Fashionable Woman Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Fashionable Woman. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.
Coco Chanel
The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.
Yves Saint-Laurent
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.
Maya Angelou (Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women)
What is honor compared to a woman's love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms . . . or the memory of a brother's smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future.
Coco Chanel
Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.
Yves Saint-Laurent
A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.
Christian Dior
I wanted to give a woman comfortable clothes that would flow with her body. A woman is closest to being naked when she is well-dressed.
Coco Chanel
Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose!
Karl Lagerfeld
The emerging woman ... will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied...strength and beauty must go together.
Louisa May Alcott (An Old-Fashioned Girl)
It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of a man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire... Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.
Sophia Loren
A real gentleman is as polite to a little girl as to a woman.
Louisa May Alcott (An Old-Fashioned Girl)
Love is the bane of honor, the death of duty. What is honor compared to a woman's love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms ... or the memory of a brother's smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Every night I cuddle with a blob of unbaked clay I fashioned in the shape of a woman. But that’s what being in love is all about.
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
My value as a woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness and piety. And my purpose in life-despite what fashion magazines say-is something more sublime than just looking good for men.
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
We need houses as we need clothes, architecture stimulates fashion. It’s like hunger and thirst — you need them both.
Karl Lagerfeld
The woman is the most perfect doll that i have dressed with delight and admiration.
Karl Lagerfeld
The Victorian woman became her ovaries, as today's woman has become her "beauty.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
I want everyone to wear what they want and mix it in their own way. That, to me, is what is modern.
Karl Lagerfeld
And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain." And he said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
She has man's brain--a brain that a man should have were he much gifted--and woman's heart. The good God fashioned her for a purpose, believe me when He made that so good combination.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
Consider the fact that maybe…just maybe…beauty and worth aren’t found in a makeup bottle, or a salon-fresh hairstyle, or a fabulous outfit. Maybe our sparkle comes from somewhere deeper inside, somewhere so pure and authentic and REAL, it doesn’t need gloss or polish or glitter to shine.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
I have always held the old-fashioned opinion that the primary object of work of fiction should be to tell a story.
Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White)
Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another. There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don't waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
It's not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: "This is what you should wear at age twenty", "That is what you must act like at age twenty-five", "This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen." But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It's always wonderful to be elegant, it's always fashionable to have grace, it's always glamorous to be brave, and it's always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!
C. JoyBell C.
High heels were invented by a woman who had been kissed on the forehead.
Christopher Morley
Cosmetic surgery processes the bodies of woman-made women, who make up the vast majority of its patient pool, into man-made women.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
The elegance is as physical, as moral quality that has nothing common with the clothing. You can see a countrywoman more elegant than one so called elegant woman.
Karl Lagerfeld
Young men often laugh at the sensible girls whom they secretly respect, and affect to admire the silly ones whom they secretly despise, because earnestness, intelligence, and womanly dignity are not the fashion.
Louisa May Alcott (An Old-Fashioned Girl)
A mismatched outfit, a slightly defective denture, an exquisite mediocrity of the soul-those are the details that make a woman real, alive. The women you see on posters or in fashion magazines-the ones all the women try to imitate nowadays-how can they be attractive? They have no reality of their own; they're just the sum of a set of abstract rules. They aren't born of human bodies; they hatch ready-made from the computers." ~The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
A consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth. Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn't grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights. It's true what they say about women: Women are insatiable. We are greedy. Our appetites do need to be controlled if things are to stay in place. If the world were ours too, if we believed we could get away with it, we would ask for more love, more sex, more money, more commitment to children, more food, more care. These sexual, emotional, and physical demands would begin to extend to social demands: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc. The force of female desire would be so great that society would truly have to reckon with what women want, in bed and in the world.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (A Family Collection: Life on the Farm and in the Country, Making a Home; the Ways of the World, a Woman's Role)
Never forget that the most essential fashion accessories, the ones no woman can afford to do without, come from within. A generous heart, a spontaneous smile, and eyes that sparkle with delight can be part of any woman's signature look once she awakens to her authentic beauty.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Clearly the sight of a well-muscled forearm incited a woman to utter depravity. How else to explain the invention of cuffs?
Tessa Dare (Goddess of the Hunt (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #1))
It seems to be the fashion nowadays for a girl to behave as much like a man as possible. Well, I won't! I'll make the best of being a girl and be as nice a specimen as I can: sweet and modest, a dear, dainty thing with clothes smelling all sweet and violety, a soft voice, and pretty, womanly ways. Since I'm a girl, I prefer to be a real one!
Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence, which, I believe, does make the woman.
Mary Kay Ash
I hold an old-fashioned notion that a happy marriage is the crown of a woman’s life.
Beatrix Potter
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It's the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can't touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can't see. I say, It's in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Now you understand Just why my head's not bowed. I don't shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It's in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me.
Maya Angelou (Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women)
The "feminine" woman is forever static and childlike. She is like the ballerina in an old-fashioned music box, her unchanging features tiny and girlish, her voice tinkly, her body stuck on a pin, rotating in a spiral that will never grow.
Susan Faludi (Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women)
Women are extraordinary creatures!
Roman Payne
Now I am old-fashioned. A woman, I consider, should be womanly. I have no patience with the modern neurotic girl who jazzes from morning to night, smokes like a chimney, and uses language which would make a billingsgate fishwoman blush!
Agatha Christie (The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2))
Whatever is deeply, essentially female--the life in a woman's expression, the feel of her flesh, the shape of her breasts, the transformations after childbirth of her skin--is being reclassified as ugly, and ugliness as disease. These qualities are about an intensification of female power, which explains why they are being recast as a diminution of power. At least a third of a woman's life is marked with aging; about a third of her body is made of fat. Both symbols are being transformed into operable condition--so that women will only feel healthy if we are two thirds of the women we could be. How can an "ideal" be about women if it is defined as how much of a female sexual characteristic does not exist on the woman's body, and how much of a female life does not show on her face?
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Today a woman must ignore her reflection in the eyes of her lover, since he might admire her, and seek it in the gaze of the God of Beauty, in whose perception she is never complete.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
The fashionable woman wears clothes. The clothes don't wear her.
Mary Quant
The maturing of a woman who has continued to grow is a beautiful thing to behold. Or, if your ad revenue or your seven-figure salary or your privileged sexual status depend on it, it is an operable condition.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
Oscar Wilde
A woman with good shoes i never ugly!
Coco Chanel
Sylvia had given him a scalding lecture, the gist of it being that whatever a woman enjoyed wearing was feminine and anything she didn't enjoy wearing wasn't, and if he was too stubborn and old fashioned to understand that, he could go and soak his head in a bucket of cold water. He hadn't quite forgiven her yet for saying they would have to look hard to find a bucket big enough to fit his head in to, but he admired the sass behind the remark.
Anne Bishop (Heir to the Shadows (The Black Jewels, #2))
The most pleasant and alluring curve on a woman is the smile
Treasure Stitches
Women could probably be trained quite easily to see men first as sexual things. If girls never experienced sexual violence; if a girl's only window on male sexuality were a stream of easily available, well-lit, cheap images of boys slightly older than herself, in their late teens, smiling encouragingly and revealing cuddly erect penises the color of roses or mocha, she might well look at, masturbate to, and, as an adult, "need" beauty pornography based on the bodies of men. And if those initiating penises were represented to the girl as pneumatically erectible, swerving neither left nor right, tasting of cinnamon or forest berries, innocent of random hairs, and ever ready; if they were presented alongside their measurements, length, and circumference to the quarter inch; if they seemed to be available to her with no troublesome personality attached; if her sweet pleasure seemed to be the only reason for them to exist--then a real young man would probably approach the young woman's bed with, to say the least, a failing heart.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
My dear child, you can give it a long name if you like, but I'm an old-fashioned woman and I call it mother-wit, and it's so rare for a man to have it that if he does you write a book about him and call him Sherlock Holmes.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey, #2))
I had an interview once with some German journalist—some horrible, ugly woman. It was in the early days after the communists—maybe a week after—and she wore a yellow sweater that was kind of see-through. She had huge tits and a huge black bra, and she said to me, ‘It’s impolite; remove your glasses.’ I said, ‘Do I ask you to remove your bra?
Karl Lagerfeld
When a woman smiles,then her dress should smile to
Madeleine Vionnet
We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the “intolerable compliment.” Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
When [beauty pornography is] aimed at men, its effect is to keep them from finding peace in sexual love. The fleeting chimera of the airbrushed centerfold, always receding before him, keeps the man destabilized in pursuit, unable to focus on the beauty of the woman--known, marked, lined, familiar—-who hands him the paper every morning.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
If you were a sane woman, I would, of course, behave in a more rational fashion. Since you are a lunatic, however, this is the only way.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Ain't She Sweet?)
He does not want a girl who trifles with Christianity. He wants a woman who is radically given to Christ. He does not want a girl who prays tepid, lukewarm prayers. He wants a woman who lives in defiance of the powers of Hell. He does not want a girl who is self-adorning with the latest fashions and trends. He wants a woman who is adorned with the inner jewelry of Christ-given holiness. He does not want a girl who dishonors and belittles her parents. He wants a woman who honors the authorities God has placed in her life and serves them with charity and gladness. He does not want a girl whose Bible is an accessory to her wardrobe. He wants a woman whose hunger and thirst is to know the Lord, and who diligently feasts upon His Word. He does not want a girl whose tongue is a deceptive weapon of selfishness. He wants a woman whose words drip with the honey of the name of Jesus.
Leslie Ludy
We do not have to spend money and go hungry and struggle and study to become sensual; we always were. We need not believe we must somehow earn good erotic care; we always deserved it. Femaleness and its sexuality are beautiful. Women have long secretly suspected as much. In that sexuality, women are physically beautiful already; superb; breathtaking. Many, many men see this way too. A man who wants to define himself as a real lover of women admires what shows of her past on a woman's face, before she ever saw him, and the adventures and stresses that her body has undergone, the scars of trauma, the changes of childbirth, her distinguishing characteristics, the light is her expression. The number of men who already see in this way is far greater than the arbiters of mass culture would lead us to believe, since the story they need to tell ends with the opposite moral.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
The surgeons are playing on the myth's double standard for the function of the body. A man's thigh is for walking, but a woman's is for walking and looking "beautiful." If women can walk but believe our limbs look wrong, we feel that our bodies cannot do what they are meant to do; we feel as genuinely deformed and disabled as the unwilling Victorian hypochondriac felt ill.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
What I really love about them... is the fact that they contain someone's personal history...I find myself wondering about their lives. I can never look at a garment... without thinking about the woman who owned it. How old was she? Did she work? Was she married? Was she happy?... I look at these exquisite shoes, and I imagine the woman who owned them rising out of them or kissing someone...I look at a little hat like this, I lift up the veil, and I try to imagine the face beneath it... When you buy a piece of vintage clothing you're not just buying the fabric and thread - you're buying a piece of someone's past.
Isabel Wolff (A Vintage Affair)
There really is no sense in pretending to be normal. Just be you because the moment you do, weirder things happen. Crazy comes back into fashion and every woman has to go out and find her some.
Shannon L. Alder
She became her own knight; she collected those broken promises and whispered apologies and fashioned them into armor
Emily Lloyd-Jones (The Hearts We Sold)
Our society does reward beauty on the outside over health on the inside. Women must not be blamed for choosing short-term beauty "fixes" that harm our long-term health, since our life spans are inverted under the beauty myth, and there is no great social or economic incentive for women to live a long time. A thin young woman with precancerous lungs [who smokes to stay thin] is more highly rewarded socially that a hearty old crone. Spokespeople sell women the Iron Maiden [an intrinsically unattainable standard of beauty used to punish women for their failure to achieve and conform to it]and name her "Health": if public discourse were really concerned with women's health, it would turn angrily upon this aspect of the beauty myth.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
For all the feminist jabber about women being victimized by fashion, it is men who most suffer from conventions of dress. Every day, a woman can choose from an army of personae, femme to butch, and can cut or curl her hair or adorn herself with a staggering variety of artistic aids. But despite the Sixties experiments in peacock dress, no man can rise in the corporate world today, outside the entertainment industry, with long hair or makeup or purple velvet suits.
Camille Paglia
Cosmetic surgery is not "cosmetic," and human flesh is not "plastic." Even the names trivialize what it is. It's not like ironing wrinkles in fabric, or tuning up a car, or altering outmoded clothes, the current metaphors. Trivialization and infantilization pervade the surgeons' language when they speak to women: "a nip," a "tummy tuck."...Surgery changes one forever, the mind as well as the body. If we don't start to speak of it as serious, the millennium of the man-made woman will be upon us, and we will have had no choice.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Poor Nelly, she was not to know that fashions in sin change as much as other fashions.
Claire Tomalin (The Invisible Woman)
At its best fashion is a game. But for women it's a compulsory game, like net ball, and you can't get out of it by faking your period. I know I have tried. And so for a woman every outfit is a hopeful spell, cast to influence the outcome of the day. An act of trying to predict your fate, like looking at your horoscope. No wonder there are so many fashion magazines. No wonder the fashion industry is worth an estimated 900 billion dollars a year. No wonder every woman's first thought is, for nearly every event in her life, be it work, snow or birth. The semi-despairing cry of "but what will I wear?" Because when a woman says I have nothing to wear, what she really means is there is nothing here for who I am supposed to be today.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
Its time we woke up,” pursued Gerald, still inwardly urged to unfamiliar speech. “Women are pretty much people, seems to me. I know they dress like fools - but who’s to blame for that? We invent all those idiotic hats of theirs, and design their crazy fashions, and what’s more, if a woman is courageous enough to wear common-sense clothes - and shoes - which of us wants to dance with her?
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories)
Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest that they are. Sadly, women have learned to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and makeup. But our society does not expect men to feel ashamed of pursuits considered generally male - sports cars, certain professional sports. In the same way, men's grooming is never suspect in the way women's grooming is - a well-dressed man does not worry that, because he is dressed well, certain assumptions might be made about his intelligence, his ability, or his seriousness. A woman, on the other hand, is always aware of how a bright lipstick or a carefully-put-together outfit might very well make others assume her to be frivolous.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions)
From time to time, you may see a girl wearing her black opaque tights as pants. They are, in fact, not.
Nina García (The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own)
Newsflash she already has body image issues.  It's an intrinsic part of being a woman. Every woman in the world has some part of herself that she absolutely hates.  Her hands are too small, her feet are too big, her hair is too straight, too curly, her ears stick out, her bums too flat, her nose is too big and, you know, nothing you can say will change how we feel.  What men don't understand is, the right clothes, the right shoes, the right makeup it just... It, it hides the flaws we think we have.  They make us look beautiful to ourselves.  That's what makes us look beautiful to others. Used to be all she needed to feel beautiful was a pink tutu and a plastic tiara. And we spend our whole lives trying to feel that way again.
Richard Castle
Pandora opened the box with the new high-heels, put them on and went out to town.
Ljupka Cvetanova (The New Land)
She should be assertive but not bossy, feminine but not prissy, experienced but not condescending, fashionable but not superficial, forceful but not shrill. Put simply: she should be masculine, but not too masculine; feminine, but not too feminine. She should be everything, which means she should be nothing. That
Anne Helen Petersen (Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman)
In the county, there’s nothing more dangerous than a woman who speaks her mind. That’s what happened to Eve, you know, why we were cast out from heaven. We’re dangerous creatures. Full of devil charms. If given the opportunity, we will use our magic to lure men to sin, to evil, to destruction.” My eyes are getting heavy, too heavy to roll in a dramatic fashion. “That’s why they send us here.” “To rid yourself of your magic,” he says. “No,” I whisper as I drift off to sleep. “To break us.
Kim Liggett (The Grace Year)
A woman who no longer cares about how she looks has given up on more than fashion – she’s given up on life.
Kathleen Tessaro (The Perfume Collector)
Don't buy much but make sure that what you buy is good.
Christian Dior (The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman)
The beauty myth sets it up this way: A high rating as an art object is the most valuable tribute a woman can exact from her lover. If he appreciates her face and body because it is hers, that is next to worthless. It is very neat: The myth contrives to make women offend men by scrutinizing honest appreciation when they give it; it can make men offend women merely by giving them honest appreciation. It can manage to contaminate the sentence "You're beautiful," which is next to "I love you" in expressing a bond of regard between a woman and a man. A man cannot tell a woman that he loves to look at her without risking making her unhappy. If he never tells her, she is destined to be unhappy. And the "luckiest" woman of all, told she is loved because she's "beautiful," is often tormented because she lacks the security of being desired because she looks like who she lovably is.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Beauty" and sexuality are both commonly misunderstood as some transcendent inevitable fact; falsely interlocking the two makes it seem doubly true that a woman must be "beautiful" to be sexual. That of course is not true at all. The definitions of both "beautiful" and "sexual" constantly change to serve the social order, and the connection between the two is a recent invention.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
At least a third of a woman's life is marked with aging; about a third of her body is made of fat. Both symbols are being transformed into operable condition--so that women will only feel healthy if we are two thirds of the women we could be. How can an "ideal" be about women if it is defined as how much of a female sexual characteristic does not show on her body, and how much of a female life does not show on her face?
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
I design clothes because I don’t want women to look all innocent and naïve… I want woman to look stronger… I don’t like women to be taken advantage of… I don’t like men whistling at women in the street. I think they deserve more respect. I like men to keep their distance from women, I like men to be stunned by an entrance. I’ve seen a woman get nearly beaten to death by her husband. I know what misogyny is… I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.
Alexander McQueen
A young man and woman walked past - a handsome young man and pretty young woman, the man in a seersucker suit and the woman in an old-fashioned summer dress - and they were walking a bit apart from one another with a space between them, and the man was looking straight ahead and the woman had her arms crossed against her chest, hugging herself, looking down at her feet, at her toes that peeked out the open fronts of her shoes, and they both had the same gleefully suppressed smile on their faces, and I knew that they were freshly in love, perhaps they had fallen in love having dinner in some restaurant with a garden or tables on the sidewalk, perhaps they had not even kissed yet, and they walked apart because they thought they had their whole lives to walk close together, touching, and wanted to anticipate the moment they touched for as long as possible, and they passed my without noticing me and Miro. Something about watching them made me sad. I think it was too lovely: the summer night, the open-toed shoes, their faces rapt with momentarily ramped-down joy. I felt I had witnessed their happiest moment, the pinnacle, and they were already walking away from it, but they did not know it.
Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You)
Godly womanhood ... the very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other type of women: beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women. But so seldom do we hear of a godly woman - or of a godly man either, for that matter.We believe women come nearer to fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife, than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realms of morals to be old-fashioned, than to be ultra-modern. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men, too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct.
Peter Marshall
As they approached the next stall, the old woman tending to it looked up at Matthias with suspicious eyes. Nina nodded encouragingly at him. Matthias smiled broadly and boomed in a singsong voice, “Hello, little friend!” The woman went from wary to baffled. Nina decided to call it an improvement. “And how are you today?” Matthias asked. “Pardon?” the woman said. “Nothing,” Nina said in Ravkan. “He was saying how beautifully the Ravkan women age.” The woman gave a gap-toothed grin and ran her eyes up and down Matthias in an appraising fashion. “Always had a taste for Fjerdans. Ask him if he wants to play Princess and Barbarian,” she said with a cackle.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Also, somehow, there doesn't seem to be any old-fashioned gender roles in place, or any gender roles at all. The priest who condemned me to the mob was a woman. I'll cheer for equality later.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
You shall suffer for ever the influence of my kiss. You shall be beautiful in my fashion. You shall love that which I love and that which loves me: water, clouds, silence and the night; the immense green sea; the formless and multiform streams; the place where you shall not be; the lover whom you shall not know; flowers of monstrous shape; perfumes that cause delirium; cats that shudder, swoon and curl up on pianos and groan like women, with a voice that is hoarse and gentle! And you shall be loved by my lovers, courted by my courtiers. You shall be the queen of all men that have green eyes, whose necks also I have clasped in my nocturnal caresses; of those who love the sea, the sea that is immense, tumultuous and green, the formless and multiform streams, the place where they are not, the woman whom they do not know, sinister flowers that resemble the censers of a strange religion, perfumes that confound the will; and the savage and voluptuous animals which are the emblems of their dementia.
Charles Baudelaire
Only a woman could make so much out of so little. Give them a single fact and they'd fashion it into a story before taking a single breath.
Ted Dekker (Green: The Beginning and the End (The Circle, #0))
Walking through life, we spend most of our energy choosing the right shoes.
Ljupka Cvetanova (The New Land)
So the steel chain forged with such reptilian cunning snapped at the link that had been fashioned from a woman’s heart.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (In the First Circle)
Certainly, the average fashion magazine gives women ridiculous relationship advice that makes it easy to understand why women are so eager to overcompensate: “Play hard to get, then cook him a four-course meal … bake him Valentine’s cookies with exotic sprinkles shipped from Malaysia (just like Martha Stewart). Don’t forget the little doilies and the organic strawberries that you drove two hours to get. Then serve it all to him on the second date, wearing a black lace nightie.” And what is this a recipe for? Disaster.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
Their [girls] sexual energy, their evaluation of adolescent boys and other girls goes thwarted, deflected back upon the girls, unspoken, and their searching hungry gazed returned to their own bodies. The questions, Whom do I desire? Why? What will I do about it? are turned around: Would I desire myself? Why?...Why not? What can I do about it? The books and films they see survey from the young boy's point of view his first touch of a girl's thighs, his first glimpse of her breasts. The girls sit listening, absorbing, their familiar breasts estranged as if they were not part of their bodies, their thighs crossed self-consciously, learning how to leave their bodies and watch them from the outside. Since their bodies are seen from the point of view of strangeness and desire, it is no wonder that what should be familiar, felt to be whole, become estranged and divided into parts. What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired. Girls learn to watch their sex along with the boys; that takes up the space that should be devoted to finding out about what they are wanting, and reading and writing about it, seeking it and getting it. Sex is held hostage by beauty and its ransom terms are engraved in girls' minds early and deeply with instruments more beautiful that those which advertisers or pornographers know how to use: literature, poetry, painting, and film. This outside-in perspective on their own sexuality leads to the confusion that is at the heart of the myth. Women come to confuse sexual looking with being looked at sexually ("Clairol...it's the look you want"); many confuse sexually feeling with being sexually felt ("Gillete razors...the way a woman wants to feel"); many confuse desiring with being desirable. "My first sexual memory," a woman tells me, "was when I first shaved my legs, and when I ran my hand down the smooth skin I felt how it would feel to someone else's hand." Women say that when they lost weight they "feel sexier" but the nerve endings in the clitoris and nipples don't multiply with weight loss. Women tell me they're jealous of the men who get so much pleasure out of the female body that they imagine being inside the male body that is inside their own so that they can vicariously experience desire. Could it be then that women's famous slowness of arousal to men's, complex fantasy life, the lack of pleasure many experience in intercourse, is related to this cultural negation of sexual imagery that affirms the female point of view, the culture prohibition against seeing men's bodies as instruments of pleasure? Could it be related to the taboo against representing intercourse as an opportunity for a straight woman actively to pursue, grasp, savor, and consume the male body for her satisfaction, as much as she is pursued, grasped, savored, and consumed for his?
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
God bless ladies with costly, tasteful clothes and touching, dirty fingernails that champion gifted, foreign poets and decorate the library in beautiful, melancholy fashion! My God, this universe is nothing to snicker at!
J.D. Salinger (Hapworth 16, 1924)
CPUs. Cayce Pollard Units. That’s what Damien calls the clothing she wears. CPUs are either black, white, or gray, and ideally seem to have come into this world without human intervention. What people take for relentless minimalism is a side effect of too much exposure to the reactor-cores of fashion. This has resulted in a remorseless paring-down of what she can and will wear. She is, literally, allergic to fashion. She can only tolerate things that could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000. She’s a design-free zone, a one-woman school of anti whose very austerity periodically threatens to spawn its own cult.
William Gibson
A woman who has truly awakened to her sensuality recognizes that she requires a more sophisticated presence. She is not average, after all.
Lebo Grand
You can always tell something when a woman is overdressed---either she's an outsider, or she's insane.
Ottessa Moshfegh (Eileen)
And wilt thou have me fashion into speech The love I bear thee, finding words enough, And hold the torch out, while the winds are rough, Between our faces, to cast light on each? - I dropt it at thy feet. I cannot teach My hand to hold my spirits so far off From myself--me--that I should bring thee proof In words, of love hid in me out of reach. Nay, let the silence of my womanhood Commend my woman-love to thy belief, - Seeing that I stand unwon, however wooed, And rend the garment of my life, in brief, By a most dauntless, voiceless fortitude, Lest one touch of this heart convey its grief.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese)
The man looks the world full in the face, as if it were made for his uses and fashioned to his liking. The woman takes a sidelong glance at it, full of subtlety, even of suspicion. Had they both worn the same clothes, it is possible that their outlook might have been the same.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
Well, now there is a very excellent, necessary, and womanly accomplishment that my girl should not be without, for it is a help to rich and poor, and the comfort of families depends upon it. This fine talent is neglected nowadays and considered old-fashioned, which is a sad mistake and one that I don't mean to make in bringing up my girl. It should be part of every girl's eductation, and I know of a most accomplished lady who will teach you in the best and pleasantest manner." "Oh, what is it?" cried Rose eagerly, charmed to be met in this helpful and cordial way. "Housekeeping!" "Is that an accomplsihment?" asked Rose, while her face fell, for she had indulged in all sorts of vague, delightful daydreams.
Louisa May Alcott (Eight Cousins (Eight Cousins, #1))
Misogynists have often reproached intellectual women for 'letting themselves go'; but they also preach to them: if you want to be our equals, stop wearing makeup and polishing your nails. This advice is absurd. Precisely because the idea of femininity is artificially defined by customs and fashion, it is imposed on every woman from the outside[...]. The individual is not free to shape the idea of femininity at will.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
I think my mother's talents deserve a little acknowledgement. I said so to her, as a matter of fact, and she replied in these memorable words: "My dear child, you can give it a long name if you like, but I'm an old-fashioned woman and I call it mother-wit, and it's so rare for a man to have it that if he does you write a book about him and call him Sherlock Holmes.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey, #2))
Must love decorating for holidays, mischief, kissing in cars, and wind chimes. No specific height, weight, hair color, or political affiliation required but would prefer a warm spirited non racist. Cynics, critics, pessimists, and “stick in the muds” need not apply. Voluptuous figures a plus. Any similarity in look, mind set, or fashion sense to Mary Poppins, Claire Huxtable, Snow White, or Elvira wholeheartedly welcomed. I am dubious of actresses, fellons and lesbians but dont want to rule them out entirely. Must be tolerant of whistling, tickle torture, James Taylor, and sleeping late. I have a slight limp, eerily soft hands, and a preternatural love of autumn. I once misinterpreted being called a coal-eyed dandy as a compliment when it was intended as an insult. I wiggle my feet in my sleep, am scared of the dark, and think the Muppets Christmas Carol is one of the greatest films of all time. All I want is butterfly kisses in the morning, peanut butter sandwiches shaped like a heart, and to make you smile until it hurts.
Matthew Grey Gubler
Stoker to Veronica. I thought it was love but I was so very wrong. I have never known love at least not until..... I thought at some point I would have a great love like that. A woman fashioned by the gods just for me as I had been made just for her. That we would find each other. That she was waiting for me but I did not wait for her. I married a base metal when the gods had  promised me gold.
Deanna Raybourn (A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell, #3))
The woman crosses the room, and it is only when she is directly in front of us that I am certain about who she is. She is dressed in a pelisse fashionable among women half her age, and the feather in her hat is an extraordinary shade of blue. Outside, a young man is waiting at her coach. Passersby will suspect that he is her son, but anyone who has ever been acquainted with her will know better.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
In other words, some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love, and consolation—a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it.37 This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling”38 or the equivalent in a man.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
With her, too, I danced more easily now, in a freer and more sprightly fashion, even though not so buoyantly and more self-consciously than with the other. Hermine had me lead, adapting herself as softly and lightly as the leaf of a flower, and with her, too, I now experienced all these delights that now advanced and now took wing. She, too, now exhaled the perfume of woman and love, and her dancing, too, sang with intimate tenderness the lovely and enchanting song of sex.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
POWER WITHOUT WISDOM IS WASTED ENERGY
KAMILAH WILLACY
when it comes to fashion, even the most sensible woman is not to be trusted.
Wilbur Smith (River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Ancient Egypt, #1))
My philosophy is if living 'the good life' or 'sensually nourishing life' is not at the top of your priority list, you are letting your life pass you by.
Lebo Grand
A mismatched outfit, a slightly defective denture, an exquisite mediocrity of the soul-those are the details that make a woman real, alive. The women you see on posters or in fashion magazines-the ones all the women try to imitate nowadays-how can they be attractive? They have no reality of their own; they're just the sum of a set of abstract rules. They aren't born of human bodies; they hatch ready-made from the computers
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
Those without color—say, dressed in all black—can go about almost unnoticed. Where the rainbow is conspicuous, their darkness acts as a kind of camouflage, masculine by contrast, and allows them to watch without being watched. It’s the choice of someone who needs not to attract. Someone self-sufficient. Someone more distant, less knowable, and ultimately, mysterious. Powerful.
Sam Wasson (Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman)
- The Azan story - The five daily ritual prayers were regularly performed in congregation, and when the time for each prayer came the people would assemble at the site where the Mosque was being built. Everyone judged of the time by the position of the sun in the sky, or by the first signs of its light on the eastern horizon or by the dimming of its glow in the west after sunset; but opinions could differ, and the Prophet felt the need for a means of summoning the people to prayer when the right time had come. At first he thought of appointing a man to blow a horn like that of the Jews, but later he decided on a wooden clapper, ndqiis, such as the Oriental Christians used at that time, and two pieces of wood were fashioned together for that purpose. But they were never destined to be used; for one night a man of Khazraj, 'Abd Allah ibn Zayd, who had been at the Second 'Aqabah, had a dream whieh the next day he recounted to the Prophet: "There passed by me a man wearing two green garments and he carried in his hand a ndqiis, so I said unto him: "0 slave of God, wilt thou sell me that naqusi" "What wilt thou do with it?" he said. "We will summon the people to prayer with it," I answered. "Shall I not show thee a better way?" he said. "What way is that?" I asked, and he answered: "That thou shouldst say: God is most Great, Alldhu Akbar." The man in green repeated this magnification four times, then each of the following twice: I testify that there is no god but God; I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God; come unto the prayer; come unto salvation; God is most Great; and then once again there is no god but God. The Prophet said that this was a true vision, and he told him to go to Bilal, who had an excellent voice, and teach him the words exactly as he had heard them in his sleep. The highest house in the neighbourhood of the Mosque belonged to a woman of the clan of Najjar, and Bilal would come there before every dawn and would sit on the roof waiting for the daybreak. When he saw the first faint light in the east he would stretch out his arms and say in supplication: "0 God I praise Thee, and I ask Thy Help for Quraysh, that they may accept Thy religion." Then he would stand and utter the call to prayer.
Martin Lings (Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources)
Where woman do not fit the Iron Maiden [societal expectations/assumptions about women's bodies], we are now being called monstrous, and the Iron Maiden is exactly that which no woman fits, or fits forever. A woman is being asked to feel like a monster now though she is whole and fully physically functional. The surgeons are playing on the myth's double standard for the function of the body. A man's thigh is for walking, but a woman's is for walking and looking "beautiful." If women can walk but believe our limbs look wrong, we feel that our bodies cannot do what they are meant to do; we feel as genuinely deformed and disabled as the unwilling Victorian hypochondriac felt ill.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
When a straight man puts on a dress and gets his sexual kicks, he is a transvestite. When a man is a woman trapped in a man's body and has a little operation, he is a Transsexual. When a gay man has WAY too much fashion sense for one gender he is a drag queen. And when a tired little Latin boy puts on a dress, he is simply a boy in a dress!
Tirumalai S. Srivatsan
For seventy-five years I've made ladies dresses. That means that for seventy-five years I have made women happy. For seventy-five years I have made mature women spin around in front of the mirror like young girls. For seventy-five years I have made young girls look in the mirror and for the first time see a woman staring back at them. I have made young men's eyes pop out. I've made old men's eyes pop out. Because the right dress does that. It makes ordinary women feel extraordinary.
Jane L. Rosen (Nine Women, One Dress)
which will lead to even more of them despairing at the future and what with the planet about to go to shit with the United Kingdom soon to be disunited from Europe which itself is hurtling down the reactionary road and making fascism fashionable again and it’s so crazy that the disgusting perma-tanned billionaire has set a new intellectual and moral low by being president of America and basically it all means that the older generation has RUINED EVERYTHING and her generation is doooooomed
Bernardine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other)
Summer sticks to her skirt sumptuously, in the shiny gray fabric hanging loosely from her curves. Her chestnut eyes, apparently hidden from strangers; her simple but graceful face, unpainted by Madison Avenue; and her straight black hair, parted down the middle without ego, all suggest a minimalist - almost pastoral - beauty that is oddly discordant with her fashionable attire, comfortable indifference to the crowds, and quasi-attentive perusal of the Time magazine unfolded over her hand.
Zack Love (City Solipsism)
Tis a barbaric fancy," said Roxholm thoughtfully as he turned the stem of his glass, keeping his eyes fixed on it as though solving a problem for himself. "A barbaric fancy that a woman needs a master. She who is strong enough is her own conqueror--as a man should be master of himself.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (His Grace of Osmonde: Being the Portions of the Nobleman's Life Omitted in the Relation of His Lady's Story Presented to the World of Fashion)
Here was intellectual life, he thought, and here was beauty, warm and wonderful as he had never dreamed it could be. He forgot himself and stared at her with hungry eyes. Here was something to live for, to win to, to fight for—ay, and die for. The books were true. There were such women in the world. She was one of them. She lent wings to his imagination, and great, luminous canvases spread themselves before him whereon loomed vague, gigantic figures of love and romance, and of heroic deeds for woman’s sake—for a pale woman, a flower of gold. And through the swaying, palpitant vision, as through a fairy mirage, he stared at the real woman, sitting there and talking of literature and art. He listened as well, but he stared, unconscious of the fixity of his gaze or of the fact that all that was essentially masculine in his nature was shining in his eyes. But she, who knew little of the world of men, being a woman, was keenly aware of his burning eyes. She had never had men look at her in such fashion, and it embarrassed her. She stumbled and halted in her utterance. The thread of argument slipped from her. He frightened her, and at the same time it was strangely pleasant to be so looked upon. Her training warned her of peril and of wrong, subtle, mysterious, luring; while her instincts rang clarion-voiced through her being, impelling her to hurdle caste and place and gain to this traveller from another world, to this uncouth young fellow with lacerated hands and a line of raw red caused by the unaccustomed linen at his throat, who, all too evidently, was soiled and tainted by ungracious existence. She was clean, and her cleanness revolted; but she was woman, and she was just beginning to learn the paradox of woman.
Jack London (Martin Eden)
Everything is destined to reappear as simulation. Landscapes as photography, woman as the sexual scenario, thoughts as writing, terrorism as fashion and the media, events as television. Things seem only to exist by virtue of this strange destiny. You wonder whether the world itself isn’t just here to serve as advertising copy in some other world.’ Jean Baudrillard,
Philip K. Dick (Ubik)
As I stood in front of the mirror in the beautiful little black dress, I knew that I was looking at a woman whom I would never see again. I wished I had never seen her in the first place, but the truth is she had always been there. I was being dishonest to myself by pretending that she hadn't.
Jane L. Rosen (Nine Women, One Dress)
Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion. I say ”whatever your insecurities are” because as we very well know, sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the mouth, and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in the mouth because we are afraid that we might be homosexual; and we want to hit the women or shut her up because we are afraid that she might castrate us, or take the nuts that we might not have to start with. We must gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect and feelings for all oppressed people.
Huey P. Newton
You cannot rest on your laurels as a sensual woman. Remember, your life is like that of an influencer. Meaning your yesterday's 'wow' quickly becomes your today's 'ordinary.' Always keep in mind that your value comes from your creations.
Lebo Grand
Dear Woman Who Gave Me Life: The callous vexations and perturbations of this night have subsequently resolved themselves to a state which precipitates me, Arturo Bandini, into a brobdingnagian and gargantuan decision. I inform you of this in no uncertain terms. Ergo, I now leave you and your ever charming daughter (my beloved sister Mona) and seek the fabulous usufructs of my incipient career in profound solitude. Which is to say, tonight I depart for the metropolis to the east — our own Los Angeles, the city of angels. I entrust you to the benign generosity of your brother, Frank Scarpi, who is, as the phrase has it, a good family man (sic!). I am penniless but I urge you in no uncertain terms to cease your cerebral anxiety about my destiny, for truly it lies in the palm of the immortal gods. I have made the lamentable discovery over a period of years that living with you and Mona is deleterious to the high and magnanimous purpose of Art, and I repeat to you in no uncertain terms that I am an artist, a creator beyond question. And, per se, the fumbling fulminations of cerebration and intellect find little fruition in the debauched, distorted hegemony that we poor mortals, for lack of a better and more concise terminology, call home. In no uncertain terms I give you my love and blessing, and I swear to my sincerity, when I say in no uncertain terms that I not only forgive you for what has ruefully transpired this night, but for all other nights. Ergo, I assume in no uncertain terms that you will reciprocate in kindred fashion. May I say in conclusion that I have much to thank you for, O woman who breathed the breath of life into my brain of destiny? Aye, it is, it is. Signed. Arturo Gabriel Bandini. Suitcase in hand, I walked down to the depot. There was a ten-minute wait for the midnight train for Los Angeles. I sat down and began to think about the new novel.
John Fante (The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2))
In his Petersburg world people were divided into two quite opposite sorts. One--the inferior sort: the paltry, stupid, and, above all, ridiculous people who believe that a husband should live with the one wife to whom he is married, that a girl should be pure, a woman modest, and a man, manly, self controlled and firm; that one should bring up one's children to earn their living, should pay one's debts, and other nonsense of the kind. These were the old-fashioned and ridiculous people. But there was another sort of people: the real people to which all his set belonged, who had above all to be well-bred, generous, bold, gay, and to abandon themselves unblushingly to all their passions and laugh at everything else.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
I have to admit that I'm up to my neck in frivolity, buried in dresses to the point of ruin! Fifteen different garments! My wardrobe jam-packed! My girl, this is not the way for an old woman to behave - particularly since you never wear anything but black and white, or a little grey, so that you always look as though you were in the same dress. Why fritter away your money so absurdly? (22 August 1919)
Liane de Pougy
Song" Observe the cautious toadstools still on the lawn today though they grow over-evening; sun shrinks them away. Pale and proper and rootless, they righteously extort their living from the living. I have been their sort. See by our blocked foundation the cold, archaic clay, stiff and clinging and sterile as children mold at play or as the Lord God fashioned before He breathed it breath. The earth we dig and carry for flowers, is strong in death. Woman, we are the rich soil, friable and humble, where all our murders rot, where our old deaths crumble and fortify my reach far from you, wide and free, though I have set my root in you and am your tree.
W.D. Snodgrass
What a joke, coming from a woman who worked for the fashion industry. Really. Starving yourself to fit into a size zero — why did that size even exist? Zero referred to the absence of something, but what did it mean in terms of a model's measurements? Her fat? Or her presence? How much could you cut away before the person herself vanished? It was hypocritical, that's what it was. I said as much, adding, “If you're so keen on me being healthy then you should have no problem accepting me for the way I am. That's what's healthy, Mom. Not being focused on all this freaky weight-loss stuff.
Nenia Campbell (Cloak and Dagger (The IMA, #1))
What couldn't I do now, having already committed such a breach of fashion logic and lived to tell the tale? Why couldn't I pretend to be a woman with a solid core of self-worth, who likes herself no matter what the nearest handsome man or evil mother thinks of her?
Laurie Viera Rigler (Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (Jane Austen Addict, #1))
Change your undergarments every day. This very basic activity is the first step in becoming a fashionable young woman.
Novala Takemoto
Adorn your beauty with elegant fashion and embellish it with a genuine smile of pride.
Wayne Chirisa
The shop floor was vast, and I decided to request assistance. The first woman I saw was matronly, and did not seem well placed to dispense fashion advice. The second was in her late teens or early twenties, and therefore too callow to advise me. The third, in the manner of Goldilocks, was just right—around my age, well groomed, sensible-looking. I approached with caution.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
Here’s why the life of Muhammad [and Jesus] matters: Contrary to what many secularists would have us believe, religions are not entirely determined (or distorted) by the faithful over time. The lives and words of the founders remain central, no matter how long ago they lived. The idea that believers shape religion is derived, instead, from the fashionable 1960s philosophy of deconstructionism, which teaches that written words have no meaning other than that given to them by the reader. Equally important, it follows that if the reader alone finds meaning, there can be no truth (and certainly no religious truth); one person’s meaning is equal to another’s. Ultimately, according to deconstructionism, we all create our own set of “truths,” none better, or worse than any other. Yet for the religious man or woman on the streets of Chicago, Rome, Jerusalem, Damascus, Calcutta, and Bangkok, the words of Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Krishna, and Buddha mean something far greater than any individual’s rendering of them. And even to the less-than-devout reader, the words of these great religious leaders are clearly not equal in their meaning.
Robert Spencer
That’s what fashion is, really. A way of renegotiating the terms that life deals you. When a woman changes her hair what she’s really saying to fate is, no. I refuse to be defined by those terms.
Kathleen Tessaro (The Perfume Collector)
The woman was Diana Vreeland, the high priestess of fashion and legendary fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue. Dana paused, eyes wide. Well, perhaps she was a bit star-struck after all.
Lynn Steward (A Very Good Life (Dana McGarry Novel, #1))
I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me, those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front, to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond. And their eyes were my eyes. As I felt, so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning, and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father's hand, and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand, and all, up and down the line stretched from Time That Was, to Time That Is, and is not yet, raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, had in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the eternal Father. I was one of them, they were of me, and in me, and I in all of them.
Richard Llewellyn (How Green Was My Valley)
Tell me something about yourself.” “I’d rather save the small talk.” “There’s no need to be rude, child, and believe me, I’m asking for a reason. Tell me something about yourself. Anything.” “I’m twenty-eight . . .” He rejected that one out of hand. “Something personal. Something . . . interior. Tell me something you love.” I thought about it for a long few seconds, then said, “Ralph Lauren’s summer line this year. Not the spring collection, which was way too pastel, and the winter was really crappy, all bland browns and grays. But he’s got some good fabrics this summer, kind of a hot tangerine matched with dull red. Only he skirts, though. Hiscapri pants are for shit. Pockets? Who wants pockets on capri pants? What woman in her right mind puts extra fabric on her hips?” There was a long and ringing silence. Patrick’s eyes were wide and rather frightened. He finally cleared his throat and said, “Anything else apart from fashion?” “What do you want me to say? Puppies? Fluffy kittens? Babies?” “Let’s try something simple. Your favorite food.” I rolled my eyes. “Chocolate.” Duh .
Rachel Caine (Heat Stroke (Weather Warden, #2))
Unfortunately, the term “identity politics” has been weaponized. It is most often used by speakers to describe politics as practiced by members of historically marginalized groups. If you’re black and you're worried about police brutality, that’s identity politics. If you’re a woman and you’re worried about the male-female pay gap, that’s identity politics. But if you’re a rural gun owner decrying universal background checks as tyranny, or a billionaire CEO complaining that high tax rates demonize success, or a Christian insisting on Nativity scenes in public squares — well, that just good, old fashioned politics. With a quick sleight of hand, identity becomes something that only marginalized groups have. The term “identity politics,” in this usage, obscures rather than illuminates; it’s used to diminish and discredit the concerns of the weaker groups by making them look self-interested, special pleading in order to clear the agenda for the concerns of stronger groups, which are framed as more rational, proper topics for political debate. But in wielding identity as a blade, we have lost it as a lens, blinding ourselves in a bid for political advantage. WE are left searching in vaid for what we refuse to allow ourselves to see.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
That woman is a volcano on the point of eruption, with a libido of igneous magma yet the heart of an angel,' he said licking his lips. 'If I had to establish a true parallel, she reminds me of my succulent mulatto girl in Havana, who was very devout and always worshiped her saints. But since, deep down, I'm an old-fashioned gent who doesn't like to take advantage of women, I contend myself with a chaste kiss on the cheek. I'm not in a hurry, you see? All good things must wait. There are yokels out there who think that if they touch a woman's behind and she doesn't complain, they've hooked her. Amateurs. The female heart is a labyrinth of subtleties, too challenging for the uncouth mind of the male racketeer. If you really want to possess a woman, you must think like her, and the first thing to do is win over her soul. The rest, that sweet, soft wrapping that steals away your senses and your virtue, is a bonus
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
ladies, don't be a woman of simple taste particularly in the way you look, or at least keep that to the minimum. You are a goddess, after all. Stop trying to look all humbled or modest. You've got to look and smell like a goddess who, in my opinion, is a woman that is constantly in touch with her own sensuality, which also means she's always on top of her game.
Lebo Grand
Hey,” Fitz said, leaning closer. “You trust me, don’t you?” Sophie’s traitorous heart still fluttered, despite her current annoyance. She did trust Fitz. Probably more than anyone. But having him keep secrets from her was seriously annoying. She was tempted to use her telepathy to steal the information straight from his head. But she’d broken that rule enough times to know the consequences definitely weren’t worth it. “What is with these clothes?” Biana interrupted, appearing out of thin air next to Keefe. Biana was a Vanisher, like her mother, though she was still getting used to the ability. Only one of her legs reappeared, and she had to hop up and down to get the other to show up. She wore a sweatshirt three sizes too big and faded, baggy jeans. “At least I get to wear my shoes,” she said, hitching up her pants to reveal purple flats with diamond-studded toes. “But why do we only have boy stuff?” “Because I’m a boy,” Fitz reminded her. “Besides, this isn’t a fashion contest.” “And if it was, I’d totally win. Right, Foster?” Keefe asked. Sophie actually would’ve given the prize to Fitz—his blue scarf worked perfectly with his dark hair and teal eyes. And his fitted gray coat made him look taller, with broader shoulders and— “Oh please.” Keefe shoved his way between them. “Fitz’s human clothes are a huge snoozefest. Check out what Dex and I found in Alvar’s closet!” They both unzipped their hoodies, revealing T-shirts with logos underneath. “I have no idea what this means, but it’s crazy awesome, right?” Keefe asked, pointing to the black and yellow oval on his shirt. “It’s from Batman,” Sophie said—then regretted the words. Of course Keefe demanded she explain the awesomeness of the Dark Knight. “I’m wearing this shirt forever, guys,” he decided. “Also, I want a Batmobile! Dex, can you make that happen?” Sophie wouldn’t have been surprised if Dex actually could build one. As a Technopath, he worked miracles with technology. He’d made all kinds of cool gadgets for Sophie, including the lopsided ring she wore—a special panic switch that had saved her life during her fight with one of her kidnappers. “What’s my shirt from?” Dex asked, pointing to the logo with interlocking yellow W’s. Sophie didn’t have the heart to tell him it was the symbol for Wonder Woman.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
Every time the women appear, Snowman is astonished all over again. They're every known colour from the deepest black to whitest white, they're various heights, but each one of them is admirably proportioned. Each is sound of tooth, smooth of skin. No ripples of fat around their waists, no bulges, no dimpled orange-skin cellulite on their thighs. No body hair, no bushiness. They look like retouched fashion photos, or ads for a high priced workout program. Maybe this is the reason that these women arouse in Snowman not even the faintest stirrings of lust. It was the thumbprints of human imperfection that used to move him, the flaws in the design: the lopsided smile, the wart next to the navel, the mole, the bruise. These were the places he'd single out, putting his mouth on them. Was it consolation he'd had in mind, kissing the wound to make it better? There was always an element of melancholy involved in sex. After his indiscriminate adolescence he'd preferred sad women, delicate and breakable, women who'd been messed up and who needed him. He'd liked to comfort them, stroke them gently at first, reassure them. Make them happier, if only for a moment. Himself too, of course; that was the payoff. A grateful woman would go the extra mile. But these new women are neither lopsided nor sad: they're placid, like animated statues. They leave him chilled.
Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1))
Isn’t it comforting to know that God knew each of us before He created us? He planned what each of us would look like, who our parents would be, if and who we would marry, and how many children we would have. Before we could know God, He cared for us. He hid each of us away as a treasure until He brought us to be. God says that He fashioned each of us with awe and wonder.
Linda Dillow (Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment (TH1NK Reference Collection))
Seen on her own, the woman was not so remarkable. Tall, angular, aquiline features, with the close-cropped hair which was fashionably called an Eton crop, he seemed to remember, in his mother's day, and about her person the stamp of that particular generation. She would be in her middle sixties, he supposed, the masculine shirt with collar and tie, sports jacket, grey tweed skirt coming to mid-calf. Grey stockings and laced black shoes. He had seen the type on golf courses and at dog shows - invariably showing not sporting breeds but pugs - and if you came across them at a party in somebody's house they were quicker on the draw with a cigarette lighter than he was himself, a mere male, with pocket matches. The general belief that they kept house with a more feminine, fluffy companion was not always true. Frequently they boasted, and adored, a golfing husband. ("Don't Look Now")
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
The 46-year-old recipient of the Jarvik IX Exterior Artificial Heart was actively window shopping in Cambridge, Massachusetts’ fashionable Har­vard Square when a transvestite purse snatcher, a drug addict with a crimi­nal record all too well known to public officials, bizarrely outfitted in a strapless cocktail dress, spike heels, tattered feather boa, and auburn wig, brutally tore the life sustaining purse from the woman’s unwitting grasp. The active, alert woman gave chase to the purse snatching ‘woman’ for as long as she could, plaintively shouting to passers by the words ‘Stop her! She stole my heart!’ on the fashionable sidewalk crowded with shop­pers, reportedly shouting repeatedly, ‘She stole my heart, stop her!’ In response to her plaintive calls, tragically, misunderstanding shoppers and passers by merely shook their heads at one another, smiling knowingly at what they ignorantly presumed to be yet another alternative lifestyle’s re­lationship gone sour. A duo of Cambridge, Massachusetts, patrolmen, whose names are being withheld from Moment’s dogged queries, were publicly heard to passively quip, ‘Happens all the time,’ as the victimized woman staggered frantically past in the wake of the fleet transvestite, shouting for help for her stolen heart.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Blonde hair and black hair are the two poles of human nature. Black hair signifies virility, courage, frankness, activity, whereas blonde hair symbolises femininity, tenderness, weakness, and passivity. Therefore a blonde is in fact doubly a woman. A princess can only be blonde. That's also why, to be as feminine as possible, women dye their hair yellow- but never black" "I'm curious about how pigments exercise their influence over the human soul", said Bertlef doubtfully. "it's not a matter of pigments. A blonde unconsciously adapts herself to her hair. Especially if the blonde is a brunette who dyes her hair yellow. She tries to be faithful to her hair colour and behaves like a fragile creature, a shallow doll, she demands tenderness and service, courtesy and alimony, she's incapable of doing anything for herself, all refinement on the outside and coarseness on the inside. If black hair became a universal fashion, life on this world would clearly be better. It would be the most useful social reform ever achieved.
Milan Kundera (Farewell Waltz)
infrastructures they’re actively not contributing to through tax avoidance and evasion while hypocritically scorning the underclasses as the scourge of society who sponge off the state when they’re the ones who are the biggest scroungers on society with no sense of community responsibility other than a very self-aggrandizing, tax-deductible form of fashionable charity they like to call philanthropism!
Bernardine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other)
I thought I was in love with Leola, by which I meant that if I could have found her in a quiet corner, and if I had been certain that no one would ever find out, and if I could have summoned up the courage at the right moment, I would have kissed her. But, looking back on it now, I know that I was in love with Mrs Dempster. Not as some boys are in love with grown-up women, adoring them from afar and enjoying a fantasy life in which the older woman figures in an idealized form, but in a painful and immediate fashion; I saw her every day, I did menial tasks in her house, and I was charged to watch her and keep her from doing foolish things. Furthermore, I felt myself tied to her by the certainty that I was responsible for her straying wits, the disorder of her marriage, and the frail body of the child who was her great delight in life. I had made her what she was, and in such circumstances I must hate her or love her. In a mode that was far too demanding for my age or experience, I loved her.
Robertson Davies (Fifth Business (The Deptford Trilogy, #1))
All Mad" 'He is mad as a hare, poor fellow, And should be in chains,' you say, I haven't a doubt of your statement, But who isn't mad, I pray? Why, the world is a great asylum, And the people are all insane, Gone daft with pleasure or folly, Or crazed with passion and pain. The infant who shrieks at a shadow, The child with his Santa Claus faith, The woman who worships Dame Fashion, Each man with his notions of death, The miser who hoards up his earnings, The spendthrift who wastes them too soon, The scholar grown blind in his delving, The lover who stares at the moon. The poet who thinks life a paean, The cynic who thinks it a fraud, The youth who goes seeking for pleasure, The preacher who dares talk of God, All priests with their creeds and their croaking, All doubters who dare to deny, The gay who find aught to wake laughter, The sad who find aught worth a sigh, Whoever is downcast or solemn, Whoever is gleeful and gay, Are only the dupes of delusions— We are all of us—all of us mad.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Today, Chanel sells nothing other than its griffe; the griffe is an absolute symbol for 'fashion' which, having become historical, is now able to sell this history better than it could sell fashion. Chanel's lasting success proves that fashion has become self-referential: the fetish of the mere name shows how it has begun to revolve around itself. The House of Chanel produces what Coco most abhorred: a thing of the past, dead. The visible, outwardly displayed griffe has become the opposite of individualized style: instead it confirms the latent uniform collectivity, which had always defined Chanel-wear; in the end, it signifies membership of an expensive club. The Chanel woman does not want to display her own taste, she wants to belong. In order to be certain, she is laden with Chanel signs and accessories, like amulets to protect against the evil eye; on the pocket, on the belt, on the dress buttons, on the watch, on costume jewelry, proudly stand the initials of the founder of the house, to which she knows she belongs.
Barbara Vinken (Fashion Zeitgeist: Trends and Cycles in the Fashion System)
Have you anything that is ready to wear today? I'd like nothing better than to be rid of that thing she has on now. You can use her measurements to fashion a few more." "I have one or two I could quickly alter to her size. In fact there is one right there." She pointed to a pale yellow day dress draped over a dressmaker's model. Dunford was just about to say that it would do when he saw Henry's face. She was staring at the dress like a starving woman.
Julia Quinn (Minx (The Splendid Trilogy, #3))
However we resolve the issue in our individual homes, the moral challenge is, put simply, to make work visible again: not only the scrubbing and vacuuming, but all the hoeing, stacking, hammering, drilling, bending, and lifting that goes into creating and maintaining a livable habitat. In an ever more economically unequal world, where so many of the affluent devote their lives to ghostly pursuits like stock trading, image making, and opinion polling, real work, in the old-fashioned sense of labor that engages hand as well as eye, that tires the body and directly alters the physical world tends to vanish from sight. The feminists of my generation tried to bring some of it into the light of day, but, like busy professional women fleeing the house in the morning, they left the project unfinished, the debate broken off in mid-sentence, the noble intentions unfulfilled. Sooner or later, someone else will have to finish the job.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy)
One hobby I did not pick up was crocheting, an obsession among prisoners throughout the system. Some of the handiwork was impressive. The inmate who ran the laundry was a surly rural white woman named Nancy whose dislike for anyone but “northerners” was hardly a secret. Her personality left a lot to be desired, but she was a remarkable crochet artist. One day in C Dorm I happened upon Nancy standing with my neighbor Allie B. and mopey Sally, all howling with laughter. “What?” I asked, innocently. “Show her, Nancy!” giggled Allie. Nancy opened her hand. Perched there in her palm was an astonishingly lifelike crochet penis. Average in size, it was erect, fashioned of pink cotton yarn, with balls and a smattering of brown cotton pubic hair, and a squirt of white yarn ejaculate at the tip.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison)
man only can be aware of the insensibility of man towards a new gown. It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire; how little it is biased by the texture of their muslin, and how unsusceptible of peculiar tenderness towards the spotted, the sprigged, the mull, or the jackonet. Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
It's time we woke up, women are pretty much people, seems to me. I know they dress like fools- but who´s to blame for that? We invent all those idiotic hats of theirs, and design their crazy fashions, and, what's more, if a woman is courageous enough to wear common-sense clothes -and shoes- which of us wants to dance with her? Yes, we blame them for gratifying us, but are we willing to let our wives work? We are not. It hurts our pride, that's all. We are always criticizing them for doing mercenary marriages, but what do we call a girl who marries a chump with no money? Just a poor fool, that's all. And they know it. As for Mother Eve- I wasn't there and I can't deny the story, but I will say this. If she brought evil into the world, we men have had the loin's share of keeping it going ever since- how about that?
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Lizzie and I arrived in the polluted heat of a London summer. We stood frozen at street corners as a blur of pedestrians burst out of the subways and spilled like ants down the pavements. The crowed bars, the expensive shops, the fashionable clothes - to me it all seemed a population rushing about to no avail...I stared at a huge poster of a woman in her underwear staring down at her own breasts. HELLO BOYS, she said. At the movies we witnessed sickening violence, except that this time we held tubs of popcorn between our legs and the gunfire and screams were broadcast in digital Dolby. We had escaped a skull on a battlefield, only to arrive in London, where office workers led lines of such tedium and plenty that they had to entertain themselves with all the f****** and killing on the big screen. So here then was the prosperous, democratic and civilized Western world. A place of washing machines, reality TV, Armani, frequent-flier miles, mortgages. And this is what the Africans are supposed to hope for, if they're lucky.
Aidan Hartley (The Zanzibar Chest: A Story of Life, Love, and Death in Foreign Lands)
Our dress affects not only our thoughts and actions but also the thoughts and actions of others. Accordingly, Paul the Apostle counseled “women [to] adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Timothy 2:9). The dress of a woman has a powerful impact upon the minds and passions of men. If it is too low or too high or too tight, it may prompt improper thoughts, even in the mind of a young man who is striving to be pure. Men and women can look sharp and be fashionable, yet they can also be modest. Women particularly can dress modestly and in the process contribute to their own self-respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for. [Ensign, Mar. 2014, 47-48]
Tad R. Callister
After three hours, I come back to the waiting room. It is a cosmetic surgery office, so a little like a hotel lobby, underheated and expensively decorated, with candy in little dishes, emerald-green plush chairs, and upscale fashion magazines artfully displayed against the wall. A young woman comes in, frantic to get a pimple "zapped" before she sees her family over the holidays. An older woman comes in with her daughter for a follow-up visit to a face-lift. She is wearing a scarf and dark glasses. The nurse examines her bruises right out in the waiting room. And you are in the operating room having your body and your gender legally altered. I feel like laughing, but I know it makes me sound like a lunatic.
Joan Nestle
Just as Cam left Ivo Jenner’s apartments, St. Vincent met him in the hall. There was a scowl on the blond man’s face, and a vein of chilling arrogance in his tone. “If my wife finds comfort in trite Gypsy homilies, I have no objection to your offering them. However, if you ever kiss her again, no matter how platonic the fashion, I’ll make a eunuch of you.” The fact that St. Vincent could stoop to petty jealousy when Ivo Jenner was not yet cold in his bed might have outraged some men. Cam, however, regarded the autocratic viscount with speculative interest. Deliberately calibrating his reply to test the other man, Cam said softly, “Had I ever wanted her that way, I would have had her by now.” There it was— a flash of warning in St. Vincent’s ice-blue eyes that revealed a depth of feeling he would not admit to. Cam had never seen anything like the mute longing that St. Vincent felt for his own wife. No one could fail to observe that whenever Evie entered the room, St.Vincent practically vibrated like a tuning fork. “It is possible to care about a woman without wanting to bed her,” Cam pointed out. “But it appears that you don’t agree. Or are you so obsessed with her that you can’t fathom how anyone else could fail to feel the same?” “I’m not obsessed with her,” St. Vincent snapped. Leaning a shoulder against the wall, Cam stared into the man’s hard eyes, his usual reserve of patience nearly depleted. “Of course you are. Anyone could see it.” St. Vincent gave him a warning glance. “Another word,” he said thickly, “and you’ll go the way of Egan.” Cam raised his hands in a mocking gesture of self-defense. “Warning taken.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Our whole culture is based on the appetite for buying, on the idea of a mutually favorable exchange. Modern man's happiness consists in the thrill of looking at the shop windows, and in buying all that he can afford to buy, either for cash or on installments. He (or she) looks at people in a similar way. For the man an attractive girl—and for the woman an attractive man—are the prizes they are after. 'Attractive' usually means a nice package of qualities which are popular and sought after on the personality market. What specifically makes a person attractive depends on the fashion of the time, physically as well as mentally. During the twenties, a drinking and smoking girl, tough and sexy, was attractive; today the fashion demands more domesticity and coyness. At the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of this century, a man had to be aggressive and ambitious—today he has to be social and tolerant—in order to be an attractive 'package'. At any rate, the sense of falling in love develops usually only with regard to such human commodities as are within reach of one's own possibilities for exchange. I am out for a bargain; the object should be desirable from the standpoint of its social value, and at the same time should want me, considering my overt and hidden assets and potentialities. Two persons thus fall in love when they feel they have found the best object available on the market, considering the limitations of their own exchange values. Often, as in buying real estate, the hidden potentialities which can be developed play a considerable role in this bargain. In a culture in which the marketing orientation prevails, and in which material success is the outstanding value, there is little reason to be surprised that human love relations follow the same pattern of exchange which governs the commodity and the labor market.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
So my life has come to this: all I ever make is laundry. Awake or asleep, I'm always shuffling round some shopping mall, raking through knitwear carousels that whirl into infinity, searching, with the fever or teething gums, for the ultimate cardigan. Is it any wonder the wardrobe's bursting, the linen basket overflowing like an archive of disproved hypotheses? The grey bras, the shrinking T-shirts, that embarrassed puddle of lycra, my favourite dress -- now ruined dress -- my lost remembered, perfect dress: all laundry, in the end. More laundry.
Joanne Limburg (The Woman Who Thought too Much: A Memoir)
When you’re a girl, you never let on that you are proud, or that you know you’re better at history, or biology, or French, than the girl who sits beside you and is eighteen months older. Instead you gush about how good she is at putting on nail polish or at talking to boys, and you roll your eyes at the vaunted difficulty of the history/​biology/​French test and say, “Oh my God, it’s going to be such a disaster! I’m so scared!” and you put yourself down whenever you can so that people won’t feel threatened by you, so they’ll like you, because you wouldn’t want them to know that in your heart, you are proud, and maybe even haughty, and are riven by thoughts the revelation of which would show everyone how deeply Not Nice you are. You learn a whole other polite way of speaking to the people who mustn’t see you clearly, and you know—you get told by others—that they think you’re really sweet, and you feel a thrill of triumph: “Yes, I’m good at history/​biology/​French, and I’m good at this, too.” It doesn’t ever occur to you, as you fashion your mask so carefully, that it will grow into your skin and graft itself, come to seem irremovable.
Claire Messud (The Woman Upstairs)
She was an old-fashioned woman. She had the calm of frequentation; she belonged to this house and it to her. Though she was a prisoner in it, she possessed it. She and it were her marriage. She was indwelling in every board and stone of it: every fold in the curtains had a meaning (perhaps they were so folded to hide a darn or stain); every room was a phial of revelation to be poured out some feverish night in the secret laboratories of her decisions, full of living cancers of insult, leprosies of disillusion, abscesses of grudge, gangrene of nevermore, quintan fevers of divorce, and all the proliferating miseries, the running sores and thick scabs, for which (and not for its heavenly joys) the flesh of marriage is so heavily veiled and conventually interned.
Christina Stead (The Man Who Loved Children)
The canon and civil law; church and state; priests and legislators; all political parties and religious denominations have alike taught that woman was made after man, of man, and for man, an inferior being, subject to man. Creeds, codes, Scriptures and statutes, are all based on this idea. The fashions, forms, ceremonies and customs of society, church ordinances and discipline all grow out of this idea.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (The Woman's Bible)
The kitchen is your natural setting as a woman and you should look beautiful, not bedraggled, in it. Whether you go to work or work at home- or both- take advantage of the opportunity the kitchen offers for expressing your wifely qualities in what you wear. Pinafores, organdies, and aprons look wonderful, as do gay cotton wrap-arounds that slip on over your dress while you make breakfast. Too much attention is paid to kitchen equipment and decor; too little to what is worn in this setting. Why look like Cinderella's crotchety stepmother when you can be a lyrical embodiment of all that a home and hearth means!
Anne Fogarty (Wife Dressing: The Fine Art of Being a Well-Dressed Wife)
George moved from one group of people he didn’t know to another, trying to get out of the draught. The girls didn’t seem to notice it. They were Sydney girls, with short skirts and long, bare arms. Recently, George had gone to an opening at a gallery in the company of a visiting lecturer from Berlin. The artist was fashionable, and the gallery’s three rooms were packed. Over dinner, the German woman expressed mild astonishment at the number of sex workers who had attended the opening. ‘Is this typical in Australia?’ she asked. George had to explain that she had misunderstood the significance of shouty make-up, tiny, shiny dresses and jewels so large they looked fake.
Michelle de Kretser (The Life to Come)
Enough, Aunt Josephine," Jack said, cutting her off, ignoring the stubborn light in her eyes. Oh, she was a Tremont all right, and one of the "mad" Tremonts at that, but she was no longer in charge of this house. He was. And it was about time he took the reins of this manor and ran it as he saw fit. "There will be no next time," he told her. "But Jack, my dear boy--" He rose from Miranda's side. "There will be no next time. For any of you. I have had enough of seeing my friends, my family, let alone the woman I love risk life, limb, and for what?" He paced the room. "There will never be an end to this if something isn't done, so I am ending it. Here and now." "But Jack--" Miranda protested. He swung around on her. "And not a word from you. Do you think I want my wife risking her life on such an improper fashion?" "You love me?" she whispered. "Yes," he barked at her. She grinned up at him. "You want to marry me?" "Should have years ago." He paced back and forth. "I lost you once, Miranda, I shall not lose you again." He crossed his arms over his chest and glared at everyone in the room, daring them to defy him.
Elizabeth Boyle (This Rake of Mine (Bachelor Chronicles, #2))
Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another. There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success. Listen, learn, go on. That is what we are doing with this tale. We are listening to its ancient message. We are learning about deteriorative patterns so we can go on with the strength of one who can sense the traps and cages and baits before we are upon them or caught in them.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
Home is the true wife’s kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful. She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors. But if any calls for her service must be declined, they should not be the duties of her home. These are hers, and no other one’s. Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. The best husband—the truest, the noblest, the gentlest, the richest-hearted—cannot make his home happy if his wife be not, in every reasonable sense, a helpmate to him. In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home. Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall be looked at and admired for generations; or to write a few songs which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men. But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.
J.R. Miller
Now, tell me again why I’m freezing my ass off in the middle of the woods?” Legna chuckled. “Because it is tradition. Your mate must find you and then carry you to the altar. Seeking you out is symbolic of his desire to let nothing come between you. Bringing you to the altar is a reflection of how it is his duty to help you over obstacles so that you may reach moments of joy together.” “It’s very romantic,” Isabella said, “if a little chauvinistic.” “Not in the least. The sharing of responsibility within a joining is symbolized just as strongly. The bride must tie the handfasting ribbon around her mate’s wrist. The white ribbon symbolizes honesty and love and fidelity, and by allowing himself to be so tied means the groom must provide for her at all times, as she will provide for him. The black is a promise that they will forever do all in their power to protect their union, their children, and the perpetuation of the essentials of our culture.” “But you’ve tied a red ribbon to the end of the black, Legna. What does thatmean?” “Actually”—the Demon woman smiled—“there is no precedent for the red ribbon. However, I felt it only fair to have a physical reminder that you have a culture of your own and will have just as much right to perpetuate that within your children as Jacob does.” “Legna,” Isabella giggled, giving her an admonishing look, “that is positively rebellious and feminist of you.” “I never claimed to be an old-fashioned girl,” Legna confided with a wink.
Jacquelyn Frank (Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1))
In his Petersburg world all people were divided into utterly opposed classes. One, the lower class, vulgar, stupid, and, above all, ridiculous people, who believe that one husband ought to live with the one wife whom he has lawfully married; that a girl should be innocent, a woman modest, and a man manly, self-controlled, and strong; that one ought to bring up one's children, earn one's bread, and pay one's debts; and various similar absurdities. This was the class of old-fashioned and ridiculous people. But there was another class of people, the real people. To this class they all belonged, and in it the great thing was to be elegant, generous, plucky, gay, to abandon oneself without a blush to every passion, and to laugh at everything else.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Liar,' he said in disgust. 'You're still playing doctors and nurses with the guy you screwed Charlie over with.' Her mouth fell open. 'Don't worry, I won't tell my brother. He's got enough to deal with.' 'I would never have an affair.' 'See here's where you and I part ways on our definition of fidelity,' he said. 'I think tonsil hockey with another man is off the agenda for a married woman. Call me old-fashioned.' Her fury was unexpected. 'Who started that rumor...who!' 'What are you talking about? You admitted it.
Karina Bliss (Stand-In Wife (Special Forces, #2))
Girls and women, in their new, particular unfolding, will only in passing imitate men's behavior and misbehavior and follow in male professions. Once the uncertainty of such transitions is over it will emerge that women have only passed through the spectrum and the variety of those (often laughable) disguises in order to purify their truest natures from the distorting influences of the other sex. Women, in whom life abides and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully and more trustingly, are bound to have ripened more thoroughly, become more human human beings, than a man, who is all too light and has not been pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of a bodily fruit and who, in his arrogance and impatience, undervalues what he thinks he loves. This humanity which inhabits woman, brought to term in pain and humiliation, will, once she has shrugged off the conventions of mere femininity through the transformations of her outward status, come clearly to light, and men, who today do not yet feel it approaching, will be taken by surprise and struck down by it. One day (there are already reliable signs which speak for it and which begin to spread their light, especially in the northern countries), one day there will be girls and women whose name will no longer just signify the opposite of the male but something in their own right, something which does not make one think of any supplement or limit but only of life and existence: the female human being. This step forward (at first right against the will of the men who are left behind) will transform the experience of love, which is now full of error, alter its root and branch, reshape it into a relation between two human beings and no longer between man and woman. And this more human form of love (which will be performed in infinitely gentle and considerate fashion, true and clear in its creating of bonds and dissolving of them) will resemble the one we are struggling and toiling to prepare the way for, the love that consists in two solitudes protecting, defining and welcoming one another.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
This generation has lost the true meaning of romance. There are so many songs that disrespect women. You can’t treat the woman you love as a piece of meat. You should treat your love like a princess. Give her love songs, something with real meaning. Maybe I’m old fashioned but to respect the woman you love should be a priority. " Wait a minute! I'm actually a Tom Hiddleston fan just putting it out there that this quote and others that you find around the internet are completely fake. Only believe quotes that are written in professional interviews, because I'm here right now to show you that anything can be made up easily by anyone, I could write anything I want here and you could think it's a real quote. So go to interviews or the verified twitter to see the real words someone has said - anything else can be made up! :)
Tom Hiddleston
And her heart sprang in Iseult, and she drew With all her spirit and life the sunrise through And through her lips the keen triumphant air Sea-scented, sweeter than land-roses were, And through her eyes the whole rejoicing east Sun-satisfied, and all the heaven at feast Spread for the morning; and the imperious mirth Of wind and light that moved upon the earth, Making the spring, and all the fruitful might And strong regeneration of delight That swells the seedling leaf and sapling man, Since the first life in the first world began To burn and burgeon through void limbs and veins, And the first love with sharp sweet procreant pains To pierce and bring forth roses; yea, she felt Through her own soul the sovereign morning melt, And all the sacred passion of the sun; And as the young clouds flamed and were undone About him coming, touched and burnt away In rosy ruin and yellow spoil of day, The sweet veil of her body and corporal sense Felt the dawn also cleave it, and incense With light from inward and with effluent heat The kindling soul through fleshly hands and feet. And as the august great blossom of the dawn Burst, and the full sun scarce from sea withdrawn Seemed on the fiery water a flower afloat, So as a fire the mighty morning smote Throughout her, and incensed with the influent hour Her whole soul's one great mystical red flower Burst, and the bud of her sweet spirit broke Rose-fashion, and the strong spring at a stroke Thrilled, and was cloven, and from the full sheath came The whole rose of the woman red as flame: And all her Mayday blood as from a swoon Flushed, and May rose up in her and was June. So for a space her hearth as heavenward burned: Then with half summer in her eyes she turned, And on her lips was April yet, and smiled, As though the spirit and sense unreconciled Shrank laughing back, and would not ere its hour Let life put forth the irrevocable flower. And the soft speech between them grew again
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Tristram of Lyonesse: And Other Poems)
Uneasy Rider" Falling in love with a mustache is like saying you can fall in love with the way a man polishes his shoes which, of course, is one of the things that turns on my tuned-up engine those trim buckled boots (I feel like an advertisement for men’s fashions when I think of your ankles) Yeats was hung up with a girl’s beautiful face and I find myself a bad moralist, a failing aesthetician, a sad poet, wanting to touch your arms and feel the muscles that make a man’s body have so much substance, that makes a woman lean and yearn in that direction that makes her melt/ she is a rainy day in your presence the pool of wax under a burning candle the foam from a waterfall You are more beautiful than any Harley-Davidson She is the rain, waits in it for you, finds blood spotting her legs from the long ride.
Diane Wakoski
Music is a form that tends to give shape to rules, social mores, social attitudes, feelings—it does this in a very beautiful, fluid way. To me the issue of form and formlessness is most strong in the theme of mortality versus a human wish for immortality of a sort. Take, for example, the definition of beauty in fashion. Remember what Alison says at the beginning? She says when she was young she didn’t know what beautiful was. She looked at this woman who everyone was saying was beautiful and she didn’t even know what they were talking about. I experienced that when I was a child. If I loved someone I thought they were really beautiful. And then eventually, I began to get it, the social concept of beauty. Not that I think beautiful is completely imaginary, but beauty is so wide ranging and fluid. Yet there’s a need to say: “This is what it is, and it’s not changing; we’re taking a picture of it to hold it still.” It’s like an impulse to put up a building meant to last forever. An urge to grab and hold something in place when nothing human can be grabbed and held in place. We come into these physical bodies . . . whatever we are takes this shape that is so particular and distinct—eyes, nose, mouth—and then it gradually begins to disintegrate. Eventually it’s going to dissolve completely. It’s a huge problem for people; we can understand it, but it breaks our hearts. And so we’re constantly trying to pin something down or leave a trace that will last forever. “And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita . . .” What other immortality will anyone share?
Mary Gaitskill
He was surprised to find this young woman—who though but a milkmaid had just that touch of rarity about her which might make her the envied of her housemates—shaping such sad imaginings. She was expressing in her own native phrases—assisted a little by her Sixth Standard training—feelings which might almost have been called those of the age—the ache of modernism. The perception arrested him less when he reflected that what are called advanced ideas are really in great part but the latest fashion in definition—a more accurate expression, by words in logy and ism, of sensations which men and women have vaguely grasped for centuries.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the d'Urbervilles)
When women display the necessary confidence in their skills and comfort with power, they run the risk of being regarded as ‘competent but cold’: the bitch, the ice queen, the iron maiden, the ballbuster, the battle axe, the dragon lady … The sheer number of synonyms is telling. Put bluntly, we don’t like the look of self-promotion and power on a woman. In experimental studies, women who behave in an agentic fashion experience backlash: they are rated as less socially skilled, and thus less hireable for jobs that require people skills as well as competence than are men who behave in an identical fashion. And yet if women don’t show confidence, ambition and competitiveness then evaluators may use gender stereotypes to fill in the gaps, and assume that these are important qualities she lacks. Thus, the alternative to being competent but cold is to be regarded as ‘nice but incompetent’.15 This catch-22 positions women who seek leadership roles on a ‘tightrope of impression management’.16
Cordelia Fine (Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences)
In the course of my life I have had pre-pubescent ballerinas; emaciated duchesses, dolorous and forever tired, melomaniac and morphine-sodden; bankers' wives with eyes hollower than those of suburban streetwalkers; music-hall chorus girls who tip creosote into their Roederer when getting drunk... I have even had the awkward androgynes, the unsexed dishes of the day of the *tables d'hote* of Montmartre. Like any vulgar follower of fashion, like any member of the herd, I have made love to bony and improbably slender little girls, frightened and macabre, spiced with carbolic and peppered with chlorotic make-up. Like an imbecile, I have believed in the mouths of prey and sacrificial victims. Like a simpleton, I have believed in the large lewd eyes of a ragged heap of sickly little creatures: alcoholic and cynical shop girls and whores. The profundity of their eyes and the mystery of their mouths... the jewellers of some and the manicurists of others furnish them with *eaux de toilette*, with soaps and rouges. And Fanny the etheromaniac, rising every morning for a measured dose of cola and coca, does not put ether only on her handkerchief. It is all fakery and self-advertisement - *truquage and battage*, as their vile argot has it. Their phosphorescent rottenness, their emaciated fervour, their Lesbian blight, their shop-sign vices set up to arouse their clients, to excite the perversity of young and old men alike in the sickness of perverse tastes! All of it can sparkle and catch fire only at the hour when the gas is lit in the corridors of the music-halls and the crude nickel-plated decor of the bars. Beneath the cerise three-ply collars of the night-prowlers, as beneath the bulging silks of the cyclist, the whole seductive display of passionate pallor, of knowing depravity, of exhausted and sensual anaemia - all the charm of spicy flowers celebrated in the writings of Paul Bourget and Maurice Barres - is nothing but a role carefully learned and rehearsed a hundred times over. It is a chapter of the MANCHON DE FRANCINE read over and over again, swotted up and acted out by ingenious barnstormers, fully conscious of the squalid salacity of the male of the species, and knowledgeable in the means of starting up the broken-down engines of their customers. To think that I also have loved these maleficent and sick little beasts, these fake Primaveras, these discounted Jocondes, the whole hundred-franc stock-in-trade of Leonardos and Botticellis from the workshops of painters and the drinking-dens of aesthetes, these flowers mounted on a brass thread in Montparnasse and Levallois-Perret! And the odious and tiresome travesty - the corsetted torso slapped on top of heron's legs, painful to behold, the ugly features primed by boulevard boxes, the fake Dresden of Nina Grandiere retouched from a medicine bottle, complaining and spectral at the same time - of Mademoiselle Guilbert and her long black gloves!... Have I now had enough of the horror of this nightmare! How have I been able to tolerate it for so long? The fact is that I was then ignorant even of the nature of my sickness. It was latent in me, like a fire smouldering beneath the ashes. I have cherished it since... perhaps since early childhood, for it must always have been in me, although I did not know it!
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
The Active Life If an expert does not have some problem to vex him, he is unhappy! If a philosopher's teaching is never attacked, she pines away! If critics have no one on whom to exercise their spite, they are unhappy. All such people are prisoners in the world of objects. He who wants followers, seeks political power. She who wants reputation, holds an office. The strong man looks for weights to lift. The brave woman looks for an emergency in which she can show bravery. The swordsman wants a battle in which he can swing his sword. People past their prime prefer a dignified retirement, in which they may seem profound. People experienced in law seek difficult cases to extend the application of the laws. Liturgists and musicians like festivals in which they parade their ceremonious talents. The benevolent, the dutiful, are always looking for chances to display virtue. Where would the gardener be if there were no more weeds? What would become of business without a market of fools? Where would the masses be if there were no pretext for getting jammed together and making noise? What would become of labor if there were no superfluous objects to be made? Produce! Get results! Make money! Make friends! Make changes! Or you will die of despair! Those who are caught in the machinery of power take no joy except in activity and change--the whirring of the machine! Whenever an occasion for action presents itself, they are compelled to act; they cannot help themselves. They are inexorably moved, like the ma- chine of which they are a part. Prisoners in the world of objects, they have no choice but to submit to the demands of matter! They are pressed down and crushed by external forces, fashion, the mar- ket, events, public opinion. Never in a whole lifetime do they re- cover their right mind! The active life! What a pity!
Thomas Merton (The Way of Chuang Tzu (Shambhala Library))
A BRAVE AND STARTLING TRUTH We, this people, on a small and lonely planet Traveling through casual space Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns To a destination where all signs tell us It is possible and imperative that we learn A brave and startling truth And when we come to it To the day of peacemaking When we release our fingers From fists of hostility And allow the pure air to cool our palms When we come to it When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean When battlefields and coliseum No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters Up with the bruised and bloody grass To lie in identical plots in foreign soil When the rapacious storming of the churches The screaming racket in the temples have ceased When the pennants are waving gaily When the banners of the world tremble Stoutly in the good, clean breeze When we come to it When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders And children dress their dolls in flags of truce When land mines of death have been removed And the aged can walk into evenings of peace When religious ritual is not perfumed By the incense of burning flesh And childhood dreams are not kicked awake By nightmares of abuse When we come to it Then we will confess that not the Pyramids With their stones set in mysterious perfection Nor the Gardens of Babylon Hanging as eternal beauty In our collective memory Not the Grand Canyon Kindled into delicious color By Western sunsets Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji Stretching to the Rising Sun Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor, Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores These are not the only wonders of the world When we come to it We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace We, this people on this mote of matter In whose mouths abide cankerous words Which challenge our very existence Yet out of those same mouths Come songs of such exquisite sweetness That the heart falters in its labor And the body is quieted into awe We, this people, on this small and drifting planet Whose hands can strike with such abandon That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness That the haughty neck is happy to bow And the proud back is glad to bend Out of such chaos, of such contradiction We learn that we are neither devils nor divines When we come to it We, this people, on this wayward, floating body Created on this earth, of this earth Have the power to fashion for this earth A climate where every man and every woman Can live freely without sanctimonious piety Without crippling fear When we come to it We must confess that we are the possible We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world That is when, and only when We come to it.
Maya Angelou (A Brave and Startling Truth)
Things were different back then. Today if a woman was asked to do the things we did back then, she would revolt, declare that she wasn’t anyone’s slave, wouldn’t be put upon in that fashion. But you have to remember that this was before automatic washers and dishwashers, before blenders and electric knives. If the carpet was going to get cleaned, someone, usually a woman, would have to take a broom to it, or would have to haul it on her shoulders to the yard and beat the dirt out of it. If the wet clothes were going to get dry, someone had to hang them in the yard, take them down from the yard, heat the iron on the fire, press them, and finally fold or hang them. Food was chopped by hand, fires were stoked by hand, water was carried by hand, anything roasted, toasted, broiled, dried, beaten, pressed, packed, or pickled, was done so by hand. Our version of a laborsaving device was called a spouse. If a man had a woman by his side, he didn’t have to clean and cook for himself. If a woman had a man by her side, she didn’t have to go out, earn a living, then come home and wrestle the house to the ground in the evening.
Susan Lynn Peterson (Clare)
Writer Camille Paglia offers a refreshing exception to this disparagement of men, as pointed out by Christina Hoff Sommers: For Paglia, male aggressiveness and competitiveness are animating principles of creativity: “Masculinity is aggressive, unstable, and combustible. It is also the most creative cultural force in history.” Speaking of the “fashionable disdain for ‘patriarchal society’ to which nothing good is ever attributed,” she writes, “But it is the patriarchal society that has freed me as a woman. It is capitalism that has given me the leisure to sit at this desk writing this book. Let us stop being small-minded about men and freely acknowledge what treasures their obsessiveness has poured into culture.” “Men,” writes Paglia, “created the world we live in and the luxuries we enjoy”: “When I cross the George Washington Bridge or any of America’s great bridges, I think—men have done this. Construction is a sublime male poetry.”1 Our society has become the angry leered-at woman who doesn’t care that men can build buildings or do amazing things like be good dads, husbands and sons. She focuses instead on the small flaws that some men have and extrapolates to all men; they are all dogs, rapists, perverts, deadbeats and worthless. Who needs them? We
Helen Smith (Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream - and Why It Matters)
The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb. My ingrained self-censorship immediately started working: I registered the fact that there was an orgy of weeping going on around me, and that I had to come up with some suitable performance. There seemed nowhere to hide my lack of correct emotion except the shoulder of the woman in front of me, one of the student officials, who was apparently heartbroken. I swiftly buried my head in her shoulder and heaved appropriately. As so often in China, a bit of ritual did the trick. Sniveling heartily she made a movement as though she was going to turn around and embrace me I pressed my whole weight on her from behind to keep her in her place, hoping to give the impression that I was in a state of abandoned grief. In the days after Mao's death, I did a lot of thinking. I knew he was considered a philosopher, and I tried to think what his 'philosophy' really was. It seemed to me that its central principle was the need or the desire? for perpetual conflict. The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what? But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was, it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilize them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the tasks undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide. The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance. Because of his calculation that the cultured class were an easy target for a population that was largely illiterate, because of his own deep resentment of formal education and the educated, because of his megalomania, which led to his scorn for the great figures of Chinese culture, and because of his contempt for the areas of Chinese civilization that he did not understand, such as architecture, art, and music, Mao destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage. He left behind not only a brutalized nation, but also an ugly land with little of its past glory remaining or appreciated. The Chinese seemed to be mourning Mao in a heartfelt fashion. But I wondered how many of their tears were genuine. People had practiced acting to such a degree that they confused it with their true feelings. Weeping for Mao was perhaps just another programmed act in their programmed lives. Yet the mood of the nation was unmistakably against continuing Mao's policies. Less than a month after his death, on 6 October, Mme Mao was arrested, along with the other members of the Gang of Four. They had no support from anyone not the army, not the police, not even their own guards. They had had only Mao. The Gang of Four had held power only because it was really a Gang of Five. When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Honest question: If I am a good Christian, and have faith and stuff, will God protect my children? Honest answer: He might. Or He might not. Honest follow-up question: So what good is He? I think the answer is that He’s still good. But our safety, and the safety of our kids, isn’t part of the deal. This is incredibly hard to accept on the American evangelical church scene, because we love families, and we love loving families, and we nearly associate godliness itself with cherishing family beyond any other earthly thing. That someone would challenge this bond, the primacy of the family bond, is offensive. And yet . . . Jesus did it. And it was even more offensive, then, in a culture that wasn’t nearly so individualistic as ours. Everything was based on family: your reputation, your status—everything. And yet He challenges the idea that our attachment to family is so important, so noble, that it is synonymous with our love for Him. Which leads to some other spare thoughts, like this: we can make idols out of our families. Again, in a “Focus on the Family” subculture, it’s hard to imagine how this could be. Families are good. But idols aren’t made of bad things. They used to be fashioned out of trees or stone, and those aren’t bad, either. Idols aren’t bad things; they’re good things, made Ultimate. We make things Ultimate when we see the true God as a route to these things, or a guarantor of them. It sounds like heresy, but it’s not: the very safety of our family can become an idol. God wants us to want Him for Him, not merely for what He can provide. Here’s another thought: As wonderful as “mother love” is, we have to make sure it doesn’t become twisted. And it can. It can become a be-all, end-all, and the very focus of a woman’s existence. C. S. Lewis writes that it’s especially dangerous because it seems so very, very righteous. Who can possibly challenge a mother’s love? God can, and does, when it becomes an Ultimate. And it’s more likely to become a disordered Ultimate than many other things, simply because it does seem so very righteous. Lewis says this happens with patriotism too.
Brant Hansen (Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better)
Lady Isabeau was tall for a woman, nearly as tall as Molly, but slender where Molly was stout, with a smooth immobile face that looked as if it had been carved from ivory, pale and serene. Hob stared at her: glossy black hair bound about the brows with a broad white linen fillet and partly concealed by a veil that draped down her neck; dark eyes beneath dark brows plucked thin; unsmiling lips, full and well-shaped. There was so little expression on her face, and its beauty was so unworldly, that Hob had a moment when he thought her an apparition, or a graven figure. “Blanche comme la neige,” came to his mind, a song Molly had taught him, “belle comme le jour.” The thinnest of scars ran from her hairline down her forehead, divided her left eyebrow, and curved along her cheek to the corner of her mouth, and seemed at once to augment her beauty and to reinforce its carven stillness, as if some wright's chisel had slipped in the course of fashioning her visage. A linen band of the sort known as a barbette ran down from the fillet at her temples and passed under her chin, framing her face, and rendering her features all the more austere. Her gown was a muted purple; heavy embroidery of red and blue circled its neckline, and it was gathered by a zone of gray silk, sewn with pearls, that circled her hips. From this belt depended a silver ring, as wide around as a big man's fist. On the ring was a bunch of black iron keys, of varying sizes: the symbol and reality of her standing as administrator of the household. As she spoke, she fiddled with the keys as though they were prayer beads; they gave off a continual muted clink, just barely audible to Hob above the rumble of voices, the thuds and thumps of plank tabletops settling onto their trestles.
Douglas Nicholas
Time for an exercise, which I shall call 'Say It Out Loud With Miranda'. Please take a moment to sit back, breathe and intone: 'I am taking myself seriously as a woman.' Note your response. If you're reading this on the bus, or surreptitiously in the cinema, or in any other public scenario, then please note other people's responses. (If you are male, and teenaged, and reading this in a room with other teenage boys, then for your own safety I advise you not to participate.) The rest of you – what comes to mind when you say those words? Is it a fine lady scientist, a ballsy young anarchist with tights on her head or a feminist intellectual from the 1970s nose-down in Simone de Beauvoir? Or is it what I think my friend meant when she said 'woman' which is really 'aesthetic object'. Clothes-horse. Show pony. General beautiful piece of well-groomed stuff that's lovely to look at? I reckon, to my great dismay, that she did indeed mean the latter. And in saying that I don't take myself seriously in this regard her assessment of me is absolutely bang-on. If taking oneself seriously as a woman means committing to a like of grooming, pumicing, pruning and polishing one's exterior for the benefit of onlookers, then I may as well heave my unwieldy rucksack to the top of a bleak Scottish hill and make my home there under a stone, where I'll fashion shoes out of mud and clothes out of leaves.
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
The Winding Stair My Soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair; Set all your mind upon the steep ascent, Upon the broken, crumbling battlement, Upon the breathless starlit air, 'Upon the star that marks the hidden pole; Fix every wandering thought upon That quarter where all thought is done: Who can distinguish darkness from the soul My Self. The consecretes blade upon my knees Is Sato's ancient blade, still as it was, Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass Unspotted by the centuries; That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn From some court-lady's dress and round The wodden scabbard bound and wound Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn My Soul. Why should the imagination of a man Long past his prime remember things that are Emblematical of love and war? Think of ancestral night that can, If but imagination scorn the earth And intellect is wandering To this and that and t'other thing, Deliver from the crime of death and birth. My Self. Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it Five hundred years ago, about it lie Flowers from I know not what embroidery - Heart's purple - and all these I set For emblems of the day against the tower Emblematical of the night, And claim as by a soldier's right A charter to commit the crime once more. My Soul. Such fullness in that quarter overflows And falls into the basin of the mind That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind, For intellect no longer knows Is from the Ought, or knower from the Known - That is to say, ascends to Heaven; Only the dead can be forgiven; But when I think of that my tongue's a stone. II My Self. A living man is blind and drinks his drop. What matter if the ditches are impure? What matter if I live it all once more? Endure that toil of growing up; The ignominy of boyhood; the distress Of boyhood changing into man; The unfinished man and his pain Brought face to face with his own clumsiness; The finished man among his enemies? - How in the name of Heaven can he escape That defiling and disfigured shape The mirror of malicious eyes Casts upon his eyes until at last He thinks that shape must be his shape? And what's the good of an escape If honour find him in the wintry blast? I am content to live it all again And yet again, if it be life to pitch Into the frog-spawn of a blind man's ditch, A blind man battering blind men; Or into that most fecund ditch of all, The folly that man does Or must suffer, if he woos A proud woman not kindred of his soul. I am content to follow to its source Every event in action or in thought; Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot! When such as I cast out remorse So great a sweetness flows into the breast We must laugh and we must sing, We are blest by everything, Everything we look upon is blest
W.B. Yeats
God created man out of dust from the ground. At a basic level, the Creator picked up some dirt and threw Adam together. The Hebrew word for God forming man is yatsar,[11] which means “to form, as a potter.” A pot usually has but one function. Yet when God made a woman, He “made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man” (Genesis 2:22). He created her with His own hands. He took His time crafting and molding her into multifaceted brilliance. The Hebrew word used for making woman is banah, meaning to “build, as a house, a temple, a city, an altar.”[12] The complexity implied by the term banah is worth noting. God has given women a diverse makeup that enables them to carry out multiple functions well. Adam may be considered Human Prototype 1.0, while Eve was Human Prototype 2.0. Of high importance, though, is that Eve was fashioned laterally with Adam’s rib. It was not a top-down formation of dominance or a bottom-up formation of subservience. Rather, Eve was an equally esteemed member of the human race. After all, God spoke of the decision for their creation as one decision before we were ever even introduced to the process of their creation. The very first time we read about both Eve and Adam is when we read of the mandate of rulership given to both of them equally. We are introduced to both genders together, simultaneously. This comes in the first chapter of the Bible: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26–27) Both men and women have been created equally in the image of God. While within that equality lie distinct and different roles (we will look at that in chapter 10), there is no difference in equality of being, value, or dignity between the genders. Both bear the responsibility of honoring the image in which they have been made. A woman made in the image of God should never settle for being treated as anything less than an image-bearer of the one true King. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent in the world to be trodden on.”[13] Just as men, women were created to rule.
Tony Evans (Kingdom Woman: Embracing Your Purpose, Power, and Possibilities)
Soon after World War II, a tired-looking woman entered a store and asked the owner for enough food to make a Christmas dinner for her children. When he inquired how much she could afford, she answered, “My husband was killed in the war. Truthfully, I have nothing to offer but a little prayer.” The man was not very sentimental, for a grocery store cannot be run like a breadline. So he said, “Write your prayer on a paper.” To his surprise she plucked a little folded note out of her pocket and handed it to him, saying, “I already did that.” As the grocer took the paper, an idea struck him. Without even reading the prayer, he put it on the weight side of his old-fashioned scales, saying, “We shall see how much food this is worth.” To his surprise, the scale would not go down when he put a loaf of bread on the other side. To his even greater astonishment, it would not balance when he added many more items. Finally he blurted out, “Well, that’s all the scales will hold anyway. Here’s a bag. You’ll have to put them in yourself. I’m busy.” With a tearful “thank you,” the lady went happily on her way. The grocer later found that the mechanism of the scales was out of order, but as the years passed, he often wondered if that really was the answer to what had occurred. Why did the woman have the prayer already written to satisfy his unpremeditated demands? Why did she come at exactly the time the mechanism was broken? Frequently he looked at that slip of paper upon which the woman’s prayer was written, for amazingly enough, it read, “Please, dear Lord, give us this day our daily bread!” —Henry Bosch
Our Daily Bread Ministries (Prayer (Strength for the Soul))
This was no coincidence. The best short stories and the most successful jokes have a lot in common. Each form relies on suggestion and economy. Characters have to be drawn in a few deft strokes. There's generally a setup, a reveal, a reversal, and a release. The structure is delicate. If one element fails, the edifice crumbles. In a novel you might get away with a loose line or two, a saggy paragraph, even a limp chapter. But in the joke and in the short story, the beginning and end are precisely anchored tent poles, and what lies between must pull so taut it twangs. I'm not sure if there is any pattern to these selections. I did not spend a lot of time with those that seemed afraid to tell stories, that handled plot as if it were a hair in the soup, unwelcome and embarrassing. I also tended not to revisit stories that seemed bleak without having earned it, where the emotional notes were false, or where the writing was tricked out or primped up with fashionable devices stressing form over content. I do know that the easiest and the first choices were the stories to which I had a physical response. I read Jennifer Egan's "Out of Body" clenched from head to toe by tension as her suicidal, drug-addled protagonist moves through the Manhattan night toward an unforgivable betrayal. I shed tears over two stories of childhood shadowed by unbearable memory: "The Hare's Mask," by Mark Slouka, with its piercing ending, and Claire Keegan's Irishinflected tale of neglect and rescue, "Foster." Elizabeth McCracken's "Property" also moved me, with its sudden perception shift along the wavering sightlines of loss and grief. Nathan Englander's "Free Fruit for Young Widows" opened with a gasp-inducing act of unexpected violence and evolved into an ethical Rubik's cube. A couple of stories made me laugh: Tom Bissell's "A Bridge Under Water," even as it foreshadows the dissolution of a marriage and probes what religion does for us, and to us; and Richard Powers's "To the Measures Fall," a deftly comic meditation on the uses of literature in the course of a life, and a lifetime. Some stories didn't call forth such a strong immediate response but had instead a lingering resonance. Of these, many dealt with love and its costs, leaving behind indelible images. In Megan Mayhew Bergman's "Housewifely Arts," a bereaved daughter drives miles to visit her dead mother's parrot because she yearns to hear the bird mimic her mother's voice. In Allegra Goodman's "La Vita Nuova," a jilted fiancée lets her art class paint all over her wedding dress. In Ehud Havazelet's spare and tender story, "Gurov in Manhattan," an ailing man and his aging dog must confront life's necessary losses. A complicated, only partly welcome romance blossoms between a Korean woman and her demented
Geraldine Brooks (The Best American Short Stories 2011)
A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace. Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops. One would have hoped that seeing the new girl, the other girls would have realized how inappropriate their manner of dress was for a chapel and for the Sabbath day and immediately changed for the better. Sad to say, however, they did not, and it was the visitor who, in order to fit in, adopted the fashion (if you can call it that) of her host ward. It is troubling to see this growing trend that is not limited to young women but extends to older women, to men, and to young men as well. . . . I was shocked to see what the people of this other congregation wore to church. There was not a suit or tie among the men. They appeared to have come from or to be on their way to the golf course. It was hard to spot a woman wearing a dress or anything other than very casual pants or even shorts. Had I not known that they were coming to the school for church meetings, I would have assumed that there was some kind of sporting event taking place. The dress of our ward members compared very favorably to this bad example, but I am beginning to think that we are no longer quite so different as more and more we seem to slide toward that lower standard. We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best. It is an affront to God to come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a poor member from the hills of Peru must ford a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt? Ironically, it has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even slovenly clothing. Some say dress and hair don’t matter—it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that truly it is what’s inside a person that counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.” In that condition they are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.
D. Todd Christofferson
I begin this chapter with President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Speech on January 11, 1989. President Reagan encouraged the rising generation to “let ’em know and nail ’em on it”—that is, to push back against teachers, professors, journalists, politicians, and others in the governing generation who manipulate and deceive them: An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties. But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection]. So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important—why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.1
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
And barbarians were inventors not only of philosophy, but almost of every art. The Egyptians were the first to introduce astrology among men. Similarly also the Chaldeans. The Egyptians first showed how to burn lamps, and divided the year into twelve months, prohibited intercourse with women in the temples, and enacted that no one should enter the temples from a woman without bathing. Again, they were the inventors of geometry. There are some who say that the Carians invented prognostication by the stars. The Phrygians were the first who attended to the flight of birds. And the Tuscans, neighbours of Italy, were adepts at the art of the Haruspex. The Isaurians and the Arabians invented augury, as the Telmesians divination by dreams. The Etruscans invented the trumpet, and the Phrygians the flute. For Olympus and Marsyas were Phrygians. And Cadmus, the inventor of letters among the Greeks, as Euphorus says, was a Phoenician; whence also Herodotus writes that they were called Phoenician letters. And they say that the Phoenicians and the Syrians first invented letters; and that Apis, an aboriginal inhabitant of Egypt, invented the healing art before Io came into Egypt. But afterwards they say that Asclepius improved the art. Atlas the Libyan was the first who built a ship and navigated the sea. Kelmis and Damnaneus, Idaean Dactyli, first discovered iron in Cyprus. Another Idaean discovered the tempering of brass; according to Hesiod, a Scythian. The Thracians first invented what is called a scimitar (arph), -- it is a curved sword, -- and were the first to use shields on horseback. Similarly also the Illyrians invented the shield (pelth). Besides, they say that the Tuscans invented the art of moulding clay; and that Itanus (he was a Samnite) first fashioned the oblong shield (qureos). Cadmus the Phoenician invented stonecutting, and discovered the gold mines on the Pangaean mountain. Further, another nation, the Cappadocians, first invented the instrument called the nabla, and the Assyrians in the same way the dichord. The Carthaginians were the first that constructed a triterme; and it was built by Bosporus, an aboriginal. Medea, the daughter of Æetas, a Colchian, first invented the dyeing of hair. Besides, the Noropes (they are a Paeonian race, and are now called the Norici) worked copper, and were the first that purified iron. Amycus the king of the Bebryci was the first inventor of boxing-gloves. In music, Olympus the Mysian practised the Lydian harmony; and the people called Troglodytes invented the sambuca, a musical instrument. It is said that the crooked pipe was invented by Satyrus the Phrygian; likewise also diatonic harmony by Hyagnis, a Phrygian too; and notes by Olympus, a Phrygian; as also the Phrygian harmony, and the half-Phrygian and the half-Lydian, by Marsyas, who belonged to the same region as those mentioned above. And the Doric was invented by Thamyris the Thracian. We have heard that the Persians were the first who fashioned the chariot, and bed, and footstool; and the Sidonians the first to construct a trireme. The Sicilians, close to Italy, were the first inventors of the phorminx, which is not much inferior to the lyre. And they invented castanets. In the time of Semiramis queen of the Assyrians, they relate that linen garments were invented. And Hellanicus says that Atossa queen of the Persians was the first who composed a letter. These things are reported by Seame of Mitylene, Theophrastus of Ephesus, Cydippus of Mantinea also Antiphanes, Aristodemus, and Aristotle and besides these, Philostephanus, and also Strato the Peripatetic, in his books Concerning Inventions. I have added a few details from them, in order to confirm the inventive and practically useful genius of the barbarians, by whom the Greeks profited in their studies. And if any one objects to the barbarous language, Anacharsis says, "All the Greeks speak Scythian to me." [...]
Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis, Books 1-3 (Fathers of the Church))
In The Garret Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, All fashioned and filled, long ago, By children now in their prime. Four little keys hung side by side, With faded ribbons, brave and gay When fastened there, with childish pride, Long ago, on a rainy day. Four little names, one on each lid, Carved out by a boyish hand, And underneath there lieth hid Histories of the happy band Once playing here, and pausing oft To hear the sweet refrain, That came and went on the roof aloft, In the falling summer rain. 'Meg' on the first lid, smooth and fair. I look in with loving eyes, For folded here, with well-known care, A goodly gathering lies, The record of a peaceful life-- Gifts to gentle child and girl, A bridal gown, lines to a wife, A tiny shoe, a baby curl. No toys in this first chest remain, For all are carried away, In their old age, to join again In another small Meg's play. Ah, happy mother! Well I know You hear, like a sweet refrain, Lullabies ever soft and low In the falling summer rain. 'Jo' on the next lid, scratched and worn, And within a motley store Of headless dolls, of schoolbooks torn, Birds and beasts that speak no more, Spoils brought home from the fairy ground Only trod by youthful feet, Dreams of a future never found, Memories of a past still sweet, Half-writ poems, stories wild, April letters, warm and cold, Diaries of a wilful child, Hints of a woman early old, A woman in a lonely home, Hearing, like a sad refrain-- 'Be worthy, love, and love will come,' In the falling summer rain. My Beth! the dust is always swept From the lid that bears your name, As if by loving eyes that wept, By careful hands that often came. Death canonized for us one saint, Ever less human than divine, And still we lay, with tender plaint, Relics in this household shrine-- The silver bell, so seldom rung, The little cap which last she wore, The fair, dead Catherine that hung By angels borne above her door. The songs she sang, without lament, In her prison-house of pain, Forever are they sweetly blent With the falling summer rain. Upon the last lid's polished field-- Legend now both fair and true A gallant knight bears on his shield, 'Amy' in letters gold and blue. Within lie snoods that bound her hair, Slippers that have danced their last, Faded flowers laid by with care, Fans whose airy toils are past, Gay valentines, all ardent flames, Trifles that have borne their part In girlish hopes and fears and shames, The record of a maiden heart Now learning fairer, truer spells, Hearing, like a blithe refrain, The silver sound of bridal bells In the falling summer rain. Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, Four women, taught by weal and woe To love and labor in their prime. Four sisters, parted for an hour, None lost, one only gone before, Made by love's immortal power, Nearest and dearest evermore. Oh, when these hidden stores of ours Lie open to the Father's sight, May they be rich in golden hours, Deeds that show fairer for the light, Lives whose brave music long shall ring, Like a spirit-stirring strain, Souls that shall gladly soar and sing In the long sunshine after rain
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
The street sprinkler went past and, as its rasping rotary broom spread water over the tarmac, half the pavement looked as if it had been painted with a dark stain. A big yellow dog had mounted a tiny white bitch who stood quite still. In the fashion of colonials the old gentleman wore a light jacket, almost white, and a straw hat. Everything held its position in space as if prepared for an apotheosis. In the sky the towers of Notre-Dame gathered about themselves a nimbus of heat, and the sparrows – minor actors almost invisible from the street – made themselves at home high up among the gargoyles. A string of barges drawn by a tug with a white and red pennant had crossed the breadth of Paris and the tug lowered its funnel, either in salute or to pass under the Pont Saint-Louis. Sunlight poured down rich and luxuriant, fluid and gilded as oil, picking out highlights on the Seine, on the pavement dampened by the sprinkler, on a dormer window, and on a tile roof on the Île Saint-Louis. A mute, overbrimming life flowed from each inanimate thing, shadows were violet as in impressionist canvases, taxis redder on the white bridge, buses greener. A faint breeze set the leaves of a chestnut tree trembling, and all down the length of the quai there rose a palpitation which drew voluptuously nearer and nearer to become a refreshing breath fluttering the engravings pinned to the booksellers’ stalls. People had come from far away, from the four corners of the earth, to live that one moment. Sightseeing cars were lined up on the parvis of Notre-Dame, and an agitated little man was talking through a megaphone. Nearer to the old gentleman, to the bookseller dressed in black, an American student contemplated the universe through the view-finder of his Leica. Paris was immense and calm, almost silent, with her sheaves of light, her expanses of shadow in just the right places, her sounds which penetrated the silence at just the right moment. The old gentleman with the light-coloured jacket had opened a portfolio filled with coloured prints and, the better to look at them, propped up the portfolio on the stone parapet. The American student wore a red checked shirt and was coatless. The bookseller on her folding chair moved her lips without looking at her customer, to whom she was speaking in a tireless stream. That was all doubtless part of the symphony. She was knitting. Red wool slipped through her fingers. The white bitch’s spine sagged beneath the weight of the big male, whose tongue was hanging out. And then when everything was in its place, when the perfection of that particular morning reached an almost frightening point, the old gentleman died without saying a word, without a cry, without a contortion while he was looking at his coloured prints, listening to the voice of the bookseller as it ran on and on, to the cheeping of the sparrows, the occasional horns of taxis. He must have died standing up, one elbow on the stone ledge, a total lack of astonishment in his blue eyes. He swayed and fell to the pavement, dragging along with him the portfolio with all its prints scattered about him. The male dog wasn’t at all frightened, never stopped. The woman let her ball of wool fall from her lap and stood up suddenly, crying out: ‘Monsieur Bouvet!
Georges Simenon
In ninety seconds they were naked and he was nibbling at her ear while his hand rubbed her pubic mat; but a saboteur was at work at his brain. 'I love you,' he thought, and it was not untrue because he loved all women now, knowing partially what sex was really all about, but he couldn't bring himself to say it because it was not totally true, either, since he loved Mavis more, much more. 'I'm awfully fond of you,' he almost said, but the absurdity of it stopped him. Her hand cupped his cock and found it limp; her eyes opened and looked into his enquiringly. He kissed her lips quickly and moved his hand lower, inserting a ringer until he found the clitoris. But even when her breathing got deeper, he did not respond as usual, and her hand began massaging his cock more desperately. He slid down, kissing nipples and bellybutton on the way, and began licking her clitoris. As soon as she came, he cupped her buttocks, lifted her pelvis, got his tongue into her vagina and forced another quick orgasm, immediately lowering her slightly again and beginning a very gentle and slow return in spiral fashion back to the clitoris. But still he was flaccid. 'Stop,' Stella breathed. 'Let me do you, baby.' George moved upward on the bed and hugged her. 'I love you,' he said, and suddenly it did not sound like a lie. Stella giggled and kissed his mouth briefly. 'It takes a lot to get those words out of you, doesn't it?' she said bemusedly. 'Honesty is the worst policy,' George said grimly. 'I was a child prodigy, you know? A freak. It was rugged. I had to have some defense, and somehow I picked honesty. I was always with older boys so I never won a fight. The only way I could feel superior, or escape total inferiority, was to be the most honest bastard on the planet earth.' 'So you can't say 'I love you' unless you mean it?' Stella laughed. 'You're probably the only man in America with that problem. If you could only be a woman for a while, baby! You can't imagine what liars most men are.' 'Oh, I've said it at times. When it was at least half true. But it always sounded like play-acting to me, and I felt it sounded that way to the woman, too. This time it just came out, perfectly natural, no effort.' 'That is something,' Stella grinned. 'And I can't let it go unrewarded.' Her black body slid downward and he enjoyed the esthetic effect as his eyes followed her— black on white, like the yinyang or the Sacred Chao—what was the psychoses of the white race that made this beauty seem ugly to most of them? Then her lips closed over his penis and he found that the words had loosened the knot: he was erect in a second. He closed his eyes to savor the sensation, then opened them to look down at her Afro hairdo, her serious dark face, his cock slipping back and forth between her lips. 'I love you,' he repeated, with even more conviction. 'Oh, Christ, Oh, Eris, oh baby baby, I love you!' He closed his eyes again, and let the Robot move his pelvis in response to her. 'Oh, stop,' he said, 'stop,' drawing her upward and turning her over, 'together,' he said, mounting her, 'together,' as her eyes closed when he entered her and then opened again for a moment meeting his in total tenderness, 'I love you, Stella, I love,' and he knew it was so far along that the weight wouldn't bother her, collapsing, using his arms to hug her, not supporting himself, belly to belly and breast to breast, her arms hugging him also and her voice saying, 'I love you, too, oh, I love you,' and moving with it, saying 'angel' and 'darling' and then saying nothing, the explosion and the light again permeating his whole body not just the penis, a passing through the mandala to the other side and a long sleep.
Robert Anton Wilson (The Illuminatus! Trilogy)
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods--though the work was suppressed--'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses ,alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)