Quotations by Brown, Rita Mae


I believe you are your work. Don’t trade the stuff of your life, time, for nothing more than dollars. That’s a rotten bargain.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
(Attributed)
Added on 18-Sep-19 | Last updated 18-Sep-19
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Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
(Attributed)
Added on 7-May-18 | Last updated 7-May-18
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One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
(Attributed)
Added on 14-May-18 | Last updated 14-May-18
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A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
(Attributed)
Added on 23-Apr-19 | Last updated 23-Apr-19
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About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
(Attributed)
Added on 14-Oct-19 | Last updated 14-Oct-19
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A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
(Attributed)
Added on 9-Mar-20 | Last updated 9-Mar-20
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If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Bingo (1988)
    (Source)

The phrase can actually be found prior to Brown's formulation (1, 2), but Brown appears to have been the first to popularize it, and it entered into much wider use after her.

Frequent variant: "If not for the last minute ...."
Added on 18-Feb-20 | Last updated 18-Feb-20
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People who care for you inevitably become beautiful.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Bingo, ch. 38 (1988)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Dec-20 | Last updated 9-Dec-20
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In art as in politics we must deal with people as they are, not as we wish them to be. Only by working with the real can you get closer to the ideal.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
In Her Day, Preface, “A Note to the Feminist Reader” (1976)
    (Source)
Added on 24-Feb-20 | Last updated 24-Feb-20
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Sorrow is how we learn to love. Your heart isn’t breaking. It hurts because it’s getting larger. The larger it gets, the more love it holds.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Riding Shotgun, ch. 17 (1996)
    (Source)
Added on 26-Feb-18 | Last updated 26-Feb-18
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Morals are private. Decency is public.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writer’s Manual (1988)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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As a woman, I find it very embarrassing to be in a meeting and realize I’m the only one in the room with balls.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writer’s Manual (1988)
    (Source)

On working in the TV and film industry.
Added on 3-Feb-20 | Last updated 3-Feb-20
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Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writers’ Manual, Part 3, ch. 1 “Words as Separate Units of Consciousness” (1988)
    (Source)
Added on 27-May-19 | Last updated 27-May-19
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A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writers’ Manual, Part 4 (1988)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Feb-20 | Last updated 10-Feb-20
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Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Starting from Scratch (1989)
    (Source)
Added on 26-Oct-18 | Last updated 26-Oct-18
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I have changed my definition of tragedy. I now think tragedy is not foul deeds done to a person (usually noble in some manner) but rather that tragedy is irresolvable conflict. Both sides/ideas are right.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Starting from Scratch, Part 3 “The Work,” “Plot” (1989)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Jan-18 | Last updated 8-Jan-18
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Language exerts hidden power, like the moon on the tides.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Starting from Scratch, Part 3 “The Work,” “The Passive Voice, or The Secret Agent” (1989)
    (Source)
Added on 26-Nov-18 | Last updated 26-Nov-18
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Remember, too, that you have the right to make mistakes. Exercise it. Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Starting from Scratch, Part 4 (1988)
    (Source)

Brown popularized the phrase, but it had been expressed before. More information: Good Judgment Depends Mostly on Experience and Experience Usually Comes from Poor Judgment – Quote Investigator.
Added on 9-Apr-18 | Last updated 5-May-22
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If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Sudden Death (1983)
Added on 16-Oct-17 | Last updated 16-Oct-17
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Sport strips away personality, letting the white bone of character shine through. Sport gives players an opportunity to know and test themselves.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Sudden Death (1983)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Aug-21 | Last updated 6-Aug-21
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I became a lesbian out of devout Christian charity. All those women out there are praying for a man and I gave them my share.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Venus Envy (1993)
    (Source)

Frequently paraphrased as: "My lesbianism is an act of Christian charity. All those women out there are praying for a man, and I'm giving them my share."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Jul-17
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The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you but yourself.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Venus Envy, ch. 15 (1993)
    (Source)

Often paraphrased in the present tense: "The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself."
Added on 2-Apr-18 | Last updated 2-Apr-18
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Normal is the average of deviance.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Venus Envy, ch. 21 (1993)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Oct-17 | Last updated 23-Oct-17
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I also think living in the country gives you faith. All you have to do is get up and look at the mountains and look at the other animals to realize that your problems are mostly made up or exacerbated by humans. But human life isn’t necessarily life. There’s so much more out there.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Interview in OutSmart (Jan 1998)
    (Source)
Added on 30-Oct-17 | Last updated 30-Oct-17
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I ask you not to hate people who treat you badly. … This is easier to write than it is to live but there are ignorant people. Only a few are truly malicious. Hate is a poison. It can spread through your system. Forgive them if you can. Forget them if you must.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Interview in OutSmart magazine (Jan 1998)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Nov-17 | Last updated 20-Nov-17
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The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Opening Speech, Gay Olympics, San Francisco (28 Aug 1982)
Added on 12-Feb-18 | Last updated 12-Feb-18
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