Friday, September 20, 2013

Gloria Steinem Quotes

1. The family is the basic cell of government: it is where we are trained to believe that we are human beings or that we are chattel, it is where we are trained to see the sex and race divisions and become callous to injustice even if it is done to ourselves, to accept as biological a full system of authoritarian government.

2. One day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the Earth!

3. I don't breed well in captivity.


4. Unless we include a job as part of every citizen's right to autonomy and personal fulfillment, women will continue to be vulnerable to someone else's idea of what need is.


5. For women...bras, panties, bathing suits, and other stereotypical gear are visual reminders of a commercial, idealized feminine image that our real and diverse female bodies can't possibly fit. Without these visual references, each individual woman's body demands to be accepted on its own terms. We stop being comparatives. We begin to be unique.


6. This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor on which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.

7. Evil is obvious only in retrospect.





8. America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people.

9. Having someone who looks like us but thinks like them is worse than having no one at all.


10. Clearly no one knows what leadership has gone undiscovered in women of all races, and in black and other minority men.





11. As the little boy said when asked if he wanted to be a lawyer like his mother: "Oh no, that's women's work." Logic has nothing to do with oppression.


12. Women's total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage.

13. God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there's no turning back.

14. A lot of my generation are living out the un-lived lives of our mothers.


15. We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs.



16. We need to remember across generations that there is as much to learn as there is to teach.

17. Nobody cares about feminist academic writing. That's careerism. These poor women in academia have to talk this silly language that nobody can understand in order to be accepted…But I recognize the fact that we have this ridiculous system of tenure, that the whole thrust of academia is one that values education, in my opinion, in inverse ratio to its usefulness - and what you write in inverse relationship to its understandability. Academics are forced to write in language no one can understand so that they get tenure. They have to say "discourse", not "talk". Knowledge that is not accessible is not helpful.


18. Work is valued by the social value of the worker.






19. A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.

20. For much of the female half of the world, food is the first signal of our inferiority. It lets us know that our own families may consider female bodies to be less deserving, less needy, less valuable.


21. No one ever got radicalized by being grateful.

22. A movement is only composed of people moving. To feel its warmth and motion around us is the end as well as the means.

23. What has the women's movement learned from Geraldine Ferraro's candidacy for vice president? Never get married.

24. It still would be years before I understood the seriousness of my change of view. Much later, I recognized it in "Revolution," the essay of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who describes the moment when a man on the edge of a crowd looks back defiantly at a policeman - and when that policeman senses a sudden refusal to accept his defining gaze - as the imperceptible moment in which rebellion is born. "All books about all revolutions begin with a chapter that describes the decay of tottering authority or the misery and sufferings of the people," Kapuscinski writes. "They should begin with a psychological chapter - one that shows how a harassed, terrified man suddenly breaks his terror, stops being afraid. This unusual process - sometimes accomplished in an instant, like a shock - demands to be illustrated. Man gets rid of fear and feel free. Without that, there would be no revolution.


25. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.

26. In my own mind, I am still a fat brunette from Toledo, and I always will be.

27. A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.

28. Logic is in the eye of the logician.

29. Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.


30. The only thing I can't stand is discomfort.


31. Dying seems less sad than having lived too little.

32. The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.

33. However sugarcoated and ambiguous, every form of authoritarianism must start with a belief in some group's greater right to power, whether that right is justified by sex, race, class, religion or all four. However far it may expand, the progression inevitably rests on unequal power and airtight roles within the family.


34. The authority of any governing institution must stop at its citizen's skin.


35. Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.


36. When the past dies, there is mourning, but when the future dies our imaginations are compelled to carry it on.

37. I'd like to be played as a child by Natalie Wood. I'd have some romantic scenes as Audrey Hepburn and have gritty black-and-white scenes as Patricia Neal.


38. It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than watch it accumulate.



39. Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.

40. Don't think about making women fit the world - think about making the world fit women.


41. Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.

42. Most women are one man away from welfare.

43. The first resistance to social change is to say it's not necessary.

44. Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.


45. Because I have work to care about, it is possible that I may be less difficult to get along with than other women when the double chins start to form.

46. Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one.


47. Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.

48. A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.

49. I've yet to be on a campus where most women weren't worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children and a career. I've yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing.


50. Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.

51. So whatever you want to do, just do it…Making a damn fool of yourself is absolutely essential.

52. Her searches after knowledge were arbitrary and without context. It was as if she were shining a small flashlight of curiosity into the dark room of the world.


53. I will no longer be referred to as Miss Steinem of Ms. magazine.





54. The art of life is not controlling what happens to us, but using what happens to us.

55. Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.


56. Planning ahead is a measure of class. The rich and even the middle class plan for future generations, but the poor can plan ahead only a few weeks or days.

57. Empathy is the most radical of human emotions.

58. In retrospect, perhaps the biggest reason my mother was cared for but not helped for twenty years was the simplest: Her functioning was not that necessary to the world.

59. We've begun to raise daughters more like sons…but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.


60. No wonder male religious leaders so often say that humans were born in sin - because we were born to female creatures. Only by obeying the rules of the patriarchy can we be reborn through men. No wonder priests and ministers in skirts sprinkle imitation birth fluid over our heads, give us new names and promise rebirth into everlasting life.


61. Once we give up searching for approval we often find it easier to earn respect.


62. It's an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don't try to make it posthumous.


63. Self-esteem isn't everything; it's just that there's nothing without it.


64. A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.

65. I didn't hear words that were accurate, much less prideful. For example, I never once heard the word clitoris. It would be years before I learned that females possessed the only organ in the human body with no function than to feel pleasure.

66. If you say, I'm for equal pay, that's a reform. But if you say. I'm a feminist, that's a transformation of society.


67. But the problem is that when I go around and speak on campuses, I still don't get young men standing up and saying: "How can I combine career and family?"




68. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.


69. Someone asked me why women don't gamble as much as men do, and I gave the commonsensical reply that we don't have as much money. That was a true and incomplete answer. In fact, women's total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage.






70. If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?


71. We are the women our parents warned us against, and we are proud.







72. Men should think twice before making widow hood woman's only path to power.

73. No man can call himself liberal, or radical, or even a conservative advocate of fair play, if his work depends in any way on the unpaid or underpaid labor of women at home, or in the office.


74. The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.

75. We know that we can do what men can do, but we still don't know that men can do what women can do. That's absolutely crucial. We can't go on doing two jobs.

76. Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.


77. Women are always saying:"We can do anything that men can do." But Men should be saying""We can do anything that women can do.


78. Hope is a very unruly emotion.

79. From pacifist to terrorist, each person condemns violence - and then adds one cherished case in which it may be justified.

80. We'll never solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth.


81. Happy or unhappy, families are all mysterious. We have only to imagine how differently we would be described - and will be, after our deaths - by each of the family members who believe they know us.

82. I do not like to write - I like to have written.

83. If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?

84. I have met brave women who are exploring the outer edge of human possibility, with no history to guide them, and with a courage to make themselves vulnerable that I find moving beyond words.


85. Most women's magazines simply try to mold women into bigger and better consumers.


86. Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren't, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.

87. Women have two choices: Either she's a feminist or a masochist.


What do you think of Gloria Steinem's quotes?


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