In honor of Fabulous Feminist Fridays, we present select responses to the question: What is your favorite feminist quote?
This has already been included in Erin Riordan’s article “The Friendzone is a Sexist Myth” but it bears repeating:
“Friendzoning is bullshit because girls are not machines that you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.” –Person on the Internet
I love this quote from former Feministing editor Vanessa Valenti on the future of (online) feminist activism. It’s my go-to on days when I just want to curl up into a big ball of sad, and then I remember there’s this wonderful thing called self-care:
“[W]e need to demand more from ourselves, to think even bigger, be more inventive, and more pro-active. We also need to demand more for ourselves. That includes demanding more time for ourselves, and care for our hearts. Being an activist changes your heart permanently, and that takes a special kind of nurturing, particularly when we’re facing so much and working so damn hard. So I think we need to care for ourselves (and each other) more adeptly. It’s as simple, and ridiculously important, as that.” -Vanessa Valenti
“Why do people say ‘grow some balls’? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”-Betty White
“Solidarity is not a matter of altruism. Solidarity comes form the inablity to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable.”-Aurora Levins Morales
“Men often say that women change their minds too much. I say they sometimes don’t change them enough. I mean changing their state of mind, their attitudes, their outlook, their expectations, their consciousness- most of all, about themselves and what is possible in their lives.”-Julia Alvarez
“From my membership in all of these groups I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.”-Audre Lorde
And of course, the forgotten poem.
“De gustibus non est disputandum”-in matters of taste, there can be no dispute. It’s the Latin equivalent of ‘you do you.’
While it is difficult for me to choose one quote that represents why I love feminism, this quote represents how I see the world at large and our role in it, and informs my understanding of feminism:
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”-Aboriginal activists group, Queensland 1970s
This may seem like a strange quote to associate with feminism, but I see it as a reminder of all the work we have left to do. It’s from Portia deRossi in her memoir, Unbearable Lightness.
“I should’ve had my sights set on successful businesswomen and successful female artists, authors, and politicians to emulate. Instead, I stupidly and pointlessly just wanted to be pretty. I squandered my brain and my talent to squeeze into a size 2 dress while my male counterparts went to work making money, making policy, making a difference.” -Portia deRossi
What are your favorite feminist quotes? Include your responses in the comments below.