was gifted. My breasts are no

longer perky and upright like when I was a teenager. My hips are wider
than that of a fashion model’s. For this I am glad, for these are the signs of
a life lived. ~Cindy Olsen, co-owner of The Body Objective

Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry. ~Gloria Steinem

Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. The relative positions
to be assumed by man and woman in the working out of our civilization
were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence than ours. ~Grover
Cleveland, 1905

If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves? ~Mary

I listen to feminists and all these radical gals – most of them are failures.
They’ve blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some
Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These
women just need a man in the house. That’s all they need. Most of the
feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them
home. And they blew it and they’re mad at all men. Feminists hate men.
They’re sexist. They hate men – that’s their problem. ~Jerry Falwell

[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages

women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft,
destroy capitalism and become lesbians. ~Pat Robertson

I think, therefore I’m single. ~Lizz Winstead

I can’t be a rose in any man’s lapel. ~Margaret Trudeau

Taught from 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
The only jobs for which no man is qualified are human incubators and wet
nurse. Likewise, the only job for which no woman is or can be qualified is
sperm donor. ~Wilma Scott Heide

Whether women are better than men I cannot say – but I can say they are
certainly no worse. ~Golda Meir

Give a woman a job and she grows balls. ~Jack Gelber

The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American

women alive. ~Betty Friedan

It’s wonderful to watch a pretty woman with character grow beautiful.

~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-
roes! ~Maya Angelou, in Chris Orr, "Moms and Whoopi: Pioneers of Black
Theater," Plexus, November 1983

American women are fools because they try to be everything to everybody.

Several men I can think of are as capable, as smart, as funny, as
compassionate, and as confused – as remarkable you might say – as most
women. ~Jane Howard

Not only is women’s work never done, the definition keeps changing. ~Bill

No man is as anti-feminist as a really feminine woman. ~Frank O’Connor

Men weren’t really the enemy – they were fellow victims suffering from an
outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily
inadequate when there were no bears to kill. ~Betty Friedan

Sometimes the best man for the job isn’t. ~Author Unknown

Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman who longs to be a

sex object. The difference is that is not all she wants to be. ~Betty Rollin

When two people marry they become in the eyes of the law one person, and
that one person is the husband. ~Shana Alexander,State-by-State Guide to
Women’s Legal Rights, 1975
Why is it that men can be bastards and women must wear pearls and
smile? ~Lynn Hecht Schafren

You know, when I first went into the movies Lionel Barrymore played my
grandfather. Later he played my father and finally he played my husband.
If he had lived I’m sure I would have played his mother. That’s the way it is
in Hollywood. The men get younger and the women get older. ~Lillian Gish

Easy is an adjective used to describe a woman who has the sexual morals of
a man. ~Nancy Linn-Desmond

Isn’t that the problem? That women have been swindled for centuries into
substituting adornment for love, fashion (as it were) for passion? ~Erica

Young wives are the leading asset of corporate power. They want the
suburbs, a house, a settled life, and respectability. They want society to see
that they have exchanged themselves for something of value. ~Ralph Nader

Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if

at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-
looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive.
~Marya Mannes
Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into
powerlessness. ~Erica Jong

It starts when you sink in his arms and ends with your arms in his sink.
~Author Unknown

To me, "sexual freedom" means freedom from having to have sex. ~Lily

And the crazy part of it was even if you were clever, even if you spent your
adolescence reading John Donne and Shaw, even if you studied history or
zoology or physics and hoped to spend your life pursuing some difficult and
challenging career, you still had a mind full of all the soupy longings that
every high-school girl was awash in… underneath it, all you longed to be
was annihilated by love, to be swept off your feet, to be filled up by a giant
prick spouting sperm, soapsuds, silk and satins and, of course, money.
~Erica Jong

No one should have to dance backward all of their lives. ~Jill Ruckelshaus

When a woman behaves like a man, why doesn’t she behave like a nice
man? ~Edith Evans
We have to have faith in ourselves. I have never met a woman who, deep
down in her core, really believes she has great legs. And if she suspects
that she might have great legs, then she’s convinced that she has a shrill
voice and no neck. ~Cynthia Heimel

The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble
to put makeup on two faces. ~Maureen Murphy

Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into
it, deserves all the consequences. ~Isadora Duncan

It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. ~Sally
Kempton, Esquire, 1970

I’m just a person trapped inside a woman’s body. ~Elaine Boosler

Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total
amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage
than in prostitution. ~Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

Women are not the weak, frail little flowers that they are advertised. There
has never been anything invented yet, including war, that a man would
enter into, that a woman wouldn’t, too. ~Will Rogers
Tomboys are an assertion of reality, of practicality. Forced femininity is a
waste of energy and resources, and therefore of oneself. Live to live.
~Morgan Torva

We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage
to raise our sons more like our daughters. ~Gloria Steinem

Our only hope for the redemption of woman from the thralldom of dress lies
in the belief that her hitherto limited sphere of activities has been so
insufficient for her intellectual occupations that she has been forced to
expend her thoughts in decorating her person, instead of enlarging her
mind. ~Mercy B. Jackson

There is more difference within the sexes than between them. ~Ivy
Compton-Burnett, Mother and Son

Because women’s work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring

or repetitious and we’re the first to get fired and what we look like is more
important than what we do and if we get raped it’s our fault and if we get
beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we’re nagging
bitches and if we enjoy sex we’re nymphos and if we don’t we’re frigid and
if we love women it’s because we can’t get a “real” man and if we ask our
doctor too many questions we’re neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect
childcare we’re selfish and if we stand up for our rights we’re aggressive
and “unfeminine” and if we don’t we’re typical weak females and if we want
to get married we’re out to trap a man and if we don’t we’re unnatural and
because we still can’t get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk
on the moon and if we can’t cope or don’t want a pregnancy we’re made to
feel guilty about abortion and…for lots of other reasons we are part of the
women’s liberation movement. ~Author unknown, quoted in The Torch, 14
September 1987
Why is it that only girls stand on the sides of their feet? As if they’re afraid
to plant themselves? ~Barbara Kingsolver

Many beautiful women have been made happy by their own beauty, but no
intelligent woman has ever been made happy by her own intelligence.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

During the feminist revolution, the battle lines were again simple. It was
easy to tell the enemy, he was the one with the penis. This is no longer
strictly true. Some men are okay now. We’re allowed to like them again.
We still have to keep them in line, of course, but we no longer have to shoot
them on sight. ~Cynthia Heimel, Sex Tips for Girls, 1983

I didn’t want to be a boy, ever, but I was outraged that his height and
intelligence were graces for him and gaucheries for me. ~Jane Rule

We haven’t come a long way, we’ve come a short way. If we hadn’t come a
short way, no one would be calling us baby. ~Elizabeth Janeway

A woman is like a tea bag. It’s only when she’s in hot water that you realize
how strong she is. ~Attributed to both Eleanor Roosevelt and Carl Sandburg
The little rift between the sexes is astonishingly widened by simply teaching
one set of catchwords to the girls and another to the boys. ~Robert Louis

Men define intelligence, men define usefulness, men tell us what is

beautiful, men even tell us what is womanly. ~Sally Kempton

Sexism is a social disease. ~Author Unknown

Men are irrelevant. Women are happy or unhappy, fulfilled or unfulfilled,

and it has nothing to do with men. ~Fay Weldon

One does not have to sleep with, or even touch, someone who has paid for
your meal. All those obligations are hereby rendered null and void, and any
man who doesn’t think so needs a quick jab in the kidney. ~Cynthia
Heimel, Sex Tips for Girls, 1983

Women are all female impersonators to some degree. ~Susan Brownmiller

All this pitting of sex against sex, of quality against quality; all this claiming
of superiority and imputing of inferiority belong to the private-school stage
of human existence where there are sides, and it is necessary for one side
to beat another side. ~Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, 1929
You don’t have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump. Lace
knickers won’t hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa
just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn’t
necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every
word. ~Elizabeth Bibesco

My advice to the women’s clubs of America is to raise more hell and fewer
dahlias. ~James McNeill Whistler