Quotes from The Female Eunuch

Germaine Greer ·  400 pages

Rating: (5.1K votes)


“Maybe I couldn’t make it. Maybe I don’t have a pretty smile, good teeth, nice tits, long legs, a cheeky arse, a sexy voice. Maybe I don’t know how to handle men and increase my market value, so that the rewards due to the feminine will accrue to me. Then again, maybe I’m sick of the masquerade. I’m sick of pretending eternal youth. I’m sick of belying my own intelligence, my own will, my own sex. I’m sick of peering at the world through false eyelashes, so everything I see is mixed with a shadow of bought hairs; I’m sick of weighting my head with a dead mane, unable to move my neck freely, terrified of rain, of wind, of dancing too vigorously in case I sweat into my lacquered curls. I’m sick of the Powder Room. I’m sick of pretending that some fatuous male’s self-important pronouncements are the objects of my undivided attention, I’m sick of going to films and plays when someone else wants to, and sick of having no opinions of my own about either. I’m sick of being a transvestite. I refuse to be a female impersonator. I am a woman, not a castrate.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Security is the denial of life”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“It takes a great deal of courage and independence to decide to design your own image instead of the one that society rewards, but it gets easier as you go along.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“I find that those men who are personally most polite to women, who call them angels and all that, cherish in secret the greatest contempt for them.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“In the struggle to remain a complete person and to love from her fullness instead of her inadequacy a woman may appear hard. She may feel her early conditioning tugging her in the direction of surrender, but she ought to remember that she was originally loved for herself; she ought to hang on to herself and not find herself nagging, helpless, irritable and trapped. Perhaps I am not old enough yet to promise that the self-reliant woman is always loved, but she cannot be lonely as long as there are people in the world who need her joy and her strength, but certainly in my experience it has always been so. Lovers who are free to go when they are restless always come back; lovers who are free to change remain interesting. The bitter animosity and obscenity of divorce is unknown where individuals have not become Siamese twins. A lover who comes to your bed of his own accord is more likely to sleep with his arms around you all night than a lover who has nowhere else to sleep.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch



“Status ought not to be measured by a woman's ability to attract and snare a man.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“The housewife is an unpaid worker in her husband's house in return for the security of being a permanent employee: hers is the reductio ad absurdum of the employee who accepts a lower wage in return for permanence of his employment. But the lowest paid employees can be and are laid off, and so are wives. They have no savings, no skills which they can bargain with elsewhere, and they must bear the stigma of having been sacked.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Those miserable women who blame the men who let them down for their misery and isolation enact every day the initial mistake of sacrificing their personal responsibility for themselves.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“...the consequences of militancy do not disappear when the need for militancy is over. Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“It is often falsely assumed, even by feminists, that sexuality is the enemy of the female who really wants to develop these aspects of her personality, and this is perhaps the most misleading aspect of movements like the National Organization of Women. It was not the insistence upon her sex that weakened the American woman student's desire to make something of her education, but the insistence upon a passive sexual role
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch



“Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate. Many a housewife staring at the back of her husband's newspaper, or listening to his breathing in bed is lonelier than any spinster in a rented room.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Now as before, women must refuse to be meek and guileful, for truth cannot be served by dissimulation. Women who fancy that they manipulate the world by pussy power and gentle cajolery are fools. It is slavery to have to adopt such tactics.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“The love object occupies the thoughts of the person diagnosed as 'in love' all the time despite the probability that very little is actually known about it. To it are ascribed all qualities considered by the obsessed as good, regardless of whether the object in question possesses those qualities in any degree. Expectations are set up which no human being could fulfill. Thus the object chosen plays a special role in relation to the go of the obsessed, who decided that he or she is the right or the only person for him. In the case of a male this notion may sanction a degree of directly aggressive behavior either in pursuing the object or driving off competition.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Lovers who are free to go when they are restless always come back; lovers who are free to change remain interesting. The bitter animosity and obscenity of divorce is unknown where individuals have not become Siamese twins.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Every human body has its optimum weight and contour, which only health and efficiency can establish. Whenever we treat women's bodies as aesthetic objects without function we deform them.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch



“We still make love to organs and not people; that so far from realising that people are never more idiosyncratic, never more totally there when they make love, we re never more incommunicative, never more alone.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“It is commonplace observation that women are forever trying to straighten their hair if it is curly and curl it if it is straight, bind their breasts if they are large and pad them if they are small, darken their hair if it is light and lighten it if it is dark. Not all these measures are dictated by the fantom of fashion. They all reflect dissatisfaction with the body as it is, and an insistent desire that it be otherwise, not natural but controlled, fabricated. Many of the devices adopted by women are not cosmetic or ornamental, but disguise of the actual, arising from fear and distaste.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“If you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood - if it makes you sick, you've got a long way to go, baby.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Cunt-lapping, mother-fucking, and cock-sucking are words to provoke a sense of outrage. Being forced to play the role of a woman in sexual intercourse is the deepest imaginable humiliation, which is only worsened if the victim finds to his horror that he enjoys it.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release. The problem of recidivism ought to have shown young men like John Greenaway just what sort of a notion security is, but there is no indication that he would understand it. Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life. Human beings are better equipped to cope with disaster and hardship than they are with unvarying security, but as long as security is the highest value in a community they can have little opportunity to decide this for themselves.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch



“As far as cosmetics are used for adornment in a conscious and creative way, they are not emblems of inauthenticity: it is when they are presented as the real thing, covering unsightly blemishes, disguising a repulsive thing so that it is acceptable to the world that their function is deeply suspect. The women who dare not go out without their false eyelashes are in serious psychic trouble.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“If women understand by emancipation the adoption of the masculine role then we are lost indeed. If women can supply no counterbalance to the blindness of male drive the aggressive society will run to its lunatic extremes at ever-escalating speed. Who will safeguard the despised animal faculties of compassion, empathy, innocence and sensuality?”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Until woman as she is can drive this plastic spectre out of her own and her man's imagination she will continue to apologize and disguise herself, while accepting her male's pot-belly, wattles, bad breath, farting, stubble, baldness and other ugliness without complaint.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“Abandonment of slavery is also the banishment of the chimera of security. The world will not change overnight, and liberation will not happen unless individual women agree to be outcasts, eccentrics, perverts, and whatever the powers-that-be choose to call them.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“It is agreed that little girls should have a different physical education than little boys, but it is not admitted how much of the difference is counseled by the conviction that little girls should not look like little boys.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch



“If she is efficient and capable or ambitious, it is assumed that she has failed to find satisfaction as a normal woman, even to the extent of implying a glandular abnormality or sexual perversion.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“When abandoned women follow their fleeing males with tear-stained faces, screaming you can't do this to me, they reveal that all that they have offered in the name of generosity and altruism has been part of an assumed transaction, in which they were entitled to a certain payoff.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“A housewife's work has no results: it simply has to be done again. Bringing up children is not a real occupation, because children come up just the same, brought up or not.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“The surest guide to the correctness of the path that women take is joy in the struggle. Revolution is the festival of the oppressed. For a long time there may be no perceptible reward for women other than their new sense of purpose and integrity. Joy does not mean riotous glee, but it does mean the purposive employment of energy in a self-chosen enterprise. It does mean pride and confidence. It does mean communication and cooperation with others based on delight in their company and your own. To be emancipated from helplessness and need and walk freely upon the earth that is your birthright. To refuse hobbles and deformity and take possession of your body and glory in its power, accepting its own laws of loveliness. To have something to desire, something to make, something to achieve, and at last something genuine to give. To be freed from guilt and shame and the tireless self-discipline of women. To stop pretending and dissembling, cajoling and manipulating, and begin to control and sympathize. To claim the masculine virtues of magnanimity and generosity and courage. It goes much further than equal pay for equal work, for it ought to revolutionise the conditions of work completely. It does not understand the phrase 'equality of opportunity', for it seems that the opportunities will have to be utterly changed and women's souls changed so that they desire opportunity instead of shrinking from it.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch


“The occupational hazard of being a Playboy Bunny is the aching facial muscles brought on by obligatory smiles.”
― Germaine Greer, quote from The Female Eunuch



About the author

Germaine Greer
Born place: in Melbourne, Australia
Born date January 29, 1939
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“‪'Do you love?' This question had begun to plague her, and she did not even know what it meant.”
― Stephen King, quote from Skeleton Crew


“Then I watched his eyebrows go up. Way up.”
― Meg Cabot, quote from All-American Girl


“I will not live in a realm where calculations of power supersede justice and law - regardless of how inconvenient that may be to the Crown.”
― Jim Butcher, quote from Cursor's Fury


“I found myself hating him, wanting to hurt him, to drive him away from the red-haired girl who was supposed to be mine.
Breathless, I slumped to the wall, numb with the realization. This anger, these illogical feelings of rage and possessiveness...I was jealous. I was jealous of a girl I was supposed to be stalking, seducing, for the sole purpose of revealing her true nature. This had become more than an objective, more than a mission.
I was falling for her.”
― Julie Kagawa, quote from Talon


“4 of us, and 2000 of them. Piss-poor odds. For them.”
― Eric S. Nylund, quote from Halo: The Fall of Reach


Interesting books

Elantris
(119.8K)
Elantris
by Brandon Sanderson
Ham on Rye
(66.2K)
Ham on Rye
by Charles Bukowski
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
(127.9K)
Persepolis: The Stor...
by Marjane Satrapi
On the Island
(66.6K)
On the Island
by Tracey Garvis-Graves
The Illuminatus! Trilogy
(13.6K)
The Illuminatus! Tri...
by Robert Shea
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
(240.3K)
Quiet: The Power of...
by Susan Cain

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.