Quotations about   men

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Women are good listeners, but it’s a waste of time telling your troubles to a man unless there is something specific you want him to do.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 3 (1963)
Added on 18-Nov-21 | Last updated 18-Nov-21
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At twenty, men love women; at forty, girls; at fifty, themselves.

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Minna Antrim (1861-1950) American epigrammatist, writer
Phases, Mazes, and Crazes of Love (1904)
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Added on 22-Oct-21 | Last updated 22-Oct-21
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If Nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternately, there would never be more than three in a family.

Laurence Housman
Laurence Housman (1865-1959) English playwright, writer, illustrator
(Attributed)
Added on 30-Sep-21 | Last updated 30-Sep-21
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Men who don’t like girls with brains don’t like girls.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Second Neurotic’s Notebook (1966)
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Originally published in McLaughlin's "The Neurotic's Notebook" column in The Atlantic, some time in 1965.
Added on 24-Sep-21 | Last updated 24-Sep-21
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There is, in fact, no incompatibility between the principles of feminism and the possibility that men and women are not psychologically identical. To repeat: equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group. In the case of gender, the barely defeated Equal Rights Amendment put it succinctly: “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” If we recognize this principle, no one has to spin myths about the indistinguishability of the sexes to justify equality. Nor should anyone invoke sex differences to justify discriminatory policies or to hector women into doing what they don’t want to do.

Steven Pinker (b. 1954) Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, author
The Blank Slate, Part 5, ch. 18 (2002)
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Added on 30-Jun-21 | Last updated 30-Jun-21
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The first symptom of true love in a young man is timidity; in a young girl it is boldness. This is surprising, and yet nothing is more simple. It is the two sexes tending to approach each other and assuming each the other’s qualities.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
Les Misérables, Vol. 4, Book 3, ch. 6 (1862) [tr. Hapgood]
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Added on 24-Mar-21 | Last updated 24-Mar-21
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Male supremacy: Doctrine built upon three forms of superiority: the ability to grow a handlebar mustache, the ability to answer most of Nature’s calls efficiently, and the possession of pockets.

Marie Shear (1940-2017) American writer and feminist activist
“Media Watch: Celebrating Women’s Words,” New Directions for Women (May/Jun 1986)
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Added on 7-May-20 | Last updated 7-May-20
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The allurement that women hold out to men is precisely the allurement that Cape Hatteras holds out to sailors: they are enormously dangerous and hence enormously fascinating.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“The Incomparable Buzz-Saw,” The Smart Set (May 1919)
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Added on 20-Apr-20 | Last updated 20-Apr-20
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Perhaps the condition of women affords, in all countries, the best criterion by which to judge the character of men.

Frances "Fanny" Wright (1795-1852) Scottish-American writer, lecturer, social reformer
Views of Society and Manners in America, Letter 23, Mar. 1820 (1821)
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Added on 2-Oct-18 | Last updated 4-Oct-18
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Secrets with girls, like loaded guns with boys,
Are never valued till they make a noise.

George Crabbe (1754-1832) English poet, writer, surgeon, clergyman
Tales of the Hall, “The Maid’s Story” (1819)
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Added on 7-Sep-17 | Last updated 7-Sep-17
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If there hadn’t been women we’d still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.

Orson Welles (1915-1985) American writer, director, actor
Interview with David Frost, David Frost Show (12 May 1970)
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Added on 19-Jun-17 | Last updated 21-Jun-17
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Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) British novelist [pseud. Currer Bell]
Jane Eyre, ch. 12 [Jane] (1847)
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Added on 2-Jun-17 | Last updated 2-Jun-17
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“Charm” — which means the power to effect work without employing brute force — is indispensable to women. Charm is a woman’s strength just as strength is a man’s charm.

Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) British sexologist, physician, social reformer [Henry Havelock Ellis]
The Task of Social Hygiene (1912)
Added on 1-Aug-16 | Last updated 1-Aug-16
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MEG: They’re either married or gay. And if they’re not gay, they’ve just broken up with the most wonderful woman in the world, or they’ve just broken up with a bitch who looks exactly like me. They’re in transition from a monogamous relationship and they need more space. Or they’re tired of space, but they just can’t commit. Or they want to commit, but they’re afraid to get close. They want to get close, you don’t want to get near them.

Lawrence Kasdan (b. 1949) American screenwriter, director, producer
The Big Chill (1983) [written with Barbara Benedek]

Regarding men.
Added on 22-Jan-16 | Last updated 22-Jan-16
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The men leaned back on their heels, put their hands in their trouser-pockets, and proclaimed their views with the booming profundity of a prosperous male repeating a thoroughly hackneyed statement about a matter of which he knows nothing whatever.

Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) American novelist, playwright
Babbitt, ch. 8 (1922)
Added on 20-Oct-15 | Last updated 20-Oct-15
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Unless you intend to kill him immediately thereafter, never kick a man in the balls. Not even symbolically. Or perhaps especially not symbolically.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
Added on 22-Sep-15 | Last updated 22-Sep-15
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Marrying a man is like buying something you’ve been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn’t always go with everything else in the house.

Jean Kerr (1922-2003) American author and playwright [b. Bridget Jean Collins]
“The Ten Worst Things about a Man,” The Snake Has All the Lines (1960)
Added on 7-Sep-15 | Last updated 7-Sep-15
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Properly regarded, male vanity is a virtue, not a vice. Treated correctly, it makes him enormously pleasanter to deal with.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
Added on 25-Aug-15 | Last updated 25-Aug-15
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“The female mind is certainly a devious one, my lord.”

Vetinari looked at his secretary in surprise. “Well, of course it is. It has to deal with the male one.”

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Unseen Academicals (2009)
Added on 17-Jun-15 | Last updated 17-Jun-15
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Gentlemen: I shall never shave, for the same reason that I started a beard, and for the reason my father started his. I remember standing at his side, when I was five, while he was shaving for the last time. “Father,” I asked, “Why do you shave?” He stood there for a full minute and finally looked down at me. “Why the hell do I?” he said.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
(Attributed)

Postcard response when invited by an electric razor company to shave off his beard with their product. Variant:
  • "I was about five at the time, and I was standing at my father's knee whilst he was shaving. I said to him, 'Daddy, why do you shave?' He looked at me in silence, for a full minute, before throwing the razor out of the window, saying, 'Why the hell do I?' He never did again."
Added on 12-Feb-15 | Last updated 12-Feb-15
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Men know that women are an over-match for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment

In James Boswell, Tour to the Hebrides (1785).
Added on 25-Jul-14 | Last updated 25-Jul-14
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“Why do men feel threatened by women?” I asked a male friend of mine. (I love that wonderful rhetorical device, “a male friend of mine.” It’s often used by female journalists when they want to say something particularly bitchy but don’t want to be held responsible for it themselves. It also lets people know that you do have male friends, that you aren’t one of those fire-breathing mythical monsters, The Radical Feminists, who walk around with little pairs of scissors and kick men in the shins if they open doors for you. “A male friend of mine” also gives — let us admit it — a certain weight to the opinions expressed.) So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. “I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.” Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said.

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) Canadian writer, literary critic, environmental activist
“Writing the Male Character,” Hagey Lecture, U. of Waterloo (9 Feb 1982)
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Published in a revised version as "Writing the Male Character," Second Words: Selected Critical Prose, 1960-1982 (1983).

Usually paraphrased, "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them."
Added on 3-Jul-14 | Last updated 20-Dec-19
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Maybe my values are outdated, but I come from an old school of thought. I think that men ought to treat women like something other than just shorter, weaker men with breasts. Try and convict me if I’m a bad person for thinking so. I enjoy treating a woman like a lady, opening doors for her, paying for shared meals, giving flowers — all that sort of thing.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Storm Front (2000)
Added on 3-Jun-14 | Last updated 3-Jun-14
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I had first noticed her in the lobby of the Churchill, because she rated a glance as a matter of principle — the principle that a man owes it to his eyes to let them rest on attractive objects when there are any around.

Rex Stout (1886-1975) American writer
“Frame-Up for Murder,” ch. 1 [Archie] (1958)
Added on 17-Apr-14 | Last updated 17-Apr-14
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Again, the male is by nature superior, and the female inferior; and the one rules, and the other is ruled; this principle, of necessity, extends to all mankind.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Politics [Πολιτικά], Book 1, ch. 5 / 1254b [tr. B. Jowett (1885)]
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Aristotle is arguing that there is a natural distinction between the rulers and ruled, starting first with animals, then with sex. Alternate translations:
  • "Again, the relation of male to female is naturally that of superior and inferior, ruling and ruled, and the same kind of relation must necessarily exist in the case of all men generally." [tr. Bolland (1877)]
  • "So is it naturally with the male and the female; the one is superior, the other inferior; the one governs, the other is governed; and the same rule must necessarily hold good with respect to all mankind." [tr. Ellis (1912)]
  • "Again, as between the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject. And the same must also necessarily apply in the case of mankind as a whole." [tr. Rackham (1932)]
  • "Further, the relation of male to female is by nature a relation of superior to inferior and ruler to ruled. The same must of necessity hold in the case of human being generally." [tr. Lord (1984)]
Added on 9-Jan-14 | Last updated 12-Feb-21
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Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
Added on 16-Mar-09 | Last updated 8-Jun-21
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The word “idiot” comes from a Greek root meaning private person. Idiocy is the female defect: intent on their private lives, women follow their fate through a darkness deep as that cast by malformed cells in the brain. It is no worse than the male defect, which is lunacy: men are so obsessed by public affairs that they see the world as by moonlight, which shows the outlines of every object but not the details indicative of their nature.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Prologue (1941)
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Sometimes oddly paraphrased, "The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Mar-21
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