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Bella Abzug

  • Congress is a middle-aged, middle-class, white male power structure ... no wonder it's been so totally unresponsive to the needs of this country.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • speech ()
  • Both houses are dominated by a male, white, middle-aged, middle- and upper-middle-class power elite that stand with their backs turned to the needs and demands of our people for realistic change.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • in Time ()
  • I am not being facetious when I say that the real enemies in this country are the Pentagon and its pals in big business.

  • The establishment is made up of little men, very frightened.

  • The inside operation of Congress — the deals, the compromises, the selling out, the co-opting, the unprincipled manipulating, the self-serving career-building — is a story of such monumental decadence that I believe if people find out about it they will demand an end to it.

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

  • We've got to bring the government up to date. It's insane to try to live under the same governmental structures set up nearly two hundred years ago.

  • In Britain the government has to come down in front of Parliament every day to explain its actions, but here the President never answers directly to Congress.

  • They are a very extensive minority who have suffered discrimination and who have the same right to participation in the promise and fruits of society as every other individual.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • press conference ()
  • This woman's place is in the House — the House of Representatives.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • 1970 campaign slogan, in Doris Faber, Bella Abzug ()
  • We don't so much want to see a female Einstein become an assistant professor. We want a woman schlemiel to get promoted as quickly as a male schlemiel.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • in U.S. News and World Report ()
  • All the men on my staff can type.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • in Maureen Dean, Capitol Secrets ()
  • They used to give us a day — it was called International Women's Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn't behave and here we are.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • speech, Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing ()
  • [On her trademark hats:] Working women wore hats. It was the only way they would take you seriously. When I got to Congress, they made a big thing of it. So I was watching. Did they want me to wear it or not? They didn't want me to wear it, so I did.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • in Seth Faison, "A Well-Known Hat Bobs at Women's Conference," New York Times ()
  • ... the women's movement, not only here in the U.S., but worldwide, is bigger and stronger than ever before and in places where it has never been. It has arms. It has legs. And most importantly, it has heads.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • speech (1995), in Ms. ()
  • Women's struggle for equality worldwide is about more than equality between men and women. Our struggle is about reversing the trends of social, economic, political, and ecological crisis — a global nervous breakdown! Our struggle is about creating sustainable lives and attainable dreams.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • speech (1995), in Ms. ()
  • Never go back, never apologize, and never forget we're half the human race.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • in Ms. ()
  • ... we have done almost everything in pairs since Noah, except govern. And the world has suffered for it.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • in Ms. ()
  • Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick. Those days are over.

    • Bella Abzug,
    • in Unita Blackwell, Barefootin' ()
  • Abortion doesn't belong in the political arena. It's a private right, like many other rights concerning the family.

    • Bella Abzug
  • [On women:] We want it all, but we'll take half.

    • Bella Abzug

Bella Abzug, U.S. lawyer, politician

(1920 - 1998)

Full name: Bella Savitsky Abzug.