Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Inspiring Feminist Quotes

I'm always looking for them -- you know, inspiring, thought-provoking feminist quotes. Please feel free to share whichever are your favorites; I have two websites, both of which have/need a quote (and a thought-provoking picture) at the top on every page, so I'll be grateful if you can share some! Since the two websites are of different categories (one's more academic and tends to student needs and guidance, and the other's more feminism-oriented), I'd appreciate academic quotes as well - you know, things on the importance of education, learning, etc. Here are some of the feminism-related ones, and I'll share the academic ones another time, ka khairee. Enjoy!

~ No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
- Carrie Chapman Catt

~ "The physical vulnerabilities of a woman can be traced to that most important of human accomplishments, the absorption of her strength in carrying, nursing, and rearing children. I have always known that this one fact doomed females to a subordinate status in all societies. Instead of attaining honor for being the producer of life, we are penalized!"

- From Princess Sultana's Daughters

~ "In using terms like patriarchy, hermeneutics, and sexual/textual, I do not wish to misrepresent the Qurn as a feminist text; rather, the use of such terminology shows my own intellectual disposition and biases."
- Asma Barlas in "Believing Women" in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Quran (University of Texas Press, 2002), p. 19.

~ What is Islamic feminism? Let me offer a concise definition: it is a feminist discourse and practice articulated within an Islamic paradigm. Islamic feminism, which derives its understanding and mandate from the Qur'an, seeks rights and justice for women, and for men, in the totality of their existence.
- Barbara Stowasser
~ The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source. 
- Lucretia Mott

~ Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness.
– Erica Jong

People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
- Bob Dylan

~ Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.
- Albert Einstein

~ This culture we claim --
Bursting bubbles of soap, of slime
We live on, by the logic of key and lock
We swathe our women in cotton shrouds
We possess them like the carpets beneath us,
Like the cows in fenced fields,
to flock home at night's end,
for our due, bulls and seeds unpenned
- Nizar Qabbani

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

~ An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

~ The best judge of whether or not a country is going to develop is how it treats its women. If it's educating its girls, if women have equal rights, that country is going to move forward. But if women are oppressed and abused and illiterate, then they're going to fall behind.
- Barack Obama

~ "I couldn't make Water until I stopped being angry ... it took me five years to get over my anger. Why are we so scared of showing the truth? Why can't we question aspects of our tradition that aren't so great?"
- Deepa Mehta, producer and director of the films "Water," "Earth," and "Fire."

~ Interviewer: Today the hijab is a hotly contested topic around the world. You have stated on numerous occasions that "Wearing hijab today is a sign of submission to Saudi Arabia."
Riffat Hassan: Did I say that?

~ The silent majority of Muslims want to find a voice and not to leave the voice of Islam only to the conservative, so-called observant Muslims. We have arrived at the moment when there's enough people who have not spoken who feel it's time to speak, that I think we'll see quite the transformation, and we'll hear a whole variety of issues… and I think among them is a critique of a certain kind of Islam that even in some remote way lends support to terrorism.
- Leila Ahmed

~ It is possible, reading standard histories, to forget half the population of the country. The explorers were men, the landholders and merchants men, the political leaders men, the military figures men. The very invisibility of women, the overlooking of women, is a sign of their submerged status.
- Howard Zin

~ How many years can some people exist
before they’re allowed to be free…
– Bob Dylan


  1. Here are some of my favorites! https://diaryofamuslimfeminist.wordpress.com/quotes/

  2. Thank you so much for that link, Zuhura! I'm grateful!

  3. Two of my favs: Because women’s work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring or repetitious and we’re the first to get fired and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it’s our fault and if we get beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we’re nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we’re nymphos and if we don’t we’re frigid and if we love women it’s because we can’t get a “real” man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we’re neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect childcare we’re selfish and if we stand up for our rights we’re aggressive and “unfeminine” and if we don’t we’re typical weak females and if we want to get married we’re out to trap a man and if we don’t we’re unnatural and because we still can’t get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can’t cope or don’t want a pregnancy we’re made to feel guilty about abortion and…for lots of other reasons we are part of the women’s liberation movement. ~Author unknown, quoted in The Torch, 14 September 1987

    "The weaker sex must protect the stronger sex from recognising the strength of the weaker sex lest the stronger sex feel weakened by the strength of the weaker sex." - Harriet Goldhor Lerner

  4. Beckyyyyyyyyyyyyy - those quotes are beautiful!! Thank you so much, girl! I especially love the first one ... for obvious reasons!


Dare to opine :)

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