"A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space."
– Gloria Steinem
"If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive."
— Audre Lorde
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
― Jane Austen, Persuasion
“[W]hen I see men callously and cheerfully denying women the full use of their bodies, while insisting with sobs and howls on the satisfaction of their own, I simply can't find it heroic, or kind, or anything but pretty rotten and feeble.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers
"If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."
— Abigail Adams
"The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way."
— Adrienne Rich
"It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself."
— Betty Friedan
"The process begins with the individual woman’s acceptance that American women, without exception, are socialized to be racist, classist and sexist, in varying degrees, and that labeling ourselves feminists does not change the fact that we must consciously work to rid ourselves of the legacy of negative socialization."
— bell hooks
Outing the Mermaid: A Novel of Love, Fear & Misogyny by Ann Medlock
"Outing the Mermaid is Jane Austen with sex."