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quotations about feminism

Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.

Like Broadway, the novel, and God, feminism has been declared dead many times.

KATHA POLLITT, Reasonable Creatures

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 doormat or a prostitute.

REBECCA WEST, "Mr. Chesterton in Hysterics," The Clarion, November 14, 1913

Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.

CHERIS KRAMERAE, A Feminist Dictionary

Feminism is a program for making different beings -- men and women -- turn out alike, and ... it must do a good deal of chopping to fit the real world into its ideal.

MICHAEL LEVIN, Feminism and Freedom

Feminism was recognized by the average man as a conflict in which it was impossible for a man, as a chivalrous gentleman ... as a highly evolved citizen of a highly civilized community, to refuse the claim of this better half to self-determination.

WYNDHAM LEWIS, "The Family and Feminism," The Art of Being Ruled

Feminism supposed that men had secured power for themselves by claiming the authority to decree meaning. History, anthropology, sociology, psychology, religion, medicine, art, culture -- all of life's meaning was arbitrarily defined by men. Therefore, as the philosophy of feminism spread, it challenged society to make women's experiences a reference point for determining life's meaning.

MARY A. KASSIAN, Feminist Mistake

A feminist who lives the Bible produces, in the thinking of many, an oxymoron. Perhaps clever as rhetoric, the description offers no possibility for existential integrity. After all, if no man can serve two masters, no woman can serve two authorities, a master called Scripture and a mistress called feminism.

PHYLLIS TRIBLE, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality

"Woman" is my slave name; feminism will give me freedom to seek some other identity altogether.

ANN SNITOW, "A Gender Diary," Conflicts in Feminism

Although feminism speaks the language of liberation, self-fulfillment, options, and the removal of barriers, these phrases invariably mean their opposites and disguise an agenda at variance with the ideals of a free society.

MICHAEL LEVIN, Feminism and Freedom

The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.

PAT ROBERTSON, fundraising letter, 1992

Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.

ANDREA DWORKIN, Right-Wing Women

When Betty Friedan and the feminists began their activities, and the feminist movement began to rear its head in our society, I was a young mother raising two children. I guess that was in the early '60s. I thought, "How strange! What is wrong with this woman? What are these people so angry about?" I didn't know any feminists. Everybody I knew was not oppressed and was very happy and was not miserable, and we were all enjoying raising our families. Life isn't fair -- we'd always been brought up to know that and understand that. But I think most of us, because we had a fundamental belief system -- a faith in God -- understood that there's a reason for adversity. One simply has to muddle through with the help of God. These women were out there screaming and ranting and raving -- so angry and bitter about whatever it was -- I simply thought it was an aberration. It just couldn't last. I was very busy with my family and their needs. I really didn't pay a lot of attention except to be appalled when I saw them on television.


Feminism quote

How shall we ever make the world intelligent of our movement? I do not think that the answer lies in trying to render feminism easy, popular, and instantly gratifying. To conjure with the passive culture and adapt to its rules is to degrade and deny the fullness of our meaning and intention.

ADRIENNE RICH, On Lies, Secrets, and Silences

Feminism has become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their moldy neuroses.

CAMILLE PAGLIA, Vamps and Tramps

I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that’s the way it is, period.

PAT ROBERTSON, The 700 Club, Jan. 8, 1992

Feminism, like Boston, is a state of mind. It is the state of mind of women who realize that their whole position in the social order is antiquated, as a woman cooking over an open fire with heavy iron pots would know that her entire housekeeping was out of date.


When it defines man as the enemy, feminism is alienating women from their own bodies.

CAMILLE PAGLIA, Vamps and Tramps

Feminazi? Right. Because wanting your gender to be treated like human beings is just like invading Poland.


We need a new kind of feminism, one that stresses personal responsibility and is open to art and sex in all their dark, unconsoling mysteries.

CAMILLE PAGLIA, intro, Sex, Art, and American Culture

It’s babe feminism -- we’re young, we’re fun, we do what we want in bed -- and it has a shorter shelf life than the feminism of sisterhood. I’ve been a babe, and I’ve been a sister. Sister lasts longer.

ANNA QUINDLEN, New York Times, Jan. 19, 1994

He travels fastest who travels alone, and that goes double for she. Real feminism is spinsterhood.

FLORENCE KING, "Spinsterhood Is Powerful," Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye

One of the reasons for the failure of feminism to dislodge deeply held perceptions of male and female behaviour was its insistence that women were victims, and men powerful patriarchs, which made a travesty of ordinary people’s experience of the mutual interdependence of men and women.

ROSALIND COWARD, Our Treacherous Hearts

Feminists have emphasized for a long time the importance of each woman’s individual entity and the necessity of economic independence. Perhaps it was necessary. But now I think we need some emphasis on the instinctive side of life, sex and motherhood.... Life isn’t all earning your living. Unfortunately we fall in love and Feminism must take that into consideration.

DORA RUSSELL, "Who is Dora Black?", Equal Rights, Jun. 5, 1926

The first principle of full feminism is the simple equality of men and women. And it is an erroneous principle. For here nature steps in and forbids its achievement.


Feminism has led the way in demystifying personal relations, forcefully insisting they are political to the core.

ELIZABETH FOX GENOVESE, Feminism Without Illusions

I hate discussions of feminism that end up with who does the dishes ... at the end, there are always the damned dishes.

MARILYN FRENCH, The Women's Room


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