Facets of Feminism

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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

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, reprinted in The Young Rebecca, 1982

There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody.
~Florynce Kennedy

Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive.
~Marya Mannes

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

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  • Rebekah

    FANTASTIC quotations, Sal!

  • Gretchen

    The cover story in the USA Weekend (I think, to lazy to go look) magazine today is how to cope when the wife makes more money than the husband. Seriously? Is this really 2010?

  • Mae

    "I am a Black Feminist. I mean I recognize that my power as well as my primary oppressions come as a result of my blackness as well as my womaness, and therefore my struggles on both of these fronts are inseparable."

    Audre Lorde

  • Sal

    Mae: Audre is beyond amazing. "Zami" absolutely blew me away. Thanks for contributing this quote.

  • myedit

    The second last quote… so true. Now it is a lot more possible (that sounds like weak grammar) for women to get the job of their dreams etc. but it's at the cost of perfection in every area of life. Sometimes I let the cat hair blo across the floor, I'm a much better landscaper than house cleaner.

  • H. Brown

    oh man, that mannes quote really gets me. i'm working on a writing sample for grad school. i'm single, and i'm thinking about how nice it would be to have someone to do the grocery shopping and cook and do the dishes while i write and read. if a man hired someone to do that, it would seem fine, but as a woman, it would probably seem weird, indulgent, spoiled, whatever. i don't really understand yet but was just struck with that thought yesterday.

  • Lauren

    Great quotes – all are so, so true!

    Small Time Style

  • Cynthia

    @H. Brown: I'm a single female scientist and I hire someone to help around the house and no one thinks it's weird.

    Education = economic power = freedom. I am so glad that I live in the US in this day and age when generations of feminists have made it OK for me to be single, seek an advanced degree, hold a high-paying job, own my own property, etc.

  • Sidewalk Chalk

    Thanks for posting this, lady!

  • Sadaf Trimarchi

    I love your blog. These quotes are awesome!

  • Kaija

    Amen to those quotes and everyone's thoughts/additions! For me, the obvious endpoint of feminism is that there should be as many ways to be a woman as there are women…no one should have to fit a mold, or stay in their gender boxes, or feel "less than" for not being everything. I also believe that modern feminism extends this to all people and will result in freeing up males to be more equal partners and less caricatures of some archaic idea of "manhood".

    @Mae: I have several Audre Lord quotes on my quote wall at home!

    @Cynthia/H. Brown: I'm a female scientist as well and I LOATHE housework with a passion. It was a male friend of mine who made the (obvious) suggestion to hire someone to do the tidying up because "it's not your core competency…outsource it!" However, I often feel guilty that I fall into the geek habit of wearing the same boring androgynous "uniform" most days instead of "fixing up" like I should…

  • Cynthia

    Ahhhhhhh, Rebecca West – that one resonates with me above and beyond the others (which are also totally spot on). Reminds me of the quote (don't know who to attribute it to – how about Every Woman?): You call me a bitch like it's a bad thing. I'd love to live to see the day when strength without filters in women is recognized for what it really is.

  • gina

    Great quotations!

    I am a single female attorney, and I've also outsourced my house cleaning responsibilities, as that is not one of my core competencies… although I've never phrased it that way before. Love the new terminology!