Welcome to the web’s most comprehensive site of quotations by women. 44,574 quotations are searchable by topic, by author's name, or by keyword. Many of them appear in no other collection. And new ones are added continually.

See All TOPICS Available:
See All AUTHORS Available:

Search by Topic:

  • topic cats
  • topic books
  • topic moon

Find quotations by TOPIC (coffee, love, dogs)
or search alphabetically below.

Search by Last Name:

  • Quotes by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Quotes by Louisa May Alcott
  • Quotes by Chingling Soong

Find quotations by the AUTHOR´S LAST NAME
or alphabetically below.

Search by Keyword:

  • keyword fishing
  • keyword twilight
  • keyword Australie

Sexism

  • Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

  • As there were no black Founding Fathers, there were no founding mothers — a great pity on both counts.

  • Of my two 'handicaps,' being female put many more obstacles in my path than being black.

  • Tremendous amounts of talent are being lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.

  • Lots of men hate women now-a-days. ... It was a man-made world, and now we're asking to go shares in the making.

  • ... our republican ideas cannot be consistently carried out while women are excluded from any share in the government. ... Any class of human beings to whom a position of perpetual subordination is assigned, however much they may be petted and flattered, must inevitably be dwarfed, morally and intellectually.

  • If there is one specific time during the year that my spirits and coincidentally my bosoms are at their lowest, it is the day the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue comes out. (By the way, wearing swimsuits is a sport like ketchup is a vegetable ... )

  • The origin of the stupid ideal of womanhood against which men as well as women to-day are still fighting was the asceticism of the Christian religion; and, unless St. Paul was a woman in disguise, I fail to see how woman is to be blamed for a conception of her place and duty from which she has suffered more than anybody else.

  • Every time she [mother Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Indian ambassador] delivered a speech, however serious and thoughtful, her attire merited more space in the papers than what she had said: ' ... and her hair caused many of the newspaper women present to sigh with a tinge of envy. Silvery and cut short, but not too short, with curls softly about her ears, it lies in smooth undulating waves about her well-shaped head. A type of coiffure most women dream of but seldom achieve.' 'In case you are interested, children,' she told us disconsolately, 'this was not the Hairdressers' Convention. It was the Women's National Press Club, and incidentally I made a serious speech. I hope someone was listening.'

  • And now the Nurse knew why she disliked church services, for as she raised her head, she observed that the Curate, and the Rector and the Archbishop were all men. The vergers were men; the organist was a man; the choir boys, the sidesmen and soloist and church wardens, all were men. The architects who had built the church, the composers of the music, the translators of the psalms, the compilers of the liturgy, all these too, the Nurse pondered, had been men.

    • Winifred Holtby,
    • "Nurse to the Archbishop" (1931), Truth Is Not Sober ()
  • ' ... Men always say there is no female Shakespeare.' 'Humph! You study the fellows who say that, and you'll see they are a long way from being Shakespeares themselves. Why shouldn't women have the same privilege?'

  • Men have to be reminded that women exist.

    • Eleanor Roosevelt,
    • on a list she gave to President Kennedy of women qualified for high-level jobs, in Judith Paterson, Be Somebody: A Biography of Marguerite Rawalt ()
  • It is a sad paradox that when male authors impersonate women ... they are said to be dealing with 'cosmic, major concerns' — but when we impersonate ourselves we are said to be writing 'women's fiction' or 'women's poetry.'

  • Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness.

  • In a world not made for women, criticism and ridicule follow us all the days of our lives. Usually they are indications that we are doing something right.

  • During years of working for a living, I have experienced much of the legal and social discrimination reserved for women in this country, I have been refused service in public restaurants, ordered out of public gathering places and turned away from apartment rentals. All for the clearly stated, sole reason that I am a woman.

  • There are times when a woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • "What 'Playboy' Doesn't Know About Women Could Fill a Book," in McCall's ()
  • No man can call himself liberal, or radical, or even a conservative advocate of fair play, if his work depends in any way on the unpaid or underpaid labor of women at home, or in the office.

  • Women get hit with a double whammy. If they're attractive, they're presumed to have slept their way to the top. If they're unattractive, they are presumed to have chosen a profession because they could not get a man.

  • The most common characteristic of women's history is to be lost and discovered, lost again and rediscovered, lost once more and re-rediscovered — a process of tragic waste and terrible silences that will continue until women's stories are a full and equal part of the human story.

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • introduction, in Bonnie Watkins and Nina Rothchild, eds., In the Company of Women ()
  • ... anything being perceived as being superior takes the noun. And everything that isn't, that's judged to be inferior, requires an adjective. So there are black novelists and novelists. There are women physicians and physicians. Male nurses and nurses.

  • This world taught woman nothing skillful and then said her work was valueless. It permitted her no opinions and said she did not know how to think. It forbade her to speak in public, and said the sex had no orators.

    • Carrie Chapman Catt,
    • in Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted, eds., The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4 ()
  • ... it was the United States which first established general suffrage for men upon the two principles that 'taxation without representation is tyranny' and that governments to be just should 'derive their consent from the governed.' The unanswerable logic of these two principles is responsible for the extension of suffrage to men and women the world over. In the United States, however, women are still taxed without 'representation' and still live under a government to which they have given no 'consent.'

  • To get that word, male, out of the Constitution, cost the women of this country fifty-two years of pauseless campaign; 56 state referendum campaigns; 480 legislative campaigns to get state suffrage amendments submitted; 47 state constitutional convention campaigns; 277 state party convention campaigns; 30 national party convention campaigns to get suffrage planks in the party platforms; 19 campaigns with 19 successive Congresses to get the federal amendment submitted, and the final ratification campaign.

  • Had I been crested, not cloven, my Lords, you had not treated me thus.

    • Elizabeth I,
    • to courtiers, in Nigel Nicolson, Portrait of a Marriage ()
  • Be plain in dress, and sober in your diet, / In short, my deary, kiss me! and be quiet.

    • Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,
    • "A Summary of Lord Lyttleton's Advice to a Lady" (1768), The Works of the Right Honorable Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, vol. 5 ()
  • ... 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 any thing.

  • ... the sum and substance of female education in America, as in England, is training women to consider marriage as the sole object in life, and to pretend that they do not think so.

  • If a test of civilization be sought, none can be so sure as the condition of that half of society over which the other half has power,--from the exercise of the right of the strongest. Tried by this test, the American civilization appears to be of a lower order than might have been expected from other symptoms of its social state. The Americans have, in the treatment of women, fallen below, not only their own democratic principles but the practice of some parts of the Old World. The unconsciousness of both parties as to the injuries suffered by women at the hands of those who hold the power is a sufficient proof of the low degree of civilization in this important particular at which they rest. While women's intellect is confined, her morals crushed, her health ruined, her weaknesses encouraged, and her strength punished, she is told that her lot is cast in the paradise of women: and there is no country in the world where there is so much boasting of the 'chivalrous' treatment she enjoys. ... In short, indulgence is given her as a substitute for justice.

  • It is only a legend / You say? But what / Is the meaning of the legend / If not / To give blame to women most / And most punishment?

    • Stevie Smith,
    • "How Cruel Is the Story of Eve," The Best Beast ()
  • How cruel is the story of Eve, / What responsibility it has / In history / For misery.

    • Stevie Smith,
    • "How Cruel Is the Story of Eve," The Best Beast ()
  • Whenever I hear a man talking of the advantages of our ill-used sex, I look upon it as the prelude to some new act of authority.

  • What! still retaining your Utopian visions of female felicity? To talk of our happiness! — ours, the ill-used and oppressed! You remind me of the ancient tyrant, who, seeing his slaves sink under the weight of their chains, said, 'Do look at the indolent repose of those people!'

  • I was climbing up a mountain-path / With many things to do, / Important business of my own, / And other people's too, / When I ran against a Prejudice / That quite cut off the view.

  • The labor of women in the house certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses. The labor of horses enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could. The horse is an economic factor in society. But the horse is not economically independent, nor is the woman.

  • In our steady insistence on proclaiming sex-distinction we have grown to consider most human attributes as masculine attributes, for the simple reason that they were allowed to men and forbidden to women.

  • Where young boys plan for what they will achieve and attain, young girls plan for whom they will achieve and attain.

  • Not woman, but the condition of woman, has always been a doorway of evil.

  • The original necessity for the ceaseless presence of the woman to maintain that altar fire — and it was an altar fire in very truth at one period — has passed with the means of prompt ignition; the matchbox has freed the housewife from that incessant service, but the feeling that women should stay at home is with us yet.

  • The world needs scientists, engineers — and if a brain is qualified to do such work, it should be encouraged, not smothered because it is a female brain.

    • Marguerite Rawalt,
    • in Judith Paterson, Be Somebody: A Biography of Marguerite Rawalt ()
  • It is too disgusting to contemplate that a handful of men keep millions of women from being constitutional citizens of this land.

    • Marguerite Rawalt,
    • on the ERA, in Judith Paterson, Be Somebody: A Biography of Marguerite Rawalt ()
  • The patriarchal system is the ideal for which he longs. He likes to dream of himself sitting on the verandah after dinner, with his wife beside him and the children in the garden, while his unmarried sisters play duets in the drawing room and his maiden aunts hand around the coffee. This maintenance of helpless, penniless, subservient womanhood is the nearest he can get in England to the spiritual delights of the harem.

  • When those of our army whose voices are likely to coo tell us that the day of sex antagonism is over and that henceforth we only have to advance hand in hand with the male, I do not believe it.

  • Our domestic Napoleons, too many of them, give flattery, bonnets and bracelets to women, and everything else but — justice ...

  • What a pity when editors review a woman's book, that they so often fall into the error of reviewing the woman instead.

  • Can anybody tell me why reporters, in making mention of lady speakers, always consider it to be necessary to report, fully and firstly, the dresses worn by them? When John Jones or Senator Rouser frees his mind in public, we are left in painful ignorance of the color and fit of his pants, coat, necktie and vest — and worse still, the shape of his boots. This seems to me a great omission.

  • How odd it is that sewing is thought to be 'women's work' when surgeons, sailors, and cowboys sew too. Yet how many female thoracic surgeons are there? And if precision motor activities are thought to be performed better by women, why wouldn't they make better surgeons too?

  • Nowhere is woman treated according to the merit of her work, but rather as a sex. It is therefore almost inevitable that she should pay for her right to exist, to keep a position in whatever line, with sex favors. Thus it is merely a question of degree whether she sells herself to one man, in or out of marriage, or to many men. Whether our reformers admit it or not, the economic and social inferiority of woman is responsible for prostitution.

  • The most wasteful 'brain drain' in America today is the drain in the kitchen sink.

  • The best reason for believing that more women will be in charge before long is that in a ferociously competitive global economy, no company can afford to waste valuable brain power simply because it's wearing a skirt.

    • Anne Fisher,
    • "When Will Women Get to the Top?" in Fortune ()
  • I am to gratify his pleasure and nurse his child, I am a piece of household furniture, I am a woman.

    • Sophia Tolstoy,
    • 1863, in O.A. Golinenko et al., eds., The Diaries of Sophia Tolstoy ()
  • The lecturer in a marriage course at one of the big Eastern colleges for women recently said that a woman, even if she earns money, must act as if her husband were the important member of the family financially. She said this was the right psychological approach. It's not only the right psychological approach, but it's a recognition of fact.

  • In a woman-dominated society like our own, it's a cinch for a successful wife to spotlight her work, in public. If she's too successful, that's something to avoid as a conversational topic, at least among her husband's friends.

  • No one asks a man how his marriage survives if he's away a lot.

  • Men have jobs, while women have Roles: Mother, Wife, Goddess, Temptress, etc. That's probably why it's so hard for women to rewrite the rules. You're not just changing a job description, but an ancient myth. You're revising the Bible, Poetry, Legend and Psychoanalytic Scripture.

  • ... one of the best ways to fight the way young girls (and boys, let's not forget) get indoctrinated in our culture is to make a noisy stink. Loud, constantly offended feminists rule! Hell, if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

  • Home can only come to its true dignity and power when the wife and mother is an equal partner in all that appertains to the sacred interests of the larger home of society and government.

  • A city is in many respects a great business corporation, but in other respects it is enlarged housekeeping. ... may we not say that city housekeeping has failed partly because women, the traditional housekeepers, have not been consulted as to its multiform activities?

    • Jane Addams,
    • "Utilization of Women in City Government," Newer Ideals of Peace ()
  • Old-fashioned ways which no longer apply to changed conditions are a snare in which the feet of women have always become readily entangled.

    • Jane Addams,
    • "Utilization of Women in City Government," Newer Ideals of Peace ()
  • Woman throughout the ages has been mistress to the law, as man has been its master.

  • ... prejudices such as sexism and the deeply related homophobia, racism, and classism are not just personal problems, sets of peculiar and troubling beliefs. Exclusions and devaluations of whole groups of people on the scale and of the range, tenacity, and depth of racism and sexism and classism are systemic and shape the world within which we all struggle to live and find meaning.

  • It is the woman who is ultimately held responsible for pregnancy. While not being allowed to have control over her body, she is nevertheless held responsible for its products.

  • It is a pity that so often the only way to treat girls like people seems to be to treat them like boys.

  • It might be marvelous to be a man — then I could stop worrying about what's fair to women and just cheerfully assume I was superior, and that they had all been born to iron my shirts. Better still, I could be an Irish man — then I would have all the privileges of being male without giving up the right to be wayward, temperamental and an appealing minority.

  • His loss was all about me. It must always wound those who are left when a man's possessions outlive him.

  • Women have been called queens for a long time, but the kingdom given them isn't worth ruling.

  • I believe that it is as much a right and duty for women to do something with their lives as for men and we are not going to be satisfied with such frivolous parts as you give us.

  • Now we are expected to be as wise as men who have had generations of all the help there is, and we scarcely anything.

  • A woman may perform the most disinterested duties. She may 'die daily' in the cause of truth and righteousness. She lives neglected, dies forgotten. But a man who never performed in his whole life one self-denying act, but who has accidental gifts of genius, is celebrated by his contemporaries, while his name and his works live on, from age to age. He is crowned with laurel, while scarce a 'stone may tell where she lies.'

    • Abigail May Alcott,
    • 1843, in Eve LaPlante, Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother ()
  • Girls are taught to seem, to appear — not to be and do.

    • Abigail May Alcott,
    • 1848, in Eve LaPlante, Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother ()
  • Just as the difference in height between males is no longer a realistic issue, now that lawsuits have been substituted for hand-to-hand encounters, so the difference in strength between men and women is no longer worth elaboration in cultural institutions.

  • ... women are scolded both for being mothers and for not being mothers, for wanting to eat their cake and have it too, and for not wanting to eat their cake and have it too ...

  • Conventional history completely ignores half the human race.

  • The [film] business is run by men, and they're basically interested in their own species, and they're not so interested in women belonging to the human race.

  • Chivalry, I don't abuse you, / Not at all — the only rub / Is that those who praise you, use you / Very often as a club.

  • It is always difficult for a woman to be grateful for a form of chivalry that seems to be based on the premise that she is a moron.

  • Perhaps patriarchy's greatest psychological weapon is simply its universality and longevity. ... Patriarchy has a still more tenacious or powerful hold through its successful habit of passing itself off as nature.

  • The rationale which accompanies that imposition of male authority euphemistically referred to as 'the battle of the sexes' bears a certain resemblance to the formulas of nations at war, where any heinousness is justified on the grounds that the enemy is either an inferior [part of the] species or really not human at all.

  • Perhaps nothing is so depressing an index of the inhumanity of the male-supremacist mentality as the fact that the more genial human traits are assigned to the underclass: affection, response to sympathy, kindness, cheerfulness.

  • It is interesting that many women do not recognize themselves as discriminated against; no better proof could be found of the totality of their conditioning.

  • ... the world tells us what we are to be, and shapes us by the ends it sets before us. To you it says — work; and to us it says — seem!

  • ... I have discovered that of all cursed places under the sun, where the hungriest soul can hardly pick up a few grains of knowledge, a girls' boarding-school is the worst. They are called finishing schools, and the name tells accurately what they are. They finish everything but imbecility and weakness, and that they cultivate. They are nicely adapted machines for experimenting on the question, 'Into how little space a human soul can be crushed?' I have seen some souls so compressed that they would have fitted into a small thimble, and found room to move there — wide room.

  • The Glass Ceiling isn't actually made of glass — it's a very thick layer of men.

  • Every time the word 'breastfeeding' is mentioned, there's a snicker on the House floor. This has been happening since the dawn of creation. Can we finally get a grip on it?

    • Susan Molinari,
    • in Patricia Schroeder, 24 Years of House Work ... and the Place Is Still a Mess ()
  • The Rights of Women, says a female pen, / Are, to do every thing as well as Men, / To think, to argue, to decide, to write, / To talk, undoubtedly — perhaps, to fight. / ... / But since the Sex at length has been inclin'd / To cultivate that useful part — the mind; — / Since they have learnt to read, to write to spell; — / Since some of them have wit, — and use it well; — / Let us not force them back with brow severe, / With the pale of ignorance and fear, / Confin'd entirely to domestic arts, / Producing only children, pies, and tarts.

  • It's so acceptably easy for a woman not to strive too hard, not to be too adventure-crazed, not to take too many risks, not to enjoy sex with full candor ... It isn't seemly for a woman to have that much zest.

  • Opening the door is a political act. The door-opening ceremony represents a non-obtrusive measure of authority. The hand that holds the door-knob rules the world.

  • But who made the law that we should not hope in our daughters? We women subscribe to that law more than anyone. Until we change all this, it is still a man's world, which women will always help to build.

  • The supposition that women politicians are more trustworthy, ethical or honest than men is old-fashioned at best and sexist at worst.

  • One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don't take it personally, but listen hard to what's going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged.

    • Nora Ephron,
    • speech to Wellesley graduating class ()
  • We weren't meant to have futures, we were meant to marry them. We weren't meant to have politics, or careers that mattered, or opinions, or lives; we were meant to marry them. If you wanted to be an architect, you married an architect.

    • Nora Ephron,
    • speech to Wellesley graduating class ()
  • About 97% of the media is created by men.

    • Jodi Evans,
    • in Daniel Barsamian, "Jodi Evans," The Progressive ()
  • When I was 7, I wanted to be a jockey. My father told me women weren't allowed. I couldn't believe it. I was perfectly willing to fail on my own merits, but to be flunked at birth?

  • ... under a monopolistic economic system the opportunity to earn a living by one's labour comes to be regarded as a privilege instead of a natural right. Women are simply held to be less entitled to this privilege than men.

  • When once a social order is well established, no matter what injustice it involves, those who occupy a position of advantage are not long in coming to believe that it is the only possible and reasonable order ...

  • So a girl is damned if she does, damned if she doesn't. If she refuses to talk like a lady, she is ridiculed and subjected to criticism as unfeminine; if she does learn, she is ridiculed as unable to think clearly, unable to take part in a serious discussion: in some sense, as less than fully human. These two choices which a woman has — to be less than a woman or less than a person — are highly painful.

  • Television does not provide human models for a bright thirteen-year-old girl who would like to grow up to be something other than an ecstatic floor waxer.

    • Caroline Bird,
    • 1971, in Louise Bernikow, The American Women's Almanac ()
  • Feminine virtue is nothing but a convenient masculine invention.

  • For Nature is not unjust. She does not steal into the womb and like an evil fairy give her good gifts secretly to men and deny them to women. Men and women are born free and equal in ability and brain. The injustice begins after birth.

  • A man is educated and turned out to work. But a woman is educated — and turned out to grass.

  • ... our culture thrusts woman into the condition of the lesser, the secondary, the subspecies, the atypical, the abnormal, the adjunct. It subordinates her to the male, who is portrayed as the superior, the species, the typical, the norm, the standard. It reflects the assumption that all people are male until proven female.

  • If two heads are better than one; two thousand enquiries must in course be better than one thousand, and in all probability make at least double the discoveries. So that, if it be but allow'd that the Women are equal in numbers to the Men; we may modestly conclude that, at the lowest computation, one half the profitable knowledge which the human species might by this time have been possessed of is irreparably lost, through the indolence of some Women in not exerting their talents, and the mean tyranny of most Men, in putting it out of their power to improve those talents.

  • ... we have not been excluded from a share in the power and privileges which lift their sex above ours, for want of natural capacity, or merit, but for want of an equal spirit of violence, shameless injustice, and lawless oppression, with theirs.

  • ... what a wretched circle this poor way of reasoning among the Men draws them insensibly into. Why is learning useless to us? Because we have no share in public offices. And why have we no share in public offices? Because we have no learning.

  • ... the learned and illiterate alike are prepossest with the opinion that Men are really superior to Women, and that the dependence we now are in, is the very state which nature pointed out to us. So that to advance the contrary doctrine, after so long a prepossession, must appear as great a paradox, as it did some years ago to assert, that on the nether surface of the globe, there were men who walked with their heads downwards to us ...

  • The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: 'It's a girl.'

  • [On gender-rating by insurance companies:] They say the reason they get to charge more is we have children. I would say having children is a socially useful act. Being female is not a preexisting condition.

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • in Patt Morrison, "The Founder," Los Angeles Times ()
  • During years of working for a living, I have experienced much of the legal and social discrimination reserved for women in this country. I have been refused service in public restaurants, ordered out of public gathering places and turned away from apartment rentals. All for the clearly stated, sole reason that I am a woman.

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • testimony before the Senate debating the Equal Rights Amendment ()
  • This has always been a man's world, and none of the reasons hitherto brought forward in explanation of this fact has seemed adequate.

  • The days when women leaders were viewed as deficit males are a relic of the past. ... Instead of treating women leaders as exceptions or anomalies who are categorized as 'women leaders,' and not just 'leaders,' we have to acknowledge that the number of women leaders will eventually reach a critical mass.

  • While many of the legal barriers to women's participation in the workforce and access to leadership positions in corporations have been removed through legislation, changing demographics, and women's increased level of education and experience, women still face many obstacles on the path to leadership.

  • Woman is shut up in a kitchen or in a boudoir, and astonishment is expressed that her horizon is limited. Her wings are clipped, and it is found deplorable that she cannot fly.

  • ... it is not the inferiority of women that has caused their historical insignificance; it is rather their historical insignificance that has doomed them to inferiority.

  • Christian ideology has contributed no little to the oppression of woman.

  • It is not in giving life but in risking life that man is raised above the animal; that is why superiority has been accorded in humanity not to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills.

  • The man of today did not establish this patriarchal regime, but he profits by it, even when he criticizes it. And he has made it very much a part of his own thinking.

    • Simone de Beauvoir,
    • in Alice Schwarzer, "The Radicalization of Simone de Beauvoir," Ms. ()
  • The entire social order ... is arrayed against a woman who wants to rise to a man's reputation.

  • Who's counting? It was, of course, the minority who were counting. It always is. Most of the women I know today would dearly like to use their fingers and toes for some activity more enthralling than counting. They have been counting for so long. But the peculiar problem of the new math is that every time we stop adding, somebody starts subtracting. At the very least (the advanced students will understand this) the rate of increase slows. ... The minority members of any group or profession have two answers: They can keep score or they can lose.

  • If women can sleep their way to the top, how come they aren't there?

  • Women have gained access to the institutions, but not enough power to overhaul them.

  • At their core, misogyny and racism are very similar modes of thinking. Both diminish and disrespect a class of people based on a trait that is wholly distinct from their ideas, their carriage and their conduct.

  • What we have to recognize is that the creation of the fiction of tradition is a matter of power, not justice, and that that power has always been in the hands of men ... Our 'ritual journeys,' our 'articulate voices,' our 'symbolic spaces' are rarely the same as men's. Those differences and the assumption that those differences make women inherently inferior, plus the appropriation by men of the power to define tradition, account for women's absence from our written records.

    • Mary Helen Washington,
    • "'The Darkened Eye Restored': Notes Toward a Literary History of Black Women," in Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed., Reading Black, Reading Feminist ()
  • The colored woman of to-day occupies, one may say, a unique position in this country. In a period of itself transitional and unsettled, her status seems one of the least ascertainable and definitive of all the forces which make for our civilization. She is confronted by both a woman question and a race problem ...

  • ... 'tis woman's strongest vindication for speaking that the world needs to hear her voice. It would be subversive of every human interest that the cry of one-half the human family be stifled. ... The world has had to limp along with the wobbling gait and one-sided hesitancy of a man with one eye. Suddenly the bandage is removed from the other eye and the whole body is filled with light. It sees a circle where before it saw a segment. The darkened eye restored, every member rejoices with it.

  • Respect for woman, the much lauded chivalry of the Middle Ages, meant what I fear it still means to some men in our own day — respect for the elect few among whom they expect to consort.

  • If women were once permitted to read Sophocles and work with logarithms, or to nibble at any side of the apple of knowledge, there would be an end forever to their sewing on buttons and embroidering slippers.

  • ... the world is not always kind to a clever woman even when she is visibly known to be earning her own living. There are always spiteful tongues wagging in the secret corners and byways, ready to assert that her work is not her own and and that some man is in the background, helping to keep her!

  • Art is sexless; — good work is eternal, no matter whether it is man or woman who has accomplished it. ... Ah, but the world will never own woman's work to be great even if it be so, because men give the verdict, and man's praise is for himself and his own achievements always.

  • I never want anything more than what's fair. The problem is, I never want anything less either. In the old-boy school of business, if a woman walks away from the table with what's rightfully hers, the man feels screwed ...

  • Only in a sexist society can the breakup of a marriage actually improve the economic well-being of the father, cause the mother and children to suffer a large drop in economic status, and permit most fathers to provide little or no support to their children.

    • Diana M. Pearce,
    • "The Feminization of Ghetto Poverty," in Evelyn Ashton-Jones and Gary A. Olson, eds., The Gender Reader ()
  • I have met women in their seventies who still cry because they were denied the chance to study Torah, or prepare for Bat Mitzvah as young girls, or become rabbis though it was clearly their calling. My Bat Mitzvah was not only for me, but for generations of females denied permission or encouragement to do this.

    • Nina Perlmutter,
    • "Better Late Than Early," in Rachel Josefowitz Siegel and Ellen Cole, eds., Celebrating the Lives of Jewish Women: Patterns in a Feminist Sampler ()
  • The accusation that I am a woman is incontrovertible.

  • The oppression of women was the model for slavery, private property and capitalism.

  • ... man is educated for action — we for endurance; and the same verb is conjugated very differently, you know, in the active and passive voice.

  • Your sex are placed in so unjust a position here, that it is policy to ensure their submission by presenting to them a religion which promises them an equality with their oppressors hereafter.

  • The world may forgive a woman for being handsome, — even for being witty, — but not for entertaining opinions different from its own ...

  • We are a society that values a man for what he does in the world, a woman for how she looks.

  • In every generation women have to be taught their place one more time. The subordination of women is never accomplished for once and for all.

  • I do believe the reason why so few men, even among the intelligent, wish to encourage the mental cultivation of women, is their excessive love of the good things of this life; they tremble for their dear stomachs, concluding that a woman who could taste the pleasures of poetry or sentiment would never descend to pay due attention to those exquisite flavours in pudding or pie, that are so gratifying to their philosophic palates ...

    • Jane Taylor,
    • 1808, in Ada M. Ingpen, ed., Women As Letter-Writers ()
  • Isn't it interesting how men 'leave' their families, but women 'abandon' their children?

  • From a biological viewpoint, patriarchal religion denied women the natural rights of every other mammalian female: the right to choose her stud, to control the circumstances of her mating, to occupy and govern her own nest, or to refuse all males when preoccupied with the important business of raising her young.

  • Few would suggest that sexual or racial inequality exists because of language use. Nor would many argue that banishing sexist and racist labeling would in itself result in a just society. At the same time, it is clear that language not only reflects social structures but, more important, sometimes serves to perpetuate existing differences in power; thus a serious concern with linguistic usage is fully warranted.

    • Francine Wattman Frank,
    • in Francine Wattman Frank and Paula A. Treichler, Language, Gender, and Professional Writing ()
  • Public depictions of women still tend to remain rigid and narrow — about the size of a coffin, say.

    • Joan Frank,
    • "No One Escapes," Desperate Women Need to Talk to You ()
  • The problem that has no name — which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities — is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease.

  • Protectiveness has often muffled the sound of doors closing against women ...

  • Money is today, as much as ever, the ultimate symbol of authority and autonomy, of power, ownership, and entitlement in the Western world. Money is the very essence of survival, a tangible measure of success and self-worth in our society, and making it is still the ultimate male prerogative. The rewards of money for women — which include economic security, nurturing, freedom — have historically resided in the illusory grace of others' generosity.

  • Freud, living at a time when women were proving their heads were no different from men's, substituted the penis for the head as the organ of male superiority, an organ women could never prove they had.

  • Patriarchy values the hard over the soft; the tough over the tender; punishment, vengeance, and vindictiveness over compassion, negotiation, and reconciliation. The 'hard' qualities are linked to power, success, and masculinity — and exalted. The 'soft' qualities are identified with weakness, powerlessness, and femininity — and denigrated.

    • Starhawk,
    • "Feminist Voices for Peace," in Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, Stop the Next War Now ()
  • ... it is one thing to argue that our biological traits make us unfit for professional work. It is another to imply that our biological traits make us fit for dishwashing, floor scrubbing, collar starching, let alone bringing up babies. ... Since when, by the way, do we try to enhance rather compensate for assumed biological handicaps? We provide spectacles for the nearsighted. We don't say, 'Sorry. Don't come to school. You can't see the blackboard. People like you are historically and biologically destined to fail.'

  • Three girl children did nothing to reconcile Ada Hicks to a fourth; and her husband, when he heard the ghastly news, stood mute and stricken, wondering why his wife always had to tell him things like that before tea when she knew that worry gave him indigestion.

  • The only method of restoring the natural equality of dignity between men and women, lies in the demolishment of that elaborate theological structure which maintains that woman is made for the possession of man in a sense in which man is not made for woman, and that celibacy, per se, is a state of superior purity. Nature and common sense (not metaphysical sense) demonstrate that there is no good reason why any man or any woman should take, claim, or wield 'lordship' over another.

  • ... the lowest depth of women's degradation in Christendom was reached in the public sentiment (guided by ecclesiastics) which condemned thousands of poor creatures to be tortured and publicly burnt alive at the stake for their imaginary league with Christendom's imaginary devil!

  • Women's chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy.

  • The common law of this state held man and wife to be one person, but that person was the husband.

  • Thirty years ago, when the Woman's Rights Movement began, the status of a married woman was little better than that of a domestic servant. By the English common law, her husband was her lord and master. He had the sole custody of her person, and of her minor children. He could 'punish her with a stick no bigger than his thumb,' and she could not complain against him.

  • Racism and sexism are not 'problems' or 'topics.' They are ways of defining reality and living our lives that most of us learned along with learning how to tie our shoes and how to drink from a cup.

  • ... 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.

  • Lucky are you, reader, if you happen not to be of that sex to whom it is forbidden all good things; to whom liberty is denied; to whom almost all virtues are denied; lucky are you if you are one of those who can be wise without its being a crime.

  • ... books were not composed / By women, nor did they record the things / That we may read against them and their ways. / Yet men write on, quite to their heart's content, / The ones who plead their case without debate. / They give no quarter, take the winner's part / Themselves, for readily do quarrelers / Attack all those who don't defend themselves. / If women, though, had written all those books, / I know that they would read quite differently, / For well do women know the blame is wrong. / The parts are not apportioned equally, / Because the strongest take the largest cut / And he who slices it can keep the best.

    • Christine de Pisan,
    • "Letter of the God of Love" (1399), in Thelma S. Fenster and Mary Carpenter Erler, eds., Poems of Cupid, God of Love ()
  • ... he's excused, she's named and she's accused.

    • Christine de Pisan,
    • "Letter of the God of Love" (1399), in Thelma S. Fenster and Mary Carpenter Erler, eds., Poems of Cupid, God of Love ()
  • Women are called difficult and tough when (1) we negotiate the best deal, (2) we are perfectionists in doing our job, (3) we are willing to work harder and longer than men are willing to, and (4) when we question anything — anything — that someone else is doing, particularly if that someone is a man.

  • Women's property has been taxed, equally with that of men's, to sustain colleges endowed by the states; but they have not been permitted to enter those high seminaries of learning.

    • Lucretia Mott,
    • speech (1849), in Dana Greene, ed., Lucretia Mott: Her Complete Speeches and Sermons ()
  • I have always wanted to be a man, if only for the reason that I would like to have gauged the value of my intellect.

  • Women are from their very infancy debarred those advantages with the want of which they are aftewards reproached, and nursed up in those vices which will hereafter be upbraided to them. So partial are men as to expect bricks when they afford no straw ...

  • ... no one sex can govern alone. I believe that one of the reasons why civilisation has failed so lamentably is that it has had one-sided government.

  • In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on woman.

  • Men's stories are seen as universal, women's as particular. What women are up against is the battle to not be marginalized.

  • ... men are not born with a faculty for the universal and ... women are not reduced at birth to the particular. The universal has been, and is continually, at every moment, appropriated by men. It does not happen by magic, it must be done. It is an act, a criminal act, perpetrated by one class against another. It is an act carried out at the level of concepts, philosophy, politics.

  • To be black and female, in a society which is both racist and sexist, is to be in a unique position of having nowhere to go but up.

    • Rosemary Brown,
    • in John Robert Colombo, Colombo's Concise Canadian Quotations ()
  • ... most churches on either side of the ocean see women as playing only a 'supportive,' if any, role in their congregations. Men preach, women listen. Men pray, women say 'Amen.' Men form the clergy, the diaconate or the oversight, women abide by their leadership. Men study theology, women sew for the bazaar. Men make decisions, women make the tea.

  • The consensus appears to be that as it is presented and practiced in our churches the gospel is not Good News for women.

  • History as a discipline can be characterized as having a collective forgetfulness about women.

  • Economically, legally, and politically powerless throughout much of western history, women have been linked to nature and the unknowable through metaphors of the body while the masculine has signified culture and mental activity.

    • Whitney Chadwick,
    • "Women Artists and the Politics of Representation," in Arlene Raven, Cassandra Langer, Joanna Frueh, eds., Feminist Art Criticism ()
  • 'Tis hard we should be by the men despised, / Yet kept from knowing what would make us prized; / Debarred from knowledge, banished from the schools, / And with the utmost industry bred fools.

  • [The prejudice against color and against women] is produced by the same cause, and manifested very much in the same way. The Negro's skin and the woman's sex are both prima facie evidence that they were intended to be in subjection to the white Saxon man.

  • 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.

  • The prolonged slavery of women is the darkest page in human history.

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda J. Gage, eds., The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 1 ()
  • While women were tortured, drowned and burned by the thousands, scarce one wizard to a hundred was ever condemned ... The same distinction of sex appears in our own day. One code of morals for men, another for women.

  • There is no such thing as a sphere for sex. Every man has a different sphere, in which he may or may not shine, and it is the same with every woman, and the same woman may have a different sphere at different times.

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • 1848, in Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch, eds., Elizabeth Cady Stanton As Revealed in Her Letters Diary and Reminiscences, vol. 2 ()
  • Thus far women have been the mere echoes of men. Our laws and constitutions, our creeds and codes, and the customs of social life are all of masculine origin. The true woman is as yet a dream of the future.

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • speech (1888), in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda J. Gage, eds., The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 3 ()
  • ... the religious superstitions of women perpetuate their bondage more than all other adverse influences ...

  • To think that all in me of which my father would have felt proper pride had I been a man, is deeply mortifying to him because I am a woman.

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • 1855, in Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch, eds., Elizabeth Cady Stanton As Revealed in Her Letters Diary and Reminiscences, vol. 2 ()
  • ... religious superstitions more than all other influences put together cripple & enslave woman, but so long as women themselves do not see it & hug their chains, we have a great educational work to do ...

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • in Ann Gordon, ed., The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, vol. 5 ()
  • Oh, the shortcomings and inconsistency of the average human being, especially when this human being is a man trying to manage women's affairs!

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • 1901, in Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch, eds., Elizabeth Cady Stanton As Revealed in Her Letters Diary and Reminiscences, vol. 2 ()
  • But so long as women are slaves, men will be knaves.

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • 1890, in Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch, eds., Elizabeth Cady Stanton As Revealed in Her Letters Diary and Reminiscences, vol. 2 ()
  • Woman's degradation is in man's idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man.

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • letter to Susan B. Anthony (1860), in Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch, eds., Elizabeth Cady Stanton As Revealed in Her Letters Diary and Reminiscences, vol. 2 ()
  • We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.

  • ... that curious social warp which obligates us most to impeach the validity of a woman's opinion at the points where it is most supported by experience.

  • ... he told me that it only seemed reasonable that if there were female studies programs there should be something for men. My answer was that we already had men's studies — it was called education.

  • But oh, what a woman I should be if an able young man would consecrate his life to me as secretaries and technicians do to their men employers.

    • Mabel Ulrich,
    • "A Doctor's Diary, 1904-1932," in Scribner's Magazine ()
  • Though the female life force is indomitable, there is no question that millennia of second-class status has left a mark on our psyches. (Make that third-class status if God is involved).

  • Dear me no Dears, Sir ...

  • [Epilogue:] As for you half wits, you unthinking tribe, / We'll let you see, what e'er besides we do, / How artfully we copy some of you: / And if you're drawn to the life, pray tell me then, / Why women should not write as well as men.

  • I'll watch a movie only if it meets the following criteria: 1. It has to have at least two women in it. 2. Who talk to each other. 3. About something besides a man.

    • Alison Bechdel,
    • who credits friend Liz Wallace for it, although it has become known as "The Bechdel Test" since it appeared in Dykes to Watch Out For ()
  • I've been busy with a long memorandum about the whole of our central Arabian relations, which I've just finished. It will now go to all the High and Mighty in every part. One can't do much more than sit and record if one is of my sex, devil take it; one can get the things recorded in the right way and that means, I hope, that unconsciously people will judge events as you think they ought to be judged. But it's small change for doing things, very small change I feel at times.

    • Gertrude Bell,
    • 1916, in Florence Bell, ed., The Letters of Gertrude Bell, vol. 1 ()
  • We still think of a powerful woman as an anomaly, a potentially dangerous anomaly ...

  • It's really funny if two women stand on the House floor. There are usually at least two men who go by and say, 'What is this, a coup?' They're almost afraid to see us in public together.

  • ... the gender of God, God's presumed masculinity, has functioned as the ultimate religious legitimization of the unjust social structures which victimize women.

  • It is common to hear dedicated working women say they have to be twice as intelligent, three times as industrious, four times as enthusiastic, and work for half the money paid their male counterparts. Even then they may not be taken seriously. Many women feel that no matter how excellent their qualifications, the rise into management is blocked.

  • [On running for president:] Victoria Woodhull in 1872, Belva Lockwood in 1884, Shirley Chisholm in 1973 and Pat Schroeder in 1987 all found that the White House is still America's ultimate clubhouse with a 'No Girls Allowed' sign posted.

  • Discrimination against women in job assignments, training and promotion, affects employers and our total economy as much as it does women. To fail to maintain the pace is to come out second-rate as a nation.

  • Sexist words and pictures commonly imply that everything active, everything significant, is male.

  • Manual dexterity: An aptitude for exacting work with one's hands, which fits women for typing but not for more lucrative enterprises like brain surgery.

  • Sexism goes so deep that at first it's hard to see; you think it's just reality.

  • I have seen that women are shut out from every means of earning a living that is really remunerative, crowded into certain narrow walks, which, in consequence, are so thronged that the poor creatures are forced to work for the merest pittance.

  • Just so long as all our literature is pervaded with the thought that women are inferior, so long will our sex be held in a low estimate.

  • ... while there are 'women writers' there are not, and have never been, 'men writers.' This is an empty category, a class without specimens; for the noun 'writer' — the very verb 'writing' — always implies masculinity.

    • Joyce Carol Oates,
    • "(Woman) Writer: Theory and Practice," (Woman) Writer: Occasions and Opportunities ()
  • Men alone are not capable of making laws for men and women.

    • Nellie McClung,
    • newspaper report (1915), in Linda Rasmussen et al., A Harvest Yet to Reap ()
  • The ceiling isn't glass; it's a very dense layer of men.

  • She supposed that she was not in love with Henry, but, even had she been in love with him, she could see therein no reason for foregoing the whole of her own separate existence. Henry was in love with her, but no one proposed that he should forego his. On the contrary, it appeared that in acquiring her he was merely adding something extra to it. He would continue ... to enjoy his free, varied, and masculine life, with no ring upon his finger or difference in his name to indicate the change in his estate ...

  • Other problems confront women in power. One is fine but two's a crowd seems to be an unspoken rule when the one wears a skirt. And those in authority have found ways to reward women for excluding others of their kind.

  • ... women are quoted as sources and appear on interview shows much less frequently than men. ... But the by-product of such anonymity may be immortality, for women are also less likely to find themselves written up on the obituary page.

  • Women are penalized both for deviating from the masculine norm and for appearing to be masculine. When women try to establish their competence, they are scrutinized for evidence that they lack masculine (instrumental) characteristics as well as for signs that they no longer possess female (expressive) ones. They are taken to fail, in other words, both as a male and as a female.

  • Stories told around the water-cooler as well as statistics confirm that a man's competence is more likely to be presupposed, a woman's questioned.

  • 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.'

  • Whatever class and race divergences exist, top cats are tom cats.

  • ... women have been more systematically excluded from doing serious science than from performing any other social activity except, perhaps, frontline warfare.

  • Biology is destiny only for girls.

  • ... men maintain that the mind of women can learn only a little. ... if it were customary to send daughters to school like sons, and if they were then taught the natural sciences, they would learn as thoroughly and understand the subtleties of all the arts and sciences as well as sons.

    • Christine de Pisan,
    • 1405, in Earl Jeffrey Richards, trans., The Book of the City of Ladies ()
  • But just the sight of this book ... made me wonder how it happened that so many different men — and learned men among them — have been and are so inclined to express both in speaking and in their treatises and writings so many devilish and wicked thoughts about women and their behavior.

    • Christine de Pisan,
    • 1405, in Earl Jeffrey Richards, trans., The Book of the City of Ladies ()
  • There are apparently no gender differences between women and men in terms of leadership style. ... What differences appear to exist seem to disappear when other variables are taken into account. ... Even though the preponderance of the evidence shows scant differences at most, stereotypes continue to favor the 'male is normal' model of leadership. ... The most encouraging implication from the research is that stereotypes tend to become less important as experience increases.

  • Power behaviors that are seen as appropriate for men will not ... be seen as appropriate for women. ... Successful managers are those who are able to acquire and use power strategies effectively. Those power styles and strategies that are most associated with being perceived as powerful and competent, with being effective or persuasive, are also associated with being masculine. ... the evidence suggests that both masculine and feminine styles may be effective if used by men, but masculine styles are not effective when used by women. The ineluctable conclusion is that women have the choice of using power in an indirect (manipulative) way and risking either being ineffective or unrecognized, or using direct styles and risking being both ineffective and disliked.

  • I'd like to see workplaces where women don't have to check parts of themselves at the door.

  • The big lie perpetrated on Western society is the idea of women's inferiority, a lie so deeply ingrained in our social behavior that merely to recognize it is to risk unraveling the entire fabric of civilization.

    • Molly Haskell,
    • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
    • ()
  • Of all the systems — if indeed a bundle of contradictions and absurdities may be called a system — which human nature in its moments of intoxication has produced, that which men have contrived with a view to forming the minds and regulating the conduct of women, is perhaps the most completely absurd.

  • Racism, classism, and sexism will disappear when we accept differences and if we continue to resist loudly and clearly all racist, classist and sexist efforts on the part of other persons to enslave us.

  • In a society in which money determines value, women are a group who work outside the money economy.

    • Margaret Benston,
    • "The Political Economy of Women's Liberation," Monthly Review ()
  • ... there is only one role or job which no woman is or could be qualified to perform: Sperm donor.

  • Ironically, women who acquire power are more likely to be criticized for it than are the men who have always had it.

  • Today's youth seem finally to have understood that only by freeing woman from her exclusively sexual role can man free himself from his ordained role in the rat-race: that of the rat.

  • When a man gets up to speak, people listen, they look. When a woman gets up, people look; then, if they like what they see, they listen.

  • Women have to be twice as good [as men] for half as much pay.

    • Agnes Macphail,
    • in Terence Allan Crowley, Agnes Macphail and the Politics of Equality ()
  • But if God had wanted us to think just with our wombs, why did He give us a brain?

  • To put a woman on the ticket would challenge the loyalty of women everywhere to their sex, because it would be made to seem that the defeat of the ticket meant the defeat for a hundred years of women's chance to be truly equal with men in politics.

  • 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,
    • in Dorothy W. Cantor and Toni Bernay, with Jean Stoess, Women in Power ()
  • Male supremacy has kept her [woman] down. It has not knocked her out.

  • In politics women ... type the letters, lick the stamps, distribute the pamphlets and get out the vote. Men get elected.

  • Attempts to limit female mobility by hampering locomotion are ancient and almost universal. The foot-binding of upper-class Chinese girls and the Nigerian custom of loading women's legs with pounds of heavy brass wire are extreme examples, but all over the world similar stratagems have been employed to make sure that once you have caught a woman she cannot run away, and even if she stays around she cannot keep up with you. ... Literally as well as figuratively modern women's shoes are what keeps Samantha from running as fast as Sammy.

  • What I find amazing is that, when a man is designated as prime minister, nobody asks the French if they think it is a good thing that it is a man.

  • ... the Bible is used as a means of reinforcing their [women's] subordination to men through divine sanction.

  • Women are socialized to be nice, to be docile. I call it 'shrink to fit': Shrink yourself to fit what others expect of you.

    • Meg Ryan,
    • in Oprah Winfrey, O's Guide to Life ()
  • If I had ever learned to type, I never would have made brigadier general.

  • [On Bull Durham:] I left the theater haunted by this tragic tale of forbidden love. Not the love of a woman for a man. The love of a woman for baseball. [Annie Savoy] was forced to settle for the great feminine trade-off: If you can't be it, sleep with a man who can. Hence her long career as a glorified groupie of the hometown team. They wouldn't let her pitch balls, so she balled pitchers instead.

    • Kathy Maio,
    • in Sojourner: The Women's Forum ()
  • The world cannot afford the loss of the talents of half its people if we are to solve the many problems which beset us.

  • There is no doubt about it that it is more difficult for a woman to follow a career than for a man. Through the centuries his time has been considered more valuable, and he has consequently been excused from wrestling with many of 'life's minor damnabilities.'

  • ... you have not a boat of your own, that is just it; that is what women always suffer from; they have to steer, but the craft is some one else's, and the haul too.

  • Is it to be imagined ... that women were made for no other purpose than to fabricate sweetmeats and gingerbread, construct shirts, darn stockings, and become mothers of possible presidents? Assuredly not. Should the women of America ever discover what their power might be, and compare it with what it is, much improvement might be hoped for.

  • We are half the world's population — with a very limited recorded past. Our significance to the human story has been undersung, undervalued, underappreciated.

    • Gene Trolander,
    • in Imogen Davenport Trolander and Phyllis Lawson Jackson, eds., Celebrating Women ()
  • The men who espoused unpopular causes may have been considered misguided, but they were rarely attacked for their morals or their masculinity. Women who did the same thing were apt to be denounced as harlots or condemned for being unfeminine — an all-purpose word that was used to describe almost any category of female behavior of which men disapproved.

  • I can do as much work as any man ... We do as much, we eat as much, we want as much. What we want is a little money. You men know that you get as much again as women when you write, or for what you do. When we get our rights, we shall not have to come to you for money, for then we shall have money enough of our own.

    • Sojourner Truth,
    • 1851, in Carleton Mabee, Sojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, Legend ()
  • The tracing of a child's lineage and its name with reference to the father, though it has lasted for many thousands of years, has not become any the more natural or reasonable as a result.

  • A popular saying in Alderson went as follows: 'They work us like a horse, feed us like a bird, treat us like a child, dress us like a man — and then expect us to act like a lady.'

  • A man has every season while a woman only has the right to spring. That disgusts me.

  • Women are not forgiven for aging. Bob Redford's lines of distinction are my old-age wrinkles.

  • The text-books for girls were carefully edited, and their knowledge of 'science' was to be limited to a few 'popular and amusing facts,' but in return for this intellectual emancipation they were strongly advised by the educational authorities of the time to avoid all disputes, to give up their opinions, even if they knew they were in the right, and finally (and in this all authorities, male and female, united as one man) never to allow it to be suspected that they knew anything or their matrimonial chances were gone forever.

    • Mary K. Ford,
    • Women's Progress: A Comparison of Centuries
    • ()
  • ... the central argument of the backlash — that women's equality is responsible for women's unhappiness.

  • ... the heart of the backlash argument: women are better off 'protected' than equal.

  • Women are on the outside when the door to the smoke-filled room is closed.

  • When two working people decide to marry, their federal income tax is usually increased. As soon as one spouse earns at least 20 percent of a married couple's total income, the couple pays a 'marriage tax.' ... The United States is the only major industrialized nation in the free world in which the tax cost of the second [married] earner's entry into the work force is higher than that of the first. On one hand, our government's social policy is to help working women earn equal salaries to those of men, but on the other we have a tax structure that penalizes them when they do so.

  • ... the sum total of women's athletic scholarships for the entire nation in 1972 [the year Title IX was enacted] was $100,000.

  • ... I wonder why it is that newspaper reporters always go into the details of a woman's dress, whether at a suffrage caucus or a prayer meeting? Just fancy the papers containing an account of a costume worn by the Hon. Grover Cleveland when he delivers an address on some auspicious occasion. Fancy having the mind distracted by the color of his necktie or the check of his trousers. And yet, let his wife show herself for a moment and her dress is pounced upon, every detail is seized and we are regaled the following day by a wonderful description of the — upon each occasion — handsomest and most tasteful costume she has yet worn.

  • O we are all racist we are all sexist some of us only some of us are the targets of racism of sexism of homophobia of class denigration but we all all breathe in racism with the dust in the streets with the words we read and we struggle those of us who struggle we struggle endlessly endlessly to think and be and act differently from all that.

    • Rosario Morales,
    • "We're All in the Same Boat," in Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, eds., This Bridge Called My Back ()
  • It takes two to make a woman into a sex object.

  • A woman who's boss of her own life always goes too far in the eyes of the righteous ...

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

  • [After attorney Harry McCall said in court, 'I would like to remind you gentlemen of a legal point':] Would you like to remind me, too?

  • Fat is a feminist issue.

  • My idea of success was to be a boy — possibly because my brothers, Leon and Arthur, were my father's pride and joy, whereas he had to be introduced to me several times before he got it firmly planted in his mind that I was part of the family ...

  • A woman can do anything she wants as long as she doesn't do anything she wants! She can go anywhere she likes as long as she stays put!

  • Well, I thought, as I tidied up the kitchen, there's no question that a man who works all week needs to relax on the weekend. There's no question about that. There's only a question about this: What about a woman who works all week?

  • A man's home is his castle, and his wife is the janitor.

  • Even the new feminist research on sex-role socialization and sex differences has sometimes had the unfortunate consequence of creating a new set of stereotypes about what women feel and how women behave. Despite the large amount of overlap between the sexes in most research, the tendency to label and polarize and thus to exaggerate differences remains in much reporting of data, which may, for example, report the mean scores of male and female populations but not the degree of overlap.

  • The real test of my candidacy will come when the next woman runs for national office. Only then will we know if she, too, is going to be judged by a standard different from that used for her male opponents; if she, too, is going to have to be better in order to be judged equal.

  • ... one reporter asked me about my father ... But when I asked her what she knew about Ronald Reagan's father, she looked blank.

  • Alas! a woman that attempts the pen, / Such an intruder on the rights of men, / Such a presumptuous Creature, is esteem'd, / The fault, can by no vertue be redeem'd.

    • Anne Finch,
    • "The Introduction," Miscellany Poems, Written by a Lady ()
  • 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,
    • in Stuart Oderman, Lillian Gish: A Life on Stage and Screen ()
  • Sexist language, racist language, theistic language — all are typical of the policing languages of mastery, and cannot, do not, permit new knowledge or encourage the mutual exchange of ideas.

  • Will it be said that the judgment of a male of two years old, is more sage than that of a female's of the same age? I believe the reverse is generally observed to be true. But from that period what partiality! how is the one exalted, and the other depressed, by the contrary modes of education which are adopted! the one is taught to aspire, and the other is early confined and limited. As their years increase, the sister must be wholly domesticated, while the brother is led by the hand through all the flowery paths of science.

  • ... marriage, home life, and children, ought to be enjoyed by men and women together. Nobody — and least of all the child — is served by the present tendency to put these things all on one side as 'Woman's World.'

    • Alva Myrdal,
    • in Alva Myrdal and Viola Klein, Women's Two Roles: Home and Work ()
  • ... if God is male, then the male is God. The divine patriarch castrates women as long as he is allowed to live on in the human imagination.

  • Where sexism and homophobia meet, you get a viciousness the likes of which you have never seen.

    • Sandra Lowe,
    • speech (1989), in Rosemary Silva, ed., Lesbian Quotations ()
  • ... a woman's success is more likely to be explained by external factors like luck or ease of task, or by high effort, an internal but unstable factor, whereas a man's success is more likely to be attributed to high ability. The reverse is true for explanations of failure; men are said to fail because of hard luck, a hard task, or low effort, whereas women are said to fail because of low ability.

    • Bernice Lott,
    • "The Devalutaion of Women's Competence," in Janis S. Bohan, ed., Seldom Seen, Rarely Heard: Women's Place in Psychology ()
  • A woman's work, from the time she gets up to the time she goes to bed, is as hard as a day at war, worse than a man's working day. ... To men, women's work was like the rain-bringing clouds, or the rain itself. The task involved was carried out every day as regularly as sleep. So men were happy — men in the Middle Ages, men at the time of the Revolution, and men in 1986: everything in the garden was lovely.

  • [On the New Testament:] I ... must enter my protest against the false translation of some passages by the men who did that work, and against the perverted interpretation by the men who undertook to write commentaries thereon. I am inclined to think, when we [women] are admitted to the honor of studying Greek and Hebrew, we shall produce some various readings of the Bible a little different from those we now have.

  • No one can scan the shelves of teen-age reading matter without being struck with the fact that girls are evidently not expected to join in the fun. There are no heroines following the shining paths of romantic adventure, as do the heroes of boys' books. For instance, who ever heard of a girl — a pleasant one — shipping on an oil tanker, say, finding the crew about to mutiny and saving the captain's life (while quelling the mutiny) with a well-aimed disabling pistol shot at the leader of the gang! No, goings-on of this sort are left to masculine characters, to be lived over joyously by the boy readers.

  • It has always seemed to me that boys and girls are educated very differently. Even from the early grades, they take different subjects. For instance, boys are usually put into woodworking classes, and girls into sewing and cooking — willy-nilly. I know many boys who should, I am sure, be making pies and girls who are much better fitted for manual training than domestic science. Too often little attention is paid to individual talent. Instead, education goes on dividing people according to their sex, and putting them in little feminine or masculine pigeonholes.

  • ... there is nothing more irritating to a feminist than the average 'Woman's Page' of a newspaper, with its out-dated assumption that all women have a common trade interest in the household arts, and a common leisure interest in clothes and the doings of 'high society.' Women's interests to-day are as wide as the world. I doubt if there is anything from deep-sea fishing to high-altitude flying that is not of absorbing interest to some woman somewhere.

    • Cyrstal Eastman,
    • "What Shall We Do With the Woman's Page?" in Time and Tide ()
  • The figure of a handsome woman, blindfolded, holding a pair of scales in her outstretched, majestic hand, was used by Man to symbolize the Spirit of Justice long before he admitted any of her sex to the bar or jury duty ... Man has always liked to have some woman, especially one about eight feet high and of earnest aspect, to represent his ideas or inventions. At the same time, of course, he anxiously thwarted her attempts to utilize the inventions or pursue the theories he held. Thus, he wanted women to be illiterate, but to represent the Spirit of Education ... He wanted some smiling damsel to typify Architecture for him, but never to build his houses. And, much as he insisted on having his women folk meek and shy, he was always portraying them blowing trumpets and leading his armies to war.

    • Miriam Beard,
    • "Woman Springs from Allegory to Life," in The New York Times ()
  • The volumes which record the history of the human race are filled with the deeds and the words of great men ... [but] The Twentieth Century Woman ... questions the completeness of the story.

    • Mary Ritter Beard,
    • "The Twentieth-Century Woman Looking Around and Backward," Young Oxford ()
  • [On the ERA Equality March:] It's the funniest thing. I don't feel there's any discrimination. I know my husband feels that way.

    • Pat Nixon,
    • 1969, in Judith Paterson, Be Somebody: A Biography of Marguerite Rawalt ()
  • [On Aphra Behn:] Like all women who break out of the stereotype she was subjected to the process that begins with detraction and ends in oblivion.

  • I've been working for over 40 years and the worst curse I could put on any man is: 'In your next life may you be born a talented and creative woman.'

    • Ursula Nordstrom,
    • 1974, in Leonard S. Marcus, ed., Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom ()
  • 'She does her work better than a man,' said the elder Vorland. 'And as she is a woman, I pay her only half his salary,' he added to himself.

  • A woman's suffering is never above half known, for the fact of the publicity of her wrongs is counted to her for disgrace.

  • One ought to be against racism and sexism because they are wrong, not because one is black or one is female.

  • [On subtle gender discrimination:] Psychologists call these small but relentless I'm-not-even-sure-if-I'm-imagining-it-perhaps-I'm being-too-sensitive interactions 'micro-aggressions,' and they cite evidence that for women as well as other marginalized groups, these micro-aggressions take more of a psychological toll than overt, hate-filled attacks.

  • ... gender biases ... have, in our more enlightened spheres, retreated largely to an unconscious level, yet they are all the more powerful for that, making women hesitant to enter the fray and increasing the likelihood that, when they do, their temerity will be rewarded by their being dismissed, sidelined, sloppily and mockingly misconstrued, or — the most elegant of all obliterations — merely ignored. It's all so civilly done that you're never sure that it isn't your own shortcomings being justly evaluated.

  • When I was young, if a girl married poverty, she bcame a drudge; if she married wealth, she became a doll.

    • Susan B. Anthony,
    • in Ida Husted Harper, The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony ()
  • I have often been asked whether I am a woman or an athlete. The question is absurd. Men are not asked that. I am an athlete. I am a woman.

  • [On golf's double standards:] When we complain about conditions, we're just bitches. But when the men complain, people think, 'Well, it really must be hard.'

  • [On being told a newspaper didn't have women on its foreign affairs staff:] I can't change my sex. But you can change your policy.

    • Helen Kirkpatrick,
    • 1940, in Julia Edwards, Women of the World: The Great Foreign Correspondents ()
  • I'm amazed by how many people I meet can't wrap their head around what I do. It's not disrespect to me. But it bothers me that they just can't imagine it — a girl who drives monster trucks.

    • Rosalee Ramer,
    • in Justin Berton, "Girl, 16, crushes competition in monster trucks and math," San Francisco Chronicle ()
  • Not too long ago we were referred to as dolls, tomatoes, chicks, babes, broads. We've graduated to being called tough cookies, foxes, bitches and witches. I guess that's progress.

    • Barbra Streisand,
    • 1992, in Sara Ann Friedman, Work Matters: Women Talk About Their Jobs and Their Lives ()
  • A man is commanding — a woman is demanding. A man is forceful — a woman is pushy. A man is uncompromising — a woman is a ball-breaker. A man is a perfectionist — a woman's a pain in the ass. He's assertive — she's aggressive. He strategizes — she manipulates. He shows leadership — she's controlling. He's committed — she's obsessed. He's persevering — she's relentless. He sticks to his guns — she's stubborn. If a man wants to get it right, he's looked up to and respected. If a woman wants to get it right, she's difficult and impossible.

    • Barbra Streisand,
    • speech at the Women in Film luncheon (1986), in Lynda Obst, Hello, He Lied--And Other Truths From the Hollywood Trenches ()
  • If a man wants to get it right, he's looked up to and respected. If a woman wants to get it right, she's difficult or impossible. If he acts, produces and directs, he's called multitalented. If she does the same thing, she's called vain and egotistical.

  • You don't ask a man, 'Do you want to be in control [of your job]?' You assume he wants control. Why would a woman be any different?

  • Why is it men are permitted to be obsessed about their work, but women are only permitted to be obsessed about men?

  • The flour-merchant, the house-builder, and the postman charge us no less on account of our sex; but when we endeavor to earn money to pay all these, then, indeed, we find the difference.

    • Lucy Stone,
    • 1855, in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda J. Gage, eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. I ()
  • People are just not very ambitious for women still. Your son you want to be the best he can be. Your daughter you want to be happy.

  • When CBS sportscaster Ben Wright claimed women don't make good golfers because their 'boobs' get in the way of their swings, I thought, 'Two words, Ben. Beer. Gut.'

  • Legislation and case law still exist in some parts of the United States permitting the 'passion shooting' by a husband of a wife; the reverse, of course, is known as homicide.

    • Diane B. Schulder,
    • "Does the Law Oppress Women?" in Robin Morgan, Sisterhood Is Powerful ()
  • [After a speech proposing the ERA to the New Jersey State Assembly:] One of my colleagues rose and ... said, 'I just don't like this amendment; I've always thought of women as kissable and cuddly and smelling good!' It was the kind of thing you really don't believe. The only answer, of course, was, 'That's the way I've always felt about men and I hope, for your sake, that you haven't been disappointed as often as I have.

  • Nowhere have women been more excluded from decision-making than in the military and foreign affairs. When it comes to the military and questions of nuclear disarmament, the gender gap becomes the gender gulf.

  • ... how many times would a defendant's lawyer enter the courtroom before a session and ask each of the male clerks and paralegals around me, 'Are you the assistant in charge?' while I sat there invisible to him at the head of the table?

  • No book has yet been written in praise of a woman who let her husband and children starve or suffer while she invented even the most useful things, or wrote books, or expressed herself in art, or evolved philosophic systems.

  • It is an old error of man to forget to put quotation marks where he borrows from a woman's brain!

  • When I learnt, however, that in 1911 there had been twenty-one regular feminist periodicals in Britain, that there was a feminist book shop, a woman's press, and a woman's bank run by and for women, I could no longer accept that the reason I knew almost nothing about women of the past was because there were so few of them, and they had done so little.

  • Well into the 19th century there were pronouncements from just about every branch of science and medicine that reading, writing, and thinking were dangerous for women. Articles in the Lancet declared that women's brains would burst and their uteruses atrophy if they engaged in any form of rigorous thinking. The famous physician J.D. Kellogg insisted that novel reading was the greatest cause of uterine disease among young women and urged parents to protect their daughters from the dreaded consequences of print.

    • Dale Spender,
    • in H. Jeanie Taylor, Cheris Kramarae, and Maureen Ebben, eds., Women, Information Technology, and Scholarship ()
  • ... men have their cake and get to eat it too, for while they decree themselves as representative of humanity, women who argue that men are not, are simply showing how little they know! And when men's standards are defined as human standards, then women who assert that women are different, demonstrate how 'inhuman' they are. It is a real 'Catch 22.'

  • ... men have been in charge of according value to literature, and ... they have found the contributions of their own sex immeasurably superior.

  • For every man with a baseball story — a memory of a moment at the plate or in the field — there is a woman with a couldn't-play-baseball story.

  • Sport has been called the last bastion of male domination. Unfortunately, there are others — Congress, for instance.

  • One evening on reading aloud his daily pages he said, 'I steal from you, don't I?' He laughed and continued reading. ... I asked, 'When you quote me in The Treasure of the Humble why have you put each time, "an old philosopher said ..." or else "an old friend said ..." or "I do not know what sage has said ..." or merely quotation marks?' Astonished, he lifted his head. 'But don't you see it would be ridiculous to mention you. You're on the stage, a singer, nobody would believe me. It would be ridiculous.'

    • Georgette Leblanc,
    • 1898, on Maurice Maeterlinck, in Janet Flanner, trans., Souvenirs: My Life With Maeterlinck ()
  • If the man may preach, because the Savior died for him, why not the woman, seeing he died for her also? Is he not a whole Savior, instead of a half one, as those who hold it wrong for a woman to preach, would seem to make it appear?

    • Jarena Lee,
    • The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee
    • ()
  • I claim that every woman in this century and in our culture sphere who has ventured into male-dominated institutions — 'literature' and 'aesthetics' are such institutions — must have experienced the desire for self-destruction.

  • Pain is real when you get other people to believe in it. If no one believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria or your own unfeminine inadequacy. Women have learned to submit to pain by hearing authority figures — doctors, priests, psychiatrists — tell us that what we feel is not pain.

  • Unlike many of his contemporaries among the deities of the ancient Near East, the God of Israel shared his power with no female divinity, nor was he the divine Husband or Lover of any. He can scarcely be characterized in any but masculine epithets: king, lord, master, judge, and father. Indeed, the absence of feminine symbolism for God marks Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in striking contrast to the world's other religious traditions, whether in Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and Rome, or in Africa, India, and North America, which abound in female symbolism. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic theologians today are quick to point out that God is not to be considered in sexual terms at all. Yet the actual language they use in daily worship and prayer conveys a different message: who, growing up with Jewish or Christian tradition, has escaped the distinct impression that God is masculine? And while Catholics revere Mary as the mother of Jesus, they never identify her as divine in her own right: if she is 'mother of God,' she is not 'God the Mother' on an equal footing with God the Father!

  • Mammy and Jezebel and the welfare queen may be the most prominent roles for black women in American culture, but even these figures, as limited as is their range, inhabit the shadows of American imagination. ... silence and invisibility are the hallmarks of black women in the imagery of American life.

    • Nell Irvin Painter,
    • "Hill, Thomas, and the Use of Racial Stereotype," in Toni Morrison, ed., Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power ()
  • If you're feminist, it means that you've noticed that male ownership of the direction of female lives has been the order of the day for a few thousand years, and it isn't natural.

  • The church in many places is a sort of potter's field, where the gifts of woman, as so many strangers, are buried.

    • Phoebe Palmer,
    • in Mary Alice Warner and Dayna Beilenson, eds., Women of Faith and Spirit ()
  • There appears to be a disturbing trend in this nation to try to force single moms to choose between their children and their careers. If they take their careers seriously, they are labeled as bad mothers. If they spend time with their children, they are labeled as people who can't be serious about careers outside the home. This is a sexist double standard. No such guilt trip is imposed on men, who are generally not forced to choose between their children and their jobs.

  • ... Gov. [Jerry] Brown said to me, 'Why do you criticize me for not appointing enough women judges?' Then he named some he had appointed. And I said: 'Governor, you can't name all of the male judges you've appointed. When you can't name all of the women judges you've appointed, then you will have appointed enough.'

    • Gloria Allred,
    • in Patt Morrison, "Filner's Nemesis," The Los Angeles Times ()
  • [To the colonel who said the 'young lady' must leave the war front because there might be trouble:] I wouldn't be here if there were no trouble. Trouble is news, and the gathering of news is my job.

  • ... my stories had nothing to do with my banishment. I was being thrown out ... because I was a female and because 'there are no facilities for ladies at the front.'

  • Gentlemen prefer doormats.

  • ... claims about what's 'natural' have long been used to reinforce traditional gender roles and values. ... Even the notion that women should have children at all is based on the idea that a woman's inherent and most important role is that of mother. Shockingly, men's 'innate' roles are a lot more fun than the ones bestowed on women.

  • It's 2013 ... The Time's obituary for Yvonne Brill, renowned rocket scientist, winner of the National Medal of Technology and Innovations, leads with, 'She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children. "The world's best mom," her son Matthew said.'

  • This is what sexism does best: it makes you feel crazy for desiring parity and hopeless about ever achieving it.

  • ... the number of reviews of books by men is greater than the number of reviews of books by women; the number of male reviewers is greater than the number of female reviewers. Men, in other words, are still the arbiters of taste, the cultural gatekeepers, and the recipients of what little attention still gets paid to books.

  • Women occupy, in great masses, the 'household tasks' of industry. They are nurses but not doctors, secretaries but not executives, researchers but not writers, workers but not managers, bookkeepers but not promoters.

    • Vivian Gornick,
    • "The Next Great Moment in History Is Theirs," Essays in Feminism ()
  • The Conservative Establishment has always treated women as nannies, grannies and fannies.

  • A man has to be Joe McCarthy to be called ruthless. All a woman has to do is put you on hold.

  • I remember praying about it, and begging God that if it were true that because I was a girl I could not successfully master Greek and go to college and understand things to kill me at once, as I could not bear to live in such an unjust world.

    • M. Carey Thomas,
    • in Barbara M. Cross, ed., The Educated Woman in America ()
  • It's hard to explain or believe how male-dominated, male-oriented, and generally misogynistic the world of elite sailing is. I've never experienced anything like it.

  • [Supporting the Sex Discrimination Act:] It's ridiculous to think that half the brains in the country are locked up in female heads and are not being used.

  • This whole society is like slow-dancing. Then men get to lead and the women get stepped on.

  • It's like if a young woman writes it, then it's chick lit. We don't care if she's slaying vampires or working as a nanny or living in Philadelphia. It's chick lit, so who cares? You know what we call what men write? Books.

    • Jennifer Weiner,
    • in Sara Vilkomerson, "Chick Lit to Chick Flicks: Women Flock to Weiner's World," Observer ()
  • I am obnoxious to each carping tongue / Who says my hand a needle better fits, / A poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong, / For such despite they cast on female wits: / If what I do prove well, it won't advance, / They'll say it's stol'n, or else it was by chance.

    • Anne Bradstreet,
    • prologue, "The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America" (1650), in John Harvard Ellis, ed, The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse ()
  • It is a man's world at the top, at the bottom, and in between. Men are in the catbird seat as far as income, opportunity, status, and power are concerned. This is the way it always has been and, as far as men are concerned, it is the way it always should be.

  • ... witch-hunting misogyny is fiercely recurrent in this nation, even if its forms vary with the ages.

  • Men always try to keep women out of business so they won't find out how much fun it really is.

    • Vivien Kellems,
    • in Alice Charlotte Goff, Women Can Be Engineers ()
  • [When her husband said her earnings as a married woman belonged to him:] I cannot persuade myself that that which I invent — create, in fact — can belong to anyone but myself! I wish that women could be dealt with, not mercifully, not compassionately, nor affectionately, but justly; it would be so much better — for the men.

    • Fanny Kemble,
    • in Margaret Armstrong, Fanny Kemble: A Passionate Victorian ()
  • There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody.

    • Florynce R. Kennedy,
    • in Gloria Steinem, "The Verbal Karate of Florynce R. Kennedy, Esq.," Ms. ()
  • Here I am a woman attorney being told I can't practice law in slacks by a judge dressed in drag.

  • He's sitting there in a long black dress gathered at the yoke, and I said, 'Judge, if you won't talk about what I'm wearing, I won't talk about what you're wearing,' because it occurred to me that a judge in a skirt telling me not to wear pants was just a little bit ludicrous. It's interesting to speculate how it developed that in two of the most anti-feminist institutions, the church and the law court, the men are wearing the dresses.

  • Men define intelligence, men define usefulness, men tell us what is beautiful, men even tell us what is womanly.

  • During the Renaissance, women were not allowed to attend art school. Everyone asks, where are the great women painters of the Renaissance?

  • Fie on the falsehood of men, whose minds go oft a madding, and whose tongues can not so soon be wagging, but straight they fall a railing.

  • Eve was framed.

  • What I'm working for is the day when a mediocre woman can get as far as a mediocre man.

  • How to tell a businessman from a businesswoman: A businessman is aggressive; a businesswoman is pushy. A businessman is good on details; she's picky. He loses his temper at times because he's so involved in his work; she's bitchy. He knows how to follow through; she doesn't know when to quit. He stands firm; she's hard. He's a man of the world; she's been around. He isn't afraid to say what he thinks; she's mouthy. He drinks martinis because of excessive job pressures; she's a lush. He exercises authority diligently; she's power mad. He's climbed the ladder of success; she's slept her way to the top. He's a stern taskmaster; she's hard to work for!

    • Anonymous,
    • in Marilyn Loden, Feminine Leadership ()
  • As women win more and more gains in the drive for equality and as the traditional roles begin to blur and fuse, the exclusivity of men's sports seems to become even more entrenched. In fact, in many ways sports seem to be a kind of last bastion of male supremacy.

  • [On Margaret Thatcher:] It is ironic that the wife who made Britain great again, and who is the leader of the Western World, has to get her husband to sign her tax form.

  • It's time to take the 'Men Only' sign off the White House door.

  • Nothing could be more grotesquely unjust than a code of morals, reinforced by laws, which relieves men from responsibility for irregular sexual acts, and for the same acts drives women to abortion, infanticide, prostitution, and self-destruction.

  • A woman president would be great because she would save the country money, because she would make half of what a man president makes.

    • Maureen Murphy,
    • in Mary Unterbrink, Funny Women: American Comediennes, 1860-1985 ()
  • Affirmative action, welfare state, and welfare queen have become a mantra, evoked as single (albeit complicated) signs for and of everything wrong with the United States ...

    • Wahneema Lubiano,
    • "Black Ladies, Welfare Queens, and State Minstrels: Ideological War by Narrative Means," in Toni Morrison, ed., Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power ()
  • The welfare queen represents moral aberration and an economic drain, but the figure's problematic status becomes all the more threatening once responsibility for the destruction of the 'American way of life' is attributed to it.

    • Wahneema Lubiano,
    • "Black Ladies, Welfare Queens, and State Minstrels: Ideological War by Narrative Means," in Toni Morrison, ed., Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power ()
  • ... men, who merely for being men believe they are wise ...

    • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz,
    • 1691, in Margaret Sayers Peden, trans., A Woman of Genius: The Intellectual Autobiography of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz ()
  • Anonymous: Prolific female author. Has written hundreds of thousands of books, articles, poems, essays, memos, broadsides, and treatises. Under this name many women for centuries have written, published, or produced art, either deliberately to avoid the problems and punishments awaiting the woman artist or by default because their names were lost or forgotten.

    • Paula A. Treichler,
    • in Cheris Kramarae and Paula A. Treichler, A Feminist Dictionary ()
  • [Sexism is] behavior, policy, language, or other action of men or women which expresses the institutionalized, systematic, comprehensive, or consistent view that women are inferior.

    • Cheris Kramarae,
    • in Cheris Kramarae and Paula A. Treichler, A Feminist Dictionary ()
  • That's the history of the world. His story is told, hers isn't.

  • Was there ever any so abused, so slandered, so railed upon, so wickedly handled undeservedly, as are we women.

  • [When her White Paper on Iraq was submitted to both houses of Parliament:] The general line taken by the press seems to be that it's most remarkable that a dog should be able to stand up on its hind legs — i.e. a female write a white paper. I hope they'll drop that source of wonder and pay attention to the report itself.

    • Gertrude Bell,
    • 1921, in Georgina Howell, Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations ()
  • The idea that a woman should be foolhardy or ignorant enough to dare to enter Africa from the east coast and attempt to penetrate interior as far as the Kilimanjaro district of the late Masai raids ... as the sole leader and commander of her own caravan, — the thing was preposterous, and the woman boldly denounced as mad, mad, principally because there was no precedent for such a venture; it was a thorough innovation of accepted proprieties. It never had been done, never even suggested, hence it must be impossible, or at least utterly impracticable, and certainly outside a woman's province.

  • I talked to so many men. I walked into room after room after room of men who got to sit around and discuss whether they thought this movie was something that would appeal to women.

  • The suppression of women's rights began with the suppression of women's rites.

  • How different the reasoning is that men adopt when they are discussing the cases of men and those of women.

  • If you have any doubts that we live in a society controlled by men, try reading down the index of contributors to a volume of quotations, looking for women's names.

    • Elaine Gill,
    • in Editor and Publisher's e-newsletter ()
  • Most of the men I talk to ... ask me to play one-on-one. If you’ve ever had that impulse, let me stop you here. I’m not going to play you one-on-one. I’m never going to play you one-on-one. I have been playing basketball my entire life, and for just as long I have been challenged by men who think they are better than me.

  • There’s something about basketball that activates men’s egos. It’s almost as if they still consider it a sport that women should not be playing.

  • There is still the feeling that women's writing is a lesser class of writing, that what goes on in the nursery or the bedroom is not as important as what goes on in the battlefield ... that what women know about is a lesser category of knowledge.

  • Many men are behaving like we live in a zero-sum game, that if women get the respect, access, and value they deserve, men will lose theirs. But when you light someone else's torch with your own, you don't lose your fire, you just make more light and more heat. Light a woman's torch. The light will multiply and the heat will intensify for all of us.

    • Natalie Portman,
    • "Six Ways to Support Women in the Workplace," ACLU Magazine ()