Gloria Steinem · 432 pages
Rating: (3.2K votes)
“Now, we are becoming the men we wanted to marry. Once, women were trained to marry a doctor, not be one.”
“At my age, in this still hierarchical time, people often ask me if I’m “passing the torch.” I explain that I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much—and I’m using it to light the torches of others.”
“How long before both women and men are allowed to see self-respecting rebellion as a lifelong possibility?”
“When she visited me in New York during her sixties and seventies, she always told taxi drivers that she was eighty years old (“so they will tell me how young I look”), and convinced theater ticket sellers that she had difficulty in hearing long before she really did (“so they’ll give us seats in the front row”).”
“For sad if obvious reasons, women (especially white women who are seduced by access to the powerful) are the only discriminated-against group whose members seem to think that, if they don’t take themselves seriously, someone else will.”
“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.”
“When David Susskind and Germaine Greer were guests on the same historic television talk show, for instance, Susskind used general, pseudoscientific statements about women’s monthly emotional changes as a way of excusing the injustices cited by this very intelligent woman. Finally, Greer turned politely to Susskind and said, “Tell me, David. Can you tell if I’m menstruating right now—or not?” She not only eliminated any doubts raised by Susskind’s statements, but subdued his pugnacious style for the rest of the show.”
“But, as historian Gerda Lerner has pointed out, it is a shared characteristic of women’s history—or the real history of any marginalized group—to be lost and discovered, lost again and re-discovered, re-lost and re-re-discovered, until the margins have transformed the center. As in a tree or a seed, the margins are where the growth is. Who would want to be anywhere else?”
“If each person in the room promises that in the twenty-four hours beginning the very next day she or he will do at least one outrageous thing in the name of simple justice, then I promise I will, too. It doesn't matter whether the act is as small as saying, "Pick yourself up" (a major step for those of us who have been our family's servants) or as large as calling for a strike. The point is that, if each of us does as promised, we can be pretty sure of two results. First, the world one day later won't be quite the same.
Second, we will have such a good time doing it that we will never again get up in the morning saying, "WILL I do anything outrageous?" but only "WHAT outrageous act will I do today”
“(I remember with gratitude the banner carried by some very old and bawdy women who led the parade while I was a student: hardly a man is now alive, who remembers the girls of ’95.)”
“In retrospect, the second cause for delay makes less feminist sense: the long popularity of assertiveness training. Though most women needed to be more assertive (or even more aggressive, though that word was considered too controversial), many assertiveness courses taught women how to play the existing game, not how to change the rules.”
“Native nations were often matrilineal: that is, clan identity passed through the mother, and a husband joined a wife’s household, not vice versa. Matrilineal does not mean matriarchal, which, like patriarchal, assumes that some group has to dominate—a failure of the imagination.”
“The uncomfortable truth seems to be that the amount of talk by women has been measured less against the amount of men's talk than against the expectation of female silence.”
“It wasn’t the victory of one man or the death of another. It was the death of the future, and of our youth, because we might be rather old before the conservers left and the compassionate men came back. Saturday.”
“the theory of Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”
“in our times, hell must be like this. A huge, empty room: we are tired, standing on our feet, with a tap which drips while we cannot drink the water, and we wait for something which will certainly be terrible, and nothing happens and nothing continues to happen. What”
“I want some kind of reminder that while wounds heal, they don't disappear forever- I carry them everywhere, always, and that is the way of things, the way of scars.”
“Then he left her there, standing alone, surrounded by word ghosts; things she could have said.”
“You shouldn't love me. I don't deserve you.”
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