You Need to Know These 45 Feminist Quotes From Powerful Women

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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger
Ah feminism — it can pick you up and motivate you when you need a little push! If you're feeling uninspired, out of control, unlucky, disadvantaged or something similar, maybe the power of these short feminist quotes will help to light a fire under you.
1. “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” ― Irina Dunn
2. “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.” ― Cheris Kramarae
3. “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” ― Gloria Steinem
4. "To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams." — Hillary Clinton
5. "Feminism is for everybody." — bell hooks
6. "We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women's voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored." — Sheryl Sandberg
7. "I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard... We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back." — Malala Yousafzai
8. "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. Ever." — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9. "What are other women really thinking, feeling, experiencing, when they slip away from the gaze and culture of men?" — Naomi Wolf
11. "I am a woman with thoughts and questions and sh*t to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will." — Amy Schumer
12. "You deserve to be here. You deserve to exist. You deserve to take up space in this world of men." — MacKenzi Lee
13. "We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead." — Beyoncé
14. "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." — Margaret Thatcher
15. "Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t." — Michelle Obama
16. "Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." — G.D. Anderson
17. "It's hard not to be a fighter when you're constantly under siege." — Cassandra Duffy
18. "What I am proud of, what seems so simply clear, is that feminism is a way to fight for justice, always in short supply." — Barbara Strickland
19. "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
21. "In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders." — Sheryl Sandberg
22. "The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud." — Coco Chanel
23. "Women are always saying, 'We can do anything that men can do.' But men should be saying, 'We can do anything that women can do.'" — Gloria Steinem
24. "Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work." — Adrienne Rich
25. "I do not wish them [women] to have power over men, but over themselves." — Mary Wollstonecraft
26. "I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am." — Sylvia Plath
27. "I am a woman / Phenomenally / Phenomenal woman / That's me." — Maya Angelou
28. "You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness. But still, like air, I rise." — Maya Angelou
29. "Where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic. She can share or not share her powers. This woman is a consort of the spirits." — Ntozake Shange 
31. "Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age." — Gloria Steinem
32. "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." — J.K. Rowling
33. "A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman." — Melinda Gates
34. "Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others." — Oprah Winfrey
35. "I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I'm not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I'm right. I am just trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself." — Roxane Gay
36. "Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture." — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—
37. "Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men's chivalry to give them justice." — Helen Keller
38. "Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women." — Maya Angelou
39. "Life is not a competition between men and woman. It is a collaboration." — David Alejandro Fearnhead
41. "That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman?" — Sojourner Truth
42. "Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another." — Toni Morrison
43. "I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own." — Audre Lorde
44. "I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days." — Jane Austen
45. "The only thing required to be a woman is to identify as one. Period. End of story." — Amanda Lovelace

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog,, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.