Back to Butterfly's Home Page

Favorite Quotes From Women

By Author:
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - R - S - T - W

Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel. —Bella Abzug

"Stay" is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary. —Louisa May Alcott

As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might. —Marian Anderson

Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway. —Mary Kay Ash

In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on woman. —Nancy Astor, British politician

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly. —Lauren Bacall, American actress

There is a way to look at the past. Don't hide from it. It will not catch you—if you don't repeat it. —Pearl Bailey

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. —Faith Baldwin

You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens. —Ethel Barrymore

What will happen can't be stopped: aim for grace. —Ann Beattie

Listening to your heart is not simple. Finding out who you are is not simple. It takes a lot of hard work and courage to get to know who you are and what you want. —Sue Bender

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. —Sally Berger

Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. —Sarah Bernhardt, French actress

Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly, as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to face many a danger, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle. —Annie Besant

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting. —Elizabeth Bibesco

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. —Shirley Temple Black, actress, singer, and U.S. ambassador

...there is That in an old doctor's wisdom that recollects a wagon train I once saw on a Willacoochee back road, and there is That in a Tampa Bay waterspout that draws all the people to the window of a plane, and there is That in the voices of two old friends who have found each other again at a gas station in Savannah. It is a sound that sounds beneath the illusions that keep us separate, and it binds, and holds, and surprises a crowd of strangers into quietness. —Amy Blackmarr

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth to. —Erma Bombeck

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. —Elayne Boosler

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. —Anne Bradstreet

Whenever people say we mustn't be sentimental, you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And, if they add, we must be realistic, they mean they are going to make money out of it. —Brigid Brophy

I believe you are your work. Don't trade the stuff of your life, time, for nothing more than dollars. That's a rotten bargain. —Rita Mae Brown

Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese. —Billie Burke

In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth. —Rachel Carson

The secret of having a personal life is not answering too many questions about it. —Joan Collins

All you'll get from strangers is surface pleasantry or indifference. Only someone who loves you will criticize you. —Judith Crist

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. —Marie Curie

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. —Marie Curie

Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life—is the source from which self-respect springs. —Joan Didion

It is the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. —Marlene Dietrich, German actress

In youth we learn; in age we understand. —Marie Ebner-Eschenbach, Austrian writer

Animals are such agreeable friends, they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. —George Eliot

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to stay, abstains from giving us worthy evidence of the fact. —George Eliot

If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck? —Linda Ellerbee

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon. —Susan Ertz

Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold. —Zelda Fitzgerald

Take your work seriously, but never yourself. —Dame Margot Fonteyn

I'll not listen to reason. Reason always means what someone else has got to say. —Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, British writer

I can't think of any sorrow in the world that a hot bath wouldn't help, just a little bit. —Susan Glaspell in The Visioning

Some things... arrive on their own mysterious hour, on their own terms and not yours, to be seized or relinquished forever. —Gail Godwin, American writer

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. —Vivian Greene

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin. —Grace Hansen

People change and forget to tell each other. —Lillian Hellman

Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then. —Katharine Hepburn

Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all. —Hypatia of Alexandria

And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more. —Erica Jong

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't. —Erica Jong

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. —Erica Jong

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy. —Erica Jong

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. —Janis Joplin

Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power. —Barbara Jordan

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. —Helen Keller

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit. —Helen Keller

Hold out your hands, to feel the luxury of the sunbeams! —Helen Keller

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. —Helen Keller

It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. —Sally Kempton, American writer

What women want in the age of this world is not chivalry, but justice. —May Stocking Knaggs, 1887

Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid. —Hedy Lamarr

If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in eye and say, "I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me." —Ann Landers

People who drink to drown their sorrow should be told that sorrow knows how to swim. —Ann Landers

Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other. —Ann Landers

Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. —Ursula K. LeGuin, American writer

If you see a whole thing—it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives.... But close up a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. —Ursula K. LeGuin

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next. —Ursula K. LeGuin, American writer

The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting. —Fran Leibowitz

Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself. —Doris Lessing, British writer

A person who talks fast often says things she hasn't thought of yet. —Caron Warner Lieber

Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after. —Anne Morrow Lindbergh

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. —Sophia Loren

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life. —Sophia Loren

It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. —Lois Lowry

There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them. —Clare Boothe Luce

Women are repeatedly accused of taking things personally. I cannot see any other honest way of taking them. —Marya Mannes, American writer

We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story. —Mary McCarthy, American writer

Our strength is often composed of the weakness we're damned if we're going to show. —Mignon McLaughlin, American writer

They never put on a woman's gravestone "She kept a tidy house." —Margaret McSeveney

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. —Margaret Mead, American anthropologist

Self Pity is the most miserable party to go to, because, in case you haven't noticed, you're the only one who is there... —Joyce Meyer

We've all got our own brand of problems. You can be pitiful or powerful. Take your pick. —Joyce Meyer

If it's very painful for you to criticize your friends—you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it—that's the time to hold your tongue. —Alice Duer Miller, American writer

The eye that directs a needle in the delicate meshes of embroidery will equally well bisect a star with the spider web of the micrometer. —Maria Mitchell, American astronomer and mathematician

People have to learn sometimes not only how much the heart, but how much the head, can bear. —Maria Mitchell, American astronomer and mathematician

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. —Maria Mitchell, American astronomer and mathematician

But why look back at all? Why turn your eyes to your shadow, when, by looking upward, you see your rainbow in the same direction? —Maria Mitchell, American astronomer and mathematician

Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you. —Mary Tyler Moore

If you think I can't love this, but I can go over there and love that, when you get over there, the same you is going to be there that was over here not loving this. And before long, that same you is present. So, before you make a move, make peace with where you are. —Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. —Anaïs Nin, American writer

Night time is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep. —Catherine O'Hara

There is only one question: How to love this world. —Mary Oliver

Misfortune, and recited misfortune especially, may be prolonged to the point where it ceases to excite pity and arouses only irritation. —Dorothy Parker

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. —Dolly Parton

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes, because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde. —Dolly Parton

Happiness must be cultivated. It is like character. It is not a thing to be safely let alone for a moment, or it will run to weeds. —Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

If you have made mistakes... there is always another chance for you... you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. —Mary Pickford, American actress

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them. —Sylvia Plath

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning. —Ivy Baker Priest

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. —Gilda Radner

I base my fashion taste on what doesn't itch. —Gilda Radner

I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there. —Maureen Reagan

Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. —Eleanor Roosevelt

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do. —Eleanor Roosevelt

If my husband ever met a woman on the street who looked like one of his paintings he would faint. —Jacqueline Roque, wife of Pable Picasso

I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labor for 36 hours. I don't even want to do anything that feels GOOD for 36 hours. —Rita Rudner

Sometime in your life you will go on a journey. It will be the longest journey you have ever taken. It is the journey to find yourself. —Katherine Sharp

Trouble is part of your life, and if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough. —Dinah Shore

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try. —Beverly Sills

No matter how big or soft or warm your bed is, you still have to get out of it. —Grace Slick

Let me advise thee not to talk of thyself as being old. There is something in Mind Cure, after all, and if thee continually talks of thyself as being old, thee may perhaps bring on some of the infirmities of age. At least I would not risk it if I were thee. —Hannah Whitall Smith

She did observe, with some dismay, that, far from conquering all, love lazily sidestepped practical problems. —Jean Stafford, American writer

"I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career." —Gloria Steinem

"Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry." —Gloria Steinem

"When I'm old, I don't want them to say of me, 'She's so charming,' I want them to say, 'Be careful, I think she's armed.'" —G. Stoddart

I would not attack the faith of a heathen without being sure I had a better one to put in its place. —Harriet Beecher Stowe

Nagging is the repetition of unpalatable truths. —Baroness Edith Summerskill

Life is what happens to you when you're making other plans. —Betty Talmadge, American meat broker

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. —Mother Teresa

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman. —Margaret Thatcher

Always there remain portions of our heart into which no one is able to enter, invite them as we may. —Mary Dixon Thayer, American writer

One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man. —Marlo Thomas, American actress

Why is it when we talk to God we're said to be praying, but when God talks to us we're scizophrenic? —Lily Tomlin

I don't care how much of a lama he is, he still needs his mother. —Maria Torres, Spanish woman whose 10-year-old son is believed by Tibetan monks to be a reincarnated lama, 1995

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. —Alice Walker

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. —Martha Washington

Knowledge of what you love somehow comes to you; you don't have to read nor analyze nor study. If you love a thing enough, knowledge of it seeps into you, with particulars more real than any chart can furnish. —Jessamyn West

People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute. —Rebecca West

Love is not neutral. It takes a stand. It is a commitment to the attainment of the conditions of peace for everyone involved in a situation. —Marianne Williamson

If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time. —Edith Wharton, American writer

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title. —Virginia Woolf

Back to top of page