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Letty Cottin Pogrebin

  • Boys don't make passes at female smart-asses.

    • Letty Cottin Pogrebin,
    • in Francine Klagsbrun, ed., The First Ms. Reader ()
  • Children's liberation is the next item on our civil rights shopping list.

    • Letty Cottin Pogrebin,
    • in Francine Klagsbrun, ed., The First Ms. Reader ()
  • No laborer in the world is expected to work for room, board, and love — except the housewife.

    • Letty Cottin Pogrebin,
    • in David J. Rothman et al., The Family ()

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  • Like many another romance, the romance of the family turns sour when the money runs out. If we really cared about families, we would not let 'born again' patriarchs send up moral abstractions as a smokescreen for the scandal of American family economics.

    • Letty Cottin Pogrebin
  • We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young.

  • I want to visit Memory Lane, I don't want to live there.

  • We can remind the world that all the dead on both sides have not settled our differences, so now it is time for the living to renounce violence as a means of solving this conflict.

  • The High Holy Days of my childhood ... embodied the very essence of new beginnings; for autumn, not spring, was when everything was new: my clothes, my classroom, books, pencil box, teachers — and Jewish chronology, which decreed a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to improve on the past.

  • To me, a person's identity is composed of both an 'I' and a 'we.' The 'I' finds itself in love, work, and pleasure, but it also locates itself within some meaningful group identity — a tribe, a community, a 'we.' America is too big and bland a tribe for most of us.

  • ... if knowledge is power, clandestine knowledge is power squared; it can be withheld, exchanged, and leveraged.

  • I feel about mothers the way I feel about dimples: because I do not have one myself, I notice everyone who does.

  • Mothers remember a child's first words, and quote them in tones usually reserved for Byron.

  • Other than life experience, nothing left a deeper imprint on my formative self than the movies.

  • Her [mother's] constant care blurs into the maternal mists while his [father's] few alcohol rubs are as memorable as if they were anointments by a prophet.

  • Why hope to live a long life if we're only going to fill it with self-absorption, body maintenance and image repair? When we die, do we want people to exclaim 'She looked ten years younger,' or do we want them to say 'She lived a great life'?

  • I didn't anticipate the primal quality of my pleasure, the raw physicality of it, the way my whole body leaps forward when I see my grandsons after a few days' absence.

    • Letty Cottin Pogrebin,
    • "Proud Granny," in Ms. ()
  • Over the years, I've found that I either live life or write about it. I can't seem to do both simultaneously — I have to do it sequentially. When I write incessantly, I lose touch with the issues and passions that fuel the work. But when I get too involved in organizations or movement endeavors, I almost forget that I'm a writer. It's a constant struggle to find a balance between these two worlds — the solitary writing life and the life of a social justice activist.

    • Letty Cottin Pogrebin,
    • in Authors Guild Bulletin ()
  • Just as the authoritarian family is the authoritarian state in microcosm, the democratic family is the best training ground for life in a democracy.

  • If the family were a boat, it would be a canoe that makes no progress unless everyone paddles.

  • It's smart to be friends with one's sex partner but dumb to have sex with one's friends.

  • ... in the last analysis, friendship is what you say it is.

  • It angers me that sick people have to wait for everything and everybody — doctors, nurses, callbacks, lab results, prescriptions, medications, technicians, treatment rooms. If illness is the embodiment of powerlessness, which, believe me, is true, then waiting is its temporal incarnation.

  • Control is a big issue when you're sick. It's the first thing you lose — other losses come later.

  • If the Richter scale could measure human calamities, the loss of a child would register a ten.

  • Illness is friendship's proving ground, the uncharted territory where one's actions may be the least sure-footed but also the most indelible.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, U.S. writer, editor, journalist, lecturer, social justice activist

(1939)