1. I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.
2. All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.
3. Wasn’t that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.
4. If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.
5. Women who love themselves are threatening; but men who love real women, more so.
6. Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we’re opened, we’re red.
7. I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.
8. I’m not a concept. Too many guys think I’m a concept or I complete them or I’m going to ‘make them alive’…but I’m just a fucked up girl who’s looking for my own peace of mind. Don’t assign me yours.
9. My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.
10. We are all equal in the fact that we are all different. We are all the same in the fact that we will never be the same. We are united by the reality that all colours and all cultures are distinct & individual. We are harmonious in the reality that we are all held to this earth by the same gravity. We don’t share blood, but we share the air that keeps us alive. I will not blind myself and say that my black brother is not different from me. I will not blind myself and say that my brown sister is not different from me. But my black brother is he as much as I am me. But my brown sister is she as much as I am me.
11. I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.
12. Once upon a time they was two girls,” I say. “one girl had black skin, one girl had white.”
Mae Mobley look up at me. She listening.
“Little colored girl say to little white girl, ‘How come your skin be so pale?’ White girl say, ‘I don’t know. How come your skin be so black? What you think that mean?’
“But neither one a them little girls knew. So little white girl say, ‘Well, let’s see. You got hair, I got hair.'”I gives Mae Mobley a little tousle on her head.
“Little colored girl say ‘I got a nose, you got a nose.'”I gives her little snout a tweak. She got to reach up and do the same to me.
“Little white girl say, ‘I got toes, you got toes.’ And I do the little thing with her toes, but she can’t get to mine cause I got my white work shoes on.
“‘So we’s the same. Just a different color’, say that little colored girl. The little white girl she agreed and they was friends. The End.”
Baby Girl just look at me. Law, that was a sorry story if I ever heard one. Wasn’t even no plot to it. But Mae Mobley, she smile and say, “Tell it again.
13. There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. As well speak of a female liver.
14. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.
15. If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
16. A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
17. Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.
18. If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
19. That all men are equal is a proposition which at ordinary times no sane individual has ever given his assent.
20. Race, gender, religion, sexuality, we are all people and that’s it. We’re all people. We’re all equal.
21. I’m a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being… by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.
22. Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war. And until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is war.
23. A state that does not educate and train women is like a man who only trains his right arm.
24. The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.
25. Sadly, the signals that allow men and women to find the partners who most please them are scrambled by the sexual insecurity initiated by beauty thinking. A woman who is self-conscious can’t relax to let her sensuality come into play. If she is hungry she will be tense. If she is “done up” she will be on the alert for her reflection in his eyes. If she is ashamed of her body, its movement will be stilled. If she does not feel entitled to claim attention, she will not demand that airspace to shine in. If his field of vision has been boxed in by “beauty”–a box continually shrinking–he simply will not see her, his real love, standing right before him.
26. Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.
27. Often men who have been emotionally neglected and abused as children by dominating mothers bond with assertive women, only to have their childhood feelings of being engulfed surface. While they could not ‘smash their mommy’ and still receive love, they find that they can engage in intimate violence with partners who respond to their acting out by trying harder to connect with them emotionally, hoping that the love offered in the present will heal the wounds of the past. If only one party in the relationship is working to create love, to create the space of emotional connection, the dominator model remains in place and the relationship just becomes a site for continuous power struggle.
28. I made the choice to be vegan because I will not eat (or wear, or use) anything that could have an emotional response to its death or captivity. I can well imagine what that must feel like for our non-human friends – the fear, the terror, the pain – and I will not cause such suffering to a fellow living being.
29. I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.
30. Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men’s eyes when deciding what provokes it.
31. I believe that there will be ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the color of the skin.
32. There are some who want to get married and others who don’t. I have never had an impulse to go to the altar. I am a difficult person to lead.
33. Men are visually aroused by women’s bodies and less sensitive to their arousal by women’s personalities because they are trained early into that response, while women are less visually aroused and more emotionally aroused because that is their training. This asymmetry in sexual education maintains men’s power in the myth: They look at women’s bodies, evaluate, move on; their own bodies are not looked at, evaluated, and taken or passed over. But there is no “rock called gender” responsible for that; it can change so that real mutuality–an equal gaze, equal vulnerability, equal desire–brings heterosexual men and women together.
34. This desire to govern a woman—it lies very deep, and men and women must fight it together…. But I do love you surely in a better way than he does.” He thought. “Yes—really in a better way. I want you to have your own thoughts even when I hold you in my arms.
35. Girls can be athletic. Guys can have feelings. Girls can be smart. Guys can be creative. And vice versa. Gender is specific only to your reproductive organs (and sometimes not even to those), not your interest, likes, dislikes, goals, and ambitions.
36. In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued.
37. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
38. Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.
39. A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn’t grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It’s true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world.
40. Equality and freedom are not luxuries to lightly cast aside. Without them, order cannot long endure before approaching depths beyond imagining.
41. Every job from the heart is, ultimately, of equal value. The nurse injects the syringe; the writer slides the pen; the farmer plows the dirt; the comedian draws the laughter. Monetary income is the perfect deceiver of a man’s true worth.
42. If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?
43. Being born a woman is my awful tragedy. From the moment I was conceived I was doomed to sprout breasts and ovaries rather than penis and scrotum; to have my whole circle of action, thought and feeling rigidly circumscribed by my inescapable feminity. Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars–to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording–all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night.
44. Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior.
45. It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.
46. When I look at a person, I see a person – not a rank, not a class, not a title.
47. Democracy is in the blood of the Muslims, who look upon complete equality of mankind, and believe in fraternity, equality, and liberty.
48. Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
49. The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.
50. As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.
51. Teach her that the idea of ‘gender roles’ is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl.
‘Because you are a girl’ is never reason for anything.
52. I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being–neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there’s no question of integration or intermarriage. It’s just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.
53. In this country we have no place for hyphenated Americans.
54. [G]reat progress was evident in the last Congress of the American ‘Labour Union’ in that among other things, it treated working women with complete equality. While in this respect the English, and still more the gallant French, are burdened with a spirit of narrow-mindedness. Anybody who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without the feminine ferment. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex (the ugly ones included).
55. The downfall of the attempts of governments and leaders to unite mankind is found in this- in the wrong message that we should see everyone as the same. This is the root of the failure of harmony. Because the truth is, we should not all see everyone as the same! We are not the same! We are made of different colours and we have different cultures. We are all different! But the key to this door is to look at these differences, respect these differences, learn from and about these differences, and grow in and with these differences. We are all different. We are not the same. But that’s beautiful. And that’s okay.In the quest for unity and peace, we cannot blind ourselves and expect to be all the same. Because in this, we all have an underlying belief that everyone should be the same as us at some point. We are not on a journey to become the same or to be the same. But we are on a journey to see that in all of our differences, that is what makes us beautiful as a human race, and if we are ever to grow, we ought to learn and always learn some more.
56. A slut is someone, usually a woman, who’s stepped outside of the very narrow lane that good girls are supposed to stay within. Sluts are loud. We’re messy. We don’t behave. In fact, the original definition of “slut” meant “untidy woman.” But since we live in a world that relies on women to be tidy in all ways, to be quiet and obedient and agreeable and available (but never aggressive), those of us who color outside of the lines get called sluts. And that word is meant to keep us in line.
57. The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.
58. I hate to complain…No one is without difficulties, whether in high or low life, and every person knows best where their own shoe pinches.
59. Whatever is deeply, essentially female–the life in a woman’s expression, the feel of her flesh, the shape of her breasts, the transformations after childbirth of her skin–is being reclassified as ugly, and ugliness as disease. These qualities are about an intensification of female power, which explains why they are being recast as a diminution of power. At least a third of a woman’s life is marked with aging; about a third of her body is made of fat. Both symbols are being transformed into operable condition–so that women will only feel healthy if we are two thirds of the women we could be. How can an “ideal” be about women if it is defined as how much of a female sexual characteristic does not exist on the woman’s body, and how much of a female life does not show on her face?
60. At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.