The Quote Garden ™
I dig old books. ™
Women's Rights, Misogyny, Sexism, etc.
Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2009
Don't shut yourself up in a bandbox because you are a woman, but understand what is going on, and educate yourself to take your part in the world's work, for it all affects you and yours. ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, "On the Shelf," 1869
The twentieth century will be the century of woman... Woman no longer clings to time-honoured privileges, but is everywhere demanding equal rights. The near future will probably side with her... We shall thus witness the most magnificent social transformation that has been realised since the fall of the Roman Empire. Humanity, directed by man, will suddenly find itself guided and inspired jointly by the two sexes. ~Jean Finot, Problems of the Sexes, translated by Mary J. Safford, 1913
It is commonly considered a step forward in civilization, that whereas ancient and barbarous nations exposed children to special hardships, in order to kill off the weak and toughen the strong, modern nations aim to rear all alike carefully, without either sacrificing or enfeebling. If we apply this to muscle, why not to mind? and, if to men's minds, why not to women's? ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911), "Intellectual Cinderellas," c.1881 [The title of this essay makes me think of my niece, who is going to be a scientist princess when she grows up! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
"Besides," Aunt Hannah put in, "families don't name their children for abstract things. It — well, it simply isn't done."
"A woman who never does anything that isn't done, never does anything worth doing," Mother answered. ~Kate Trimble Sharber (b.1883), Amazing Grace, 1914
A great reverence for knowledge and the natural sense of justice urge me to encourage in my own sex that which is most worthy the aspirations of all. For, since wisdom is so great an ornament of the human race that it should of right be extended (so far as practicable) to each and every one, I did not see why this fairest of ornaments should not be appropriate for the maiden, to whom we permit all diligence in the decoration and adornment of herself. ~Annæ Mariæ à Schurman (1607–1678), Epistolæ, to D. Andreæ Riveto, 1638, translated from the Latin by Thomas Wentworth Higginson
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, "Mr Chesterton in Hysterics: A Study in Prejudice," The Clarion, 1913 November 14th, reprinted in The Young Rebecca: Writings of Rebecca West 1911–17, 1982
I would earnestly ask my sisters to keep clear of both the jargons now current everywhere... of the jargon, namely, about the "rights" of women, which urges women to do all that men do... and of the jargon which urges women to do nothing that men do... Surely woman should bring the best she has, whatever that is, to the work of God's world, without attending to either of these cries. For what are they, both of them, the one just as much as the other, but listening to the "what people will say," to opinion, to the "voices from without"? And as a wise man has said, no one has ever done anything great or useful by listening to the voices from without.
You do not want the effect of your good things to be, "How wonderful for a woman!" nor... "Yes, but she ought not to have done this, because it is not suitable for a woman." But you want to do the thing that is good, whether it is "suitable for a woman" or not... Oh, leave these jargons, and go your way straight to God's work, in simplicity and singleness of heart. ~Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not, 1860
Someday, women will realize that the object of their emancipation is not to make them more like men, but more powerfully womanly, and therefore of greater use to men and themselves and society. ~Dorothy Thompson, Political Guide: A Study of American Liberalism and Its Relationship to Modern Totalitarian States, 1938
Slowly, however, the truth is dawning upon women, and still more slowly upon men, that woman is no stepchild of nature, no Cinderella of fate to be dowered only by fairies and the Prince; but that for her and in her, as truly as for and in man, life has wrought its great experiences, its master attainments, its supreme human revelations of the stuff of which worlds are made. That woman has been but a "silent partner" in the building of the outer temples of thought and action during the ages when she has been denied the tools of self-expression in art and science, in literature and politics, is no proof that her contribution has been small even in these lines. It is an old error of man to forget to put quotation marks where he borrows from a woman's brain! ~Anna Garlin Spencer, Woman's Share in Social Culture, 1912
In the home, let it be confessed, woman has been imprisoned, scourged, branded with the red-hot irons of cruelty, and for what? Because, sometimes she dared to claim her body and her soul as her own property — denying to the male-master the liberties he sought with her inalienable private rights and thus with her own person. Her resistance to his hot impulses and lawless usurpation he proceeds to punish with unaccountable cruelties and perpetual dependence. And all because man has not been educated, and thus morally organized, to perceive and tenderly respect his wife's spiritual and physical rights, which are as irrepealable and inextinguishable as his own. ~Andrew Jackson Davis, The Genesis and Ethics of Conjugal Love, 1874 [a little altered —tg]
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. ~Claire Sargent, U.S. congressional candidate, Arizona, 1992
Scott Hershovitz: Do you have amendments you would like to see added [to our Constitution]?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I have one, beyond all others and that is the Equal Rights Amendment.... every constitution in the world written after World War II has a statement to the effect that women and men are persons of equal citizenship stature. I would like to take my pocket Constitution out, show it to my three granddaughters, and say, "This is a prime value of our society, just like free speech and freedom of religion. The equality of men and women, their equal citizenship stature, is a basic tenet of our society."
~2015 Tanner Lecture conversation at the University of Michigan
I often quoted the lines of Sarah Grimke, one of two wonderful sisters from South Carolina, and they said to legislators in the mid-1900s, I ask no favor for my sex, all I ask of my brethren is that they take their feet from off our necks. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg
...whereas 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
Sue: What are they so afraid of?
Emily: Maybe they're scared that if they teach us how the world works we'll figure out how to take over.
~Alena Smith and Rachel Axler, “I have never seen ‘Volcanoes,’” Dickinson, 2019 [S1, E2, of men, about women being educated —tg]
I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament. ~Alanis Morissette, quoted in The Reader's Digest, March 2000
The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
Afar o'er life's turrets and vales does it roam
In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.
The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
And enters some alien cage in its plight,
And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars.
~Georgia Douglas Camp Johnson (1880–1966), "The Heart of a Woman," The Heart of a Woman and Other Poems, 1918
...but boys will be boys, and so will girls too, for that matter. ~Judy, or the London Serio-Comic Journal, 1879
The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself. ~Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, 1929
History is herstory too. ~Author unknown
I am working for the time when unqualified blacks, browns, and women join the unqualified men in running our government. ~Cissy Farenthold, 1974
Fragile in every sense of the word, they are obliged to look up to man for every comfort. In the most trifling dangers they cling to their support, with parasitical tenacity, piteously demanding succour; and their natural protector extends his arm, or lifts up his voice, to guard the lovely trembler — from what? Perhaps the frown of an old cow, or the jump of a mouse; a rat, would be a serious danger. In the name of reason, and even common sense, what can save such beings from contempt; even though they be soft and fair?
These fears, when not affected, may produce some pretty attitudes; but they shew a degree of imbecility which degrades a rational creature in a way women are not aware of — for love and esteem are very distinct things.
I am fully persuaded that we should hear of none of these infantine airs, if girls were allowed to take sufficient exercise, and not confined in close rooms till their muscles are relaxed, and their powers of digestion destroyed. To carry the remark still further, if fear in girls, instead of being cherished, perhaps, created, were treated in the same manner as cowardice in boys, we should quickly see women with more dignified aspects. It is true, they could not then with equal propriety be termed the sweet flowers that smile in the walk of man; but they would be more respectable members of society, and discharge the important duties of life by the light of their own reason. 'Educate women like men,' says Rousseau, 'and the more they resemble our sex the less power they will have over us.' This is the very point I aim at. I do not wish them to have power over men; but over themselves. ~Mary Wollstonecraft, "Observations on the State of Degradation to Which Woman is Reduced by Various Causes," A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1793
Cultured, beautiful, and fair;
Black and brown and golden hair;
Daughters of my fondest care,
Freedom's a deluding snare.
Half the human race, you see,
Is deprived of liberty...
Wards of legal slavery,
Cultured daughters, we must be
Voiceless by the world's decree...
~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "How It Is" (An Equal-Suffrage Song), Souvenirs of Occasions, 1892
When will come the declaration
That will make us wholly free?
When the July independence
Of our fuller liberty?
We are cramped with heavier taxes
Than could ever rest on tea...
~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "A Fourth of July Prophecy," Souvenirs of Occasions, 1892
Sometimes I'm asked when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court, and when I say "when there are nine," people are shocked. But there'd been nine men and nobody's ever raised a question about that. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2012 [a little altered —tg]
How good does a female athlete have to be before we just call her an athlete? ~Author unknown
The blood of generations of honoured women boiled in my veins. ~Sarah Grand (1854–1943), "The Condemned Cell," Emotional Moments, 1908
Oh! that I could so appeal to my brothers everywhere, that forever after they would regard women as of angelic order, to be approached only as they would approach the enthroned Goddess of Purity, upon whose presence none would dare presume, and whose favors it is theirs to merit and receive, rather than to command and appropriate. Look not upon her for selfish purposes, but rather to bless her, let that blessing depend upon what it may, even if to bless is not to possess. Other love than this is selfishness, and a profanation of the Holy Word. That is love which will bless the object, even if to do so is to yield it. Remember that it is a pretension and a fraud to think of ownership in, or control over, the person of a woman. This is her inheritance, never to be bartered, never to be sold, never to be given away, even; but only to be exchanged, blessing for blessing, when an all-absorbing, all-embracing, all-desiring love points out the way. ~Victoria Claflin Woodhull Martin, Tried As By Fire; or, The True and the False, Socially.
...celebrate the exquisite beauty of every woman. ~Cindy Olsen, co-owner of The Body Objective website, 1999
Time was when all a girl needed to know was how to cook and sew and mind a baby and hold her tongue. Nowadays everything's different. ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, Tammy Out of Time, 1958 [Grandfather explaining to granddaughter why he wants her to go to school. —tg]
For centuries women were content to be classed as second-rate men. Those who attempted to rise out of their dependency and inferiority were usually promptly burned as witches. Women had no chance to earn their living independently, and perforce, were constrained to remain at home and do the world's dirty work. ~W. Béran Wolfe, M.D. (1900–1935), "The Art of Understanding Women," in Esquire, May 1935
We are living through the invention of independent female adulthood....After a long history during which living solo would get you labeled a pathetic spinster or, if you were lucky, a sexual iconoclast, being recognized as an independent person rather than as someone's daughter, wife, or mother is a new, shiny kind of liberty for women, one that has unlocked all sorts of doors. ~Rebecca Traister, "Love and the Single Girl: The Single Girl Revolution," 2012 May 30th, MarieClaire.com
Women are every where in this deplorable state; for, in order to preserve their innocence, as ignorance is courteously termed, truth is hidden from them, and they are made to assume an artificial character before their faculties have acquired any strength. Taught from their infancy that beauty is women's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and, roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison. ~Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, 1793
But one thing, girls are smarter than fellows, I have to admit that... The boy scouts are all right, and you can see for yourself that you can do a lot by concerted appetite. But you need brains, too. And if it hadn't been for the Girl Scouts and the Erie Railroad, where would we be, I'd like to know? So that's why my favorite heroes are the Girl Scouts and the Erie Railroad. ~Percy Keese Fitzhugh, Roy Blakeley: Lost, Strayed or Stolen, 1921
Virginia Pendleton, a rare
And sweetly simple Southern beauty,
Had always heard her folks declare
That Sacrifice was Woman's Duty.
She asked for Love and nothing more
Save strength to serve her loved ones meetly
(Note: — This was back in '84 —
We've changed that point of view, completely.)
~Arthur Guiterman, "Rhymed Reviews: Virginia by Ellen Glasgow," in Life, 1913
How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! ~Maya Angelou, c.1983
Sometimes the best man for the job isn't. ~Author unknown
If Congress refuse to listen to and grant what women ask, there is but one course left them to pursue.... Under such glaring inconsistencies, such unwarrantable tyranny, such unscrupulous despotism, what is there left women to do but to become the mothers of the future government. ~Victoria Claflin Woodhull Martin, The Great Secession Speech of Victoria C. Woodhull, Before the National Woman's Suffrage Convention, at Apollo Hall, May 11, 1871
...among the women there is a stiff awkward reserve that belongs to neither sublime resignation or divine hope — wherever I turn I see the yoke on woman in some form or other... ~Abba May Alcott (1800–1877), 1843, of a Shaker community
I said no. And no is no. ~Ball of Fire, 1941, screenplay by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, from an original story by Thomas Monroe, spoken by the character Katherine "Sugarpuss" O'Shea
"A woman does not, then, necessarily leave the industrial service on marriage?" I queried.
"No more than a man," replied the doctor. "Why on earth should she?... a husband is not a baby that he should be cared for."
~Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: 2000–1887, 1888
Here's to the woman with many a care,
Who sits all day in an office chair.
And at night, when her day's work there is through
Goes home and finds more work to do;
Gets up in the morning and cooks and scrubs,
And wrestles round with laundry tubs;
Yet the usual hour finds her smiling there,
Beside her desk, in the office chair.
If she's strong enough these burdens to tote,
Here's to the State where they let her vote!
~Author unknown, "A Real Toast," 1914
A creature ruled by the lunar cycle in charge of a business? Absurd! Have you gone insane? ~Making History, "Night Cream," 2017, written by Alison Agosti [S1, E7, John Hancock]
Let go of the idea that men and boys have to be strong and can't cry, or can't show feelings, such as fear or love or tenderness. And let go of the idea that women and girls have to be weak and always cry and have softer feelings, and can't take care of themselves. Men, women, boys and girls are all human. We all have feelings. We all can be strong or weak, or afraid or angry. ~Pat Palmer (1928–2015), Liking Myself, 1977
Specialists in nervous difficulties have not yet determined there is a marked variation between "neurotic caterwauling of an hysterical woman" (Cicero) and neurotic caterwauling of hysterical men. To normally tuned ears caterwaulings are as unagreeable as misogynous whoops — waulings of men as cacophonous as waulings of women. ~Kate Stephens, "Up-to-Date Misogyny," American Thumb-Prints: Mettle of Our Men and Women, 1905
Why is it that only girls stand on the sides of their feet? As if they're afraid to plant themselves? ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams, 1990
I charge upon this government, in the first instance, that it is not republican in form, and is therefore directly opposed, not only to the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, but also to the letter of the Constitution. The Preamble to the Constitution declares that governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, to secure the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now, if a government be instituted and maintained which does not obtain its powers from the consent of the governed, can it, according to the Constitution itself, and the purposes for which it was adopted, be a just government? and if not a just government, can it be a republican government? Nobody will so pretend. Nevertheless, this government is maintained by the absolute denial of the right to express either consent or dissent of more than one-half of the governed; what is still more reprehensible, they who are thus excluded are recognized by the Constitution as lawful citizens and entitled to equal civil and political rights with any other class.
For my part (and I speak now for myself only), I deny the right of the men of this country to legislate for me, and I will not submit to any of their laws to which I could not consent if I were permitted to dissent, and that limit my personal rights, declared inalienable by the text of the Constitution; and more especially will I not conform to those which are made to control my social rights, when everybody knows they are intended for women only, men never even pretending to conform to them. I spit upon such despotism; and every woman who does not is either a willing or unwilling slave; and they are rapidly waking up to this fact. The government of this country was instituted and is maintained and administered by men over women who have not consented to it, and many of whom protest against it. It is, therefore, in no sense of the word a republican government, and upon this count it ought to fall; and it will fall. Again I charge upon this government that it is a failure, because it has neither secured freedom (and by this I mean the personal rights of individuals), maintained equality nor administered justice to its citizens. These three terms constitute the political Trinity. If it have any existence at all in a government, each of the terms will be present. There can be no such thing as justice unless there are freedom and equal conditions; there can be no such thing as equality unless there is freedom. The Trinity is, therefore, to be expressed thus: There must be equality maintained among a few people, whose intercourse is regulated by justice. Institute that law in any country and there will be perfect government; and so far as it does not exist in this country to-day, so far is the government not republican, and, consequently, a failure. ~Victoria Claflin Woodhull, "Reformation or Revolution, Which?," 1873
My favorite thing about girl power is that over time it turns into woman power. ~Cleo Wade, cleowade.com
Men might regard economic equality with favor or disfavor, according to their economic positions, but every woman, simply because she was a woman, was bound to be for it as soon as she got it through her head what it meant for her half of the race. ~Edward Bellamy, "What the Revolution Did for Women," Equality, 1897
Sexism is a social disease. ~Author unknown
...you wouldn't bother promoting that tired cliché that women can have it all — orgasms and babies and power, oh my! Because we all know that when you try to have everything, you wind up with nothing.... now let's get back to your mission to reduce women to their pinker parts. ~Mistresses, "Lean In" [S4, E5, 2016], written by Rina Mimoun, spoken by the character Jason Hughes on the "Love Chat" podcast
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, and of the utmost importance to walk up to a platform and receive from the hands of the Headmaster himself a highly ornamental pot. As people mature they cease to believe in sides or in Headmasters or in highly ornamental pots. ~Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
"I hate every woman!" cries Euripides, in keen iambics in a citation of the Florilegium of Stobæus. The sentiment was not new with Euripides — unfortunately. Before him there was bucolic Hesiod with his precepts on wife-choosing. There was Simonides of Amorgos, who in outcrying the degradation of the Ionian women told the degradation of the Ionian men. There was Hipponax, who fiercely sang "two days on which a woman gives a man most pleasure — the day he marries her and the day he buries her."
And along with Euripides was Aristophanes, the radiant laughter-lover, the titanic juggler with the heavens above and earth and men below — Aristophanes who flouted the women of Athens... Thucydides before them had named but one woman in his whole great narrative, and had avoided the mention of women and their part in the history he relates...
Down through many centuries our forebears cast to and fro the same sentiment — in spite of the introduction into life and literature of the love of men for women and women for men; in spite of the growth of romantic love. You find misogynous expression among the Latins. In early "Church Fathers," such as St. John Chrysostom, you come upon it in grossest form. Woman is "a necessary ill," cried the Golden Mouthed, "a natural temptation, a wished-for calamity, a household danger, a deadly fascination, a bepainted evil."
You see the sentiment in the laws of church and of kingdom. You sight its miasm in the gloaming and murk of the Middle Ages, amid the excesses which in shame for it chivalry affected and exalted. You read it by the light of the awful fires that burnt women accessory to the husband's crime — for which their husbands were merely hanged. You see it in Martin Luther's injunction to Catherine von Bora that it ill became his wife to fasten her waist in front — because independence in women is unseemly, their dress should need an assistant for its donning. You chance upon it in old prayers written by men, and once publicly said by men for English queens to a God "which for the offence of the first woman has threatened unto all women a common, sharp, and inevitable malediction"...
All such sad evidences, it should be borne in mind, are but the reverse of the fair picture with which men have regarded women. But because there is a reverse side, and its view has entered and still enters largely into human life, human estimates, and human fate, it should be spoken about openly. Women and men inexperienced in the outer world of affairs do not realize its still potent force. As for the subject of these gibes, for ages they were silent... It was better to be silent than to rise in bold proof of an untruth and meet rude force. ~Kate Stephens (1853–1938), "Up-to-Date Misogyny," American Thumb-Prints: Mettle of Our Men and Women, 1905
She was warned... Nevertheless, she persisted... The Senator will take her seat. ~Mitch McConnell and Steve Daines, 2017 February 7th, when Elizabeth Warren supposedly broke U.S. Senate Rule XIX #shepersisted [current events quote turned instantaneous hashtag and movement —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
Last saved 2023 Jan 16 Mon 16:40 PST