I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they do today.
—Will Rogers (1879–1935) American Actor, Rancher, Humorist
You’ve got many refinements. I don’t think you need to worry about your failure at long division. I mean, after all, you got through short division, and short division is all that a lady ought to be called on to cope with.
—Tennessee Williams (1911–83) American Playwright
You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her.
Why are women so much more interesting to men than men are to women?
—Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) English Novelist
Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
—Timothy Leary (1920–96) American Psychologist, Author
Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.
—John Berger (1926–2017) English Art Critic, Novelist
Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.
—Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) English Novelist
When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even out virtues.
—Honore de Balzac (1799–1850) French Novelist
Every man has a secret ambition: To outsmart horses, fish and women.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
Men have hitherto treated women like birds which have strayed down to them from the heights; as something more delicate, more fragile, more savage, stranger, sweeter, soulful—but as something which has to be caged up so that it shall not fly away.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
As a result of the feminist revolution, “feminine” becomes an abusive epithet.
—Wyndham Lewis (1882–1957) English Novelist, Painter, Critic
Man forgives women anything save the wit to outwit him.
—Minna Antrim (1861–1950) American Writer, Epigrammist
I’m not denyin’ the women are foolish; God Almighty made ’em to match the men.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
Every girl should use what Mother Nature gave her before Father Time takes it away.
—Laurence J. Peter (1919–90) Canadian-born American Educator, Author
Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor. Which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony.
—Jane Austen (1775–1817) English Novelist
I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn’t be a staring contest.
—Frank Sinatra (1915–1998) American Singer
I married beneath me. All women do.
—Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor (1879–1964) American-born British Politician
Woman does not forget she needs the fecundator, she does not forget that everything that is born of her is planted in her.
—Anais Nin (1903–77) French-American Essayist
There are always women who will take men on their own terms. If I were a man I wouldn’t bother to change while there are women like that around.
—Ann Oakley (b.1944) English Sociologist, Writer, Feminist
I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
If Miss means respectably unmarried, and Mrs. respectably married, then Ms. means nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
—Angela Carter (1940–92) English Novelist
A fickle and changeful thing is a woman ever.
—Virgil (70–19 BCE) Roman Poet
The angel of the Family is Woman. Mother, wife, or sister, Woman is the caress of life, the soothing sweetness of affection shed over its toils, a reflection for the individual of the loving providence which watches over Humanity. In her there is treasure enough of consoling tenderness to allay every pain. Moreover for every one of us she is the initiator of the future. The mother’s first kiss teaches the child love; the first holy kiss of the woman he loves teaches man hope and faith in life; and love and faith create a desire for perfection and the power of reaching towards it step by step; create the future, in short, of which the living symbol is the child, link between us and the generations to come. Through her the Family, with its divine mystery of reproduction, points to Eternity.
—Giuseppe Mazzini (1805–72) Italian Patriot, Political Leader
The sadness of the women’s movement is that they don’t allow the necessity of love. See, I don’t personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.
—Maya Angelou (1928–2014) American Poet
A youthful figure is what you get when you ask a woman her age.
As vivacity is the gift of women, gravity is that of men.
—Joseph Addison (1672–1719) English Essayist, Poet, Playwright, Politician
So it is naturally with the male and the female; the one is superior, the other inferior; the one governs, the other is governed; and the same rule must necessarily hold good with respect to all mankind.
—Aristotle (384BCE–322BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scholar
Women keep a special corner of their hearts for sins they have never committed.
—Cornelia Otis Skinner (1899–1979) American Actress, Playwright
Be to her virtues very kind,
Be to her faults a little blind.
—Matthew Prior (1664–1721) English Poet, Diplomat
Were there no women, men might live like gods.
Women, despite the fact that nine out of ten of them go through life with a death-bed air either of snatching-the-last-moment or with martyr-resignation, do not die tomorrow—or the next day. They have to live on to any one of many bitter ends.
I do not know if you remember the tale of the girl who saves the ship under mutiny by sitting on the powder barrel with her lighted torch and all the time knowing that it is empty? This has seemed to me a charming image of the women of my time. There they were, keeping the world in order by sitting on the mystery of life, and knowing themselves that there was no mystery.
—Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) (1885–1962) Danish Novelist, Short-story Writer
The colonel’s lady and Judy O’Grady are sisters under their skins.
—Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) British Children’s Books Writer, Short story, Novelist, Poet, Journalist
I think being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you’re important and nice, but you take second place all the same.
—Iris Murdoch (1919–99) British Novelist, Playwright, Philosopher
Most women have no characters at all.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
A pretty little collection of weaknesses and a terror of spiders are our indispensable stock-in-trade with the men.
—Colette (1873–1954) French Novelist, Performer
It’s the good girls who keep the diaries; the bad girls never have the time.
—Tallulah Bankhead (1902–68) American Actor, TV Personality
Impenetrable in their dissimulation, cruel in their vengeance, tenacious in their purposes, unscrupulous as to their methods, animated by profound and hidden hatred for the tyranny of man—it is as though there exists among them an ever-present conspiracy toward domination, a sort of alliance like that subsisting among the priests of every country.
—Denis Diderot (1713–84) French Philosopher, Writer
A woman’s whole life is a history of the affections. The heart is her world: it is there her ambition strives for empire; it is there her avarice seeks for hidden treasures. She sends forth her sympathies on adventure; she embarks her whole soul on the traffic of affection; and if shipwrecked, her case is hopeless—for it is a bankruptcy of the heart.
—Washington Irving (1783–1859) American Essayist, Biographer, Historian
If it were not somewhat fanciful to suppose that every human excellence is presented, as it were, in one kind of being, we might believe that the whole treasure of morality and order is enshrined in the female character.
—Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) German Philosopher, Linguist, Statesman
If the abstract rights of man will bear discussion and explanation, those of women, by a parity of reasoning, will not shrink from the same test: though a different opinion prevails in this country.
—Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97) English Writer, Feminist
The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots.
—Rebecca West (1892–1983) English Author, Journalist, Literary Critic
A man’s idea in a game of cards is war, cruel, devastating, and pitiless. A lady’s idea of it is a combination of larceny, embezzlement and burglary.
—Finley Peter Dunne (1867–1936) American Author, Writer, Humorist
The most popular image of the female despite the exigencies of the clothing trade is all boobs and buttocks, a hallucinating sequence of parabolae and bulges.
—Germaine Greer (b.1939) Australia Academic, Journalist, Scholar, Writer
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 (1907–2003) American Actor, TV Personality
If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she’s late? Nobody.
—J. D. Salinger (1919–2010) American Novelist, Short-story Writer
Women who feel naked without their lipstick are well over thirty.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
Give us that grand word “woman” once again, and let’s have done with “lady”; one’s a term full of fine force, strong, beautiful, and firm, fit for the noblest use of tongue or pen; and one’s a word for lackeys.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919) American Poet, Journalist
Woman begins by resisting a man’s advances and ends by blocking his retreat.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Woman’s destiny is to be wanton, like the bitch, the she-wolf; she must belong to all who claim her.
—Marquis de Sade (1740–1814) French Political leader, Revolutionary, Novelist, Poet, Critic