Quotations about   women

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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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“Come on, now. Home we go and a nice cuppa,” said Mr. Butler, who was convinced that tea was the cure for most female ills, from miscarriage to bankruptcy.

Kerry Greenwood (b. 1954) Australian author and lawyer
The Green Mill Murder (1993)
Added on 2-Nov-17 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
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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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A good martini, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman … or a bad woman, depending on how much happiness you can stand.

George Burns (1896-1996) American comedian
Dr. Burns’ Prescription for Happiness, “Nine Definitions of Happiness” (1984)
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Added on 26-Aug-17 | Last updated 26-Aug-17
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The invisible man is a Wellsian supervillain, but the invisible women are all around us, anxious and unseen.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Annihilation Score, ch. 19 (2015)
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Added on 8-Aug-17 | Last updated 8-Aug-17
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If God didn’t want women to be looked at, he would have made ’em ugly — that’s reasonable, isn’t it? God isn’t a cheat; He set up the game Himself — He wouldn’t rig it so that the marks can’t win, like a flat joint wheel in a town with the fix on. He wouldn’t send anybody to Hell for losing in a crooked game.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, ch. 27 [Patty] (1961)
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Added on 21-Jul-17 | Last updated 21-Jul-17
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People always ask if a woman can be a wife and mother and have a career at the same time. Why don’t they ask if she can be a hostess, chauffeur, cook, gardener, nurse, seamstress, social secretary, purchasing agent, baby machine, and courtesan — and a wife and a mother, too?

Florynce "Flo" Kennedy (1916-2000) American lawyer, feminist, civil rights activist
(Attributed)

Quoted in Gloria Steinem, "The Verbal Karate of Florynce R. Kennedy, Esq.," Ms. (Mar 1973).
Added on 17-Jul-17 | Last updated 17-Jul-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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I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they do today.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
(Attributed)

Quoted in P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton, Bring on the Girls: The Improbable Story of Our Life in Musical Comedy (1953).
Added on 26-Jan-17 | Last updated 26-Jan-17
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Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.

Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) Austrian-American film actress and inventor [b, Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler]
(Attributed)

Quoted in Richard Schickel, The Stars (1962).
Added on 9-Jan-17 | Last updated 9-Jan-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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A cheerful temper, joined with innocence will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good-natured.

Addison - cheerful temper - wist_info quote

Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist, poet, statesman
The Tatler #192 (1 Jul 1710)
Added on 15-Jul-16 | Last updated 15-Jul-16
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I could name all day, those women I deem great in Greece alone and the records would scarcely be complete. And what of Joan of Arc and Emma Goldman? Kate Richards O’Hare and Sarah Bernhardt? Katherine the Great and Elizabeth Barrett Browning? H.D. and Sara Teasdale? Isibella of Spain who pawned her gems that Columbus might sail, and Edna St. Vincent Millay? And that queen, Marie, I think her name was, of some small province — Hungary I believe — who fought Prussia and Russia so long and so bitterly. And Rome — oh, the list is endless there, also — most of them were glorified harlots but better be a glorified harlot than a drab and moral drone, such as the text books teach us woman should be. Woman have always been the inspiration of men, and just as there are thousands of unknown great ones among men, there have been countless women whose names have never been blazoned across the stars, but who have inspired men on to glory.

Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) American author
Letter to Harold Preece (c. Dec 1928)
Added on 31-May-16 | Last updated 31-May-16
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A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age.

Robert Frost (1874-1963) American poet
(Attributed)
Added on 2-May-16 | Last updated 2-May-16
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There is a large number of women whose brains are closer in size to the gorillas than to the most developed male brains. This inferiority is so obvious that no one can contest it for a moment; only its degree is worth discussion. All psychologists who have studied the intelligence of women … recognize today that they represent the most inferior forms of human evolution, and that they are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man.

Gustave LeBon (1841-1931) German psychologist
Revue d’Anthropologie (1879)
Added on 10-Feb-16 | Last updated 10-Feb-16
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If we cannot trust woman with the knowledge of her own body, then I claim that two thousand years of Christian teaching has proved to be a failure.

Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) American birth control activist, sex educator, nurse
“The Morality of Birth Control,” speech, Park Theatre, New York (18 Nov 1921)
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Added on 2-Sep-15 | Last updated 2-Sep-15
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Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet, wit, dramatist
The Importance of Being Earnest, Act 3 (1895)
Added on 20-Jul-15 | Last updated 20-Jul-15
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It is really mortifying, sir, when a woman possessed of a common share of understanding considers the difference of education between the male and female sex, even in those families where education is attended to …. Nay, why should your sex wish for such a disparity in those whom they one day intend for companions and associates. Pardon me, sir, if I cannot help sometimes suspecting that this neglect arises in some measure from an ungenerous jealousy of rivals near the throne.

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) American correspondent, First Lady (1797-1801)
Letter to John Thaxter (15 Feb 1778)
Added on 19-Jun-15 | Last updated 19-Jun-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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I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of freedom, self-reliance and independence. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can’t get into harm while she is on her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) American reformer, aboltionist, sufferagist
Letter to the editor of “Sidepath” magazine (1898)
Added on 30-Jan-15 | Last updated 30-Jan-15
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So, why do you write these strong female characters?

Because you’re still asking me that question.

Joss Whedon (b. 1964) American screenwriter, author, producer [Joseph Hill Whedon]
Equality Now Tribute Address (15 May 2006)
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Added on 22-Jan-15 | Last updated 22-Jan-15
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There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Modern Manners (1989 ed.)
Added on 6-Nov-14 | Last updated 6-Nov-14
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If your flirting strategy is indistinguishable from harassment, it’s not everyone else that’s the problem.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
“Convention Harassment Policy Follow-Up,” blog entry (5 Jul 2013)
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Added on 30-Jul-14 | Last updated 30-Jul-14
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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)

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 1-Jan-19
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As I have noted in the past, vaginas are like, a thousand times tougher than testicles. Those ladyparts are basically tough as tractor tires. Our balls are as tough as tissue paper. We get flicked in the nuts by a badminton birdie we’ll double over for twenty minutes, moaning and rocking back and forth. Our balls are like little yarn-bundles contained in a thin, wifty sack of outlying flesh. They unspool like bobbins of delicate thread when damaged. Women on the other hand push entire people out of their lady-realms like divine fucking beings. So, maybe that vagina-analog isn’t the best insult, misogynist dudes. Kay? Kay.

Chuck Wendig (contemp.) American novelist, screenwriter, game designer
“Burning the MRA Playbook,” Terrible Minds blog (29 May 2014)
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On men using references to female genitalia as insults.
Added on 26-Jun-14 | Last updated 26-Jun-14
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I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) English modernist writer [b. Adeline Virginia Stephen]
A Room of One’s Own, ch. 3 (1929)
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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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KEATING: Language was invented for one reason, boys — to woo women — and in that endeavor, laziness will not do.

Tom Schulman (b. 1951) American screenwriter, director
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Added on 2-Jun-14 | Last updated 2-Jun-14
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Women are random clusters of vagaries.

Rex Stout (1886-1975) American writer
The Father Hunt, ch. 8 [Wolfe] (1968)
Added on 1-May-14 | Last updated 1-May-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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And not a girl goes walking
Along the Cotswold lanes
But knows men’s eyes in April
Are quicker than their brains.

John Drinkwater (1882-1937) English poet and dramatist
“Cotswald Love”
Added on 26-Feb-14 | Last updated 26-Feb-14
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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, 1.5 [tr. B. Jowett (1885)]
Added on 9-Jan-14 | Last updated 9-Jan-14
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Susan smiled at me, giving Molly the Female Once-Over — a process by which one woman creates a detailed profile of another woman based upon about a million subtle details of clothing, jewelry, makeup, and body type, and then decides how much of a social threat she might be. Men have a parallel process, but it’s binary: Does he have beer? If yes, will he share with me?

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Changes, ch. 9 (2010)
Added on 7-Jan-14 | Last updated 7-Jan-14
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If you rebel against high-heeled shoes, take care to do it in a very smart hat.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism, and Fascism, ch. 79 (1928)
Added on 5-Dec-13 | Last updated 5-Dec-13
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Who loves not wine, women, and song
Remains a fool his whole life long.

[Wer nicht liebt Weib, Wein und Gesang,
A Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang.]

Martin Luther (1483-1546) German religious reformer
(Attributed)

Attributed in Matthias Claudius, Der Wandsbecker Bothe (1775). Inscription in the Luther Room, Wartburg, Germany.
Added on 24-May-13 | Last updated 1-May-17
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When the candles are out, all women are fair.

Plutarch (AD 46-127) Greek historian, biographer, essayist [Mestrius Plutarchos]
Morals [Moralia], “Conjugal Precepts” #46
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Alt. trans.: "All women are alike when the lamp is put out."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Apr-15
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