see: "BEAUTY"
see: "BREASTS"
see: "MEN & WOMEN", MEN v. WOMEN"
see: "THE HUMAN RACE" for other related links

I must not write a word to you about
politics, because you are a woman.
--John Adams (1735—1826)
First VP and second President of the United States.
Letter to his wife, Abigail Adams [13 February 1779].

These impossible women! How they do get around us!
The poet was right: can't live with them, or without them!
--Aristophanes (c. 450—c. 388 BC)
Greek comic dramatist.
_Lysistrata_, l. 1038 [411 B.C.]

Charm [...] it's a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it,
you don't need to have anything else; and if you don't have
it, it doesn't much matter what else you have.
--Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860—1937)
Scottish writer and dramatist.
"What Every Woman Knows" [1918]

For an actress to be a success, she must have
the face of a Venus, the brains of a Minerva, the
grace of Terpsichore, the memory of a Macaulay,
the figure of Juno, and the hide of a rhinoceros.
--Ethel Barrymore (1879—1959)
American actress of the Barrymore family.
Quoted in George Jean Nathan _The Theater in the Fifties_ [1953].

Woman would be more charming if one could fall
into her arms without falling into her hands.
--Ambrose Bierce (1842—1914)
American newspaperman, wit, and satirist.
_The Cynic's Word Book_ [1906]

Oh, grieve not, ladies, if at night,
Ye wake to feel your beauty going;
It was a web of frail delight,
Inconstant as an April snowing.
--Anna Hempstead Branch (1875—1937)
American poet.
_Grieve Not, Ladies_
In "The Atlantic Monthly" [April 1905].

The basic discovery about any people is the discovery
of the relationship between its men and women.
--Pearl S. Buck (1892—1973)
American author noted for her novels of life in China;
winner of the 1938 Nobel Prize for Literature.
_Of Men and Women_ [1941]

The freedom women were supposed to have found in
the Sixties largely boiled down to easy contraception
and abortion: things to make life easier for men,
in fact.
--Julie Burchill (b. 1959)
English journalist.
_Damaged Goods_ [1986], "Born Again Cows"

She was supposed to be very clever. All young ladies are
either very pretty or very clever or very sweet; they may
take their choice as to which category they will go in for,
but go in for one of the three they must. It was hopeless
to try and pass Charlotte off as either pretty or sweet.
So she became clever as the only remaining alternative.
--Samuel Butler (1835—1902)
English novelist, essayist, and critic.
_The Way of All Flesh_ [1903]

Oh! too convincing—dangerously dear—
In woman's eye the unanswerable tear!
That weapon of her weakness, she can wield,
To save, subdue—at once her spear and shield.
--Lord Byron [George Gordon Byron] (1788—1824)
English Romantic poet and satirist.
_The Corsair, A Tale_, canto II, st. 15 [1814]

The fair sex.
--Miguel de Cervantes (1547—1616)
Spanish novelist.
_Don Quixote de la Mancha_, Pt. 2 [1615], bk. 3, ch. 6

Women see faults much more readily in each
other than they can discover perfections.
--Sιbastien-Roch Nicolas Chamfort (1741—1794)
French playwright and conversationalist.
Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou _Notable
Thoughts About Women_, 351 [1882].

You have one failing you must overcome, one thing
you must learn if you are to be a completely happy
woman, maybe the most important lesson in living;
you must learn to say no. You do not know how
to say no, Sophia [Loren], and that is a serious
--Charlie Chaplin (1889—1977)
English film actor and director.
As quoted in A. E. Hotchner _Sophia, Living and Loving: Her Own Story_ [1979].

Women desire six things: They want their
husbands to be brave, wise, rich, generous,
obedient to wife, and lively in bed.
--Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343—1400)
English poet.
_The Canterbury Tales_ [c. 1387], "The Shipman's Tale"

Women who are either indisputably beautiful, or
indisputably ugly, are best flattered upon the score
of their understandings; but those who are in a
state of mediocrity are best flattered upon their
beauty, or at least their graces; for every woman
who is not absolutely ugly thinks herself handsome.
--Lord Chesterfield [Philip Dormer Stanhope] (1694—1773)
British writer and politician.
_Letter to His Son_ [5 September 1748]

Of my two 'handicaps' being female put many
more obstacles in my path than being black.
--Shirley Chisholm (1924—2005)
American politician.
_Unbought and Unbossed_ [1970], "Introduction"

We shall find no fiend in hell can match the fury of a disappointed
woman,— scorned, slighted, dismissed without a parting pang.
--Colley Cibber (1671—1757)
English actor and playwright.
_Love's Last Shift_ [1696]

Heav'n has no Rage like Love to Hatred turn'd,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd.
--William Congreve (1670—1729)
English dramatist.
"The Mourning Bride", III, viii [1697]

Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.
--Noλl Coward (1899—1973)
English playwright, actor, and composer.
_Private Lives_, 3 [1930]

Women are never stronger than when they
arm themselves with their weakness.
--Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, marquise du Deffand (1697—1780)
French hostess and patron of the arts.
Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou _Treasury of Thought_ [1872].

A pessimist is a man who thinks all women
are bad. An optimist is one who hopes they
--attributed to Chauncey Depew (1834—1928)
American politician.

Women are like Flies, which feed among us at our Table;
or Fleas sucking our very blood, who leave not our most
retired places free from their familiarity; yet for all their
fellowship will they never be tamed nor commanded
by us.
--John Donne (1572—1631)
English poet and dean of St. Paul's [1621-31].
"A Defense of Women's Inconstancy"

A clever woman has millions of born foes,— all stupid men.
--Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830—1916)
Austrian writer.
_Aphorisms by Marie, Freifrau Von Ebner-Eschenbach_
tr. by Mrs. Annis Lee Wister [1883].

"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)
English essayist and psychologist.
_The Task of Social Hygiene_, p. 81 [1912]

To women's fore parts do not aspire
From a mule's hinder part retire,
And shun all parts of monk or friar.
--John Florio (1553?—1625)
English writer and translator.
"Second Frutes" [1591]

The great question that has never been answered and which
I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years
of research into the feminine soul, is, 'What does a woman
--Sigmund Freud (1856—1939)
Austrian psychiatrist.
Remark to Marie Bonaparte, in Ernest Jones
_The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud_ [1955].

If thou wouldest please the Ladies, thou must endeavour
to make them pleased with themselves.
--Thomas Fuller (1654—1734)
English writer and physician.
Comp., _Introductio ad Prudentiam_ [1731]

A woman scoffs at evidence. Show her the sun,
tell her it is daylight, at once she will close
her eyes and say to you, 'No, it is night.'
--Emile Gaboriau (1832—1873)
French novelist.
_Monsieur Lecoq_ [1869]

Woman's beauty, the forest echo and rainbows, soon pass away.
--German proverb


When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy?
What art can wash her guilt away?
--Oliver Goldsmith (1728—1774)
Anglo-Irish writer, poet, and dramatist.
_The Vicar of Wakefield_, ch. XXIV [1766 novel, completed 1762]

& see:

When lovely woman stoops to folly
The evening can be awfully jolly.
--Mary Demetriadis
Quoted in Simon Brett (ed.) _The Faber Book of Parodies_, p. 174 [1984].


A woman has two smiles that an angel might
envy — the smile that accepts the lover afore
words are uttered, and the smile that lights
on the first-born baby, and assures him of a
mother's love.
--Thomas C. Haliburton (1796—1865)
Canadian politician, judge, and writer who was best known
as the creator of the literary character, Sam Slick.
_Sam Slick's Wise Saws and Modern Instances_ [2 vol., 1853]

There is nothin' like a dame.
--Oscar Hammerstein II (1895—1960)
American songwriter.
[Title of 1949 song.]

Women and cats do what they do; there
is nothing a man can do about it.
--Robert Heinlein (1907—1988)
American science-fiction writer.
_The Cat Who Walks Through Walls_, ch. 29 [1985]

Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones do.
--Katharine Hepburn (1907—2003)
American stage and motion-picture actress;
winner of four Academy Awards.
Quoted by Charles Higham in _Kate_ [1975].

A woman in love is a very poor judge of character.
--Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819—1881)
American novelist, poet, and editor of "Scribner’s Magazine."
Lesson XIII "Repose" in _Lessons in Life_
by Timothy Titcomb (pseud.) [10th ed. 1862].

A woman is as old as she looks before breakfast.
--Edgar Watson Howe (1854—1937)
American journalist and author.
_Country Town Sayings_ [1911]

One only needs to see a smile in a white crape
bonnet in order to enter the palace of dreams.
--Victor Hugo (1802—1885)
French poet, dramatist, and novelist.
Quoted in Maturin M. Ballou _Notable
Thoughts About Women_, p. 238 [1882].

It takes a hundred men to make an encampment,
but one woman can make a home.
--Robert Green Ingersoll (1833—1899)
American politician and orator know as "The Great Agnostic."
"Woman" speech at Peoria, Illinois [29 April 1870].


Nature has given women so much power that
the law has very wisely given them little.
--Samuel Johnson (1709—1784)
English poet, critic, and lexicographer.
Letter to John Taylor [18 August 1763].

I am very fond of the company of ladies. I like their beauty, I
like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence.
--Samuel Johnson (1709—1784)
English poet, critic, and lexicographer.
Reported by William Seward in _The European Magazine_ [pub. 1782-1826].

It requires but little acquaintance with the heart to know that
woman's first wish is to be handsome; and that, consequently,
the readiest method of obtaining her kindness is to praise her
--Samuel Johnson (1709—1784)
English poet, critic, and lexicographer.
Quoted in Maturin M. Ballou _Notable Thoughts about Women_ p. 95 [1882].


You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you
hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.
--attributed to Erica Jong (b. 1942)
American novelist.

Women lack an objective point of view, and have not the
inclination or ability to weigh and dissect dispassionately.
As female political dominance has increased, our august
national watchwords of life, liberty, and property have
yielded to "You're being mean to me!", "Don't you dare
touch that child!," and prissy reprimands of "incivility"
directed against anyone with a rigorous, unequivical
manner of speaking.
--Florence King (1936—2016)
American journalist, essayist, and novelist.
In "National Review" [1996].


And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke.
--Rudyard Kipling (1865—1936)
English writer and poet.
"The Betrothed" [1886]

The female of the species is more
deadly than the male.
--Rudyard Kipling (1865—1936)
English writer and poet.
"The Female of the Species" [1911]


Thank heaven for little girls!
For little girls get bigger every day.
--Alan Jay Lerner (1918—1986)
American playwright and lyricist.
"Thank Heaven for Little Girls" [1958 song]

Delicacy in woman is strength.
--Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742—1799)
German scientist and drama critic.
Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou _Notable Thoughts About Women_, p. 1 [1882].

Even though they grow weary and wear themselves out
with child-bearing, it does not matter; let them go on
bearing children till they die, that is what they are there
--Martin Luther (1483—1546)
German Protestant theologian.
Quoted in Hartmann Grisar _Luther_, vol. IV [1915].

You don't know a woman until you've met her in court.
--Norman Mailer (1923—2007)
American author, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Quoted in Colin Jarman _The Book of Poisonous Quotes_ [1993].

[In the 1950s:] Women's magazines, edited by men, treated their
subscribers with condescension. A "Ladies' Home Journal" editor
explained to a writer: 'If we get an article about a woman who
does anything adventurous, out of the way, something by herself,
you know, we figure she must be terribly aggressive, neurotic.' At
the peak of feminine achievement the "Journal" introduced to its
readers a Texas housewife who had her face made up an hour after
breakfast and could say, 'By 8:30 A.M., when my youngest goes
to school, my whole house is clean and neat and I am dressed for
the day, I am free to play bridge, attend club meetings, or stay
home and read, listen to Beethoven, and just plain loaf.'
--William Manchester (1922—2004)
American historian.
_The Glory And The Dream_ [1974], bk. 2, ch. 22 "With All Deliberate Speed"

Others go to bed with their mistresses;
I with my ideas.
--Josι Marti (1853—1895)
Poet and essayist, patriot and martyr, who
became the symbol for Cuba's struggle
for independence from Spain.
_Letter_ [1890]

Ah, wonderful women! Just give me a comfortable
couch, a dog, a good book, and a woman. Then
if you can get the dog to go somewhere and
read the book, I might have a little fun!
--Groucho [Julius Henry] Marx (1895—1977)
American film comedian.
In a comedy routine he performed for men
and women serving in World War II [c. 1943].

I do not believe in using women in combat,
because females are too fierce.
--Margaret Mead (1901—1978)
American anthropologist.
Attributed in Jon Winokur _True Confessions_ [1993].


A man's women folk, whatever their outward show
of respect, always regard him secretly as an ass,
and with something not akin to pity. His most gaudy
saying and doings seldom deceive them; they see
the actual man within, and know him for a shallow
and pathetic fellow.
--H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken (1880—1956)
American journalist and literary critic.
_New York Evening Mail_, [15-16 November 1917]

I get little enjoyment out of women, more
out of alcohol, most out of ideas.
--H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken (1880—1956)
American journalist and literary critic.
On himself, in _Prejudices: Third Series_ [1922].


[Commodore Jackson (W.C. Fields):]
I like women as I like elephants. I like
to look at 'em but I wouldn't own one.
--"Mississippi" [1935 film]
Screenplay by Francis Martin & Jack Cunningham.

I have never had any great esteem for the generality of the
fair sex, and my only consolation for being of that gender
has been the assurance it gave me of never being married
to anyone amongst them.
--Lady Mary Wortley Montagu [nιe Pierrepont] (1689—1762)
English aristocrat and writer.
Letter to Mrs. Calthorpe [7 December 1723].

[Women] belong to the highest bidder. Power is what
they like — it is the greatest of all aphrodisiacs.
--Napoleon I (1769—1821)
Emperor of France [1804-15].
Attributed in Constant Louis Wairy _Mιmoires de Constant,
premier valet de chambre de l'empereur_ [1830-31].

How wrong it is for woman to expect the man to build the
world she wants, rather than set out to create it herself.
--Anaοs Nin (1903—1977)
French-born American writer.
_The Diary of Anaοs Nin_ [entry of June 1951]

Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping
across the country on a clear, frosty morning with a
good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to
enjoy life.
--Annie Oakley [Phoebe Anne Oakley Mozee] (1860—1926)
American sharpshooter.
Interview with "Minneapolis Times" [1900], as quoted in
Isabelle S. Sayers _Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill's Wild West_ [1981].

If civilization had been left in female hands,
we would still be living in grass huts.
--Camille Paglia (b. 1947)
American writer and social critic.
_Sexual Personae_, ch. I [1990]
Introduction to _Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays_ [1992].

An angry woman is vindictive beyond measure,
and hesitates at nothing in her bitterness.
--Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn (1792—1870)
French-Swiss lyric poet
Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou _Notable Thoughts About Women_, p. 251 [1882].

Women are one and all a set of vultures.
--Gaius Petronius Arbiter (?—AD 66)
Roman writer and senator.
_Satyricon_, 1st century AD

[Rigby Reardon (Steve Martin) speaking:]
All dames are alike: they reach down your throat so they can
grab your heart, pull it out and they throw it on the floor, and
they step on 'em with their high heels, they spit on it, shove it
in the oven and they cook the shit out of it. Then they slice it
into little pieces, slam it on a hunk of toast, and they serve it
to you. And they expect you to say, "Thanks, honey, it's
"Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" [1982 film], screenplay
by Carl Reiner, George Gipe, & Steve Martin.

Women have the understanding of the heart,
which is better than that of the head.
--Samuel Rogers (1763—1855)
English poet.
Quoted in Alexander Dyce _Recollections of the
Table-Talk of Samuel Rogers_, p. 121 [1856].

I never expected to see the day when the girls
would get sunburned in the places they do now.
--attributed to Will Rogers [William Penn Adair Rogers] (1879—1935)
American humorist and actor.

It takes one woman twenty years to make a man
of her son — and another woman twenty minutes
to make a fool of him.
--Helen Rowland (1875—1950)
American writer.
_A Guide to Men_, prelude [1922]


As things are, they [women] are ill-used. They are
forced to live a life of imbecility, and are blamed for
doing so. If they are ignorant, they are despised,
and if learned, mocked.

In love they are reduced to the status of courtesans.
As wives they are treated more as servants than as
companions. Men do not love them: they make use
of them, they exploit them, and expect, in that way,
to make them subject to the law of fidelity.

--George Sand [pseudonym of Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin] (1804—1876)
French author.
_Almanach du Mois_ [November 1844], "La Fauvette du Docteur"


The body of a young woman is God's greatest
achievement. [...] Of course, He could have built
it to last longer but you can't have everything.
--Neil Simon (b. 1927)
American playwright.
_The Gingerbread Lady_ [1970]

Trust not a woman when she weeps, for it is
her nature to weep when she wants her will.
--Socrates (470?—399 B.C.)
Greek philosopher.
Attributed in Maturin M. Ballou _Notable
Thoughts About Women_, p. 179 [1882].

Silence gives the proper grace to women.
--Sophocles (496?—406 B.C.)
Greek dramatist.
_Ajax_ l. 293

Women prefer emotions to reasoning.
--Stendhal [Marie-Henri Beyle] (1783—1842)
French writer.
_Love_, p. 55, translated by Suzanne Sale [1975].

A beauty is a woman you notice; a charmer is one who notices you.
--Adlai E. Stevenson (1900—1965)
American Democratic politician.
Speaking at Radcliffe College, quoted in Bill Adler _The Stevenson Wit_ [1965].

Women have come a long way. Not too long ago we were
called dolls, tomatoes, chicks, babes and broads. We've
graduated to being called tough cookies, foxes, bitches
and witches. I guess that's progress.
--Barbra Streisand (b. 1942)
American singer and actress.
_Seattle Post-Intelligencer_ [10 February 1994]

When a woman has lost her chastity, she will shrink from no crime.
[Latin: Neque femina amissa pudicitia alia abneurit.]
--Tacitus [or Publius Cornelius Tacitus or Gaius Cornelius Tacitus] (c. 55—c. 117)
Roman orator, lawyer, senator, and historian.
Attributed in J. K. Hoyt & Anna L. Ward (eds.) _The
Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations_, p. 571 [1881].

When I say that I know women, I mean that I know that
I don't know them. Every single woman I ever knew is
a puzzle to me, as I have no doubt she is to herself.
--William Makepeace Thackeray (1811—1863)
English novelist.
_Mr. Brown's Letters_ (orig. pub. in "Punch" 1849)

If I were asked [...] to what the singular prosperity and growing
strength of that people [the Americans] ought mainly to be
attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women.
--Alexis de Tocqueville (1805—1859)
French historian and politician.
_Democracy in America_, vol. II, bk.3, ch. 12 [1840] (Henry Reeve Translation)

When I have one foot in the grave, I will tell
the truth about women. I shall tell it, jump
into my coffin, pull the lid over me and say,
'Do what you like now.'
--Leo Tolstoy (1828—1910)
Russian novelist.
Attributed in "The Golden Book Magazine" [1935].

From birth to 18 a girl needs good parents.
From 18 to 35 she needs good looks. From
35 to 55, good personality. From 55 on, she
needs good cash.
--Sophie Tucker (1884—1966)
American vaudeville artist.
In Michael Freedland _Sophie_ [1978].

Women are an alien race of pagans set down among us.
--John Updike (1932—2009)
American novelist and short-story writer.
"Lifeguard" in _The New Yorker_ [1961].

An intelligent woman is a woman with
whom one can be stupid as one wants.
--Paul Valιry (1871—1945)
French poet.
"Mauvaises Pensιes et Autres" [1941]

All my life I was having trouble with women. [...] Then,
after I quit having trouble with them, I could feel in my
heart that somebody would always have trouble with
them, so I kept writing those blues.
--Muddy Waters (1915—1983)
American blues singer and guitarist.
Quoted in Tony Palmer _All You Need is Love_ [1976].

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 motion-picture actor, director, producer, and writer.
In a conversation with David Frost as quoted in Joseph
McBride _Orson Welles: Actor and Director_ [1977].

Women never reason, or if they do, they either draw correct
inferences from wrong premises, or wrong inferences from
correct premises.
--Richard Whately (1787—1863)
English philosopher and theologian.
Attributed in Littell's Living Age [12 November 1864].

The dream of the American male is for a female who
has an essential languor which is not laziness, who
is unaccompanied except by himself, and who does
not let him down. He desires a beautiful, but compre-
hensible creature who does not destroy a perfect
situation by forming a complete sentence.
--E.B. [Elwyn Brooks] White (1899—1985)
American essayist and literary stylist.
"Notes on our Times" in _The Second Tree from the Corner_ [1954].

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as
men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not
--Charlotte Whitton (1896—1975)
Canadian writer and politician.
"Canada Month" [June 1963]

Women have a wonderful instinct about things.
They can discover everything except the obvious.
--Oscar Wilde (1854—1900)
Anglo-Irish dramatist and poet.
_An Ideal Husband_, act II [1895]

Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial
attentions, which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when,
in fact, they are insultingly supporting their own superiority.
--Mary Wollstonecraft (1759—1797)
English feminist.
_A Vindication of the Rights of Woman_, ch. 4 [1792]

The condition of women affords in all countries the
best criterion by which to judge the character of
--Frances Wright [Fanny Wright] (1795—1852)
Scottish-born American social reformer.
_Views of Society and Manners in America_ [1821]


[On the difference between a diplomat and a lady:]

When a diplomat says yes, he means perhaps.
When he says perhaps, he means no.
If he says no, he is not a diplomat.

When a lady says no, she means perhaps.
When she says perhaps, she means yes.
But when she says yes, she is no lady.

--an "old aphorism" in "The Independent" (NY) [10 April 1920].



A man was sitting alone in his office one night when a genie
popped up out of his ashtray. "And what will your third wish
be?" The man looked at the genie and said, "Huh? How can
I be getting a third wish when I haven't had a first or second
wish yet?" "You have had two wishes already," the genie said,
"but your second wish was for me to put everything back the
way it was before you made your first wish. Thus, you remember
nothing, because everything is the way it was before you made
any wishes. You now have one wish left." "Okay," said the man,
"I don't believe this, but what the heck. I've always wanted to
understand women. I'd love to know what's going on inside
their heads." "Funny," said the genie as it granted his wish
and disappeared forever, "That was your first wish, too!"




see: "BELIEF"
see: "CHANGE"
see: "WORK"
see: "HOME & FAMILY" for other related links

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?
--Abigail Adams (1744—1818)
American first lady [1797—1801], the wife of John Adams, second president of
the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of
the United States.
Letter to John Thaxter [15 February 1778].

The sadness of the women's movement is that they don't
allow the necessity of love. See, I don't personally
trust any revolution where love is not allowed.
--Maya Angelou [Marguerite Ann Johnson] (1928—2014)
American author and poet.
In "California Living" [14 May 1975].

Young women are gradually being imbued with the idea
that marriage and motherhood are not to be their chief
objects in life, or the sole methods of obtaining subsistence;
[...] that housekeeping is a sort of domestic slavery, and
that it is best to remain unmarried until someone offers
who has the means to gratify their educated tastes. They
desire to take a more active part than women have hitherto
done in the management of the affairs of the community,
to have wider interests, and to live broader lives than their
mothers and grandmothers have done.
--Dr. John S. Billings
"The Diminishing Birth-Rate in the United States"
in _Forum_ [June 1893].


How will the family unit be destroyed? [...] the demand alone
will throw the whole ideology of the family into question, so
that women can begin establishing a community of work with
each other and we can fight collectively. Women will feel freer
to leave their husbands and become economically independent,
either through a job or welfare.
--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (b. 1939)
American professor of ethnic studies, radical leftist, and writer.
_Female Liberation as the Basis for Social Revolution_ [1969 essay]

The Feminists -v- The Marriage License Bureau of the State of
New York [...] All the discriminatory practices against women
are patterned and rationalized by this slavery-like practice. We
can't destroy the inequities between men and women until
we destroy marriage.
--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (b. 1939)
American professor of ethnic studies, radical leftist, and writer.
_Sisterhood Is Powerful_ [1970]



The problem lay buried, unspoken for many years in the minds
of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction,
a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth
century in the United States. Each suburban housewife struggled
with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched
slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children,
chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at
night, she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question —
'Is this all?'
--Betty Friedan nιe Goldstein (1921—2006)
American feminist.
_The Feminine Mystique_, ch. I "The Problem That Has No Name" [1963]

If I am right, the problem that has no name
stirring in the minds of so many American women
today is not a matter of loss of femininity or too
much education, or the demands of domesticity. It
is far more important than anyone recognizes. It is
the key to these other old and new problems which
have been torturing women and their husbands and
children, and puzzling their doctors and educators
for years. It may well be the key to our future as a
nation and a culture. We can no longer ignore that
voice within women that says: 'I want something
more than my husband and my children and my
--Betty Friedan nιe Goldstein (1921—2006)
American feminist.
_The Feminine Mystique_ [1963] p.27


The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables
men to produce more wealth than they otherwise
could; and in this way women are economic factors
in society. But so are horses.
--Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860—1935)
Leading theorist of the women's movement in the United States.
_Women and Economics_ [1898]

As to the great mass of working girls and women,
how much independence is gained if the narrowness
and lack of freedom of the home are exchanged for
the narrowness and lack of freedom of the factory,
sweatshop, department store, or office?
--Emma Goldman (1869—1940)
Lithuanian-born international anarchist who conducted leftist
activities in the United States from 1890 to 1917.
"The Tragedy of Women's Emancipation" in _Anarchism and Other Essays_ [1911].

The nuclear family must be destroyed, and people must find better
ways of living together. [...] Whatever its ultimate meaning, the
break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process.
--Linda Gordon "Functions of the Family", in
_WOMEN: A Journal of Liberation_ [1969].


As a long-time collector of idiotic statements I've
noticed that where race once inspired the most
sublime idiocies, today's Best Of are inspired by
women in the military. They are also much easier
to find. Key phrases fairly leap off the page:
"pregnant sailors . . .Army called too aggressive
. . . lighter and less dangerous hand grenades . . .
stepladders added to obstacle courses . . . a
training program to stamp out profanity at Fort
Hood . . . the possibility of single mothers taking
babies to war . . . ''

These are statements to read through spread
fingers, the way jurors look at autopsy photos.
Morning papers are especially dangerous
because sudden movements can make you
spill hot coffee in your lap.

--Florence King (b. 1936)
American journalist, essayist, and novelist.
"Misanthrope's Corner" [22 December 1997]


Women who insist upon having the same options as
men would do well to consider the option of being
the strong, silent type.
--Fran Lebowitz (b. 1946)
American humorist.
_Metropolitan Life_ [1978]

As a result of the feminist revolution,
"feminine" becomes an abusive epithet.
--attributed to [Percy] Wyndham Lewis (1882—1957)
Canadian-born British artist and writer.

I'm furious about the women's liberationists. They keep getting
up on soap boxes and proclaiming that women are brighter than
men. That's true, but it should be kept very quiet or it ruins the
whole racket.
--attributed to Anita Loos (1893—1981)
American novelist and Hollywood screenwriter.

I wish I could get a man to foot my bills. I'm sick
and tired, cooking my own breakfast, sloshing through
the rain at 8 A.M., working like a dog. For what?
Independence? A lot of independence you have on
a woman's wages. I'd chuck it like that for a decent,
or an indecent home.
--Clare Boothe Luce (1903—1987)
American playwright and politician.
_The Women_ [1936]

Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great
social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval.
Social progress can be measured exactly by the social
position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included.
--Karl Marx (1818—1883)
German political philosopher.
Letter to Dr. Kugelmann [12 December 1868].

The American housewife of an earlier day was famous
for her unremitting diligence. She not only cooked,
washed and ironed; she also made shift to master such
more complex arts as spinning, baking and brewing.
Her expertness, perhaps, never reached a high level,
but at all events she made a gallant effort. But that was
long, long ago, before the new enlightenment rescued
her. Today, in her average incarnation, she is not only
incompetent; she is also filled with the notion that a
conscientious discharge of her few remaining duties
is, in some vague way, discreditable and degrading.
--H.L. (Henry Louis) Mencken (1880—1956)
American journalist and literary critic.
_In Defense of Women_, rev ed. [1922]


I haven't the faintest notion what possible revolutionary
role white hetero-sexual men could fulfill, since they are
the very embodiment of reactionary-vested-interest-power.
But then, I have great difficulty examining what men in
general could possibly do about all this. In addition to
doing the shitwork that women have been doing for
generations, possibly not exist? No, I really don't mean
that. Yes, I really do.
--Robin Morgan (b. 1941)
American feminist activist.
_Sisterhood is Powerful_ [1970], "Introduction"

I feel that 'man-hating' is an honorable and
viable political act, that the oppressed have
a right to class-hatred against the class
that is oppressing them.
--Robin Morgan (b. 1941)
American feminist activist.
"Lesbianism and Feminism: Synonyms or Contradictions?",
in _Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist_ [1977].


I asked a Burmese why women, after centuries
of following their men, now walk ahead. He said
there were many unexploded land mines since
the war.
--Robert Mueller (fl. 1957)
American musician.
Quoted in "Look" [5 March 1957], as quoted in Fred R.
Shapiro (ed.) _The Yale Book of Quotations_ [2006].

How wrong it is for women to expect the man to
build the world she wants, rather than set out
to create it for herself.
--Anaοs Nin (1903—1977)
French-born American writer.
_The Diary of Anais Nin_ Vol. V [1974]

The established feminist leaders and the National
Organization for Women are the domestic equivalents
of Communist Party apparatchiks in the Soviet Union:
ideological dinosaurs, remote to the needs of their
constituency and that they should step down and let
other people take over. The truth is that many women
have come to see the feminist movement as anti-male,
anti-child, anti-family, anti-feminine. And it has
nothing to do with us.
--Sally Quinn (b. 1941)
American journalist.
"Hypocritical Movement Leaders Betrayed Their
Own Cause," in _Washington Post_ [19 January 1992].


by Malvina Reynolds [1958]

It says in Coronet Magazine, June ninteen fifty-six, page 10,
That married women are not as happy as women who have no men.
Married women are cranky, frustrated, and disgusted,
While single women are bright and gay, creative and well-adjusted.

We don't need the men,
We don't need the men
We don't need to have them round,
Except for now and then.

They can come to see us
When we need to move the piano,
Otherwise they can stay at home
And read about the White Sox
We don't care about them,
We can do without them.
They'll look cute in a bathing suit
On a billboard in Manhattan.


They can come to see us
When they have tickets to the symphony.
Otherwise they can stay at home
And play a game of pinochle.
We don't care about them,
We can do without them.
They'll look cute in a bathing suit
On a billboard in Wisconsin.


They can come to see us
When they're feeling pleasant and agreeable.
Otherwise they can stay at home
And holler at the TV programs.
drop towels in their own bathroom
We don't care about them,
We can do without them.
They'll look cute in a bathing suit
On a billboard in in Madagascar.


They can come to see us
When they're all dressed up with a suit on,
Otherwise they can stay at home
And drop towels in their own bathroom.
We don't care about them,
We can do without them.
They'll look cute in a bathing suit
On a billboard in Tierra del Fuego.


Women's liberationists operate as Typhoid Marys carrying
a germ called lost identity. They try to persuade wives that
they have missed something in life because they are known
by their husband's name and play second fiddle to his career
[...] As a homewrecker, women's liberation is far in the lead
over 'the other man', 'the other woman', or 'incompatibility' .
--Phyllis Schlafly (b. 1924)
American author and antifeminist leader.
In Rebecca Clutch _Women of the New Right_ [1987].

Women are not going to be equal outside
the home until men are equal in it.
--attributed to Gloria Steinem (b. 1934)
American feminist, jounalist, and founder of "Ms." magazine.

Brains are never a handicap to a girl if she
hides them under a see-through blouse.
--Bobby Vinton (b. 1935)
American singer.
Quoted in Des MacHale "Wit" [2003].


[Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman) speaking:]
Did you know the male bee is nothing but the slave
of the queen? And once the male bee has — how
should I say — serviced the queen, the male dies.
All in all, not a bad system.
--dialogue, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"

end page

| R | S | T | U - END |
| Return Home | The Credits | The Cast | Act 1 | Act 2 | Act 3 | The Reviews |

Copyright © 2016, All rights reserved.