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Women's Words of Wisdom

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever does." - [ Margaret Mead - anthropologist ]

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"We are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation." -- From Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March, 1776

"It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees." -- Dolores Ibarruri, September 3, 1936

"You have got to discover you, what you do, and trust it." --Barbra Streisand

Who knows what women can be when they are finally free to become themselves? Who knows what women's intelligence will contribute when it can be nourished without denying love? ... The time is at hand when the voices of the feminine mystique can no longer drown out the inner voice that is driving women to become complete. - [ Betty Friedan - author and co-founder of NOW ]

We must hear the voices and have the dreams of those who came before us, and we must keep them with us in a very real sense. This will keep us centered. This will help us to maintain our understanding of the job we must do. - [ Sonia Sanchez - essayist and poet ]

The trouble with some women is they get all excited over nothing - and then they marry him! -- Cher

Speak your mind - even if your voice shakes. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants. - [ Maggie Kuhn - author and founder of the Gray Panthers ]

"If you play it safe in life you've decided that you don't want to grow anymore."--Shirley Hufstedler

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. - [ Gloria Steinem - author and founder of Ms. Magazine ]

It is time to apply in the arena of the world the wisdom and experience that women have gained over so many thousands of years. - [ Aung San Suu Kyi - Nobel Laureate ]

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar. - [ Helen Keller - humanitarian ]

"You have to endure what you can't change." --Marie de France

Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression. - [ Margaret Sanger - reproductive rights activist ]

Thoughts have power. Thoughts are energy. And you can make your world or break your world by your thinking. - [ Susan L. Taylor - editor-in-chief of Essence ]

Power is strength and the ability to see yourself through your own eyes and not through the eyes of another. It is being able to place a circle of power at your own feet and not take power from someone else's circle. - [ Lynn V. Andrews - author ]

When women work on reclaiming the lost part of themselves, they're also working on reclaiming the lost soul of the culture as well. - [ Maureen Murdock - author ]

If you can't raise consciousness, at least raise hell. - [ Rita Mae Brown - author ]

There is strength in a vision of a sisterhood that has roots in the past and extends into the future. - [ Dr. Alice S. Rossi - sociologist ]

Out of the flamed-tipped
whisper-shadows beneath
The Tree of Life,
I have stepped.
I will never go back.
Mysterious keeper of the deep magics,
or heedless dragonfly
skim-dancing with time's river.
Out. Aware. Woman.
- [ Barbara Burford - poet, excerpt from "Daughters of Eve" ]

I myself have never been able to figure out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. - [ Rebecca West - 1913 ]

When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. - [ Audre Lorde - poet and author ]

Take the blinders from your vision,
take the padding from your ears,
and confess you've heard me crying,
and admit you've seen my tears.
Hear the tempo so compelling,
hear the blood throb in my veins.
Yes, my drums are beating nightly,
and the rhythms never change.
Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.
- [ Maya Angelou - poet and author, excerpt from "Equality" ]

A question that has been raised more than once and that gives me no inner peace is why did so many nations in the past, and often still now, treat women as inferior to men? Everyone can agree how unjust this is, but that is not enough for me. I would also like to know the cause of the great injustice. ... It is stupid enough of women to have borne it all in silence for such a long time, since the more centuries this arrangement lasts, the more deeply rooted it becomes. ... Many people, particularly women, but also men, now realize for how long this state of affairs has been wrong, and modern women demand the right of complete independence! But that's not all, respect for women, that's going to have to come as well! - [ Anne Frank - remarkable teenage author ]

I just want equal rights for boys and girls - finished. That's what feminism is to me. Not just legislate it - feel it. Do it. Accept it. Want it. - [ Billie Jean King - professional tennis player and sports commentator ]

"All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success." -- Dorothea Brande

"Developing countries may have slightly different concepts of human rights than the West, but it is not cultural imperialism to suggest that women should not be mutilated, enslaved, or condemned to die in childbirth." -- Nana Agyeman-Rawlings, the first lady of Ghana. (4/99)

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul. --Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid. -- Lady Bird Johnson

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it. --Margaret Thatcher

We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us. --Virginia Satir

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -- Eleanor Roosevelt

The happiest excitement in life is to be convinced that one is fighting for all one is worth on behalf of some clearly seen and deeply felt good. -- Ruth Benedict