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Men

  • Men. Always trying to think for somebody else, and generally doing it wrong.

  • A man nearly sixty is just as ready to suppose himself fascinating as a man of twenty.

  • Men often marry their mothers ...

  • When a man makes a woman his wife, it's the highest compliment he can pay her — and usually it's the last.

  • It takes one woman twenty years to make a man of her son — and another woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him.

  • I'd like somebody to breed a male, genus homo, who could go and fetch a 12" x 8" black suède purse lying in the middle of a white bedspread and not come back looking baffled and saying he couldn't find it.

  • What's with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?

    • Erma Bombeck,
    • When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home
    • ()
  • ... men do some things better, like reading maps, because only the male mind can conceive of one inch equalling one hundred miles.

  • Men are capable of making great sacrifices, who are not willing to make the lesser ones, on which so much of the happiness of life depends. The great sacrifices are seldom called for, but the minor ones are in daily requisition; and the making them with cheerfulness and grace enhances their value ...

  • The men are mostly so slow, their thoughts overrun 'em, an' they can only catch 'em by the tail. I can count a stocking-top while a man's getting's tongue ready; an' when he outs wi' his speech at last, there's little broth to be made on't. It's your dead chicks take the longest hatchin'.

  • There are men I could spend eternity with. But not this life.

  • Men are the limit! ... it's a great pity there ain't nothing else to do but marry, and nothing to marry but men!

  • ... there are two types of the male species of Homo sapiens: men, and Italian men.

  • ... all men are the same age.

    • Dorothy Parker,
    • "Advice to the Little Peyton Girl," in Mary Louise Aswell, ed., It's a Woman's World ()
  • I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid.

  • Plenty of guys are good at sex, but conversation, now there's an art.

  • Men don't live well by themselves. They don't even live like people. They live like bears with furniture.

    • Rita Rudner,
    • in Anna Quindlen, "Bears With Furniture," Thinking Out Loud ()
  • The way a man looks at himself in a mirror will tell you if he can ever care about anyone else.

  • Men like to barbecue. Men will cook if danger is involved.

  • I want to know why, if men rule the world, they don't stop wearing neckties?

  • ... to some men, the definition of selfish is that you don't think about them all the time.

  • I have just come up with a wonderful solution to end all wars. Let me give directions on how to get there.

  • In the mid-nineties a men's movement hit this country with all the force of two marshmallows colliding in midair. ... What were they going to ask for? Pay equal to that received by women?

  • One of the things being in politics has taught me is that men are not a reasoned or reasonable sex.

  • Whoever invented men had definitely not ironed out all the kinks.

  • I am realizing once and for all the difference as far as I am concerned of women and men and the necessity for both. With a man, however tender he is, one is feeding him — one is always and eternally understanding, mothering, supplying him with faith in himself (not in you).

    • May Sarton,
    • 1937, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 ()
  • The male — I have found — is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness and kindness, can be trained to do most things.

  • All men are not slimy warthogs. Some men are silly giraffes, some woebegone puppies, some insecure frogs. But if one is not careful, those slimy warthogs can ruin it for all the others.

  • Beware of the man who wants to protect you; / he will protect you from everything but himself.

    • Erica Jong,
    • "Seventeen Warnings in Search of a Feminist Poem," Half-Lives ()
  • Beware of the man who praises liberated women; he is planning to quit his job.

    • Erica Jong,
    • "Seventeen Warnings in Search of a Feminist Poem," Half-Lives ()
  • Perhaps men should think twice before making widowhood our only path to power.

  • There should be a colossal mother going about the world to turn men over her lap and give them the slipper. They pine for it.

  • Men are vile inconstant toads.

  • Why do men resist putting gas in their cars until the last minute? ... There's not much left in life for men to gamble about. They can gamble about the gas.

  • Macho: The genetic defect that makes men want to teach toddlers to box.

  • Lady Middleton ... exerted herself to ask Mr. Palmer if there was any news in the paper. 'No, none at all,' he replied, and read on.

  • If there is anything disagreeable going on men are always sure to get out of it.

  • We admire predators — panthers, lions, tigers, even wolves. Maybe to be naturally thoughtful and hesitant to use violence is to be somehow second rate. To be in the middle of the social food chain. Especially if you're a man. This society thinks real men are violent.

  • It is no accident that stock exchange floors — in addition to bedroom floors — bring out the noisy blood, the flushed cheek, and the passionate cries of men. Most men are making love when they make 'magical' amounts of money.

  • The best proof of man's dissatisfaction with the home is found in his universal absence from it.

  • [Warfare is] maleness in its absurdest extremes. Here is to be studied the whole gamut of basic masculinity, from the initial instinct of combat, through every form of glorious ostentation, with the loudest accompaniment of noise.

  • A man'll seem like a person to a woman, year in, year out. She'll put up and she'll put up. Then one day he'll do something maybe no worse than what he's been a-doing all his life. She'll look at him. And without no warning he'll look like a varmint.

  • Men aren't necessities, they're luxuries.

    • Cher,
    • in Bob Chieger, Was It Good for You, Too? ()
  • ... as all women know, there are really no men at all. There are grown-up boys, and middle-aged boys, and elderly boys, and even sometimes very old boys. But the essential difference is simply exterior. Your man is always a boy.

  • Girls inevitably grew into women, but something of the boy persisted in every man.

  • She met the adoring impertinence in his eyes with the despair a mother feels when she comes in after some hours' absence and finds her little boy still playing with his tin trumpet.

  • [On Michael Arlen:] Every other inch a gentleman.

    • Rebecca West,
    • in Victoria Glendinning (1928), Rebecca West ()
  • There is, of course, no reason for the existence of the male sex except that one sometimes needs help with moving the piano.

    • Rebecca West,
    • 1970, in Victoria Glendinning, Rebecca West ()
  • I like a man what takes his time.

  • A man in the house is worth two in the street.

    • Mae West,
    • in Belle of the Nineties ()
  • Give a man a free hand and he'll try to put it all over you.

  • I never set out to make men a career; it just happened that way.

  • Sometimes it seems to me I've known so many men that the FBI ought to come to me first to compare fingerprints.

  • Well, it's not the men in my life that counts — it's the life in my men.

  • Personally, I like two types of men — domestic and foreign.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, ed., The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West ()
  • The best way to hold a man is in your arms.

    • Mae West,
    • in Joseph Weintraub, Peel Me a Grape ()
  • I like a man who's good, but not too good. The good die young and I hate a dead one.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • ... I've always taken men just as I found 'em, and thank heavens I've been able to find 'em.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • I feel like a million tonight — but one at a time.

    • Mae West,
    • in George Eells and Stanley Musgrove, Mae West ()
  • So many men, so little time!

  • I love man as creator, lover, husband, friend, but man the father I do not trust. I do not believe in man as father. I do not trust man as father.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1934, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 1 ()
  • A man ... is so in the way in the house!

  • Getting along with men isn't what's truly important. The vital knowledge is how to get along with one man.

  • A romantic man often feels more uplifted with two women than with one: his love seems to hit the ideal mark somewhere between two different faces.

  • What is the use of being a little boy if you are growing up to be a man.

  • It is funny the two things most men are proudest of is the thing that any man can do and doing does in the same way, that is being drunk and being the father of their son.

  • Well, it is a humiliating reflection, that the straightest road to a man's heart is through his palate.

  • Why don't men ... leave off those detestable stiff collars, stocks, and things, that make them all look like choked chickens, and which hide so many handsomely-turned throats, that a body never sees, unless a body is married, or unless a body happens to see a body's brothers while they are shaving.

  • The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

    • Fanny Fern,
    • in Joyce W. Warren, ed., Ruth Hall and Other Writings ()
  • ... don't let anything make you believe that there are not as many decent men in the world as women, and they're just as decent. Life isn't worth living unless you know that — and it's true.

  • The male ego with few exceptions is elephantine to start with.

  • ... if we begin on the men, there is no stopping. We must love them when we can.

  • [On men:] On their best days, the best of them are eight years old.

    • Mary McGrory,
    • in Mary McCarthy, Private Faces/Public Places ()
  • Testosterone does not have to be toxic.

  • ... whatever diminishes the sense of superiority in men makes them more manly, brotherly, and pleasant to have about.

  • ... the true male never yet walked / Who liked to listen when his mate talked.

    • Anna Wickham,
    • "The Affinity," The Contemplative Quarry ()
  • Most men are reasonably useful in a crisis. The difficulty lies in convincing them that the situation has reached a critical point.

  • Man's role is uncertain, undefined, and perhaps unnecessary.

  • Men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them particularly unfit for the task of government ... Man's place is the armory.

  • My experience of men in cars has always been that if you don't want them to do something, they will. It is when they are behind a wheel that they most fear the control of women and children.

  • Getting a boy well groomed / Takes a lifetime a mother's way, / But the right young lady / Can do it in a day.

  • 'Men ain't exactly — people,' she confided. 'Men ain't exactly people — at all!'

  • Not only is it harder to be a man, it is also harder to become one.

  • This book is dedicated to all those men who betrayed me at one time or another, in hopes they will fall off their motorcycles and break their necks.

    • Diane Wakoski,
    • introduction, The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems ()
  • A painting is like a man. If you can live without it, then there isn't much point in having it.

  • [Addressing her male readers:] You are not our protectors. ... If you were, who would there be to protect us from?

    • Mary Walker,
    • 1871, in Charles McCool Snyder, Dr. Mary Walker ()
  • [On the penis:] It is given names of tools and weapons, and even said to have supernatural powers, but in fact it fits inside a tin of sardines.

  • Beware of men who cry. It's true that men who cry are sensitive to and in touch with feelings, but the only feelings they tend to be sensitive to and in touch with are their own.

  • When I'm with a man, my work takes second place — all I really want to do is get through the day so I can rush home to be with him. That's because my man is the most important part of my life.

  • The longer I live, the more I am certified that men, in all that relates to their own health, have not common sense! whether it be their pride, or their impatience, or their obstinancy, or their ingrained spirit of contradiction, that stupefies and misleads them, the result is always a certain amount of idiocy, or distraction in their dealings with their own bodies! ... either by their wild impatience of bodily suffering, and the exaggerated moan they make over it, or else by their reckless defiance of it, and neglect of every dictate of prudence!

    • Jane Welsh Carlyle,
    • letter (1862), in James Anthony Froude, ed., Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle, vol. 2 ()
  • [On Ian Fleming:] The trouble with Ian is that he gets off with women because he can't get on with them.

  • Men lose more conquests by their own awkwardness than by any virtue in the woman.

  • (Mem.: Very marked difference between the sexes is male tendency to procrastinate doing practically everything in the world except sitting down to meals and going up to bed. Should like to purchase little painted motto: do it now, so often on sale at inferior stationers' shops, and present it to Robert, but on second thoughts quite see that this would not conduce to domestic harmony, and abandon scheme at once.)

  • Come to think of it, just about every tool was shaped like either a weenie or a pistol, depending on your point of view.

  • So one time when I was working in this motel one of the toilets leaked and I had to replace the flapper ball. Here's what it said on the package; I kept it till I knew it by heart: 'Please Note. Parts are included for all installations, but no installation requires all of the parts.' That's kind of my philosophy about men. I don't think there's an installation out there that could use all of my parts.

  • No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.

  • No wonder guys peak sexually at eighteen. It's not sex at all — it's human communication. It's the first time they ever talked to anybody!

  • ... 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.

  • Mrs. Fowler hated men so passionately that no one could dream why she married so many of them.

    • Jean Stafford,
    • "Beatrice Trueblood's Story," The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford ()
  • Gentlemen are overestimated, that is my experience.

  • At twenty, men love woman; at thirty, a woman; and at forty, women.

  • Men would always rather be made love to than talked at.

  • ... until it had been clearly explained that men were always and always partly wrong in all their ideas, life would be full of poison and secret bitterness. Men fight about their philosophies and religions, there is no certainty in them; but their contempt for women is flawless and unanimous.

  • Men are not, although they are likely creeters and I wish 'em well, yet truth compels me to say that they are not very much gin to follerin' this text, 'To suffer and be calm.' No, they had ruther rampage round and kill the lion in the way than to camp down in front of 'em and try to subdue 'em with kindness and long sufferin'.

  • Mrs. Cugat ... wondered ... why cigars should give an air of substance to men over fifty and make all men under forty look like horse-traders.

  • Men are imposible, but after you've had one around nothing ever has quite the flavor without one. It's terrible, really. When they're there you want to shoot them and when they're not you want to shoot yourself.

  • [On vegetarian George Bernard Shaw:] If you give him meat no woman in London will be safe.

  • I don't hate men, I just wish they'd try harder. They all want to be heroes and all we want is for them to stay at home and help with the housework and the kids. That's not the kind of heroism they enjoy.

  • ... I never liked the men I loved, and never loved the men I liked.

    • Fanny Brice,
    • in Norman Katkov, The Fabulous Fanny ()
  • ... the danger of their admitting or betraying in some fashion their deep and moving fondness for each other was safely past; and they shook hands unemotionally, even almost indifferently, as American sons and fathers should.

  • You have to understand that men can be awfully sluggish about making decisions of the heart. Remember, please, that evolution is a slow process. Amphibians didn't exactly decide to become reptiles. One day, one brave, scaly green guy took a long walk on land and cautiously said, 'Okay, okay, I can handle this.' That's how life science is.

  • The main reason to live with a man: You will never have to go on dates again.

  • Men want love just as much as women do. Yes, I know it's hard to believe, especially when the greatest compliment your guy can muster is that you're a vast improvement over the years he spent in the dark watching midget wrestling on TV.

  • The more I study men, the more I realize that they are nothing in the world but boys grown too big to be spankable.

  • Men should spend less time with guns and more time in childbirth.

  • I also hate it when men lie to me. It's not becoming, and they're rarely very good at it.

  • There's nothing a man can stand so much of as praise.

  • ... Vermer tried a pass at me, after giving me lunch one day, and later had tall tales to tell, but that is not uncommon among inferior men. He was only one of a long series of males, who for one reason or another, to boost their own ego, find it satisfying to boast of what they have not achieved.

  • Testosterone should be a controlled substance.

  • 'A man is as old as he feels, a woman is as old as she looks.' ... Mrs. McKay tossed her head. 'Some man made that one up, I'll bet. They're always dealing to themselves from the bottom of the deck.'

  • Men who take advantage of one woman take advantage of them all ...

  • The best kind of men have a certainty in themselves that isn't done in when countered by a certainty in their women, and they are much adored.

  • Male supremacy: Doctrine built upon three forms of superiority: the ability to grow a handlebar mustache, the ability to answer most of Nature's calls efficiently, and the possession of pockets.

  • ... she was so mad about Goddard that every other man in the world looked like her grandmother to her.

  • Without men the world would be a better place: softer, kinder, more loving; calmer, quieter, more humane.

  • Do you really want to know why women go wrong? I can tell you in one word: Men.

    • Loretta Jackson,
    • in Norma Lee Browning, City Girl in the Country and Other Stories ()
  • ... a man is much sexier in nothing than something, and that goes for hairpieces as well as clothes.

  • God preserve me from idiots and men in love, which is the same thing.

  • Male friends do not always face each other; they stand side by side, facing the world.

  • ... have you ever noticed how a man orders food at a fast-food drive-through window? ... men have an innate desire to be cute while placing their order through the drive-through microphone. It's as if they believe the invisible mike on the plastic menu screen is actually connected to a standup comedy stage somewhere in the recesses of the restaurant.

    • Becky Freeman,
    • in Becky Freeman and Ruthie Arnold, Marriage 911 ()
  • ... The only real meaning in life can be found in a good man. And maybe Paris. Preferably the two together.

  • ... my definition of the ideal man is 'that particular man with whom a woman happens to be in love at that particular time.'

  • ... men change less than is imagined; their after life is only a kaleidescope combination of the elements of their character at the period of adolescence.

  • Men who care passionately for women attach themselves at least as much to the temple and to the accessories of the cult as to their goddess herself.

  • Men tell us we are womanly when we love but once. Men! They have told us a lot of things to make life comfortable for themselves.

  • In general, men prefer to follow the path of least assistance.

  • As long as you know that most men are like children, you know everything.

    • Coco Chanel,
    • in Marcel Haedrich, Coco Chanel: Her Life, Her Secrets ()
  • Macho does not prove mucho.

  • Men are those creatures with two legs and eight hands.

    • Jayne Mansfield,
    • in John Robert Colombo, Colombo's Hollywood: Wit and Wisdom of the Moviemakers ()
  • Men are just like unlit lamps: in themselves they are no good for anything, but, when lit, they can be handy to have around the house.

  • Men ruin cars. That's one of the things every woman knows.

  • The tragedy of machismo is that a man is never quite man enough.

  • How few men responded adequately to the love a woman was capable of giving them!

  • The reason the all-American boy prefers beauty to brains is that he can see better than he can think.

  • Men are like tea — the real strength and goodness are not properly drawn until they have been in hot water.

  • It's just as hard for man to break the habit of thinking of himself as central to the species as it was to break the habit of thinking of himself as central to the universe. He sees himself quite unconsciously as the main line of evolution, with a female satellite revolving around him as the moon revolves around the earth. This not only causes him to overlook valuable clues to our ancestry, but sometimes leads him into making statements that are arrant and demonstrable nonsense.

  • Don't accept rides from strange men, / and remember that all men are strange as hell.

  • I wonder why men can get serious at all. They have this delicate long thing hanging outside their bodies, which goes up and down by its own will ... If I were a man I would always be laughing at myself.

  • There are some men who possess a quality which goes way beyond romantic or even sexual appeal, a quality which literally enslaves. It has very little to do with looks and nothing at all to do with youth, because there are some quite mature and unathletic specimens who have it. It's an expression in the eyes, or an aura of being in control, and responsible, or something easy and powerful in the stance, or who knows.

  • ... my sister ... believes that there should be a theme park based on the male ego, only 'there's not enough land.'

  • There are far too many men in politics and not enough elsewhere.

  • ... as Vida is wont to say: Men aren't like other people.

  • The standard Western adult male is rendered incapable of being comfortable with emotional expression ... being quite incapable of understanding what it is like to be someone else.

  • So I really think American gentlemen are the best after all, because kissing your hand may make you feel very very good but a diamond and safire bracelet lasts forever.

  • You have to be very fond of men. Very, very fond. You have to be very fond of them to love them. Otherwise they're simply unbearable.

  • The new fello in Pa's office ... went to help me on the street car an my dress was tight an the step was high. He says 'Miss Mable, the more I see of you, the better I like you.' I pretended not to catch on cause you could take it too ways. Low down Bill, thats him all over, as you sometimes say. His brain runs like a sewer pipe.

  • ... suppose you invest time and effort in designing a new image for yourself. You get home and your husband takes one look and screams, 'Was the other person hurt? I see you've been in a head-on collision.' ... Men hate any change.

  • Perhaps, someday, men will find their humanity, and give up their divinity.

  • [On men:] I'm torn between wanting to have one and wanting to be one.

  • Men should come with instruction booklets.

  • What men call adventures usually consist of the stoical endurance of appalling daily misery.

  • Humor was one of the most seductive things about a man.

  • a man makes the clothes / ... / no matter what she does / a man never has to hit a woman / drinking and smoking aren't / necessarily manly things to / do ... / it takes courage to outwit danger / luck to outwit nature / few woman speak the language of men.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "By Watchin' Daddy I Learn About Men & Stuff," Bathwater Wine ()
  • Real genius consists in making the man for you out of the man you have.

  • My ancestors wandered lost in the wilderness for forty years because even in biblical times, men would not stop to ask for directions.

  • For some women, a man is their whole meal. For me, life is a full meal and a man is just the hot sauce. If a man wants to be my whole meal, I say, 'That's nice, baby, but right now, I'm already full.'

  • Is not the tremendous strength in men of the impulse to creative work in every field precisely due to their feeling of playing a relatively small part in the creation of living beings, which constantly impels them to an overcompensation in achievement?

    • Karen Horney,
    • "The Flight From Womanhood," Feminine Psychology ()
  • It is easier to get priceless jewels / Than to find a man with a true heart.

    • Hsüan-chi Yü,
    • "Advice to a Neighbor Girl" (9th cent.), in Kenneth Rexroth and Ling Chung, trans., eds., The Orchid Boat: Women Poets of China ()
  • What would the world be like without men and music?

  • The chance to grow up doesn't come to most men until around middle age.

  • Behind every successful man, there stands a surprised woman.

    • Maryon Pearson,
    • in John English, Shadow of Heaven: The Life of Lester Pearson ()
  • Menfolks always have had a notion that being manly and being superior are the same, and they're afraid if they give up any sign of one they'll lose the other.

  • The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he's a baby.

    • Natalie Wood,
    • in Bob Chieger, Was It Good for You, Too? ()
  • I wouldn't kidnap a man for sex — I'm not saying I couldn't use someone to oil the mower.

  • All men are alike. If you ask any American man, 'How are you?' he'll answer 'Fine,' even if his mother just had a heart attack.

  • My mother said it was simple to keep a man, you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. I said I'd hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit.

  • ... if you men only knew how we love a man who can be just a woman to us sometimes!

  • Guess which four words a woman can say to scare a man out of his wits? Our house is burning! The Martians have landed! You have terminal cancer! We need to talk.

  • ... no matter how cute and sexy a guy is, there's always some woman somewhere who is sick of him.

    • Carol Henry,
    • in Michael Cader, ed., That's Funny ()
  • I just wanta say just gotta say something / bout those beautiful beautiful beautiful outasight / black men / with they afros / walking down they street / is the same ol danger / but a brand new pleasure.

  • We're smart enough to know we need to live in groups to survive, but we're still animals and we needs lots of room. In the case of the male of the species we also probably need that-guy-over-there's space. And his wife and cow, too.

  • I like the concept of 'Men' ... It's the reality I have problems with ...

  • A gentleman is a patient wolf.

  • Don't think you can get a man to do what you want just by dressing sexy. If you do that, all he wants is sex. If you really want a man to listen to you, dress like his mother.

    • Diana Jordan,
    • in Paul M. Seaburn and Diana Jordan, A Wife's Little Instruction Book: Your Survival Guide to Marriage Without Bloodshed ()
  • There's a commercial where guys sit around drinking beer, cleaning fish, wiping their noses on their sleeves and saying 'It doesn't get any better than this.' That's not a commercial. That's a warning.

    • Diana Jordan,
    • in Paul M. Seaburn and Diana Jordan, A Wife's Little Instruction Book: Your Survival Guide to Marriage Without Bloodshed ()
  • Guys in Manhattan have the worst lines to try to meet you. ... I'd be walking down the street in cut-offs, with a newspaper, cup of coffee and a dog. A guy would say, 'Hey, live around here?'

    • Elayne Boosler,
    • in Mary Unterbrink, Funny Women: American Comediennes, 1860-1985 ()
  • Men are simple things. They can survive the whole weekend with only three things: beer, boxer shorts, and batteries for the remote control.

    • Diana Jordan,
    • in Paul M. Seaburn and Diana Jordan, A Wife's Little Instruction Book: Your Survival Guide to Marriage Without Bloodshed ()
  • To be kissed by a man without a mustache was like eating an egg without salt.

  • Until he is forty, a man is too young to marry; and after he is forty, he is too old.

  • My mom always said men are like linoleum floors. Lay 'em right and you can walk all over them for thirty years.

  • I refuse absolutely to consign the whole male sex to the nursery. ... I obdurately insist on believing that some men are my equals.

  • Whatever a man thinks about sex, you can be sure that he thinks about sex almost constantly.

  • Men have two basic needs. Neither of them, no matter what they say, is sex. They need love and they need work. And work takes priority over love. If a woman could know only one fact about men and work, it should be that work is the most seductive mistress most men ever have.

  • A woman should never underestimate the power of the child in the man. Sometimes the child seems to be in the driver's seat at the very moment when all a man's adult judgment and insight is needed.

  • The perfect man? A poet on a motorcycle.

  • Men at any age truly never grow up. All, no matter what importance they may have attained, are still no more than little boys.

  • Of all the labor-saving devices ever invented for women, none has ever been so popular as the devoted male.

    • Anonymous,
    • Ladies' Home Journal, in Elizabeth Hawes, Anything But Love ()
  • Do you have the keys / Are you sure you have the keys / I'll call the super.

  • ... expecting a man to read your thoughts is like expecting your dog to understand algebra.

  • [In the green room after a comedy show:] One man said to the comedian, 'Hey, I didn't know you used to be married.' The comedian said, 'Yeah.' Another guy said, 'Huh.' The comedian said, 'Yeah.' There was a moment of silence and then the comedian breathed deep and said, 'Thanks for letting me talk about it, guys.'

  • Men fall in love with the woman who is leaving or the one who has just arrived.

  • It's hard to resist a bad boy who's a good man.

  • ... I had observed that men did not usually do things unless they liked doing them.

  • Men! I know these sorts of people. They're not men. They're moustaches with idiots attached.

  • Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself.

    • Roseanne Barr,
    • in Dr. Criswell Freeman, Mothers Are Forever ()
  • Over half the world menstruates at one time or another, but you'd never know it. Isn't that strange?

  • Each month/ the blood sheets down / like good red rain. / I am the gardener. / Nothing grows without me.

  • Perhaps American English will have an equivalent for the lovely Japanese expression for a girl's first menstruation, 'the year of the cleavage of the melon,' or for the ancient Indian, 'flower growing in the house of the god of love.'

  • A period is just the beginning of a life long sentence.

    • Cathy Crimmins,
    • essay title, in Rosalind Warren, ed., Women's Glib ()
  • Menstrual blood is the only source of blood that is not traumatically induced. Yet in modern society, this is the most hidden blood, the one so rarely spoken of and almost never seen, except privately by women ...

  • Indigo, I don't want to hear another word about it, do you understand me. I'm not setting the table with my Sunday china for fifteen dolls who got their period today.

  • As an experience, madness is terrific ... and in its lava I still find most of the things I write about.

    • Virginia Woolf,
    • 1930, in Nigel Nicolson and Joanne Trautmann, eds., The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume IV: 1929-1931 ()
  • When mental sickness increases until it reaches the danger point, do not exhaust yourself by efforts to trace back to original causes. Better accept them as inevitable and save your strength to fight against the effects.

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • Much of me was twisted and buried, and turned in upon itself, as a tangled skein of wool, to which the end had been lost.

    • Mary Barnes,
    • in Mary Barnes and Joseph Berke, Mary Barnes: Two Accounts of a Journey Through Madness ()
  • Madness to us means reversion; to such people as Una and Lena it meant progression. Now their uncle had entered into a land beyond them, the land of fancy. For fifty years he had been as they were, silent, hard-working, unimaginative. Then all of a sudden, like a scholar passing his degree, he had gone up into another form ...

    • Djuna Barnes,
    • "The Earth," (1916), Smoke and Other Early Stories ()
  • ... I finally reconciled myself to the fact that she had partly lost her reason. ... The death of the mind is infinitely more terrible than the death of the body and I mourned my mother that day as I was never to mourn afterwards.

  • My mom had the breakdown for the family, and I went into therapy for all of us.

    • Carrie Fisher,
    • in Carl Wayne Arrington, "Carrie Fisher: A Spy In Her Own House," Time ()
  • I get lots of awards for being mentally ill. Apparently, I am better at being mentally ill than almost anything else I've ever done. Seriously — I have a shelf of awards for being bipolar.

  • Nothing defines the quality of life in a community more clearly than people who regard themselves, or whom the consensus chooses to regard, as mentally unwell.

  • By the threat of example as effective over the general population as detention centers in dictatorships, the image of the madhouse floats through every mind for the course of its lifetime.

  • ... it was accepted by those around me that I was 'crazy,' so I might just as well be.

  • Mystical state, madness, how it frightens people. How utterly crazy they become, remote, rude, peculiar, cruel, taunting, farouche as wild beasts who have smelled danger, the unthinkable.

  • How crazy craziness makes everyone, how irrationally afraid. The madness hidden in each of us, called to, identified, aroused like a lust. And against that the jaw sets. The more I fear my own insanity the more I must punish yours ...

  • If only no one had told them I was mad. Then I wouldn't be.

  • My father, who suffered from hardening of the arteries, was diagnosed as having that tragic thief of the mind, Alzheimer's.

  • ... 'the sooner you "settle" the sooner you'll be allowed home' was the ruling logic; and 'if you can't adapt yourself to living in a mental hospital how do you expect to be able to live "out in the world"?' How indeed?

  • Every morning I woke in dread, waiting for the day nurse to go on her rounds and announce from the list of names in her hand whether or not I was for shock treatment, the new and fashionable means of quieting people and of making them realize that orders are to be obeyed and floors are to be polished without anyone protesting and faces are made to be fixed into smiles and weeping is a crime.

  • Of all the calamities to which humanity is subject, none is so dreadful as insanity. ... All experience shows that insanity seasonably treated is as certainly curable as a cold or a fever.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • speech (1846), in Judith Anderson, ed., Outspoken Women ()
  • I have come to present to you the strong claims of suffering humanity. I come as the advocate of the helpless, forgotten, insane men and women held in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, pens; chained, naked, beaten with rods and lashed into obedience.

  • My mother's illness made a huge lunge at her mind in the fall of 1983, and after that, abilities slid from her without a struggle. Even the slightest inklings would extinguish themselves as quickly as tiny firecrackers directed right into a pond ...

  • [On her mother, who had Alzheimer's:] She is losing her mind in handfuls.

  • The one who knows best — the victim — about what is happening, loses the ability to tell us, the family, how to help. The ability to panic leaves the victim; it swarms over the family. As the victim forgets what is wrong, the family sees how it is, all very wrong.

  • This disease is a maniac. It goes through the life of the victim, ransacking the order of learning — dropping precious things it took years to acquire, forcing horrible new habits on its way.

  • [Incarcerated in an asylum by her family for thirty years:] I don't belong in the midst of all this, you must get me out of this place; after fourteen years, today, of such a life, I cry out for freedom.

  • Everything previously moving with the grain is now against — you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.

  • Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. ... You're frightened, and you're frightening, and you're 'not at all like yourself but will be soon,' but you know you won't.

  • Lunatics are similar to designated hitters. Often an entire family is crazy, but since an entire family can't go into the hospital, one person is designated as crazy and goes inside.

  • Insanity comes in two basic varieties: slow and fast. I'm not talking about onset or duration. I mean the quality of the insanity, the day-to-day business of being nuts.

  • Did the hospital specialize in poets and singers, or was it that poets and singers specialized in madness? ... What is it about meter and cadence and rhythm that makes their makers mad?

  • I saw this thing turn, like a flower, once picked, turning petals into bright knives in your hand. And it was so much desired, so lovely, that your fingers will not loosen, and you have only disbelief that this, of all you have ever known, should have the possibility of pain. All the time you are seeing the blood trickling a red answer slowly down your hand.

  • When my mood was high, I seemed normal, even buoyant. I felt smarter. I had secrets. I saw things no one else could see. I could see evil in a toothbrush. I could see God in a light bulb.

  • Nervous breakdowns can be highly underrated methods of spiritual transformation.

  • The very worst thing that can happen to anyone, I am convinced, is any form of brain disease. Physical problems pilfer from the body, but mental problems are identity thieves. Intractable mental illness sucks the personality — the very soul — from human beings as tornadoes suck air from buildings, causing them to implode.

  • The thing about having a mental breakdown is that no matter how obvious it is that you're having one, it is somehow not obvious to you.