36 of Our Favorite Feminist Quotes for Nasty Women


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Maureen Berkner Boyt
Maureen Berkner Boyt10
Feminist. Women and men have been talking about what it means to be a feminist and what the feminist movement and gender equality are all about for a long, long time. Here are 35 feminist quotes that take you through the twists and turns of the ideas behind the feminist movement.  

Quotes about women's rights

1. “I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.”—Mary Shelley
2. “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”—Margaret Sanger
3. “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”—Abigail Adams
4. “Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”—Susan B. Anthony
5. “The point is not for women simply to take power out of men’s hands since that wouldn’t change anything about the world. It’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power.”—Simone de Beauvoir
6. "I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."—Audre Lorde
7. "Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights, once and for all."—Hillary Clinton
8. "Women belong in all places where decisions are being made... It shouldn't be that women are the exception."—Ruth Bader Ginsburg
9. “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.”—Michelle Obama
10. "The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all."—Aung San Suu Kyi
11. “Equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who's confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.”—Josh Whedon

Quotes about the meaning of feminism

12. “I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness.”Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

13. "Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."—Pat Robertson

14. “Anyone who hates something feels threatened by it. A guy who says he hates feminism (a) doesn't understand or know feminism, and (b) is scared of powerful women. Most attacks come from fear.”—Neil Strauss

15. “The benefits of feminism for someone like my husband are fantastic. He can stay at home with the kids, he can take them to a park, he does the school run.”—Helen McCrory

16. "The more I have spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop."—Emma Watson

17. “Feminism is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke’; it means you believe in equality.”—Kate Nash

18. "A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men."—Gloria Steinem

19. "Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength."—G.D. Anderson

20. “All men should be feminists. If men care about women's rights the world will be a better place.”—John Legend

21. “I myself have never been able to find 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

22. "My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.”—Ani DiFranco

23. “I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side.”—Maya Angelou

24. "I’d like every man who doesn’t call himself a feminist to explain to the women in his life why he doesn’t believe in equality for women.”—Louise Brealey

25. “I think it’s great that the discussions are finally being allowed to be had, as opposed to anybody mentioning feminism and everybody going, ‘Oh, f***ing shut up.’ Somehow, it became a dirty word. I thought it was really weird for a long time, and I think it’s great that we’re coming out of that.”—Keira Knightley

26. "We all fight over what the label 'feminism' means, but for me, it's about empowerment. It's not about being more powerful than men - it's about having equal rights with protection, support, justice. It's about very basic things."—Annie Lennox

27. “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”—Cheris Kramarae

28. "I'm embarrassed to admit that I only recently discovered the ACTUAL definition of 'feminism.' The fact that the term is sometimes clouded with anything other than pure support and positivity in our society is very tragic. I believe in gender equality. Being a feminist is for both women AND men. I AM A FEMINIST."—Matt McGorry

Inspiration for women

29. "I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back."—Malala Yousafzai

30. "I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that's me."—Maya Angelou

31. “The kindest words my father said to me / Women like you drown oceans.”—Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
32. "It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent."—Madeleine Albright
33. "A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman."—Melinda Gates
34. “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”—Irina Dunn
35. "We know that when women are empowered, they immeasurably improve the lives of everyone around them – their families, their communities, and their countries. This is not just about women, we men need to recognize the part we play too.”—Prince Harry
36. "Feminism is for everybody."—bell hooks
Mo is the Founder of The Moxie Exchange, a training and peer mentoring organization for companies who want to recruit, develop, promote and retain women and create inclusive workplaces. She’s an advisor to CEOs of the nation’s fastest growing companies and is the founder 5 successful businesses. She has also been known to sing loudly, dance badly and curse like a sailor.