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Robin Morgan

  • The women's movement is a non-hierarchical one. It does things collectively and experimentally.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • introduction, Sisterhood Is Powerful ()
  • There's something contagious about demanding freedom ...

    • Robin Morgan,
    • introduction, Sisterhood Is Powerful ()
  • Don't accept rides from strange men, / and remember that all men are strange as hell.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • introduction, Sisterhood Is Powerful ()
  • ... although every organized patriarchal religion works overtime to contribute its own brand of misogyny to the myth of woman-hate, woman-fear, and woman-evil, the Roman Catholic Church also carries the immense power of very directly affecting women's lives everywhere by its stand against birth control and abortion, and by its use of skillful and wealthy lobbies to prevent legislative change. It is an obscenity — an all-male hierarchy, celibate or not, that presumes to rule on the lives and bodies of millions of women.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • introduction, Sisterhood Is Powerful ()
  • Women are not inherently passive or peaceful. We're not inherently anything but human.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • in Shirley Chisholm, Unbought and Unbossed ()
  • Mother, in ways neither of us can ever understand, / I have come home.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • "Matrilineal Descent," Monster ()
  • May we comprehend that we cannot be stopped. / May I learn how to survive until my part is finished. / May I realize that I / am a / monster. I am / a / monster. / I am a monster. / And I am proud.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • title poem, Monster ()
  • Ordinary is a word that has no meaning.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • "The Pedestrian Woman," Lady of the Beasts ()
  • Pornography is the theory, and rape the practice.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • "Theory and Practice: Pornography and Rape," Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle for a Feminist ()
  • We are the myths. We are the Amazons, the Furies, the witches. We have never not been here ... / There is something utterly familiar about us. / We have been ourselves before.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • "A Country Weekend," Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle for a Feminist ()
  • I do believe deeply that all human beings, male and female, are sexual beings, most likely bisexual beings channeled this way and that by cultures terrified of boundary crossings without passports stamped gay or straight.

  • Metaphor is the energy charge that leaps between images, revealing their connections.

  • ... your life is the one place you have to spend yourself fully — wild, generous, drastic — in an unrationed profligacy of self. This one freedom is your sole birthright. It will take you your lifetime to exercise it. And in that split second when you understand you finally are about to die — to uncreate the world no time to do it over no more chances — that instant when you realize your conscious existence is truly flaring nova, won't you want to have used up all — all — the splendor that you are?

  • Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.

  • ... an indigenous feminism has been present in every culture in the world and in every period of history since the suppression of women began.

  • If I had to characterize one quality as the genius of feminist thought, culture, and action, it would be the connectivity.

  • When solutions are offered us by the people who originally brought us the problem, we do well to be suspicious.

  • Silence is the first thing within the power of the enslaved to shatter. From that shattering, everything else spills forth.

  • The Confucian concept and Chinese ideograms for 'woman' and for 'slave' are the same.

  • All art is the tension, expressed between the uncontainable and its one perfect inevitable form.

  • Hate generalizes; love specifies. Or: The movements of hatred are toward generalization; love's movements are toward specification.

  • ... being Cassandra is a principled choice when there is cause for alarm.

  • Let it all hang out. Let it seem bitchy, catty, dykey, frustrated, crazy, nutty, frigid, ridiculous, bitter, embarrassing, man-hating, libelous, pure, unfair, envious, intuitive, low-down, stupid, petty, liberating. We are the women that men have warned us about.

  • Children, together with women, constitute 90 percent of all refugee populations on the planet as well as the vast majority of those living in absolute poverty: the 'feminization of poverty' means that children are poor, too, since most parenting is done by mothers.

  • What would we do without irony? Check out your own daily reliance on it, the foul-weather friend who's there for you when nothing else is.

  • No matter how expected, death is always the ultimate surprise.

  • Crisis can be an addiction as powerful as any other ...

  • ... guilt politics ... I regard as conveniently paralyzing, ripe for backlash defensiveness, counterproductive, and boring.

  • Goats are quite intelligent; in this they are unlike sheep, who are modest with cause and skittish without it; and very unlike cattle, whose brains, secreted behind those glazed brown eyes moist with sincerity, seem never to have been contaminated by a single thought. Goats, like cats, find ways of going precisely where they shouldn't and of not being where anyone dares tell them to be. Fences are studied as provocations, gates as tests of tactical game theory. Pecking orders are won by virtue of intellect and seniority, not size or brawn, and cooperation in problem solving is not uncommon. Furthermore, a sense of humor is truly evident, especially in getting their own back at the taller two-legged goats who can open and close gates and think they own the place, but who at least dutifully deliver hay bales to the paddock in winter or in times of drought, and helpfully turn spigots to fill the water troughs.

  • For a poet, making poems is a way of viewing the world, being in the world, breathing.

  • ... life is a comedy far darker than drama. It just takes time to learn what to smile at.

  • ... every actor knows that tragedy, being linear and inevitable, is taxing — but comedy, which depends on the element of surprise, is the hardest act of all.

  • ... people are capable of profound metamorphosis, though unfortunately they rarely avail themselves of this genius, force of habit being an even greater enemy of change than cowardice.

  • The present always masquerades as a beginning; maybe we couldn't endure it if we realized at the time that it was a peak, or even an ending.

  • [On New York City:] This city is noisy and crowded; it can be maddening, smelly, costly, and scary; and it's a perfect place to live if you don't trust air you can't see.

  • Politics becomes a part of your life once you realize it has been all along.

  • The egg cackles and lays the chicken.

  • When table utensils were invented in the 1100s, the Catholic Church condemned them as obscene and heretical, claiming, 'God gave us fingers with which to eat.' And we're supposed to get politically discouraged? Oh please. We're being opposed by people who denounced the fork.

  • ... in the United States ... given the cult of eternal youth, age is ignored unless it can be sentimentalized.

  • As we've frequently had to remind politicians, women were not born Democrats, Republicans, or yesterday.

  • I still gasp at the revealing lingo for weapons: erector launchers, thrust ratios; my teeth grind reflexively when Dubya sputters Eye-Rack and Eye-Ran have 'nookyular capabacity.'

    • Robin Morgan,
    • in Ms. ()
  • Clarity of language is the first casualty of authoritarianism.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • in Ms. ()
  • ... contemporary feminism is here to stay. ... We ain't goin' backward, crazy, under, or away.

  • Any single path truly taken leads to all the others. What matters is choosing a starting place — where to stand and begin spinning outward. Even then, you will find that outward and inward become the same direction. The center of the wheel is everywhere.

  • ... 'raised' consciousness means lifelong bumping up against a continually receding ceiling. I mean, who ever 'graduates'?

    • Robin Morgan,
    • in Ms. ()
  • [To the young woman who intimated it was time for Morgan to pass on the feminist torch:] Get your own damned torch. I'm still using mine.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • in Katha Pollitt, The Nation ()
  • Friendship is mutual blackmail elevated to the level of love.

    • Robin Morgan
  • Sisterhood is powerful.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • book title ()
  • Cultural symbolism: often overlooked or dismissed, always potent.

    • Robin Morgan,
    • blog ()

Robin Morgan, U.S. writer, poet, feminist, co-founder Women's Media Center, political theorist, journalist

(1941)