Feminism

‘Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.’ – Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

‘Sexism is a social disease.’  ~Author Unknown

‘Everytime we liberate a woman, we liberate a man.’ – Margaret Mead

‘You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.’ – Jane Galvin Lewis

‘Whether women are better than men I cannot say – but I can say they are certainly no worse.’ – Golda Meir

‘Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealised into powerlessness.’ – Erica Jong

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. – Lucretia Mott

 ‘Because women’s work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring or repetitious and we’re the first to get fired and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it’s our fault and if we get beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we’re nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we’re nymphos and if we don’t we’re frigid and if we love women it’s because we can’t get a “real” man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we’re neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect childcare we’re selfish and if we stand up for our rights we’re aggressive and “unfeminine” and if we don’t we’re typical weak females and if we want to get married we’re out to trap a man and if we don’t we’re unnatural and because we still can’t get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can’t cope or don’t want a pregnancy we’re made to feel guilty about abortion and…for lots of other reasons we are part of the women’s liberation movement.’ – Author unknown, quoted in The Torch, 14 September 1987

“We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.” – Susan B. Anthony, Declaration of Rights for Women, July 1876

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union…. Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less. –  Susan B. Anthony

I ask no favors for my sex…. All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks. – Sarah Moore Grimké

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. – Elie Wiesel

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

You are a human being. You have rights inherent in that reality. You have dignity and worth that exists prior to law. – Lyn Beth Neylon

“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” – Gloria Steinem

“Woman’s degradation is in mans idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“I think being a woman is like being Irish… Everyone says you’re important and nice, but you take second place all the time.” – Iris Murdoch

At every turn when there has been an imbalance of power, the truth questioned, or our beliefs and values distorted, the change required to restore our nation has always come from the bottom up from our people. – Howard Dean

“Right. I look fine. Except I don’t,’ said Zora, tugging sadly at her man’s nightshirt. This was why Kiki had dreaded having girls: she knew she wouldn’t be able to protect them from self-disgust. To that end she had tried banning television in the early years, and never had a lipstick or a woman’s magazine crossed the threshold of the Belsey home to Kiki’s knowledge, but these and other precautionary measures had made no difference. It was in the air, or so it seemed to Kiki, this hatred of women and their bodies– it seeped in with every draught in the house; people brought it home on their shoes, they breathed it in off their newspapers. There was no way to control it.”  – Zadie Smith, On Beauty

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. – Elie Wiesel

Every renaissance comes to the world with a cry, the cry of the human spirit to be free. – Anne Sullivan

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. – Abraham Lincoln

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.- Albert Einstein

In the adjustment of the new order of things, we women demand an equal voice; we shall accept nothing less. – Carrie Chapman Catt

Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That’s their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood. – Gloria Steinem

People have been writing premature obituaries on the women’s movement since its beginning. – Ellen Goodman

It’s important to remember that feminism is no longer a group of organizations or leaders. It’s the expectations that parents have for their daughters, and their sons, too. It’s the way we talk about and treat one another. – Anna Quindlen

We’ve got a generation now who were born with semiequality. They don’t know how it was before, so they think, this isn’t too bad. We’re working. We have our attache’ cases and our three piece suits. I get very disgusted with the younger generation of women. We had a torch to pass, and they are just sitting there. They don’t realize it can be taken away. Things are going to have to get worse before they join in fighting the battle. – Erma Bombeck

‘To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren’t is to learn inequality in little ways all day long.’ – Naomi Wolf

A little more matriarchy is what the world needs, and I know it. Period. Paragraph. – Dorothy Thompson

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broad concerns of all humanity. – Martin Luther King, Jr

The conception of worth, that each person is an end per se, is not a mere abstraction. Our interest in it is not merely academic. Every outcry against the oppression of some people by other people, or against what is morally hideous is the affirmation of the principle that a human being as such is not to be violated. A human being is not to be handled as a tool but is to be respected and revered. [From: An Ethical Philosophy of Life] – Felix Adler

‘I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament.’ – Alanis Morissette, quoted in Reader’s Digest, March 2000

‘In a man’s world I am a woman by birth….. I was blessed with a birth and a death and I guess I just want some say in between’ – Ani Difranco, lyrics from ‘Talk to me now’

‘Men get opinions as boys learn to spell, by reiteration chiefly.’ – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.’ – Rebecca West, “Mr Chesterton in hysterics: A study in prejudice,” The Clarion, 14 Nov 1913.

“feminism is for everybody” ― bell hooks

“Visionary feminism is a wise and loving politics. It is rooted in the love of male and female being, refusing to privilege one over the other. The soul of feminist politics is the commitment to ending patriarchal domination of women and men, girls and boys. Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion. Males cannot love themselves in patriarchal culture if their very self-definition relies on submission to patriarchal rules. When men embrace feminist thinking and practice, which emphasizes the value of mutual growth and self-actualization in all relationships, their emotional well-being will be enhanced. A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving.” ― bell hooks

“As all advocates of feminist politics know most people do not understand sexism or if they do they think it is not a problem. Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.” ― bell hooks

“Feminist education — the feminist classroom — is and should be a place where there is a sense of struggle, where there is visible acknowledgment of the union of theory and practice, where we work together as teachers and students to overcome the estrangement and alienation that have become so much the norm in the contemporary university.” ― bell hooks

Individual heterosexual women came to the movement from relationships where men were cruel, unkind, violent, unfaithful. Many of these men were radical thinkers who participated in movements for social justice, speaking out on behalf of the workers, the poor, speaking out on behalf of racial justice. However when it came to the issue of gender they were as sexist as their conservative cohorts.” ― bell hooks

“When we only name the problem, when we state complaint without a constructive focus or resolution, we take hope away. In this way critique can become merely an expression of profound cynicism, which then works to sustain dominator culture.” ― bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope

“..the struggle to end sexist oppression that focuses on destroying the cultural basis for such domination strengthens other liberation struggles. Individuals who fight for the eradication of sexism without struggles to end racism or classism undermine their own efforts. Individuals who fight for the eradication of racism or classism while supporting sexist oppression are helping to maintain the cultural basis of all forms of group oppression.”
bell hooks, Feminist Theory from Margin to Center

“There will be no mass-based feminist movement as long as feminist ideas are understood only by a well-educated few.”
bell hooks, Feminist Theory from Margin to Center

“The significance of feminist movement (when it is not co-opted by opportunistic, reactionary forces) is that it offers a new ideological meeting ground for the sexes, a space for criticism, struggle, and transformation.”
bell hooks, Feminist Theory from Margin to Center

“Feminist effort to end patriarchal domination should be of primary concern precisely because it insists on the eradication of exploitation and oppression in the family context and in all other intimate relationships. It is that political movement which most radically addresses the person – the personal – citing the need for the transformation of self, of relationships, so that we might be better able to act in a revolutionary manner, challenging and resisting domination, transforming the world outside the self.” ― bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black

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