Wikipedia:WikiProject Women's History/Quotes

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WikiProject Women's History

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The following is a list of entries for potential inclusion in the Selected quote section of a Portal devoted to women's history. All quotes must be from an individual with an existing biographical article on Wikipedia, with an accompanying free-use image relating to the author, and sourced. This section normally needs about 15 entries which are displayed one at a time in random rotation. More quotes may be found at WikiQuote.


Mary Mapes Dodge.jpeg

Life is a mystery as deep as ever death can be; Yet oh, how dear it is to us, this life we live and see!Mary Mapes Dodge


Source: From The Two Mysteries, 1904



Maria Edgeworth.jpg

To our unhappy sex genius and sensibility are the most treacherous gifts of Heaven. Why should we cultivate talents merely to gratify the caprice of tyrants? Why seek for knowledge, which can prove only that our wretchedness is irremediable? If a ray of light break in upon us, it is but to make darkness more visible; to show us the narrow limits, the Gothic structure, the impenetrable barriers of our prison.Maria Edgeworth


Source: Leonora (1806), Letter 1; Tales and Novels, vol. 13, p. 5.



Charlotte Perkins Gilman c. 1900.jpg

For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown tending to melancholia — and beyond. During about the third year of this trouble I went, in devout faith and some faint stir of hope, to a noted specialist in nervous diseases, the best known in the country. This wise man put me to bed and applied the rest cure, to which a still-good physique responded so promptly that he concluded there was nothing much the matter with me, and sent me home with solemn advice to "live as domestic a life as far as possible," to "have but two hours' intellectual life a day," and "never to touch pen, brush, or pencil again" as long as I lived.Charlotte Perkins Gilman


Source: "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper" in The Forerunner (October 1913)



Grandma Moses NYWTS.jpg

I'll get an inspiration and start painting; then I'll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.Grandma Moses


Source: As quoted in her obituary in The New York Times (14 December 1961)



Empress Dowager Cixi (c. 1890, small version) - 01.jpg

I have often thought that I am the most clever woman that ever lived, and others cannot compare with me.... Although I have heard much about Queen Victoria...I don't think her life was half so interesting and eventful as mine.... she had... really nothing to say about the policy of the country. Now look at me. I have 4000,000,000 people dependent on my judgement.Empress Dowager Cixi


Source: As attributed in Hannah Pakula (2009). The last empress: Madame Chiang Kai-Shek and the birth of modern China. Simon and Schuster. p. 391. ISBN 1439148937.



Mary Brooks Picken cropped.jpg

You should never be satisfied to be a nonentity in intellect, in understanding, or in friendship. You should express your personality in these things and in doing this one of the greatest aids is dressing yourself appropriately, becomingly, and with individuality.Mary Brooks Picken


Source: From The Secrets of Distinctive Dress. (1918) International Educational Publishing Company. p. 2.




Queen Elizabeth I by George Gower.jpg

I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.Elizabeth I of England


Source: From the Speech to the Troops at Tilbury (1588)



Shirley Chisholm 140x190.jpg

When I die, I want to be remembered as a woman who lived in the twentieth century and who dared to be a catalyst for change. I don't want be remembered as the first black woman who went to Congress, and I don't even want to be remembered as the first woman who happen to be black to make a bid for the presidency. I want to be remembered as a woman who fought for change in the twentieth century. That's what I want.Shirley Chisholm


Source: Shirley Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed. (2005) Documentary film by Shola Lynch.



Eleanor Roosevelt portrait 1933.jpg

I was one of those who was very happy when the original prohibition amendment passed. I thought innocently that a law in this country would automatically be complied with, and my own observation led me to feel rather ardently that the less strong liquor anyone consumed the better it was. During prohibition I observed the law meticulously, but I came gradually to see that laws are only observed with the consent of the individuals concerned and a moral change still depends on the individual and not on the passage of any law.Eleanor Roosevelt


Source: "My Day" [newspaper column]. (14 July 1939).



Helen Keller4.jpg

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.Hellen Keller


Source: From The Open Door (1957). Doubleday.



Grace Hopper.jpg

A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.Grace Hopper


Source: As quoted in "Grace Hopper : The Youthful Teacher of Us All" by Henry S. Tropp in Abacus Vol. 2, Issue 1 (Fall 1984) ISSN 0724-6722