March is Women’s History Month. I know many believe this is frivolous and unnecessary, but we only have to listen to what is being said all around us (and it’s not just conservative politicians who are guilty) to know that we still have a long way to go before women are equal in more than a trite phrase. We must remember what it has taken, and is currently taking, to bring women and girls into the equality fold.
I’ve selected a few of my favorite feminist quotes as inspiration.
I long to hear that you have declared an independency. In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation. ~ Abigail Adams, in a letter to her husband John Adams, March 31, 1776. John Adams would become the second President of the United States. She was also the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States.
I know nothing of man’s rights, or woman’s rights, human rights are all that I recognise. ~ Sarah Grimké, in Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman (1838). Sarah Grimké was from a slave-holding South Carolina family. Banned from formal education so she educated herself. She was an abolitionist, writer, and suffragist.
I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute. ~ Rebecca West, “Mr. Chesterton in Hysterics” in The Clarion, November 14, 1913. Rebecca West was the pseudonym for Cicely Isabel Fairfield, a British author, journalist, and one of the most public intellectuals of the 20th century. She was a prolific writer in multiple genres.
Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~ Marie Shear, in an article she wrote for New Directions for Women, in May/June 1986. Marie Shear is an American writer. Her quote is one of the most popular feminist mantras.
We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all civil and political rights that belong to the citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever. ~ Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper in History of Woman Suffrage (1886).