Friday Feminist/Womanist

Each week I post a “Friday Feminist” or a “Friday Womanist” quote. In some cases I agree with what the writer says, and in others, I don’t. Sometimes the quote I have chosen reflects something I am thinking about, sometimes it reflects current events, sometimes it commemorates a person’s life and death, sometimes it elucidates the history of feminist thinking, sometimes it is something I find confronting. The main criteria are that the writing is feminist (broadly construed) or womanist, and interesting.

I am indexing all the quotes I have posted below, with a tiny snippet from each one. I am putting quotes in rough publication order, latest listed first, ‘though where I have quoted one woman several times, I have grouped all the quotes together. So this list goes back and back and back in feminist thinking. It also includes some womanist thinking. Not all womanist and feminist thinking, of course! Just the pieces that make me think.

Index (under construction)

Joan McGregor – 2005
“It should be noted that normally we do not let others exploit an incapacitated person and take advantage of their condition.”
Joan McGregor (2) – 2005
“…if the law wants to protect women’s sexual autonomy then not only should it look for the defeaters of consent – external and internal conditions that would undermine consent – but it should also require positive signs of consent.”

Laurie Shrage – 1999
“Numerous studies indicate that jobs performed predominantly by persons of color and white women pay significantly less than those primarily occupied by white men…”

Germaine Greer – 1999
Women are the labouring sex.
Germaine Greer – 1999
Every woman knows that, regardless of all her other achievements, she is a failure if she is not beautiful.

bell hooks (2) – 1992
“For my colleagues, racism expressed in everyday encounters – this is our second such experience together – is only an unpleasantness to be avoided, not something to be confronted or challenged.”
bell hooks (3) – 1989
Women in lower-class and poor groups, particularly those who are non-white, would not have defined women’s liberation as women gaining social equality with men since they are continually reminded in their everyday lives that all women do not share a common social status.

Ursula Le Guin – 1990
“pondering the indifference of a man towards the exigencies that rule a woman ”
Ursula Le Guin (2) – 1990
It would be a pity, she thought, if he did think about it, if he started fearing that his dignity hung by a dishcloth.

Nancy Mairs – 1990
I’m likely to deal with my problems and difficulties by squawking and flapping around like that hysterical chicken who was convinced the sky was falling. Never mind that in my case the sky really is falling.

Naomi Wolf – 1990
“Women insisted on politicizing health; new technologies of invasive, potentially dangerous “cosmetic” surgeries developed apace to re-exert old forms of medical control of women.”

Marilyn Waring (7) – 1985
Women instinctively have the potential for a broader consciousness of politics than men. Our lives are more varied and less circumscribed.

Catharine MacKinnon (4) – 1989
From women’s point of view, rape is not prohibited; it is regulated.

Andrea Dworkin (3) – 1983
“The intelligence of women is traditionally starved, isolated, imprisoned.”
Andrea Dworkin (4) – 1983
“Is the difference in the style with which these same ideas are delivered or in the penis?”
Andrea Dworkin (5) – 1983
“Feminists know that if women are paid equal wages for equal work, women will gain sexual as well as economic independence.”
Andrea Dworkin (6) – 1983
“Right-wing women have surveyed the world: they find it a dangerous place.”

Mary Daly (3) – 1979
“This will of course be called an “anti-male” book. Even the most cautious and circumspect feminist writings are described in this way.”

Marilyn French – 1977
“I support your way of life by my work, not the reverse.”
Marilyn French (2) – 1977
“Whatever they may be in public life, whatever their relationships with men, in their relations with women, all men are rapists, and that’s all they are.”

Christine Delphy – 1976
My proposition is that marriage is the institution by which unpaid work is extorted from a particular category of the population, women-wives.

Robin Lakoff – 1973
…that if in a particular sentence, both woman and lady might be used, the use of the latter tends to trivialize the subject matter under discussion, often subtly ridiculing the woman involved.

Mary Daly (2) – 1972
“In the Looking Glass society females, that is Magnifying Mirrors, play a crucial role. But males have realized that it would serve no good purpose if this were to become known by females…”

Toni Morrison – 1971
“But there was one set of signs that was not malevolent; it was, in fact, rather reassuring in its accuracy and and fine distinctions: the pair that said “White Ladies” and “Colored Women.””

Virginia Woolf – 1938
“Nature was called in; Nature it was claimed who is not only omniscient but unchanging, had made the brain of woman of the wrong shape or size.”

Margaret Sanger – 1920
The basic freedom of the world is woman’s freedom.
Margaret Sanger (2) – 1920
In an ideal society, no doubt, birth control would become the concern of the man as well as the woman.

Freda du Faur – 1915
Do what you will, modern life demands stress and strain; the biologist may regret it, but the time has passed when the great majority of women could, even if they would, lead the life of an animated jelly-fish.
Freda du Faur (2) – 1915
…to have blazed one more little path through ignorance and convention, and added one tiny spark to the ever-growing beacon lighted by the women of this generation to help their fellow-travellers climb out of the dark woods and valleys of conventional tradition and gain the fresh, invigorating air and wider view-point of the mountain-tops.

Cecily Hamilton (4) – 1910
It is this: that however arduous and exacting the labour that trade entails – and the rough manual work of most households is done by women – it is not paid except by a wage of subsistence.
Cecily Hamilton (3) – 1910
Of all the wrongs that have been inflicted upon woman there has been none like unto this – the enforced arrest of her mental growth – and none which bears more bitter and eloquent testimony to the complete and essential servility of her position.

Louisa Lawson (3) – 1890
A wife has no time to think of her own life and development, she has no money to spend, it is “her husband’s money”, the complete right to her own children is not yet legally hers, and she is not even in independent possession of her own body.
Louisa Lawson (2) – 1890
“No, they would say “Curse you – it is my right. What business is it of yours how I use it?”
Louisa Lawson – 1888
“Here then is The Dawn, the Australian Woman’s Journal and mouthpiece – a phonograph to wind out audibly the whispers, pleadings and demands of the sisterhood.”

Women’s Christian Temperance Union – 1888
Ten reasons why the women of New Zealand should vote

Mary Wollstonecraft (4) – 1792
“Who made man the exclusive judge, if woman partake with him of the gift of reason?”

Mary Astell (2) – 1700
If all men are born free, how is it that all Women are born slaves?

Christine de Pizan – 1405
“My lady, since they have minds skilled in conceptualizing and learning, just like men, why don’t women learn more?”
Christine de Pizan (2) – 1405

Indexed back to January 2009 inclusive

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