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feminism Quotes

71 of the best book quotes about feminism
01
“Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an “angry black woman.” I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them the most—is it “angry” or “black” or “woman”?”
02
“I tried not to feel intimidated when classroom conversation was dominated by male students, which it often was. Hearing them, I realized that they weren’t at all smarter than the rest of us. They were simply emboldened, floating on an ancient tide of superiority, buoyed by the fact that history had never told them anything different.”
03
“Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn’t women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?”
04
″. . . Big Mama kept bees, too, right out there in the same spot they’re in today. Nobody around here had ever seen a lady beekeeper till her. She liked to tell everybody that women made the best beekeepers, ‘cause they have a special ability built into them to love creatures that sting. ‘It comes from years of loving children and husbands,’ she’d say.”
05
“Turned on its side, the brick announced a happy bee family, no Ozzie, just Harriet and her ten thousand daughters.”
06
“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likeable.”
07
“Our society teaches a woman at a certain age who is unmarried to see it as a deep personal failure. While a man at a certain age who is unmarried has not quite come around to making his pick. It is easy to say, ‘But women can just say no to all this.’ But the reality is more difficult, more complex. We are all social beings. We internalize ideas from our socialization.”
08
“I looked the word up in the dictionary, it said: Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. My great-grandmother, from stories I’ve heard, was a feminist. She ran away from the house of the man she did not want to marry and married the man of her choice. She refused, protested, spoke up when she felt she was being deprived of land and access because she was female. She did not know that word feminist. But it doesn’t mean she wasn’t one. More of us should reclaim that word. The best feminist I know is my brother Kene, who is also a kind, good-looking, and very masculine young man.”
09
“My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”
10
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”
11
“What struck me – with her and with many other female American friends I have – is how invested they are in being ‘liked’. How they have been raised to believe that their being likeable is very important and that this ‘likeable’ trait is a specific thing. And that specific thing does not include showing anger or being aggressive or disagreeing too loudly.”
12
“I often make the mistake of thinking that something that is obvious to me is just as obvious to everyone else.”
13
“‘You know, you’re a feminist.’ It was not a compliment. I could tell from his tone—the same tone with which a person would say, ‘You’re a supporter of terrorism.‘”
14
“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”
15
“We police girls. We praise girls for virginity but we don’t praise boys for virginity (and it makes me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out, since the loss of virginity is a process that usually involves two people of the opposite genders).”
16
“The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.”
17
“I realized that searching for a mentor has become the professional equivalent of waiting for Prince Charming. We all grew up on the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty,” which instructs young women that if they just wait for their prince to arrive, they will be kissed and whisked away on a white horse to live happily ever after. Now young women are told that if they can just find the right mentor, they will be pushed up the ladder and whisked away to the corner office to live happily ever after. Once again, we are teaching women to be too dependent on others.”
18
“Some people ask: ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be ... a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.”
19
“The person more qualified to lead is not the physically stronger person. It is the more intelligent, the more knowledgeable, the more creative, more innovative. And there are no hormones for those attributes.”
20
“Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we should begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how we start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”
21
“We teach females that in relationships, compromise is what a woman is more likely to do.”
22
“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”
23
“We must raise both the ceiling and the floor.”
24
“Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change.”
25
“Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.”
26
“The time is long overdue to encourage more women to dream the possible dream.”
27
“Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change. But I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better.”
28
“Men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on past accomplishments.”
29
“We teach girls shame. ‘Close your legs. Cover yourself.’ We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up — and this is the worst thing we do to girls — they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.”
30
“And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, pretend that you are not, especially in public, otherwise you will emasculate him.”
31
“What if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on interest instead of gender?”
32
“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.”
33
“I am trying to unlearn many lessons of gender I internalized while growing up. But I sometimes still feel vulnerable in the face of gender expectations.”
34
“I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”
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35
“You don’t get taken seriously by asking someone to take you seriously. You’ve got to show up and own it. If this is a man’s world, who cares? I’m still really glad to be a girl in it.”
36
“Obviously, as an adult I realize this girl-on-girl sabotage is the third worst kind of female behavior, right behind saying ‘like’ all the time and leaving your baby in a dumpster.”
37
“We had a lot of hairy legs in our ward. Early feminists.”
38
“i stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me thinking what can i do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther -legacy”
39
“what is the greatest lesson a woman should learn that since day one she’s already had everything she needs within herself it’s the world that convinced her she did not”
40
“But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”
41
“Nils, a woman who has once sold herself for another’s sake, doesn’t do it a second time.”
42
“When I lived with papa, he used to tell me what he thought about everything, so that I never had any opinions but his. And if I did have any of my own, I kept them quiet, because he wouldn’t have liked them. He called me his little doll, and he played with me just the way I played with my dolls.”
43
“I believe that I am first and foremost a human being, like you – or anyway, that I must try to become one. I know most people think as you do, Torvald, and I know there’s something of the sort to be found in books. But I’m no longer prepared to accept what people say and what’s written in books. I must think things out for myself, and try to find my own answer.”
44
“Mattie started up the machine, which made the front tires of Roger’s Toyota spin around, and after a minute she lay down on one shoulder and adjusted something under the front. She didn’t get that dirty, either. I had never seen a woman with this kind of know-how. It made me feel proud, somehow.”
45
“Jane Austen did not become one of the most renowned authors in the English language by having her characters dye their armpit hair and join a lesbian commune.”
46
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
47
“You know what they say: A woman needs a man about as much as a fish needs a bicycle.”
48
“Sometimes I think all the trouble in the world is caused by men. If there were no men, women would always be happy.”
49
“I hate to be thought men’s property in that way—though possibly I shall be had some day.”
50
“Well, what I mean is that I shouldn’t mind being a bride at a wedding if I could be one without having a husband. But since a woman can’t show off in that way by herself I shan’t marry—at least yet.”
51
“The first is that the bailiff is dismissed for thieving, and that I have formed a resolution to have no bailiff at all, but to manage everything with my own head and hands.”
52
“I shall be up before you are awake; I shall be afield before you are up; and I shall have breakfasted before you are afield. In short, I shall astonish you all.”
53
“Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.”
54
“We knew that there could be no real sisterhood between white women and women of color if white women were not able to divest of white supremacy, if feminist movement were not fundamentally anti-racist.”
55
“Masses of the people think that feminism is always the only about women seeking to be equal to men. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.”
56
“Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definition of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago. It was my hope at the time that it would become a common definition everyone would use. I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy.”
57
“The soul of our politics is the commitment to ending domination.”
58
“Feminist thinking teaches us all, especially, how to love justice and freedom in ways that foster and affirm life.”
59
“In a culture which holds the two-parent patriarchal family in higher esteem than any other arrangement, all children feel emotionally insecure when their family does not measure up to the standard.”
60
“Children need to be raised in loving environments. Whenever domination is present love is lacking. Loving parents, be they single or coupled, gay or straight, headed by females or males, are more likely to raise healthy, happy children with sound self-esteem. ”
61
“In future feminist movement we need to work harder to show parents the ways ending sexism positively changes family life. Feminist movement is pro-family. ”
62
“It is also broad enough to include an understanding of systemic institutionalized sexism. As a definition it is open-ended. To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism.”
63
“As long as women are using class or race power to dominate other women, feminist sisterhood cannot be fully realized.”
64
“A utopian vision of the patriarchal family remains intact despite all the evidence which proves that the well-being of children is no more secure in the dysfunctional male-headed household than in the dysfunctional female-headed household. ”
65
“Chorus: One day the story will change: then shall the glory of women resound… Reversing at last the sad reputation of ladies.”
66
“I’m as capable of rescuing you as you are of rescuing me.”
67
“They are conversation-openers in the arcane femine language of Shoe.”
68
“Religion class, first period Monday morning, is the place to try to pull the wool over the eyes of Sister Gregory. (She kept her male saint’s name although the custom went out years ago. She probably thinks it will get he into heaven. I don’t think she realizes that feminism has hit religion and the female saints in heaven are probably also in revolt.) ‘Would you like to explain yourself, Josephine?’ ”
69
“This is a patriarchal truism that most people in our society want to deny. Whenever women thinkers, especially advocates of feminism, speak about the widespread problem of male violence, folks are eager to stand up and make the point that most men are not violent. They refuse to acknowledge that masses of boys and men have been programmed from birth on to believe that at some point they must be violent, whether psychologically or physically, to prove that they are men.”
70
“I have never allowed a gentleman to dictate to me, or to interfere with anything I do.”
71
″‘I have always had,’ she said, ‘a great deal of gentlemen’s society.‘”

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