I'm a freelance person, and I've always been able to support myself.
Economic systems are not value-free columns of numbers based on rules of reason, but ways of expressing what varying societies believe is important.
What we need to be able to do is count all human experience. So I would like to count the secretarial positions as good training places to take over the jobs of the bosses.
If we're by ourselves we come to feel crazy and alone. We need to make alternate families of small groups of women who support each other, talk to each other regularly, can speak their truths and their experiences and find they're not alone in them, that other women have them, too ... It makes such a huge difference.
Of course, we can change. We're very adaptable. But it takes a while.
In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here's an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)
What we experience in our childhoods that comes to seem normal, or even inevitable, is that if you are placed in a hierarchy, you probably are immediately anxious about going further down and you're striving to go further up, so your energies get placed into becoming "more than," or at least not becoming "less than," instead of becoming "part of.
So whatever you want to do, just do it... Making a damn fool of yourself is absolutely essential.
A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.
Feminism...is not 'women as victims' but women refusing to be victims.
When I had a fellowship at the Smithsonian, I asked for a couch in the office because I liked to lie down and take a break.
How could you not love Norman Mailer? He was a total chauvinist, but also so vulnerable.
Diane Keaton is good for women in and of herself. She's smart and funny and real.
I think we all have the power to name ourselves. I try to call people what it is they wish to be called. But we can take the sting out of epithets and bad words by using them.
Self-esteem is the basis of any democracy.
Battered women is a phrase that uncovered major, long-hidden violence. It helps us to face the fact that, statistically speaking, the most dangerous place for a woman is in her own home, not in the streets.
These poor women in academia have to talk this silly language that nobody can understand in order to be accepted, they think.
Even before Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton threw their exploratory committees into the ring, every reporter seemed to be asking, 'Which candidate are Americans more ready for: a white woman or a black man?'
Think about the pressure to "pass" by lying about one's agethat familiar temptation to falsify a condition of one's birth oridentity and pretend to be part of a more favored group. Fair-skinned blacks invented "passing" as a term, Jews escaping anti-Semitism perfected the art, and the sexual closet continues the punishment, but pretending to be a younger age is probably the most encouraged form of "passing," with the least organized support for "coming out" as one's true generational self.
Women are more than smart enough to see that McCain's policies are a disaster... He is anti- every reproductive issue we've ever fought for.
Life after 50 or 60 is itself another country, as different as adolescence is from childhood, or as adulthood is from adolescence -- and just as adventurous.
I've finally figured out why soap operas are, and logically should be, so popular with generations of housebound women. They are the only place in our culture where grown-up men take seriously all the things that grown-up women have to deal with all day long.
All biographers, no matter how sympathetic, end up using their subjects as mirrors to figure themselves out. I don't want to be anyone's mirror.
In retrospect, perhaps the biggest reason my mother was cared for but not helped for twenty years was the simplest: Her functioning was not that necessary to the world.
The moment we find the reason behind an emotion the wall is breached, and the positive memories it has kept from us return too. That's why it pays to ask those painful questions. The answers can set you free.
There were never that many women stand-up comics in the past because the power to make people laugh is also a power that gets people upset.
Suddenly, I began to wonder: If one in three or four American women had an abortion at some time in her life -- a common statistical estimate, even in those days of illegality -- then why, WHY should this single surgical procedure be deemed a criminal act?
You know there is a person inside every baby, right? And anybody who has ever met a baby knows there is already a person in there.
Perfect is boring: Beauty is irregular.
Until the masculine role is humanized, women will tend to be much better at solving dangerous conflicts.
I keep thinking: 'Georgia O'Keeffe wouldn't have had Botox.'
Because we are communal creatures, if you're with people who think you're smart, you're smart, and if they think you're dumb, you're dumb.
If you say, I'm for equal pay, that's a reform. But if you say. I'm a feminist, that's a transformation of society.
As an activist, you do find yourself directed more toward public action. But I've always tried to use stories from my own life in my writing for instance. It has always been clear to me that the stories of each other's lives are our best textbooks. Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences. So, if we've shared many experiences, then it probably has something to do with power or politics, and if we unify and act together, then we can make a change.
The need to treat ourselves as well as we treat others. It's women's version of the Golden Rule.
You can't be what you can't see, so it's harder for women to say, "I'm going to be a presidential candidate," so we need to go to women who would be good candidates and say, "You would be a good candidate and I'll help you." It's not a passive question, it's not when will it happen, but an active question, when will we make it happen?
What is frustrating is being told that no matter how hard I've worked, it counts less than my appearance. Although if you're not considered conventionally attractive, that also becomes an issue: you know, you're a feminist because you couldn't get a man.
Hope is a very unruly emotion.
The Native American cultures on this continent, most of them, were matrilineal, and some women were the chiefs. Societies were about balance.
As a writer and as a human being, Susan Dworkin has always had the
ability to draw us into new dreams of justice, and to make them irresistibly practical, humorous and human. She makes clear that progress and pleasure go together.
Anything can be used for or against the welfare of women -- or the welfare of anyone -- depending on who controls it.
I never quite trust futurists because I think they're kind of telling us what they think our future should be.
When I was little, I knew that I was not adopted, but I actually imagined and hoped that I was, and that my real parents were going to come get me. I was just too different from the rest of the family, so I lived in books and in my imagination.
If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?
You never know which thing you do is going to turn out to be important. I'm sure we've all done very small things that had very great impact and very big things that didn't make any difference. So, create the means that best reflect the ends we want. Try to make each moment authentic, and you'll get to an authentic end.
Sometimes I think the only real division into two is between people who divide everything into two and those who don't.
Her searches after knowledge were arbitrary and without context. It was as if she were shining a small flashlight of curiosity into the dark room of the world.
I was not considered beautiful before I was a feminist. I was a pretty girl before, but suddenly, after I was publicly identified as a feminist, I was beautiful. So, many people were really commenting on what they thought feminists looked like.
Any insistence on equal pay is crucial and any redefinition of work to include caregiving work so that it also has an economic value, at least at replacement level, that's crucial. So change does come from the bottom up, and it will come from girls and women and men who understand that for us all to be human beings instead of being grouped by gender is good for them, too.
The Constitution did not mention women when it was first written, and it still doesn't.
Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life.
Women's total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage.
What we have been raised to think of as inevitable -- division and hierarchy, monotheism and nation states -- actually accounts for less than 10 percent of human history.
Because I have work to care about, it is possible that I may be less difficult to get along with than other women when the double chins start to form.
Because women of color were more likely to be in the paid labor force, they were more likely to recognize discrimination, so they were always leading the women's movement.
Self-esteem isn't everything; it's just that there's nothing without it.
They're all qualities wrongly called feminine: attention to detail, patience, empathy. I don't have children, but I was raised as a female to have those qualities because they're perceived as feminine. Until men are raised with those qualities, too, they won't have the full circle of human qualities.
It still may take some explaining, but many more women are keeping their birth names (and not calling them maiden names, with all the sexual double standards that implies).
Men may feel just disempowered by intimacy, by being close to a woman, and also by feeling the tender feelings that they're ashamed of.
You can compel fear. You can even make someone feel they're in love if they're isolated and dependent for long enough. But laughter is free.
For a man to say, "I have to leave work now because I need to do something with my kids," it's sometimes viewed as a career killer. He doesn't have the right drive. So when they depart from their gender roles, they face some of the same restrictions.
I want us to organize, to tell the personal stories that create empathy, which is the most revolutionary emotion.
I want us to organize, to tell the personal stories that create empathy, which is the most revolutionary emotion. The truth of the mater is that hierarchy and violence can't be remedied by more hierarchy and violence. The end doesn't justify the means, the means we choose decide the end we get. The means are the end.
We have to stop arresting prostitutes and not arresting traffickers and pimps. It's absurd. We're arresting the victim or the survivor and not the oppressor.
There is no such thing as a crime of passion, only a crime of possession.
Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.
We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs.
A movement happens when people are inspired by somebody, but they do it themselves. You don't wait for someone else. You do it yourself.
The AIDS crisis has brought us a consciousness of the immune system as the most important health-maintenance element, and a consciousness of how it is under attack.
As long as working women also have to do the work of child and family care at home, they will have two jobs instead of one. Perhaps more important, children will grow up thinking that only women can be loving and nurturing, and men cannot.
I always say to audiences of men: "Cooperation beats submission. Trust me."
I've only ever met one woman who actually was a prostitute of her own free will. She didn't have a pimp. She could pick and choose her customers. That's so rare.
I've only ever met one woman who actually was a prostitute of her own free will. She didn't have a pimp. She could pick and choose her customers. That's so rare. So we have to look at the reality and not romanticize it. We have to be clear that you have the right to sell your own body but nobody has the right to sell anybody else's body. No one has that right.
Logic is in the eye of the logician.
If I read the word 'problematize' one more time, I'm going to vomit.
Patriarchy creates megapatterns that affect us all -- even as we forge different individual choices within them -- just as do the megapatterns of nationalism or racism.
The problem with Superwoman is that she has to do it all, inside the home and outside the home. If there is a man there doing half of it, that's a different world.
The first resistance to social change is to say it's not necessary.
There's no shortage of great young activists.
I can't mate in captivity.
I'm lucky I don't make my living in front of the camera.
The surest way to be alone is to get married.
After feminism, I suddenly realised: not everyone has to live the same way. Imagine that!
Monotheism makes me grouchy. I don't trust any religion that makes God look like one of the ruling class. I guess I'm a pagan or an animist.
Gerda Lerner was fierce, brilliant and unique. She lived history by her bravery, restored history by her scholarship, and democratized its study by her activism.
No other form of violence is legitimate. It is never acceptable to use violence to solve a problem. Whether personal or political.
It was the first female-style revolution: no violence and we all went shopping.
Sadomasochiasm -- which we know very well doesn't exist in societies that don't have child abuse -- is regarded some sort of natural sexual expression.
The electoral system is not where change starts -- it usually starts in communities and from the bottom up -- but it is where change can be stopped.
The art of politics is to be ahead of your time -- about six months will do it. Any more than that, and people forget you were there.
I think that we have successfully said that rape is not sex, it's violence. But what we have not successfully said is that pornography is not erotica. Porne means female slaves. Eros has an idea of love and mutual pleasure and free choice. I fear that pornography is taking over sex when in fact it's way more about domination.
We've demonstrated in modern countries or industrialized countries that women can do what men can do, but we have not demonstrated that men can do what women can do therefore children are still mostly raised, hugely mostly raised by women and women in industrialized modern countries end up having two jobs one outside the home and one inside the home.
We need to return and go forward to the understanding that there is God in all living things, not more in men than women, and not more in humans than in nature. To believe otherwise is only an excuse for dominating women and nature.
Our grief is not a cry for war.
"That's how New Yorkers feel," the driver said. "They know what bombing looks like, and they know the hell it is. But outside New York, people will feel guilty because they weren't here. They'll be yelling for revenge out of guilt and ignorance. Sure, we all want to catch the criminals, but only people who weren't in New York will want to bomb another country and repeat what happened here.
There's a big gap between public opinion polls and the vote in Washington, in Congress.
Unless we include a job as part of every citizen's right to autonomy and personal fulfillment, women will continue to be vulnerable to someone else's idea of what need is.
Having one's traditional role questioned is not a very comfortable experience, perhaps especially for women, who have been able to remain children, and to benefit from work they did not and could not do.
The error that we tend to make is that we think that women's magazines are what editors want and what their readers want -- and thus are social indicators -- when, in fact, they are what advertisers want. They're just advertising indicators.
Religion is often politics made sacred.
Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one.
Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.
One of the main problems of our time is that men are deprived of their human qualities that are wrongly called feminine, and women are deprived of their human qualities that are wrongly called masculine.
There are six million female lives lost in the world every year simply because they are female.
A gender-equal society would be one where the word 'gender' does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.
I believe that transgender people, including those who have transitioned, are living out real, authentic lives. Those lives should be celebrated, not questioned. Their health care decisions should be theirs and theirs alone to make.
A good friendship is a conversation that never ends.
Reporters immediately push their interviewees into the most extreme version by saying in a shocked tone, 'Well, are you saying that ..." They're trying to make people be as hostile and opposed to each other as possible because they think only conflict is news.
I'd like to be played as a child by Natalie Wood. I'd have some romantic scenes as Audrey Hepburn and have gritty black-and-white scenes as Patricia Neal.
Violence against women is clearly not solved, not at all solved, and the reasons for it, which are controlling women's bodies in order to control reproduction, are definitely not solved.
For the future we should understand that this process of democratizing a state legislative system takes time. Changing a few faces is not enough, just as earning majority support of a legislator's constituents doesn't help if he has been put there by special interests. You have to be around long enough to out-organize the special interests, and change the legislature's leadership.
One of our biggest problems in terms of effectiveness is that we have hopes, but our opposition has interests. We measure everything against our hopes, including politicians that we are voting for or choosing amongst. We don't measure up to our hopes ourselves. How can we expect anybody else to?
Probably those three things affect the most people: reproductive freedom, freedom from violence, and democratic families. But there may well be someone sitting at this table who has a great idea to do something else that wouldn't come under those umbrellas and that would really be great, and make all kinds of change.
America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people.
It's hard to measure success when we're dealing with between 500 and 5,000 years of patriarchy depending on which continent we sit, so I would say feminism has been successful and we have a huge distance to go, huge.
There is always one true inner voice. Trust it.
When I'm talking to groups that are all men, we talk about how the masculine role limits them. They often want to talk about how they missed having real fathers, real loving, present fathers, because of the way that they tried to fit the picture of masculinity.
I was never against marriage per se. Before feminism, I didn't think you had any choice. In fact, for a long time I always assumed I would get married. I just didn't see any marriages I wanted to emulate, so I kept putting it off.
Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.
Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.
We need to stop raising boys to think that they need to prove their masculinity by being controlling or by not showing emotion or by not being little girls.
The women's movement and gay and lesbian movements always come together, and our adversaries are always the same because the male supremacist, patriarchal, ultra-right-wing, religious fundamentalists, whatever you want to call it is devoted to saying that sex is only moral and okay when it is directed towards having children and occurs in patriarchal marriage, so the children are owned.
I remember someone once asked Jack Kennedy why he was paying such close attention to the renovation of the square across from the White House, and he said, 'It may be the only thing my presidency is remembered for.'
As a profession, freelance writing is notoriously insecure. That's the first argument in its favor. For many reasons, a few of them rational, the thought of knowing exactly what next year's accomplishments, routine, income, and vacation will be -- or even what time I have to get up tomorrow morning -- has always depressed me.
In the suffragist and abolitionist era, there were a lot of white women and some black men and women who argued for the old hierarchy and against universal adult suffrage -- often on religious grounds.
I don't think there's any country that has equal pay, not even Sweden or Iceland.
Like so many women, I was living out the unlived life of my mother, so I wouldn't be her. But the price I paid was that I distanced myself internally. I wasn't as close to her then as I nowadays, in retrospect, wish I had been.
There's nothing automatic about political change, about liberation.
I was rescued by librarians. It was librarians who said 'maybe you would like to read The Hardy Boys as well as Nancy Drew.' It is true for me, as for so many countless others, that librarians saved my life, my internal life.
Father Egan continues to write about everything from the injustice of current wars to the past and future of Catholic mysticism.
In the Catholic Reporter, he publishes an article titled "Celibacy, a Vague Old Cross on Priestly Backs," and explains that it started "only in 1139 when the church no longer wanted to be financially responsible for the children of priests.
I did not see any way that I could possibly give birth to someone else and also give birth to myself. Far from feeling guilty, it was the first time that I had taken responsibility for my own life.
Writers are notorious for using any reason to keep from working: over-researching, retyping, going to meetings, waxing the floors -- anything.
Marriage works best for men than women. The two happiest groups are married men and unmarried women.
Law and justice are not always the same.
Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren't, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.
A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.
We need to unlearn our respect for education, since it has undermined our respect for ourselves. It's worth taking time to demistify it. ... All the things an adolescent can be ... are reduced to a three digit number. ... We too can decide how to value our education instead of letting them value us.
When gender comes down upon us, male or female, it comes as a restriction.
Unequal access to money and media plus bias, external and internalized, and male-dominant religions and illegality at the polls -- all those are reasons for women's wildly unequal political power.
Housewives are dependent creatures who are still children…parasites.
As Robin Morgan wrote so wisely, "Hate generalizes, love specifies." Thats what makes going on the road so important. It definitely specifies.
Women fear endangering men's approval so much, we don't even wait for them to say no. Or else we protect them, even if it means saying no to ourselves.
Superwoman is the adversary of the women's movement.
Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.
Human beings are communal beings and we can't exist or prosper by ourselves. We need each other's support.
Just when you thought multi-nationals and crazed consumerism were too big to fight, along comes Naomi Klein with facts, spirit, and news of successful fighters already out there. No Logo is an invigorating call to arms for everybody who wants to save money, justice, or the universe.
Most art in the world does not have a capital 'A,' but is a way of turning everyday objects into personal expressions.
Democracy is mob rule with income taxes.
Elephants are so wise and so funny and so endangered and so intelligent. I just think there is a lot to learn from them.
Logic has nothing to do with oppression.
I think I've wasted some of my time, but used most of it well, and have realized that my life is not separate from other people's lives or from the universe. I think our moments of happiness really come from a feeling of unity.
Intelligence without character is a dangerous thing.
The most impersonal seeming audiences eventually just say such intimate, smart, wise, amazing, totally surprising, funny things. It's empowering, in the sense of feeling like you're a part of something really important.
As for the American child's classic problem -- too much mother, too little father -- that would be cured by an equalization of parental responsibility.
Pearl Jam doesn't just sing about issues they care about. These guys walk it like they talk it.
The androcentric, patriarchal cultures, whatever you want to call it, are quite new. So, every economic statement should start with reproduction, not production. Every statement for human rights ought to include reproduction as a basic human right, like freedom of speech.
A man can be called ruthless if he bombs a country to oblivion. A woman can be called ruthless if she puts you on hold.
Rich cultures, patriarchal cultures, value thin women, like ours; poor ones value fat women. But all patriarchal cultures value weak women. So for women to become physically strong is very profound.
I think if women are visible in the media, truly visible, in an empowered role, it empowers us to be more visible in any area of our lives.
We must begin to shift the emphasis of teen-age pregnancy to teen-age boys.
I don't think feminism can just be imitative or integrationist. By definition, it must transform. But in the short run, there are goals we agree on. And it's in the short run that we must act.
Now, we've made the revolutionary discovery that children have two parents. A decade ago even the kindly Dr. Spock held mothers solely responsible for children.
There are many ways of supporting gender equality, from something as simple as paid sick leave and flexible work hours to attributing an economic value to all care-giving, and making that amount tax deductible.
Feminism began to dawn on my brain belatedly in life.
Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.
She is a water bug on the surface of life.
We have to imagine change before we can begin to move toward it.
Why are women raped far away (say, Bosnia) called victims, while those raped nearby (say, a local campus) are playing victim politics?
Happy or Unhappy, families are all mysterious.
Feminism is not antisexuality. On the contrary. It says that sexuality shouldn't be confused with violence and dominance and that it should be a matter of free choice. It shouldn't be forced on you by economics, including dependence on a husband, or by pressure.
I'm more often confronted by women who come from religious traditions and don't feel that they have a place in the feminist movement. I've felt pressure when reporters asked me, "Do you believe in God?" I do say, "No. I believe in people."
There is no such thing as Superwoman. You cant have everything if you do everything.
As always, self-esteem had created an ability to be generous.
We will live to see the day that St. Patrick's Cathedral is a child-care center and the pope is no longer a disgrace to the skirt that he has on.
Sex and race, because they are easy and visible differences, have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labour on which this system still depends.
Even when educators survey grade school texts and create new bibliographies to help teachers include Asians, Eskimos, and other Americans, females in and out of those groups may be down-played or forgotten.
I would put all the efforts to humanize the "masculine" and "feminine" gender roles that are the beginning of a false human hierarchy and normalize race, class and other systems of domination to come.
I hate when people say, "Have fun at the press preview." Fun is talking to you.
A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.
There's going to be a demand for perfectionism on the part of Hillary Clinton, or any other pro-equality woman candidate, that would not be made of men. There are going to be attacks based on different standards of morality and different standards of dress and physical attractiveness.
When pain has been intertwined with love and closeness, it's very difficult to believe that love and closeness can be experienced without pain.
The caste systems of sex and race are interdependent and can only be uprooted together.
If you add up all the forms of genocide, from female infanticide and genital mutilation to so-called honor crimes, sex trafficking, and domestic abuse, everything, we lose about 6 million humans every year just because they were born female. That's a holocaust every year.
We've allowed a youth-centered culture to leave us so estranged from our future selves that, when asked about the years beyondfifty, sixty, or seventy -- all part of the average human life span providing we can escape hunger, violence, and other epidemics -- many people can see only a blank screen, or one on which they project fear of disease and democracy.
Everyone is unique and each experience is different.
Liberation does not come from outside.
Men should think twice before making widowhood women's only path to power.
Age brings a freedom. When you're young, you're much more subject to the idea of what feminine is or how you should look or how you should behave.
Mama grizzlies mate later than other bears. They have two cubs instead of four. They wait four years -- about twice as long as other bears -- between having cubs. And after they're pregnant, if winter is hard or their health is not good or the food supply is uncertain, they re-absorb the embryo into their body.
Wherever I go, bookstores are still the closest thing to a town square.
Members of a powerful group are raised to believe (however illogically) that whatever affects it will also affect them. On theother hand, members of less powerful groups are raised to believe (however illogically) that each individual can escape the group's fate. Thus, cohesion is encouraged on the one hand, and disunity is fostered on the other.
Don't listen to me. Listen to yourself ... People often ask me at this age, 'Who am I passing the torch to?' First of all, I'm not giving up my torch, thank you! I'm using my torch to light other people's torches. ... If we each have a torch, there's a lot more light.
Nature doesn't move in a straight line, and as part of nature, neither do we.
Each individual woman's body demands to be accepted on its own terms.
I think we spend a lot of time denying our mothers. We understand other women earlier than we understand our mothers because we're trying so hard to say, "I'm not going to be like my mother" that we blame her for her condition. If we didn't blame her for her condition, we would have to admit that it could happen to us, too. I spent a long time doing that, thinking that my mother's problems were uniquely her fault.
This idea of doing it all is the enemy of equality, not the path to do it. It's impossible to do two full-time jobs, and an impossible definition of success is just another way of making women feel like failures... Any definition of success has to include social policies that honor families and men who raise babies as much as women do.
Fashion in the past meant conforming and losing oneself. Fashion in the present means being individual and finding oneself.
I myself cried when I got angry, then became unable to explain why I was angry in the first place. Later I would discover this was endemic among female human beings. Anger is supposed to be "unfeminine" so we suppress it -until it overflows. I could see that not speaking up made my mother feel worse. This was my first hint of the truism that depression is anger turned inward; thus women are twice as likely to be depressed. My mother paid a high price for caring so much, yet being able to do so little about it. In this way, she led me toward am activist place where she herself could never go.
The problem for all women is we're identified by how we look instead of by our heads and our hearts.
Oppression has no logic -- just a self-fulfilling prophecy, justified by a self-perpetuating system.
The thing about aging is all your old lovers, pretty much if they were really friends, become your family. It's great. You have those terrible feelings of possessiveness and uncertainty go out the window. You have what you shared. You know you would help each other in times of trouble no matter what.
I no longer believe the conservative message that children are naturally selfish and destructive creatures who need civilizing by hierarchies or painful controls. On the contrary, I believe that hierarchy and painful controls create destructive people. And I no longer believe the liberal message that children are blank slates on which society can write anything. On the contrary, I believe a unique core self is born into every human being; the result of millennia of environment and heredity combined in an unpredictable way that could never happen before or again.
Or perhaps it's "activist," but on environmental and economic problems, without understanding that pressuring women to have too many children is the biggest cause of environmental distress, and economic courses should start with reproduction, not just production.
Most women are one man away from welfare.
The road itself is informative, because it forces you to respond spontaneously and to encounter the unexpected. It forces you to reassess what you felt about people or issues or places, and it forces you to live in the present.
There's no greater gift than thinking that you had some impact on the world, for the better.
There is bias and sexism everywhere, just like there are problems of racism and homophobia stemming from the whole notion that we're arranged in a hierarchy, that we're ranked rather than linked.
During years of working for a living, I have experienced much of the legal and social discrimination reserved for women in this country, I have been refused service in public restaurants, ordered out of public gathering places and turned away from apartment rentals. All for the clearly stated, sole reason that I am a woman.
You can travel without traveling, and you can not travel -- yet travel. Being on the road is a state of mind.
On gender-rating by insurance companies: They say the reason they get to charge more is we have children. I would say having children is a socially useful act. Being female is not a preexisting condition.
I always trust the microcosm over the macrocosm.
When the gender role starts to descend, boys get into the masculine box.
The art of acting morally is behaving as if everything we do matters.
There is nothing more fundamental than the idea that the government does not have a right to decide when and whether we have children.
I didn't go to school a full year until I was 11 or 12, so I lived in books. I really was an observer of life.
What I've learned is that unless it's an emergency, like a fire or brain surgery, hierarchy is not necessary and may be damaging. If you have a hierarchy, you're repeating the strengths and weaknesses of one person without allowing for the accumulative strength of a group.
The cleanup costs of polluting a river, injecting pesticides into the ground water, or putting noxious gases into the air have not been figured into the cost of the manufacturing or agribusiness that put them there in the first place. Historically, the economic incentive has been to pollute.
Women are only half responsible for children. Men raise children as much as women do. Until men are as nurturing as women are, and until women are as active outside the home as men are, we won't have democratic families, and therefore we won't have democracy, and we will continue this hierarchical notion of life.
The patterns that are normalized in the family -- the whole idea that some people cook and some people eat, that some listen and others talk, and even that some people control others in very economic or even violent ways -- that kind of hierarchy is what makes us vulnerable to believing in class hierarchy, to believing in racial hierarchy, and so on.
You're a unique person. You should do what you're suited to do. We all should. It's the only way to be happy. That pressure is all outside. It's external.
The ends and means are a seamless web.
Burnout is a way of telling you that your form of activism was perhaps not very full circle.
Self-hatred leads to the need either to dominate or to be dominated.
I live in the land of delight -- of just walking in the street, and the sun is shining, and I'm on my way to Starbucks and I'm feeling good. I also live for those aha! moments when you understand something new, when you see two things fitting together to make a surprising third. There's actually a chemical that's produced in the brain by learning that gives you that little ecstatic moment of, Oh, that's why.
Anger is energizing. The opposite of anger is depression, which is anger turned inward.
I never expected to be even busier at 81, and doing more of what I love, than when I was 30.
The original languages didn't even have he and she. They didn't have concepts of masculine and feminine. People were people. And the whole idea was that we were in a circle together, not in a hierarchy together.
She acquired a lifetime aversion to the phrases bless your heart and poor dears.
Women tend to need the healthcare system more because we bear children. Insurance companies -- not all of them, but many of them -- 'gender-rate.' Women may pay 40% more for their health insurance than men do.
Looking at traditional marriages, it seems the surest way for a woman to be alone is to get married.
'Ms.' always flouted the rules of the ad world that say, especially for products directed at women, that the ad must be connected to the editorial. You don't have food ads unless you have recipes. You don't get clothing ads unless you have lavish fashion coverage. We never did that; every other women's magazine does.
The point of the journey is not just healing. It's also recovering the truest, most spontaneous, joyful, and creative core of ourselves.
Perhaps well-to-do women and unemployed ghetto teenagers have something in common. Neither group has been allowed to develop the self-confidence that comes from knowing you can support yourselves.
If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn't it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?
The same way that racism is a white person's problem, violence against women is a men's problem.
Children who have been very sadistically abused over the long-term are able to dissociate, some of them are able to dissociate as a way of surviving and inventing someone to whom this doesn't happen. And so therefore, they invent within themselves different personalities who have life histories of their own. Many people invent an opposite gender personality as well.
The family is the basic cell of government: it is where we are trained to believe that we are human beings or that we are chattel, it is where we are trained to see the sex and race divisions and become callous to injustice even if it is done to ourselves, to accept as biological a full system of authoritarian government.
I always thought that "humanist" was a good word long before I understood that anyone thought it was a bad word.
Men, through no fault of theirs, get born into cultures that tell them that if a woman can do it, it's not worth doing, or if they're not superior to women in one way or another, they're not really masculine.
If you're going to have a male-dominant system, to maintain the system, you have to teach men to dominate.
Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.
It's easier to blame the person with less power.
In a way, women are a psychic immigrant group.
Little girls do not wake up in the morning and say "I dream of being a prostitute." It is a terrible, terrible life. Body invasion is more traumatic than even getting beaten up. In certain circumstances, obviously, it may be a way to survive.
The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.
By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God.
People now ask me if I'm passing the torch. I always explain that no, I'm keeping my torch, thank you very much. And I'm using it to light the torches of others.
Because the truth is that the old image of one person with a torch is part of the problem, not the solution. We each need a torch if we are to see where we're going. And together, we create so much more light.
Women must have seats at the table because peace is too crucial to be left only to the politicians or only to the male half of our world.
If the men in the room would only think how they would feel graduating with a 'spinster of arts' degree they would see how important this is.
I do think it's important that there are feminist publications that are not dependent or only marginally dependent on advertising.
Men are victims of their own impulses.
For women... bras, panties, bathing suits, and other stereotypical gear are visual reminders of a commercial, idealized feminine image that our real and diverse female bodies can't possibly fit. Without these visual references, each individual woman's body demands to be accepted on its own terms. We stop being comparatives. We begin to be unique.
Her hope was to preserve what she called The Way, to keep it alive, for that future moment when the current obsession with excess and hierarchy imploded. Wilma said many Native people believed that the earth as a living organism would just one day shrug off the human species that was destroying it--and start over. In a less cataclysmic vision, humans would realize that we are killing our home and each other, and seek out The Way. That's why Native people were guarding it.
I don't like debates anyway. I have never debated anyone, I think they're a very masculine form -- like an intellectual prizefight. They let you know who the better debater is but they don't really tell you about the issue. It's all heat, but no light.
Clearly no one knows what leadership has gone undiscovered in women of all races, and in black and other minority men.
Sexism is not inevitable. It's only about controlling reproduction and therefore controlling women.
In the U.S. for instance, the value of a homemaker's productive work has been imputed mostly when she was maimed or killed and insurance companies and or the courts had to calculate the amount to pay her family in damages. Even at that, the rates were mostly pink collar and the big number was attributed to the husband's pain and suffering.
Many ideas have been transformed by adding one crucial adjective-women's bank, women's music, women's studies, women's caucus. That adjective did more than change a phrase. It implied a lot of new content: child care, flexible work hours, new standards of creditworthiness, new symbolism, new lyrics.
The gender prism is just descending upon us. For instance, when we're girls of nine or 10 we may be climbing trees and saying, "I know what I want. I know what I think." And then suddenly at 11 or 12, the gender role takes hold, and adults tell us, "How clever of you to know what time it is." It happens to boys, too and even sooner -- between five and eight. Before that, boys cry and express uncertainty.
If you follow the voice inside you, it does give you guidance.
Writers -- we're a little crazy about how much we care about it. We spend a lot of time fussing. At least, I do.
When the past dies, there is mourning, but when the future dies our imaginations are compelled to carry it on.
The deepest change begins with men raising children as much as women do and women being equal actors in the world outside the home.
If you are not a feminist in love, you fail to recognise someone who does not love you. Feminism makes love easier. Otherwise, there is the danger of feeling romantically drawn to someone who does not see you as an equal.
Actually, I believe there are more independents than either Republicans or Democrats, and yet those are the... that is the choice we have on the party ballot.
If what's inside your dreams wasn't already real inside you, you couldn't even dream it.
The U.S. has more guns per capita and supplies more guns to the world than any other country. What would be a fistfight without guns turns into dead bodies with them. Families with guns in the house are more likely to shoot themselves accidentally than to shoot any intruder. Women abused by their partners have a five-fold increased risk of being killed when their partner owns a gun. Every three hours, at least one child is wounded or killed by gunfire.
Pop culture shapes our ideas of what is normal and what our dreams can be and what our roles are. Politics, of course, decides how the power and the money in the country is distributed. Both are equally important, and each affects the other.
Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences.
Girls are taught to view their bodies as unending projects to work on, whereas boys from a young age, are taught to view their bodies as tools to master their environment.
Work is valued by the social value of the worker.
Anything being perceived as being superior takes the noun. And everything that isn't, that's judged to be inferior, requires an adjective. So there are black novelists and novelists. There are women physicians and physicians. Male nurses and nurses.
I think one of the great innovations of sexual harassment law was that it did not use the word "consent." It used the word "welcome."
We move away from only the binary boxes of "masculine" or "feminine" and begin to live along the full human continuum of identity and expression.
It feels as if childhood sexual abuse or domestic abuse of women in the home has increased but actually if you ask women of 60 or 70 years old, the incidence is about the same. We just didn't know it.
It's an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don't try to make it posthumous.
The best way for us to cultivate fearlessness in our daughters and other young women is by example.
There's one logical generational difference and that is that young women will have more chances to support a female president than older women. Older women feel it's their last chance, so that's just a factual, obvious difference. But other than that it depends on experience, on individual experience.
We've learned that women can and should do 'men's jobs,' for instance, and we've won the principle (if not the fact) of getting equal pay. But we haven't yet established the principle (much less the fact) that men can and should do 'women's jobs': that homemaking and child-rearing are as much a man's responsibility, too, and that those jobs in which women are concentrated outside the home would probably be better paid if more men became secretaries, file clerks, and nurses, too.
The dogma is that, that dogma is a mistake.
The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.
Labeling makes the invisible visible, but it's limiting. Categories are the enemy of connecting. Link, don't rank.
Rich People plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.
Once we give up searching for approval we often find it easier to earn respect.
I would say don't worry about what you should do, do whatever you can. And seek companions with shared values.
In the late '60s, people were saying we need power to, not power over. Power to do, accomplish, create, not power over other people.
I think we acquire habits of mind when we're little, and I lived in the future because I was always imagining being a grown-up, when I could get out.
All women, and men of color -- we were owned like tables and chairs. We spent a hundred years getting a legal identity as human beings. That's a big thing.
Because when some people are invisible, everyone suffers.
In those meetings, I learned that even economic diagrams needn't be linear. Ours was a nest of concentric circles, and an enterprise was measured by its value to each circle, from the individual and family to the community and environment. I realized that Rebecca and her colleagues were trying to do nothing less than transform the System of National Accounts, the statistical framework here and in most countries for measuring economic activity. For instance, the value of a tree depends on its estimated value or sale price, but if it is sold and cut down, there is no accounting on the debit side of the ledger for loss of oxygen, seeding of other trees, or value to the community or the environment. This group was inventing a new way of measuring profit and loss.
By the end of our days together, I understood economics in a whole new way. A balance sheet really could be about balance.
We are still in various kinds of patriarchal systems. The very definition of patriarchy is that men control women as the means of reproduction, so the idea that a woman's main role is to have children often means society wants more workers, more soldiers. The idea that how many children we have should be controlled by the family, the church, the nation -- by anyone but women themselves -- is still very deep and very strong.
I definitely think men can be leaders. I see an analogy in the case of what helped me think about racism, which was to find parallels with sexism. In other words, I don't think I was such a great ally until I got mad on my own behalf.
It's going to take a while because for the last 500 years patriarchal societies have been devoted to controlling reproduction and that means controlling women. So we got into this masculine feminine, dominant passive paradigm, and it's going to take a while to get out.
Female inferiority is internalised by us. Women need a lot more confidence.
I'm not saying that all women are blameless -- all women are not. There are women with despicable characters who are cruel and terrible and some of them are mothers. But why do we blame our mothers more than our fathers? We let our fathers get away scot-free. We hardly even knew who they were in many cases, given the way this culture raises kids, and they may have been quite cruel. They may even have raped us as children, but even if they raped us, we will blame our mothers for not protecting us instead of blaming our fathers who actually did it.
Women tend to be conservative in youth and get more radical as they get older because they lose power with age. So if a young woman is not a feminist, I say, 'Just wait.'
What's so valuable about HBO is they tell stories. We learn from stories.
If we were going to address what involves the biggest number of women, reproductive freedom is a fundamental human right -- like freedom of speech, the most basic right. Freedom from violence, since women worldwide are still like 70% at least of all victims of violence. Equality in the family, democracy in the family, since the family is the microcosm of everything else, so if you have inequality and violence in the family, it normalizes it in the street, for foreign policy, for every place else.
I guess 35 years ago, I thought we had more of a democracy than we actually do. Majority support doesn't help unless the majority is active and votes -- but the opposition minority votes a much greater proportion, so we often lose by a narrow margin.
I am not now, and never have been, a girlfriend of Henry Kissinger.
The most hurtful thing is not what comes from our adversaries, it's what comes from our friends.
The premise of most media is that only conflict is newsworthy. And that's just not true. I think for a lot of men, too -- certainly for most women -- there's enough real conflict without manufacturing it. The media formula is always to have a pro and con, to say there are two sides to any issue, when in fact there may be ten sides.
More and more men are raising children or want to be close to their kids. They don't want to just lead work-obsessed lives and end up 50 years later with an engraved watch.
Being married is like having somebody permanently in your corner. It feels limitless, not limited.
Our own lives feel so disordered and confusing, so it's amazing to me that the filmmakers caught the personal, emotional high points and low points of my life and not just the public aspects.
I'd just begun to be taken seriously as a freelance writer, but after the Playboy article, I mostly got requests to go underground in some other semi-sexual way. It was so bad that I returned an advance to turn the Playboy article into a paperback, even though I had to borrow the money.
Whenever one person stands up and says, "Wait a minute, this is wrong," it helps other people do the same.
All my years campaigning have given me one clear message: Voting isn't the most we can do, but it is the least. To have a democracy, you have to want one. Still, I realize this fully only by looking back.
Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.
Altogether, I can't imagine technology replacing bookstores completely, any more than movies about a country replace going there.
I'm not saying that women leaders would eliminate violence. We are not more moral than men; we are only uncorrupted by power so far. When we do acquire power, we might turn out to have an equal impulse toward aggression.
A portable friend to all readers-especia lly but not only women-who need to learn that the Golden Rule works only if it's reversible: We must learn to treat ourselves as well as we wish to treat others.
Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.
Obviously there is no such thing as race, and in many ways, sex is a continuum, not a binary. So it doesn't make sense to label people in that way.
We are literally linked in a circle, including with nature, as well as with other human beings. Old societies didn't have and still don't have "he" and "she." They don't have gendered pronouns. They don't have a word for nature, because we're not separate from nature.
We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.
You have no choice but to live in the present, if you're really being open to events and people as they come along.
The question of whether one has one's own political power or goes to work for someone else is not only a feminist question.
It's not okay for a woman to be in control of her own body, her own reproductive system, much less of her life. There's opposition even to that. So passivity is rewarded as feminine.
All those chemicals that create empathy only work when you are in a room together.
Clinging to the past is the problem. Embracing change is the answer.
A different world can be created or re-created-but not until we stop enshrining the economic values of invisible labor, infinite and obsessive growth, and a slow environmental suicide.
I just think that culturally, women -- we're all human beings -- but at least we don't have our masculinity to prove.
Inside each of us is a unique person resulting from millennia of environment and heredity combined in a way that could never happen again and could never have happened before. We aren't blank slates, but we are also communal creatures who are born before our brains are fully developed, so we're very sensitive to our environment. The question is: How to find the support and the circumstances that allow you to express what's inside you?
My father was the Jewish half of the family, yet it was my mother who taught me to have pride in that tradition.
I would say that each of us has only one thing to gain from the feminist movement: Our whole humanity. Because gender has wrongly told us that some things are masculine and some things are feminine... which is bullshit.
Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.
The old languages -- at least the ones I know -- don't have gender. They don't have gendered pronouns. There's no "he" and "she." A human being is a human being.
We're also learning that the most dangerous time often comes after a victory.
I am terminally sentimental about graduations. They are more individual than weddings, more conscious than christenings, or bar mitzvahs or bat mitzvahs. They are almost as much a step into the unknown as funerals-though I assure you, there is life after graduation.
Whatever each individual woman is facing; only she knows her biggest challenge. However, if we add up the problems that affect the biggest numbers of women, then issues having to do with physical safety and reproduction are still the biggest. Female bodies are still the battleground, whether that means restricting freedom, birth control and safe abortion in order to turn them into factories, or abandoning female infants because females are less valuable for everything other than reproduction.
I don't know Beyoncé, but I have the impression that she's sincere, that she really is a feminist and wanted to put the word out there to make it a good word in a big way by putting it in big letters on the stage, and especially because she was quoting the African novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who said, "We should all be feminists." She's a very accomplished and important novelist.
I don't remember being thought of as good-looking until I became a feminist. It's more of a comment on people's expectations than of what a feminist would look like. They assumed that if you could get a man, you wouldn't want anything else -- what else could you possibly want? So that feminists who were talking about such things as equal pay must be doing so because they were unable to get a husband to support them, and therefore they must be ugl -- this was the sort of train of thought. So because I looked different from the stereotype, then people would comment.
Women are liked better when they lose.
I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.
You can't do it all. No one can have two full-time jobs, have perfect children and cook three meals and be multi-orgasmic 'til dawn ... Superwoman is the adversary of the women's movement.
When you stand up for yourself and try to be autonomous and self-determining, you're called a lot of names that we all know and that are very common. You may lose your job. You may lose custody of your child. You may be blamed for the failure of your marriage even though it was the man who couldn't tolerate an equal relationship.
In my own mind, I am still a fat brunette from Toledo, and I always will be.
Artists strive to free this true and spontaneous self in their work. Creativity, meditation are ways of freeing an inner voice.
I hate to generalize, but in general, both men and women suffer from ageism. Men much less because men gain power as they get older. Women lose power as they get older. Men are seen as gaining experience and being distinguished. Sons look forward to replacing their fathers.