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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

Women are female humans. The term woman (irregular plural: women) usually is used for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. However, the term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as "Women's rights".

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  • Please don’t repeat such poetry which is pictured by the red spots of kissing on the lips of beautiful women. Kunti, a rustic old woman is now knocking door to door to search for a job. She is beaten by her own sons.
  • 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.
    • Abigail Adams, letter to John Adams, March 31, 1776. Published in L. H. Butterfield, ed., Adams Family Correspondence, vol. 1 (1963), p. 370.
  • Loveliest of women! heaven is in thy soul,
    Beauty and virtue shine forever round thee,
    Bright'ning each other! thou art all divine!
  • She could just pack up and leave, but she does not visualize what's beyond ahead.
  • Everything we see in the world is the creative work of women.
    • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as quoted in The Macmillan Dictionary of Political Quotations (1993) by Lewis D. Eigen and Jonathan Paul Siegel, p. 424; also in Ataturk: First President and Founder of the Turkish Republic (2002) by Yüksel Atillasoy, p. 15.


  • But woman's grief is like a summer storm,
    Short as it violent is.
    • Joanna Baillie, Count Basil (1798), Act V, scene 3; in A Series of Plays.
  • "I open my east chamber door,
    And sit on my west chamber bed.
    I take off my battle cloak,
    And put on my old-time clothes.
    I adjust my wispy hair at the window sill,
    And apply my bisque makeup by the mirror.
    I step out to see my comrades-in-arms,
    They are all surprised and astounded:
    'We travelled twelve years together,
    Yet didn't realise Mulan was a lady!'"

    The buck bounds here and there,
    Whilst the doe has narrow eyes.
    But when the two rabbits run side by side,
    How can you tell the female from the male?
    • Ballad of Mulan, first transcribed in the Musical Records of Old and New in the 6th century.
  • You see, dear, it is not true that woman was made from man's rib; she was really made from his funny bone.
  • Then, my good girls, be more than women, wise:
    At least be more than I was; and be sure
    You credit anything the light gives life to
    Before a man.
  • Las mujeres son el impuesto que pagamos por el placer.
  • Next to God, we are indebted to women, first for life itself, and then for making it worth having.
  • They talk about a woman's sphere as though it had a limit;
    There's not a place in Earth or Heaven,
    There's not a task to mankind given,
    There's not a blessing or a woe,
    There's not a whispered yes or no,
    There's not a life, or death, or birth,
    That has a feather's weight or worth—
    Without a woman in it.
    • C. E. Bowman, "The Sphere of Woman". in Joseph M. Chapple, Heart Throbs in Prose and Verse (1905), p. 343. A similar version:
      They talk about 'a woman's sphere'
      As though it has a limit;
      There's not a spot on sea or shore,
      In sanctum, office, shop or store,
      Without a woman in it.
      Author unknown; reported in Jennie Day Haines, Sovereign Woman Versus Mere Man (1905), p. 50.
  • You forget too much
    That every creature, female as the male,
    Stands single in responsible act and thought,
    As also in birth and death.
  • Of all cant in this most canting country, no species is at once more paltry and more dangerous than that which has been made the instrument of decrying female accomplishment. All that execrable twaddle about feminine retirement, and feminine ignorance, which we are doomed so often to hear, has done more towards making women scolds, and flirts, and scandal mongers, than people are well aware of....The soul of a woman is as fine an emanation from the Great Fountain of Spirit as that of a man.
  • Women are more powerful than they think. A mother's warmth is the essence of motivation. If we could liquefy the encouragement, care and compassion we deliver to our children it would surely fill an expanse greater than the Pacific
  • More than a billion women around the world want to emulate western women's lifestyles and are rapidly acquiring the material ability to do so. It is therefore vital that in our leadership we display some reserve and responsibility in our spending so that the world's finite resources will be available for our children, their children and their children's children
  • There is equality in the office but not on the street.
  • It is a woman's reason to say I will do such a thing because I will.
  • Women wear the breeches.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Democritus to the Reader.
  • Believe a woman or an epitaph,
    Or any other thing that's false.
    • Lord Byron, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809).
  • Soft as the memory of buried love,
    Pure as the prayer which childhood wafts above.
    • Lord Byron, Bride of Abydos (1813), Canto I, Stanza 6.
  • She was his life,
    The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
    Which terminated all.
    • Lord Byron, The Dream (1816), Stanza 2. "River of his Thought" from Dante—Purgatorio, XIII. 88.
  • Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes,
    Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.
  • Her stature tall—I hate a dumpy woman.
  • A lady with her daughters or her nieces
    Shine like a guinea and seven-shilling pieces.
  • I love the sex, and sometimes would reverse
    The tyrant's wish, "that mankind only had
    One neck, which he with one fell stroke might pierce;"
    My wish is quite as wide, but not so bad,
    And much more tender on the whole than fierce;
    It being (not now, but only while a lad)
    That womankind had but one rosy mouth,
    To kiss them all at once, from North to South.
  • I've seen your stormy seas and stormy women,
    And pity lovers rather more than seamen.
  • But she was a soft landscape of mild earth,
    Where all was harmony, and calm, and quiet,
    Luxuriant, budding; cheerful without mirth.
  • What a strange thing is man! and what a stranger
    Is woman! What a whirlwind is her head,
    And what a whirlpool full of depth and danger
    Is all the rest about her.
  • And whether coldness, pride, or virtue dignify
    A woman, so she's good, what does it signify?


  • The world was sad; the garden was a wild;
    And man, the hermit, sigh'd—till woman smiled.
  • Of all the girls that are so smart,
    There's none like pretty Sally.
  • La muger que se determina á ser honrada entre un ejército de soldados lo puede ser.
    • The woman who is resolved to be respected can make herself so even amidst an army of soldiers.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, La Gitanilla (c. 1590-1612; published 1613).
  • Women eat double than men. They have four times more wisdom than men, they have six times more courage, and eight times more sensual urge than men.
  • Let no man value at a little price
    A virtuous woman's counsel; her wing'd spirit
    Is feather'd oftentimes with heavenly words.
  • Woman is the crowning excellence of God's creation ... Woman is light, man is shadow.
  • We shall find no fiend in hell can match the fury of a disappointed woman,—scorn'd! slighted! dismiss'd without a parting pang.
  • [Woman is] the promise that cannot be kept; but it is precisely in this that [her] grace consists.
    • Paul Claudel, The City (La Ville, 1893, revised version 1901), end of Act 3.
    • Translation from Josef Pieper, Faith, Hope, Love (1986). San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997, p. 251.
  • Women who want to work deserve to work. And whenever they are denied that opportunity, it’s not fair to them – and we all lose out. In a competitive 21st century global economy, we cannot afford to leave talent on the sidelines. When we leave people out or write them off, we not only shortchange them and their dreams, we shortchange our country and our own futures.
  • Judaism recognized the home as being a co-partner with the synagogue in the nurturing of spirituality, and accorded the woman, as primary home-maker, the greatest consideration.
  • Of all people, girls and servants are the most difficult…If you are familiar with them, they lose their humility. If you maintain a reserve towards them, they are discontented.
  • Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,
    Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
  • It's queer how out of touch with truth women are. They live in a world of their own, and there has never been anything like it, and never can be. It is too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset. Some confounded fact we men have been living contentedly with ever since the day of creation would start up and knock the whole thing over.
  • "Man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. And man was not created for the cause of the woman, but the woman for the cause of man; and therefore ought the woman to have a power upon her head"
  • Certum est enim: longos esse crines omnibus sed breves sensus mulieribus.
    • One thing is certain: women have long hair, but short wits.
    • Cosmas of Prague, Chronica Boemorum, Chapter IV.


  • Were there no women, men might live like gods.
    • Thomas Dekker, The Honest Whore (1604), Part I, Act III, scene 1.
  • There's no music when a woman is in the concert.
    • Thomas Dekker, The Honest Whore (1604), Part II, Act IV, scene 3.
  • A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.
    • Christian Dior, Gaille, Brandon (July 23, 2013). "List of 38 Famous Fashion Quotes and Sayings". BrandonGaille.com. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  • Women can shoot better, by and large, and they're easier to train because they don't have the inflated egos that a lot of men bring to these programs. Women will ask for help if they need it, and they will tell you what they think.
  • My words of encouragement for women, for that to be given for women in the East, it is to have confidence and encourage them that they can accomplish Dharma just like the men; but in the West you have already realized the equality of women and men sometime ago, so I do not have to really encourage you – you already know that.
  • Cherchez la femme.
    • Find the woman.
    • Alexandre Dumas, Les Mohicans de Paris (1854), Volume III, Chapter X, and elsewhere in the novel, Act III, scene 7, of the 1864 play. Probably from the Spanish. A common question of Charpes. See Revue des Deux Mondes, XI, 822.
  • There are two findings that are difficult to accommodate from a feminist perspective: why violence rates are so high in lesbian relationships and why they are higher for past relationships with women than past relationship with men.
    • Denis Dutton, Patriarchy And Wife Assault: The Ecological Fallacy, Violence and Victims, 1994, 9(2), pp. 125 – 140
  • And, like another Helen, fir'd another Troy.
  • She hugg'd the offender, and forgave the offence;
    Sex to the last.


  • And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: who so pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her. Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.


  • Oh, woman, perfect woman! what distraction
    Was meant to mankind when thou wast made a devil!
    What an inviting hell invented.
    • John Fletcher, Comedy of Monsieur Thomas (c. 1610–16; published 1639), Act III, scene 1.
  • I grudged her nothing except my company. But it has gone further, like the degradation of rural England: this afternoon (Sunday in Aprril) all the young men had women with them in far-flung cameradeie. If women ever wanted to be by themselves all would be well. But I don't believe they ever want to be, except for reasons of advertisement, and their instinct is never to let men be by themselves. This, I begin to see, is sex-war, and D.H.L. has seen it, in spite of a durable marriage, and is far more on the facts than Bernard Shaw and his Life Force.
  • One can run away from women, turn them out, or give in to them. No fourth course.
  • The great question . . . which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'
    • Sigmund Freud, letter to Marie Bonaparte, quoted in Sigmund Freud, Life and Work, Ernest Jones (Hogarth Press, 1953).


  • 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?
  • And when a lady's in the case,
    You know all other things give place.
    • John Gay, Fables (1727), The Hare and Many Friends, line 41.
  • 'Tis a woman that seduces all mankind;
    By her we first were taught the wheedling arts.
    • John Gay, The Beggar's Opera (1728), Act I, scene 1.
  • How happy could I be with either,
    Were t'other dear charmer away!
    But, while ye thus tease me together,
    To neither a word will I say.
    • John Gay, The Beggar's Opera (1728), Act II, scene 2.
  • If the heart of a man is depressed with cares,
    The mist is dispell'd when a woman appears.
    • John Gay, The Beggar's Opera (1728), Act II.
  • And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
  • 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?


  • If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.
  • I confess that I do not understand the principle on which the power to fix a minimum for the wages of women can be denied by those who admit the power to fix a maximum for their hours of work. I fully assent to the proposition that here as elsewhere the distinctions of the law are distinctions of degree, but I perceive no difference in the kind or degree of interference with liberty, the only matter with which we have any concern, between the one case and the other. The bargain is equally affected whichever half you regulate…. It will need more than the Nineteenth Amendment to convince me that there are no differences between men and women, or that legislation cannot take those differences into account.
    • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., dissenting, Adkins, et al., Constituting the Minimum Wage Board of the District of Columbia, v. Children's Hospital of the District of Columbia; Same v. Lyons, 261 U.S. 569–70 (1923).
  • ...the nature of the work involved in the occupations does not seem to affect the willingness of women to enter it. Neither the hard physical work of the engineering occupations nor the austere living conditions of the air support skills appear to deter women from seeking to work in the jobs. Additionally, high-technology occupations that operate in relatively more comfortable circumstances do not necessarily draw women in greater numbers.


  • To make women learned, and foxes tame, hath the same operation, which teacheth them to steale more cuningly, but the possibility is not equall, for when it doth one good, it doth twenty harme.
    • Attributed to James I of England; reported in Thomas Overbury, Edward Francis Rimbault, The Miscellaneous Works in Prose and Verse of Sir Thomas Overbury (1856), p. 261.
  • In every disadvantage that a woman suffers at the hands of a man, there is inevitably, in what concerns the man, an element of cowardice. When I say "inevitably," I mean that this is what the woman sees in it.
  • Women strangely hug the knife that stabs them.
  • And she gave birth to a son, a male, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away to God and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God and where they would feed her for 1,260 days. And war broke out in heaven: Mi′cha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven.


  • A Nation spoke to a Nation,
    A Queen sent word to a Throne:
    'Daughter am I in my mother's house,
    But mistress in my own.
    The gates are mine to open,
    As the gates are mine to close,
    And I set my house in order,'
    Said our Lady of the Snows.
    • Rudyard Kipling, "Our Lady of the Snows", stanza 1, The Collected Works of Rudyard Kipling: The Seven Seas, The Five Nations, The Years Between (1941, reprinted 1970), vol. 26, p. 227. The poem is about the Canadian preferential tariff of 1897.


  • 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!'
  • The life of woman is full of woe,
    Toiling on and on and on,
    With breaking heart, and tearful eyes,
    The secret longings that arise,
    Which this world never satisfies!
    Some more, some less, but of the whole
    Not one quite happy, no, not one!
  • A Lady with a lamp shall stand
    In the great history of the land,
    * A noble type of good,
    * Heroic womanhood.
  • Like a fair lily on a river floating
    She floats upon the river of his thoughts.
  • A woman’s dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.” ― Sophia Loren
    • Sophia Loren, Gaille, Brandon (July 23, 2013). "List of 38 Famous Fashion Quotes and Sayings". BrandonGaille.com. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  • Few are the women and maidens who would let themselves think that one could at the same time be joyous and modest. They are all bold and coarse in their speech, in their demeanor wild and lewd. That is now the fashion of being in good cheer. But it is specially evil that the young maiden folk are exceedingly bold of speech and bearing, and curse like troopers, to say nothing of their shameful words and scandalous coarse sayings, which one always hears and learns from another.
  • The First Sermon on the Day of the Visitation of Mary (Die erste Predigt am Tag der Heimsuchung Mariä). (1532).


  • 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 girls 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.
  • Believe me Delmar, woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man.
  • On one issue, at least, men and women agree: they both distrust women.
  • I expect that woman will be the last thing civilized by man.
  • Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,
    In every gesture dignity and love.
  • For nothing lovelier can be found
    In woman, than to study household good.
  • Oh! why did God,
    Creator wise, that peopled highest Heaven
    With Spirits masculine, create at last
    This novelty on Earth, this fair defect
    Of Nature, and not fill the World at once
    With men as Angels, without feminine.
  • O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have right over you. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.
  • On 'Id ul Fitr or 'Id ul Adha Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) went out to the Musalla. After finishing the prayer, he delivered the sermon and ordered the people to give alms. He said, "O people! Give alms." Then he went towards the women and said. "O women! Give alms, for I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were you (women)." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the reason for it?" He replied, "O women! You curse frequently, and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. O women, some of you can lead a cautious wiseman astray." Then he left. And when he reached his house, Zainab, the wife of Ibn Masud, came and asked permission to enter. It was said, "O Allah's Apostle! It is Zainab." He asked, 'Which Zainab?" The reply was that she was the wife of Ibn Mas'ub. He said, "Yes, allow her to enter." And she was admitted. Then she said, "O Prophet of Allah! Today you ordered people to give alms and I had an ornament and intended to give it as alms, but Ibn Masud said that he and his children deserved it more than anybody else." The Prophet replied, "Ibn Masud had spoken the truth. Your husband and your children had more right to it than anybody else."
    • Muhammad narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri, in Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 541
  • A man came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: I have found a woman of rank and beauty, but she does not give birth to children. Should I marry her? He said: No. He came again to him, but he prohibited him. He came to him third time, and he (the Prophet) said: Marry women who are loving and very prolific, for I shall outnumber the peoples by you.
    • Muhammad narrated Ma'qil ibn Yasar, in AbuDawud, Book 11, Number 2045
  • It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Umar that the Messenger of Allah observed: O womenfolk, you should give charity and ask much forgiveness for I saw you in bulk amongst the dwellers of Hell. A wise lady among them said: Why is it, Messenger of Allah, that our folk is in bulk in Hell? Upon this the Holy Prophet observed: You curse too much and are ungrateful to your spouses. I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion but (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of the wise, besides you. Upon this the woman remarked: What is wrong with our common sense and with religion? He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Your lack of common sense (can be well judged from the fact) that the evidence of two women is equal to one man, that is a proof of the lack of common sense, and you spend some nights (and days) in which you do not offer prayer and in the month of Ramadan (during the days) you do not observe fast, that is a failing in religion. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Abu Tahir with this chain of transmitters.
    • Muhammad Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0142
  • The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."
    • Muhammad arrated Abu Said Al-Khudri, in Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826
  • When I got married, Allah's Apostle said to me, "What type of lady have you married?" I replied, "I have married a matron' He said, "Why, don't you have a liking for the virgins and for fondling them?" Jabir also said: Allah's Apostle said, "Why didn't you marry a young girl so that you might play with her and she with you?
    • Muhammad narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah, in Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 17
  • If they [women] were not fundamentally evil, they would not have been born women at all.
  • Personally, I feel that while there is much beauty presenced here on Earth, nothing can equal the beauty a woman can and does presence when we through love share a life with her.


  • The same emotions are in man and woman, but in different TEMPO, on that account man and woman never cease to misunderstand each other
  • In revenge and in love woman is more barbarous than man.
  • … woman would like to believe that love can do EVERYTHING -- it is the SUPERSTITION peculiar to her. Alas, he who knows the heart finds how poor, helpless, pretentious, and blundering even the best and deepest love is -- he finds that it rather DESTROYS than saves!
  • On aime plus âprement que l'on ne hait.
    • Translation: We women love more bitterly than we hate.
    • Anna de Noailles, Poème de l'amour (1924), CII.
    • In context the "on" refers to "woman".
  • Sisters, don't call yourself 'housewife'. Because in Islam, women are not considered as the 'wife of the house', rather they are homemakers.
  • If modernity means raping women, then Islam is outdated.


  • You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work.
    • Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 in the State of the Union address


  • Patience makes a woman beautiful in middle age.
    • Attributed to Elliot Paul. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
  • There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
  • Most women have no characters at all.
  • Ladies, like variegated tulips, show
    'Tis to their changes half their charms we owe.
  • Offend her, and she knows not to forgive;
    Oblige her, and she'll hate you while you live.
  • Men some to business, some to pleasure take;
    But every woman is at heart a rake;
    Men some to quiet, some to public strife;
    But every lady would be queen for life.
  • O! bless'd with temper, whose unclouded ray
    Can make to-morrow cheerful as to-day;
    She who can own a sister's charms, or hear
    Sighs for a daughter with unwounded ear;
    She who ne'er answers till a husband cools,
    Or, if she rules him, never shows she rules.
    Charms by accepting, by submitting sways,
    Yet has her humour most when she obeys.
  • And mistress of herself, though china fall.
  • Woman's at best a contradiction still.


  • I am woman, hear me roar.
  • Such a plot must have a woman in it.
  • I remember when OB tampons came out and you could hold them in your hand, and I'd walk down the hall holding my little OB tampon and I thought, "If I open my hand and show this to anybody, the whole building is going to explode."
  • Toute fille lettrée restera fille toute sa vie, quand il n'y aura que des hommes sensés sur la terre.
    • Every blue-stocking will remain a spinster as long as there are sensible men on the earth.
    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile: Or, On Education (1762), I. 5.
  • Une femme bel-esprit est le fléau de son mari, de ses enfants, de ses amis, de ses valets, de tout le monde.
    • A blue-stocking is the scourge of her husband, children, friends, servants, and every one.
    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile: Or, On Education (1762), I. 5.
  • And one false step entirely damns her fame.
    In vain with tears the loss she may deplore,
    In vain look back on what she was before;
    She sets like stars that fall, to rise no more.
  • Not only am I scared of big, strong men, I'm scared of mean little women. It's just little skinny men and nice big women that I get along with.
  • This brought back the sick, ashamed feeling I'd woken up with. I was no better than some geek with a foam-rubber woman's torso like they advertise in Hustler. What a pathetic, twisted version of womanhood: all the "inessential" parts lopped off, nothing left behind but tits and ass and holes. Lifelike washable plastic skin. Greek and French features. But yet, in a way, wasn't the sex sphere always what I'd wanted in a woman? An ugly truth there. "Shut up and spread!" How many times had I told Sybil that, if not in so many words?
  • And behind every man who's a failure there's a woman, too!
    • John Ruge, cartoon caption, Playboy (March 1967), p. 138.


  • Hence, it will be found that the fundamental fault of the female character is that is has no sense of justice. This is mainly due to the fact, already mentioned, that women are defective in the powers of reasoning and deliberation; but it is also traceable to the position which Nature has assigned to them as the weaker sex. They are dependent, not upon strength, but upon craft; and hence their instinctive capacity for cunning, and their ineradicable tendency to say what is not true. For as lions are provided with claws and teeth, and elephants and boards with tusks, bulls with horns, and cuttle fish with its clouds of inky fluid, so Nature has equipped woman, for her defense and protection, with the arts of dissimulation.
  • Woman's faith, and woman's trust,
    Write the characters in dust.
  • Widowed wife and wedded maid.
  • O Woman! in our hours of ease,
    Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,
    And variable as the shade
    By the light quivering aspen made;
    When pain and anguish wring the brow,
    A ministering angel thou!
  • I thank God I am not a woman, to be touched with so many giddy offences as He hath generally taxed their whole sex withal.
  • Frailty, thy name is woman!—
    A little month, or ere those shoes were old
    With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
    Like Niobe, all tears;—why she, even she,
    * * * married with my uncle.
  • And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
    As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle.
  • 'Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud;
    But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small:
    'Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;
    The contrary doth make thee wondered at:
    'Tis government that makes them seem divine.
  • Her sighs will make a battery in his breast;
    Her tears will pierce into a marble heart;
    The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn;
    And Nero will be tainted with remorse,
    To hear and see her plaints.
  • I grant I am a woman, but withal,
    A woman that Lord Brutus took to wife:
    I grant I am a woman; but withal
    A woman well-reputed; Cato's daughter.
  • She in beauty, education, blood,
    Holds hand with any princess of the world.
  • Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud:
    Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown,
    Are angels veiling clouds, or roses blown.
  • Would it not grieve a woman to be overmaster'd with a piece of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a cloud of wayward marl?
  • She speaks poniards, and every word stabs: if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her; she would infect to the north star.
  • One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well: another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace.
  • A maid
    That paragons description and wild fame;
    One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,
    And in the essential vesture of creation
    Does tire the ingener.
  • You are pictures out of doors,
    Bells in your parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens,
    Saints in your injuries, devils being offended,
    Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds.
  • Have you not heard it said full oft,
    A woman's nay doth stand for nought?
  • Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?
    Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
    * * * * * *
    Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
    And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
    * * * * * *
    And do you tell me of a woman's tongue,
    That gives not half so great a blow to hear
    As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire?
  • Say that she rail, why then I'll tell her plain
    She sings as sweetly as a nightingale;
    Say that she frown; I'll say she looks as clear
    As morning roses newly wash'd with dew;
    Say she be mute and will not speak a word;
    Then I'll commend her volubility,
    And say she uttereth piercing eloquence.
  • Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
    Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
    But that our soft conditions and our hearts
    Should well agree with our external parts?
  • Woman's dearest delight is to wound Man's self-conceit, though Man's dearest delight is to gratify hers.
    • Bernard Shaw, Unsocial Socialist (1883, published 1887), Chapter V.
  • You sometimes have to answer a woman according to her womanishness, just as you have to answer a fool according to his folly.
    • Bernard Shaw, Unsocial Socialist (1883, published 1887), Chapter XVIII.
  • Women, for the sake of their children and parents, submit to slaveries and prostitutions that no unattached woman would endure.
  • One moral's plain, * * * without more fuss;
    Man's social happiness all rests on us:
    Through all the drama—whether damn'd! or not—
    Love gilds the scene, and women guide the plot.
  • If we are to use women for the same things as the men, we must also teach them the same things.
  • As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
  • Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
  • Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
  • What wilt not woman, gentle woman, dare
    When strong affection stirs her spirit up?


  • With prudes for proctors, dowagers for deans,
    And sweet girl-graduates in their golden hair.
  • A rosebud set with little wilful thorns,
    And sweet as English air could make her, she.
  • The woman is so hard
    Upon the woman.
  • For woman is not undeveloped man
    But diverse; could we make her as the man
    Sweet love were slain; his dearest bond is this
    Not like to like but like in difference.
  • Queen rose of the rosebud garden of girls.
  • For men at most differ as Heaven and Earth,
    But women, worst and best, as Heaven and Hell.
  • She with all the charm of woman,
    She with all the breadth of man.
  • I do not allow a woman to teach or to usurp authority over the man.
    • 1 Timothy 2 v 12


  • Shariputra said, "Why don't you change out of this female body?" (Shariputra assumes that any woman would naturally want to change into a man if she had the power to do so.)

    The goddess replied, "For the past twelve years I have been trying to take on female form, but in the end with no success. What is there to change? If a sorcerer were to conjure up a phantom woman and then someone asked her why she didn't change out of her female body, would that be any kind of reasonable question?"

    "No," said Shariputra. "Phantoms have no fixed form, so what would there be to change?"

    The goddess said, "All things are just the same-they have no fixed form. So why ask why I don't change out of my female form?"

    At that time the goddess employed her supernatural powers to change Shariputra into a goddess like herself, while she took on Shariputra's form. Then she asked, "Why don't you change out of this female body?"

    Shariputra, now in the form of a goddess, replied, "I don't know why I have suddenly changed and taken on a female body! " The goddess said, "Shariputra, if you can change out of this female body, then all women can change likewise. Shariputra, who is not a woman, appears in a woman's body. And the same is true of all women-though they appear in women's bodies, they are not women. Therefore the Buddha teaches that all phenomena are neither male nor female."

    Then the goddess withdrew her supernatural powers, and Shariputra returned to his original form. The goddess said to Shariputra, "Where now is the form and shape of your female body?"

    Shariputra said, "The form and shape of my female body does not exist, yet does not not exist."

    The goddess said, "All things are just like that-they do not exist, yet do not not exist. And that they do not exist, yet do not not exist, is exactly what the Buddha teaches."
  • Dux femina facti.
    • A woman was leader in the deed.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I. 364.
  • Varium et mutabile semper,
    • A woman is always changeable and capricious.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), IV. 569.
  • Furens quid fœmina possit.
    • That which an enraged woman can accomplish.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), V. 6.
  • Very learned women are to be found, in the same manner as female warriors; but they are seldom or ever inventors.
    • Voltaire, Dictionnaire philosophique portatif ("A Philosophical Dictionary") (1764), Women.


  • As a result of the danger women encountered while in support positions during Desert Storm, President Bush (Sr.) called for the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces (PCAWAF) in order to determine whether women should be placed in more combat positions. According to the study, women did not meet the physical requirements of ground combat positions, and their presence could also be detrimental to unit cohesion for a number of reasons. The commission also determined that if women were allowed into combat positions, there would no longer be any legal standing to prevent women from being included in the next draft. With a 10 against and 2 abstentions, the commission voted against allowing women to serve in ground positions.
    The largest portion of the PCAWAF was dedicated to testimony and tests that showed that women, as a whole, did not meet the requirements for various ground combat positions. These men and women who were given the same training and requirements to meet. Within these studies, the women's physical performances were about 70% that of the men's performance. In response to the evidence that some women did reach the physical standard, the PCAWAF stated, "There is little doubt that some women could meet the physical standards for ground combat, but the evidence shows that few women possess the necessary physical requirements." Those for lifting the ban on combat exclusion say that with extra training more women would be able to meet the same physical requirements. In a study by the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, 78% of the participating women were able to lift 150 pounds off the ground to a height of fifty-two inches and could jog with 75 pound packs after six months of physical training. The study showed that with extra training, a large portion of women entering the military could be brought up to the same physical standards as men.
  • What cannot a neat knave with a smooth tale
    Make a woman believe?
  • One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.
    • Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance (1893), act I, in The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, vol. 7 (1923), p. 197. Lord Illingworth is speaking.
  • Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
  • A Creature not too bright or good
    For human nature's daily food;
    For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
    Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears and smiles.
  • And now I see with eye serene,
    The very pulse of the machine;
    A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
    A Traveller betwixt life and death;
    The reason firm, the temperate will,
    Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill.
  • A perfect Woman, nobly planned
    To warn, to comfort, and command.
  • She was a Phantom of delight
    When first she gleamed upon my sight;
    A lovely Apparition, sent
    To be a moment's ornament.
  • Shalt show us how divine a thing
    A Woman may be made.


  • How sad it is to be a woman!
    Nothing on earth is held so cheap.
    Boys stand leaning at the door
    Like Gods fallen out of Heaven.
    Their hearts brave the Four Oceans,
    The wind and dust of a thousand miles.
    No one is glad when a girl is born:
    By her the family sets no store.
    When she grows up, she hides in her room
    Afraid to look at a man in the face.


  • And beautiful as sweet!
    And young as beautiful! and soft as young!
    And gay as soft! and innocent as gay.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night III, line 81.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 886-97.
  • Divination seems heightened and raised to its highest power in woman.
  • Oh the gladness of their gladness when they're glad,
    And the sadness of their sadness when they're sad;
    But the gladness of their gladness, and the sadness of their sadness,
    Are as nothing to their badness when they're bad.
    • Anonymous.
  • Oh, the shrewdness of their shrewdness when they are shrewd,
    And the rudeness of their rudeness when they're rude;
    But the shrewdness of their shrewdness and the rudeness of their rudeness,
    Are as nothing to their goodness when they're good.
    • Anonymous; answer to preceding.
  • On one she smiled, and he was blest;
    She smiles elsewhere—we make a din!
    But 'twas not love which heaved her breast,
    Fair child!—it was the bliss within.
  • Woman's love is writ in water,
    Woman's faith is traced in sand.
  • Not she with trait'rous kiss her Saviour stung,
    Not she denied Him with unholy tongue;
    She, while apostles shrank, could danger brave,
    Last at His cross, and earliest at His grave.
    • Eaton S. Barrett, Woman, Part I, line 141. "Not she with trait'rous kiss her Master stung, / Not she denied Him with unfaithful tongue; / She, when apostles fled, could danger brave, / Last at His cross, and earliest at His grave." Version in ed. of 1810.
  • "And now, Madam," I addressed her, "we shall try who shall get the breeches."
    • William Beloe, Miscellanies (1795). Translation of a Latin story by Antonius Musa Brassavolus. (1540).
  • Phidias made the statue of Venus at Elis with one foot upon the shell of a tortoise, to signify two great duties of a virtuous woman, which are to keep home and be silent.
    • W. De Britaine, Human Prudence (Ed. 1726), p. 134. Referred to by Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy, Part III, Section III. Mem. 4. Subs. 2.
  • A worthless woman! mere cold clay
    As all false things are! but so fair,
    She takes the breath of men away
    Who gaze upon her unaware:
    I would not play her larcenous tricks
    To have her looks!
  • Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
    Gay as the gilded summer sky,
    Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn,
    Dear as the raptured thrill of joy.
  • Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
    Her noblest work she classes, O:
    Her 'prentice hand she tried on man,
    An' then she made the lasses, O.
  • Their tricks and craft hae put me daft,
    They've ta'en me in, and a' that,
    But clear your decks, and—Here's the sex!
    I like the jads for a' that.
  • The souls of women are so small,
    That some believe they've none at all;
    Or if they have, like cripples, still
    They've but one faculty, the will.
  • Ther seyde oones a clerk in two vers, "what is bettre than Gold? Jaspre. What is bettre than Jaspre? Wisdom. And what is bettre than Wisdom? Womman. And what is bettre than a good Womman? No thyng."
  • The sweetest noise on earth, a woman's tongue;
    A string which hath no discord.
  • Her air, her manners, all who saw admired;
    Courteous though coy, and gentle, though retired:
    The joy of youth and health her eyes display'd,
    And ease of heart her every look convey'd.
  • Whoe'er she be,
    That not impossible she,
    That shall command my heart and me.
  • Man was made when Nature was but an apprentice, but woman when she was a skilful mistress of her art.
    • Cupid's Whirligig (1607).
  • But were it to my fancy given
    To rate her charms, I'd call them heaven;
    For though a mortal made of clay,
    Angels must love Ann Hathaway;
    She hath a way so to control,
    To rapture the imprisoned soul,
    And sweetest heaven on earth display,
    That to be heaven Ann hath a way;

    She hath a way,
    Ann Hathaway,—
    To be heaven's self Ann hath a way.
    • Charles Dibdin, A Love Dittie. In his novel Hannah Hewitt (1795). Often attributed to Shakespeare.
  • But in some odd nook in Mrs. Todgers's breast, up a great many steps, and in a corner easy to be overlooked, there was a secret door, with "Woman" written on the spring, which, at a touch from Mercy's hand, had flown wide open, and admitted her for shelter.
  • She was not made out of his head, Sir,
    To rule and to govern the man;
    Nor was she made out of his feet, Sir,
    By man to be trampled upon.
    * * * * *
    But she did come forth from his side, Sir,
    His equal and partner to be;
    And now they are coupled together,
    She oft proves the top of the tree.
    • Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England; collected by James Henry Dixon.
  • Be then thine own home, and in thyself dwell;
    Inn anywhere;
    And seeing the snail, which everywhere doth roam,
    Carrying his own home still, still is at home,
    Follow (for he is easy-paced) this snail:
    Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.
  • For women with a mischief to their kind,
    Pervert with bad advice our better mind.
  • A woman's counsel brought us first to woe,
    And made her man his paradise forego,
    Where at heart's ease he liv'd; and might have been
    As free from sorrow as he was from sin.
  • I am resolved to grow fat and look young till forty, and then slip out of the world with the first wrinkle and the reputation of five and twenty.
  • And that one hunting, which the devil design'd
    For one fair female, lost him half the kind.
  • What all your sex desire is Sovereignty.
  • Her lot is made for her by the love she accepts.
  • When greater perils men inviron,
    Then women show a front of iron;
    And, gentle in their manner, they
    Do bold things in a quiet way.
  • There is no worse evil than a bad woman; and nothing has ever been produced better than a good one.
  • Our sex still strikes an awe upon the brave,
    And only cowards dare affront a woman.
  • A woman friend! He that believes that weakness,
    Steers in a stormy night without a compass.
  • Woman, I tell you, is a microcosm; and rightly to rule her, requires as great talents as to govern a state.
  • Toute femme varie
    Bien fol est qui s'y fie.
    • Woman is always fickle—foolish is he who trusts her.
    • François I; scratched with his ring on a window of Chambord Castle. (Quoted also "souvent femme.") See Brantome—Œuvres, VII. 395. Also Le Livre des Proverbes François, by Le Roux de Lincy. I. V. 231. (Ed. 1859).
  • Are women books? says Hodge, then would mine were
    An Almanack, to change her every year.
  • A cat has nine lives and a woman has nine cats' lives.
  • Es ist doch den Mädchen wie angeboren, dass sie allem gefallen wollen, was nur Augen hat.
    • The desire to please everything having eyes seems inborn in maidens.
    • Salomon Gessner, Evander und Alcima, III. 1.
  • I am a woman—therefore I may not
    Call to him, cry to him,
    Fly to him,
    Bid him delay not!
  • Denn geht es zu des Bösen Haus
    Das Weib hat tausend Schritt voraus.
  • Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan.
    • The eternal feminine doth draw us upward.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, II. 5. "La Féminine Eternel / Nous attire au ciel." French translation. of Goethe by H. Blaze de Bury.
  • 'Tis Lilith.
    Adam's first wife is she.
    Beware the lure within her lovely tresses,
    The splendid sole adornment of her hair;
    When she succeeds therewith a youth to snare,
    Not soon again she frees him from her jesses.
  • Ein edler Mann wird durch ein gutes Wort
    Der Frauen weit geführt.
  • Der Umgang mit Frauen ist das Element guter Sitten.
  • Mankind, from Adam, have been women's fools;
    Women, from Eve, have been the devil's tools:
    Heaven might have spar'd one torment when we fell;
    Not left us women, or not threatened hell.
  • Vente quid levius? fulgur. Quid fulgure? flamma
    Flamma quid? mulier. Quid mulier? nihil.
    • What is lighter than the wind? A feather.
      What is lighter than a feather? fire.
      What lighter than fire? a woman.
      What lighter than a woman? Nothing.
    • Harleian Manuscript, No. 3362, Folio 47.
  • De wimmin, dey does de talkin' en de flyin', en de mens, dey does de walkin en de pryin', en betwixt en betweenst um, dey ain't much dat don't come out.
  • That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.
    • Matthew Henry, Note on Genesis II, 21 and 22. Also in Chaucer, Persones Tale.
  • First, then, a woman will, or won't,—depend on't;
    If she will do't, she will; and there's an end on't.
    But, if she won't, since safe and sound your trust is,
    Fear is affront: and jealousy injustice.
  • Where is the man who has the power and skill
    To stem the torrent of a woman's will?
    For if she will, she will, you may depend on't;
    And if she won't, she won't; so there's an end on't.
    • From the Pillar Erected on the Mount in the Dane John Field, Canterbury. Examiner (May 31, 1829).
  • Women may be whole oceans deeper than we are, but they are also a whole paradise better. She may have got us out of Eden, but as a compensation she makes the earth very pleasant.
  • She moves a goddess, and she looks a queen.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book III, line 208. Pope's translation.
  • O woman, woman, when to ill thy mind
    Is bent, all hell contains no fouler fiend.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book XI, line 531. Pope's translation.
  • What mighty woes
    To thy imperial race from woman rose.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book XI, line 541. Pope's translation.
  • But, alas! alas! for the woman's fate,
    Who has from a mob to choose a mate!
    'Tis a strange and painful mystery!
    But the more the eggs the worse the hatch;
    The more the fish, the worse the catch;
    The more the sparks the worse the match;
    Is a fact in woman's history.
  • God in his harmony has equal ends
    For cedar that resists and reed that bends;
    For good it is a woman sometimes rules,
    Holds in her hand the power, and manners, schools
    And laws, and mind; succeeding master proud.
    With gentle voice and smiles she leads the crowd,
    The somber human troop.
  • O woman! thou wert fashioned to beguile:
    So have all sages said, all poets sung.
  • In that day seven women shall take hold of one man.
    • Isaiah, IV. 1.
  • 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.
  • Ladies, stock and tend your hive,
    Trifle not at thirty-five;
    For, howe'er we boast and strive,
    Life declines from thirty-five;
    He that ever hopes to thrive
    Must begin by thirty-five.
  • One woman reads another's character
    Without the tedious trouble of deciphering.
  • And where she went, the flowers took thickest root,
    As she had sow'd them with her odorous foot.
  • Nulla fere causa est in qua non femina litem moverit.
    • There's scarce a case comes on but you shall find
      A woman's at the bottom.
    • Juvenal, Satires, VI. 242.
  • Vindicta
    Nemo magis gaudet, quam femina.
    • Revenge we find,
      The abject pleasure of an abject mind
      And hence so dear to poor weak woman kind.
    • Juvenal, Satires, XIII. 191.
  • I met a lady in the meads
    Full beautiful—a faery's child,
    Her hair was long, her foot was light,
    And her eyes were wild.
  • When the Hymalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
    He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
    But the she-bear thus accosted, rends the peasant tooth and nail,
    For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
  • Ich hab' es immer gesagt: das Weib wollte die Natur zu ihrem Meisterstücke machen.
  • Was hätt ein Weiberkopf erdacht, das er
    Nicht zu beschönen wüsste?
    • What could a woman's head contrive
      Which it would not know how to excuse?
    • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Nathan der Weise, III.
  • 'Twas kin' o' kingdom-come to look
    On sech a blessed cretur.
  • Parvula, pumilio, chariton mia tota merum sal.
    • A little, tiny, pretty, witty, charming darling she.
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, IV. 1158.
  • When all the medical officers have retired for the night, and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she [Florence Nightingale] may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.
    • Mr. MacDonald, on the staff of the London Times, in a letter to that paper when leaving Scutari. See Pictorial History of the Russian War (1854–5–6), p. 310.
  • Of all wild beasts on earth or in sea, the greatest is a woman.
  • O woman, born first to believe us;
    Yea, also born first to forget;
    Born first to betray and deceive us,
    Yet first to repent and regret.
  • I always thought a tinge of blue
    Improved a charming woman's stocking.
  • Disguise our bondage as we will,
    'Tis woman, woman rules us still.
  • My only books
    Were woman's looks,
    And folly's all they've taught me.
  • The virtue of her lively looks
    Excels the precious stone;
    I wish to have none other books
    To read or look upon.
    • Songs and Sonnets (1557).
  • For if a young lady has that discretion and modesty, without which all knowledge is little worth, she will never make an ostentatious parade of it, because she will rather be intent on acquiring more, than on displaying what she has.
    • Hannah More, Essays on Various Subjects, Thoughts on Conversation.
  • Queens you must always be: queens to your lovers; queens to your husbands and your sons, queens of higher mystery to the world beyond…. But, alas, you are too often idle and careless queens, grasping at majesty in the least things, while you abdicate it in the greatest.
    • D. M. Mulock. Quoted from Ruskin on the title page of The Woman's Kingdom.
  • So I wonder a woman, the Mistress of Hearts,
    Should ascend to aspire to be Master of Arts;
    A Ministering Angel in Woman we see,
    And an Angel need cover no other Degree.
  • Who trusts himself to women, or to waves,
    Should never hazard what he fears to lose.
  • What mighty ills have not been done by woman!
    Who was't betray'd the Capitol? A woman;
    Who lost Mark Antony the world? A woman;
    Who was the cause of a long ten years' war,
    And laid at last old Troy in ashes? Woman;
    Destructive, damnable, deceitful woman!
  • Who can describe
    Women's hypocrisies! their subtle wiles,
    Betraying smiles, feign'd tears, inconstancies!
    Their painted outsides, and corrupted minds,
    The sum of all their follies, and their falsehoods.
  • O woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee
    To temper man: we had been brutes without you;
    Angels are painted fair, to look like you:
    There's in you all that we believe of Heaven,
    Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
    Eternal joy, and everlasting love.
  • Wit and woman are two frail things, and both the frailer by concurring.
  • Still an angel appear to each lover beside,
    But still be a woman to you.
  • Ah, wasteful woman! she who may
    On her sweet self set her own price,
    Knowing man cannot choose but pay,
    How has she cheapen'd Paradise!
    How given for nought her priceless gift,
    How spoil'd the bread and spill'd the wine,
    Which, spent with due respective thrift,
    Had made brutes men and men divine.
  • To chase the clouds of life's tempestuous hours,
    To strew its short but weary way with flow'rs,
    New hopes to raise, new feelings to impart,
    And pour celestial balsam on the heart;
    For this to man was lovely woman giv'n,
    The last, best work, the noblest gift of Heav'n.
  • Women's liberation could have not succeeded if science had not provided them with contraception and household technology.
    • Max Ferdinand Perutz, The Impact of Science on Society: The Challenge for Education, in J. L. Lewis and P. J. Kelly (eds.), Science and Technology and Future Human Needs (1987), 18.
  • Those who always speak well of women do not know them sufficiently; those who always speak ill of them do not know them at all.
  • Nam multum loquaces merito omnes habemus,
    Nec mutam profecto repertam ullam esse
    Hodie dicunt mulierem ullo in seculo.
    • I know that we women are all justly accounted praters; they say in the present day that there never was in any age such a wonder to be found as a dumb woman.
    • Plautus, Aulularia, II. 1. 5.
  • Multa sunt mulierum vitia, sed hoc e multis maximum,
    Cum sibi nimis placent, nimisque operam dant ut placeant viris.
    • Women have many faults, but of the many this is the greatest, that they please themselves too much, and give too little attention to pleasing the men.
    • Plautus, Pœnulus, V. 4. 33.
  • Mulieri nimio male facere melius est onus, quam bene.
    • A woman finds it much easier to do ill than well.
    • Plautus, Truculentus, II. 5. 17.
  • Oh! say not woman's heart is bought
    With vain and empty treasure.
    * * * * *
    Deep in her heart the passion glows;
    She loves and loves forever.
    • Isaac Pocock, Song, in The Heir of Vironi, produced at Covent Garden, Feb. 27, 1817.
  • Our grandsire, Adam, ere of Eve possesst,
    Alone, and e'en in Paradise unblest,
    With mournful looks the blissful scenes survey'd,
    And wander'd in the solitary shade.
    The Maker saw, took pity, and bestow'd
    Woman, the last, the best reserv'd of God.
  • Give God thy broken heart, He whole will make it:
    Give woman thy whole heart, and she will break it.
  • Be to her virtues very kind;
    Be to her faults a little blind.
    Let all her ways be unconfin'd;
    And clap your padlock—on her mind.
  • The gray mare will prove the better horse.
    • Matthew Prior, Epilogue to Lucius. Last line. Butler, Hudibras, Part II, Canto L, line 698. Fielding—The Grub Street Opera, Act II, scene 4. Pryde and Abuse of Women. (1550). The Marriage of True Wit and Science. Macaulay—History of England, Volume I, Chapter III. Footnote suggests it arose from the preference generally given to the gray mares of Flanders over the finest coach horses of England. Proverb traced to Holland. (1546).
  • That if weak women went astray,
    Their stars were more in fault than they.
  • It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
    • Proverbs, XXI. 9.
  • Like to the falling of a star,
    * * * *
    Like to the damask rose you see,
    Or like the blossom on the tree.
    • Francis Quarles, Argalus and Parthenia. Claimed by him but attributed to John Phillipot (Philpott) in Harleian Manuscript, 3917. Folio 88 b., a fragment written about the time of James I. Credited to Simon Wastell (1629) by Mackay, as it is appended to his Microbiblion. Said to be an imitation of an earlier poem by Bishop Henry King.
  • If she seem not chaste to me,
    What care I how chaste she be?
  • That, let us rail at women, scorn and flout 'em,
    We may live with, but cannot live without 'em.
  • A woman is the most inconsistent compound of obstinacy and self-sacrifice that I am acquainted with.
  • O wild, dark flower of woman,
    Deep rose of my desire,
    An Eastern wizard made you
    Of earth and stars and fire.
  • Angels listen when she speaks;
    She's my delight, all mankind's wonder;
    But my jealous heart would break
    Should we live one day asunder.
  • C'est chose qui moult me deplaist,
    Quand poule parle et coq se taist.
    • It is a thing very displeasing to me when the hen speaks and the cock is silent.
    • Roman de la Rose, XIV. Cent.
  • Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
    (The witch he loved before the gift of Eve)
    That ere the snakes, her sweet tongue could deceive
    And her enchanted hair was the first gold—
    And still she sits, young while the earth is old
    And, subtly of herself contemplative,
    Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave,
    Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
  • Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.
    • Bertrand Russell, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish", Unpopular Essays (1950).
  • Ne l'onde solca, e ne l'arena semina,
    E'l vago vento spera in rete accogliere
    Chi sue speranze fonda in cor di femina.
    • He ploughs the waves, sows the sand, and hopes to gather the wind in a net, who places his hopes on the heart of woman.
    • Jacopo Sannazaro, Ecloga Octava; "Plough the sands" found in Juvenal, Satires, VII. Jeremy Taylor, Discourse on Liberty of Prophesying (1647), Introduction.
  • Such, Polly, are your sex—part truth, part fiction;
    Some thought, much whim, and all a contradiction.
  • Ehret die Frauen! sie flechten und weben
    Himmlische Rosen in's irdische Leben.
    • Honor women! they entwine and weave heavenly roses in our earthly life.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Würde der Frauen.
  • The weakness of their reasoning faculty also explains why women show more sympathy for the unfortunate than men;… and why, on the contrary, they are inferior to men as regards justice, and less honourable and conscientious.
  • In the beginning, said a Persian poet—Allah took a rose, a lily, a dove, a serpent, a little honey, a Dead Sea apple, and a handful of clay. When he looked at the amalgam—it was a woman.
  • Woman reduces us all to the common denominator.
  • The fickleness of the woman I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
  • She is her selfe of best things the collection.
  • Lor', but women's rum cattle to deal with, the first man found that to his cost,
    And I reckon it's just through a woman the last man on earth'll be lost.
  • He beheld his own rougher make softened into sweetness, and tempered with smiles; he saw a creature who had, as it were, Heaven's second thought in her formation.
    • Richard Steele, Christian Hero (of Adam awaking, and first seeing Eve).
  • She is pretty to walk with,
    And witty to talk with,
    And pleasant too, to think on.
  • Of all the girls that e'er was seen,
    There's none so fine as Nelly.
  • Daphne knows, with equal ease,
    How to vex and how to please;
    But the folly of her sex
    Makes her sole delight to vex.
  • Lose no time to contradict her,
    Nor endeavour to convict her;
    Only take this rule along,
    Always to advise her wrong,
    And reprove her when she's right;
    She may then crow wise for spite.
  • O Woman, you are not merely the handiwork of God, but also of men; these are ever endowing you with beauty from their own hearts…. You are one-half woman and one-half dream.
  • Femmina è cosa garrula e fallace:
    Vuole e disvuole, è folle uom chi sen fida,
    Si tra se volge.
    • Women have tongues of craft, and hearts of guile,
      They will, they will not; fools that on them trust;
      For in their speech is death, hell in their smile.
    • Torquato Tasso, Gerusalemme, XIX. 84.
  • All virtuous women, like tortoises, carry their house on their heads, and their chappel in their heart, and their danger in their eye, and their souls in their hands, and God in all their actions.
  • A woman's honor rests on manly love.
  • Novi ingenium mulierum;
    Nolunt ubi velis, ubi nolis cupiunt ultro.
    • I know the nature of women. When you will, they will not; when you will not, they come of their own accord.
    • Terence, Eunuchus, IV. 7. 42.
  • 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.
  • Since the days of Adam, there has been hardly a mischief done in this world but a woman has been at the bottom of it.
  • Regard the society of women as a necessary unpleasantness of social life, and avoid it as much as possible.
  • Woman is more impressionable than man. Therefore in the Golden Age they were better than men. Now they are worse.
  • I think Nature hath lost the mould
    Where she her shape did take;
    Or else I doubt if Nature could
    So fair a creature make.
    • A Praise of his Lady. In Tottel's Miscellany (1557). The Earl of Surrey wrote similar lines, A Praise of his Love (Before 1547).
  • He is a fool who thinks by force or skill
    To turn the current of a woman's will.
    • Sir Samuel Tuke, The Adventure of Five Hours (1663), Act V, scene 3, line 483. Translation from Calderon.
  • A slighted woman knows no bounds.
  • Let our weakness be what it will, mankind will still be weaker; and whilst there is a world, 'tis woman that will govern it.
  • All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women.
  • "Woman" must ever be a woman's highest name,
    And honors more than "Lady," if I know right.
  • My wife is one of the best wimin on this Continent, altho' she isn't always gentle as a lamb with mint sauce.
  • She is not old, she is not young,
    The Woman with the Serpent's Tongue.
    The haggard cheek, the hungering eye,
    The poisoned words that wildly fly,
    The famished face, the fevered hand—
    Who slights the worthiest in the land,
    Sneers at the just, contemns the brave,
    And blackens goodness in its grave.
  • Not from his head was woman took,
    As made her husband to o'erlook;
    Not from his feet, as one designed
    The footstool of the stronger kind;
    But fashioned for himself, a bride;
    An equal, taken from his side.
    • Charles Wesley, Short Hymns on Select Passages of the Holy Scriptures.
  • Oh! no one. No one in particular. A woman of no importance.
  • Shall I, wasting in despaire,
    Dye because a woman's faire?
    Or make pale my cheeks with care
    Cause another's rosie are?
    Be shee fairer than the day,
    Or the flow'ry meads in May;
    If she be not so to me,
    What care I how faire shee be?
    • George Wither, Mistresse of Philarete, reported in Percy's Reliques.
  • The liberated woman, or svairini, is one who refuses a husband and has relations in her own home or in other houses.
    • Yashodhara, Jayamangala (twelfth-century commentary on the Kama Sutra) Book 6, chapter 6, verse 50.

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)[edit]

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 249-250.
  • A woman's notes will not signify much truly, no more than her tongue.
    • Scroggs, L.C.J., Trial of Richard Langhorn (1679), 7 How. St. Tr. 437.
  • A woman cannot be a pastor by the law of God. I say more, it is against the law of the realm.
  • Women had prerogative in deliberative sessions touching either peace-government, or martial affairs.
    • On the custom of the ancient Britons; Selden's Works, Vol. 3, p. 10, cited in Chorlton v. Lings (1868), L. R. 4 C. P. 389.
  • All fiefs were originally masculine, and women were excluded from the succession of them because they cannot keep secrets.
    • West's Inquiry into the manner of creating Peers, 44, cited 7 Mod. 272.

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