Feminism involves various movements theories and philosophies which are concerned with the issue of gender difference, that advocate equality for women, and that campaign for women's rights and interests. In some accounts, the history of feminism is divided into three waves. The first wave was in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the second was in the 1960s and 1970s and the third extends from the 1990s to the present.
- Alphabetized by author
- I’ve been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I’m impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I’m any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am — and this ought to be made very clear — I am a very serious woman.
- Bella Abzug, in Bella! : Ms. Abzug Goes to Washington (1972) edited by Edited by Mel Ziegler, Introduction
- In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.
- I have feminist bones and when I hear things or see people react to women in certain ways I have very little tolerance.
- We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all civil and political rights that belong to the citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.
- It should not prejudice my voice that I'm not born a man, if I say something advantageous to the present situation. For I'm taxed too, and as a toll provide men for the nation.
- Does feminist mean large unpleasant person who'll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings? To me it's the latter, so I sign up.
- Margaret Atwood, as quoted in Women Know Everything! : 3,241 Quips, Quotes, & Brilliant Remarks (2007) by Karen Weekes, p. 156
- The people who resent me do so because I'm a woman, I'm young, and I'm a Bhutto. Well, the simple answer is, it doesn't matter that I'm a woman, it doesn't matter that I'm young, and it's a matter of pride that I'm a Bhutto.
- Benazir Bhutto, as quoted in Women's Wit and Wisdom : A Book of Quotations (2000) edited by Susan L. Rattiner, p. 37
- People feel much more comfortable with the 50 Shades of Grey version of women’s liberation: possibly feeling life would be much simpler if the suffragettes hadn’t wanted the vote and just really enjoyed chaining themselves to railings.
- Frankie Boyle, writing in the Guardian, 7 April 2015.
- The basic discovery about any people is the discovery of the relationship between its men and its women.
- Pearl S. Buck — reported in The Quotable Woman : Words of Wisdom from Mother Teresa, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Eleanor Roosevelt, Katharine Hepburn, and More (2000) by Carol Turkington, p. 192 0071357327
- [F]eminist hypocrisy. Ask me that at a cocktail party and I will talk your ear off about how the very people who had lectured us about the utter venality of workplace sexual harassment throughout the 1980s became suddenly quiescent when the malefactor was Bill Clinton.
- If you truly believed in Jesus, you would try to be like him and love us, fags and dykes and feminists all. God bless you, even you. You fucking fuckers.
- I am uncompromising in the matter of woman's rights. In my opinion she should labour under no legal disability not suffered by man, I should treat the daughters and sons on a footing of perfect equality.
- To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?
- Mahatma Gandhi, Young India (4 October 1930)
- I know nothing of man's rights, or woman's rights, human rights are all that I recognise.
- Sarah Grimké, in Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman (1838)
- The so-called granting of equal rights to women, which Marxism demands, in reality does not grant equal rights but constitutes a deprivation of rights, since it draws the woman into an area in which she will necessarily be inferior.
- Adolf Hitler, Speech to the National Socialist Women's Congress, September 15th, 1935. Quoted in George L. Mosse, Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural and Social Life in the Third Reich. University of Wisconsin Press, 1966 (p.39); Karen M. Offen, European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History. Stanford University Press, 2000 (p.309).
- I became a feminist as an alternative to becoming a masochist.
- Sally Kempton, as quoted in Witty Words from Wise Women: Quips, Quotes, and Comebacks (2001) by B. J. Gallagher, Andrews McMeel Publishing
- When men imagine a female uprising, they imagine a world in which women rule men as men have ruled women.
- Sally Kempton, as quoted in Notes for Participants, National Forensic League's Lincoln-Douglas Debate on Feminism and Gender Equality (November 11, 1995) by Twiss Butler, National Organization for Women
- We all grow in a culture in which women's bodies are constantly turned into things, into objects. [...] Of course these affects female self-steem. It also does something even more insidious. It create a climate in which there is wide-spread violence against women. [...] Turning a human being into a thing is the first step towards justified violence against that person.
- What! still retaining your Utopian visions of female felicity? To talk of our happiness! — ours, the ill-used and oppressed! You remind me of the ancient tyrant, who, seeing his slaves sink under the weight of their chains, said 'Do look at the indolent repose of those people!'
- That preference of white sauce to brown is a singular proof of female inferiority.
- Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
- Timothy Leary, as quoted in Sometimes Being the Queen is All We Have to Hold Onto (2005) by Connie Cash, p. 35
- Who needs consciousness-raising and equal pay, when you’re an Amazon with an invisible plane?
- Jill Lepore; as quoted in [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/books/the-secret-history-of-wonder-woman-by-jill-lepore.html?_r=0 "Her Past Unchained
'The Secret History of Wonder Woman,' by Jill Lepore"], by Dwight Garner, New York Times, Oct. 23, 2014.
- Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.
- Rush Limbaugh, in "35 Undeniable Truths of Life," Sacramento Union (1988), also quoted at "The "Truth" according to Limbaugh: Feminism established "to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society" at Media Matters (16 August 2005)
- I prefer to call the most obnoxious feminists what they really are: feminazis. Tom Hazlett, a good friend who is an esteemed and highly regarded professor of economics at the University of California at Davis, coined the term to describe any female who is intolerant of any point of view that challenges militant feminism. … There are not many of them, but they deserve to be called feminazis. A feminazi is a woman to whom the most important thing in life is seeing to it that as many abortions as possible are performed.
- Rush Limbaugh, in The Way Things Ought To Be (1992), p. 193
- People like Dawkins are the public face of atheism. And that public face is one that is defensively and irrationally sexist. It's not only turning women away from atheism, it's discrediting the idea that atheists are actually people who argue from a position of rationality. How can they be, when they cling to the ancient, irrational tradition of treating women like they aren't quite as human as men?
- The only hope for civilization is the greater freedom, development and equality of women in all fields of human activity.
- The next 100 years will see the beginning of an American matriarchy- a nation of amazons in the psychological rather than the physical sense. In 500 years there will be a serious sex battle. And in 1000 years women will definitely rule this country."
- William Moulton Marston as quoted in Neglected Amazons to Rule Men in 1000 yrs., Says Psychologist; Washington Post, November 11, 1937
- A male hero, at best, lacks the qualities of maternal love and tenderness which are as essential to a normal child as the breath of life. Suppose your child's ideal becomes a superman who uses his extraordinary power to help the weak. The most important ingredient in the human happiness recipe still is missing-love. It's smart to be strong. It's big to be generous. But it's sissified according to exclusively masculine rules, to be tender, loving affectionate, and alluring. "Aw, that's girl's stuff!" snorts our young comics reader. "Who wants to be a girl?" And that's the point. Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.
- I hate this waaaah-I'm-a-poor-sensitive-weak-woman-protect-me shit. This kind of stuff generates more contempt for women. So fuck niceness!
- Jude Milhon, 1995 inteview in Wired
- No one appeared to wonder whether this S-M proliferation was a lesbian copy of a faggot imitation of patriarchal backlash against feminism.
- Robin Morgan, "The Politics of Sado-Masochistic Fantasies", in Going Too Far: The Personal Chronicle of a Feminist, p 235.
- My notion of woman's role in the state is utterly opposed to feminism. Of course I do not want women to be slaves, but if here in Italy I proposed to give our women votes, they would laugh me to scorn. As far as political life is concerned, they do not count here.
- Benito Mussolini, 1932 interview with Emil Ludwig. Quoted in Karen M. Offen, European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History. Stanford University Press, 2000 (p.309), and Pietro Frassica, Her Maestro's Echo: Pirandello and the Actress who Conquered Broadway in One Evening. Troubador Publishing Ltd, 2010 (p.69).
- Feminism is the result of a few ignorant and literal-minded women letting the cat out of the bag about which is the superior sex. Once women made it public that they could do things better than men, they were, of course, forced to do them.
- P. J. O'Rourke, Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People (1983), Ch. 10
- If feminist psychology is correct, the very concept of scientific "objectivity" as a disciplined withdrawal of sympathy by the knower from the known, is a male separation anxiety writ large. Written, in fact, upon the entire universe.
- Theodore Roszak, The Gendered Atom (1999)
- There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- Paul of Tarsus, Galatians 3:28, The Holy Bible.
- The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a 'feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. Unfortunately, there are still not that many girls going into science, engineering and technology.
- Natalie Portman, "Natalie Portman interview for Thor: 'A woman kicking ass isn't feminist. That's macho'", Elaine Lipworth, Telegraph.com, 29 Oct 2013.
- Rush Limbaugh has made feminazi a household word. Right-wing politicians like Ollie North say they are running against "an army of feminists" who are destroying family values, and those messages get widespread coverage.
- Caryl Rivers, in Slick Spins and Fractured Facts : How Cultural Myths Distort the News (1996), p. 12
- Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.
- I’m an open and vocal feminist on the internet, so I’m no stranger to some level of sexist backlash.
- I was attacked via nearly every facet of my online life by a loosely coordinated cyber mob. All of my social networks were flooded with a torrent of misogynist and racist slurs as well as threats of rape, violence and death. The wikipedia article about me was vandalized with similar sentiments. When I publicly shared what was happening to me, the perpetrators responded by escalating their harassment campaign and attempting to DDoS my website and hack into my online accounts. They also tried to collect and distribute my personal info including my home address and phone number. They made pornographic images in my likeness being raped by video games characters which they distributed and sent to me over and over again. Attempts were made to discredit me and my project by creating and posting false quotes or fake tweets attributed to me. There was also a flash game developed where players were invited to “beat the bitch up”. Unfortunately I still receive threats and explicit images on a semi-regular basis. In December 2012, I gave a TEDxWomen talk where I discuss in more detail what happened, and how these large scale loosely organized Cyber Mob attacks operate.
- When I was about 10, I remember I campaigned for months to convince my parents that the “Game Boy” was not in fact just for boys. Eventually I won the debate and got my first portable gaming device the following Christmas. So even though I’ve always been enthusiastic about games, I’ve also always been bothered and disappointed with the way women were represented much of the time.
- While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. He also created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.
- In addition to the explicit feminist works, there is always a literature with deliberate, oblique approaches to feminism or "the woman question" even by avowed feminists.
- Kaushal Kishore Sharma, in Feminism, Censorship and Other Essays (2003), p. 6
- Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
- ...No doubt about it, ideas about what women can do, and do well, have changed. And what women mind has changed. Male behaviour, from the caddish to the outright violent, that until recently was accepted without demurral is seen today as outrageous by many women who not so long ago were putting up with it themselves and who would still protest indignantly if someone described them as feminists.
- Susan Sontag, Where the Stress Falls: essays (2003). Also quoted in Brian McNair, Striptease Culture: Sex, Media and the Democratisation of Desire, Routledge, 2002 (p.19).
- I believe anyone who supports feminism is anti-woman even if they are not conscious of it. Feminism and "female empowerment" has led to a generation of the least happy women in history. They are lost and are being told that they are the EXACT same as men and should be able to compete at the same level in all fields of life. How sad to always fail at something you are supposed to be equal in. How sad to be led astray to never get married then hit a wall where you wish for nothing more than a family but cannot have it... simply because you bought into this false notion of feminism that promised happiness and fulfillment. The reality is women are biologically different and different things will make them happy.
- Ought not every woman, like every man, to follow the bent of her own talents?
- Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, Corinne (1807), Bk. XIV, ch. 1
- My spirituality has always been linked to my feminism. Feminism is about challenging unequal power structures.
- Starhawk, as quoted in Womanspirit Rising : A Feminist Reader in Religion (1979) by Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow
- Once men realize that they are also deprived — not as much as women, just as whites are not as deprived as blacks — but there is a full circle of human qualities we all have a right to. And they're confined to the "masculine" ones, which are seventy percent of all of them, and we're confined to the "feminine" ones, which are thirty percent. We're missing more, but they're still missing a lot. If a man fights to be his whole self, to be creative, to express emotions men are not supposed to express, do jobs men are not supposed to do, take care of his own children — all of these things are part of the feminist movement.
- Well, children, when there is so much racket there be must something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the Negroes of the South and the women of the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?
- Most of the terrible women one must meet, women with the blatant views and voices, women who have to be noticed, who shoulder one about, who can’t take life quietly, belong to this large percentage of women who have never made a sex adjustment.
- I myself have never been able to find out 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, in "Mr. Chesterton in Hysterics" in The Clarion, (14 November 1913)
- Interviewer: So, why do you write these strong female characters?
- Joss Whedon Because you’re still asking me that question.
- This particular strand of feminism is characterized by two tenets: 1. men are jerks, and 2. women should strive by all means to become like them.
- "Elohim," the name for the creative power in Genesis, is a female plural, a fact that generations of learned rabbis and Christian theologians have all explained as merely grammatical convention. The King James and most other Bibles translate it as "God," but if you take the grammar literally, it seems to mean "goddesses." Al Shaddai, god of battles, appears later, and YHWH, mispronounced Jehovah, later still.
- Robert Anton Wilson, in Everything Is Under Control : Conspiracies, Cults, and Cover-Ups (1998), Genesis, p. 197
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- Topics in Feminism at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- National Organization for Women United States
- FemINist INitiative Canadian effort at building a political party, archived at the Internet Archive
- Sanctuary for Families
- Women's Forum Australia
- International Women's Day is a slide show in English of the Brazilian Vinna Mara Fonseca
- Feministing Third wave feminist blog
- Feminist Housewives Third wave domestic feminist site
- Gender Museum