Independent Woman Quotes

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How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?
Anaïs Nin
I am not an angel,' I asserted; 'and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me - for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.
Coco Chanel
My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
I am not an angel," I asserted; "and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself.
Betty Friedan
Be an independent thinker at all times, and ignore anyone who attempts to define you in a limiting way.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl―A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I've just done what I damn well wanted to, and I've made enough money to support myself, and ain't afraid of being alone.
Katharine Hepburn
All I'm telling you to do is to be smart about it. Know that if this man isn't looking for a serious relationship, you're not going to change his mind just because you two are going on dates and being intimate. You could be the most perfect woman on the Lord's green earth-you're capable of interesting conversation, you cook a mean breakfast, you hand out backrubs like sandwiches, you're independent (which means, to him, that you're not going to be in his pockets)-but if he's not ready for a serious relationship, he going to treat you like sports fish.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
Being brave enough to be alone frees you up to invite people into your life because you want them and not because you need them.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is…an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but YOU for your happiness…you will realize that a little loneliness goes a LONG way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
Single” is an opportunity to live life on your own terms and not apologize.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her. I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain… I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’ ‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’ What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate! I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.
J.K. Rowling
Man who hates cats is insecure, but a man who likes them is one worth keeping. If he can appreciate a cat, he can appreciate a strong, independent woman.
Larissa Ione (Passion Unleashed (Demonica, #3))
The more independent you are of him, the more interested he will be.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl―A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
Some steps need to be taken alone. It's the only way to really figure out where you need to go and who you need to be.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
If I follow the inclination of my nature, it is this: beggar-woman and single, far rather than queen and married.
Elizabeth I (Collected Works)
I suspected, however, that I wasn't homesick for anything I would find at home when I returned. The longing was for what I wouldn't find: the past and all the people and places there were lost to me.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellowmen.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Liberty Of Man, Woman And Child)
There are certain phrases potent to make my blood boil -- improper influence! What old woman's cackle is that?" "Are you a young lady?" "I am a thousand times better: I am an honest woman, and as such I will be treated.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
I will never deny that life isn't fair. It seems as though when a woman leaves a man she is strong and independent, but when a man leaves a woman he is a pig and a jerk.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Abel wanted a traditional marriage with a traditional wife. For a long time I wondered why he ever married a woman like my mom in the first place, as she was the opposite of that in every way. If he wanted a woman to bow to him, there were plenty of girls back in Tzaneen being raised solely for that purpose. The way my mother always explained it, the traditional man wants a woman to be subservient, but he never falls in love with subservient women. He’s attracted to independent women. “He’s like an exotic bird collector,” she said. “He only wants a woman who is free because his dream is to put her in a cage.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
Paris is a woman but London is an independent man puffing his pipe in a pub.
Jack Kerouac (Lonesome Traveler)
Like a butterfly stuck in a chrysalis, waiting for the perfect moment, I was waiting for the day I could burst forth and fly away and find my home.
Emme Rollins (Dear Rockstar (Dear Rockstar, #1))
I think some men love the idea of a strong independent woman but they don’t want to marry a strong independent woman,
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
It is capitalist America that produced the modern independent woman. Never in history have women had more freedom of choice in regard to dress, behavior, career, and sexual orientation.
Camille Paglia
You don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
The way my mother always explained it, the traditional man wants a woman to be subservient, but he never falls in love with subservient women. He's attracted to independent women. "He's like an exotic bird collector," she said. "He only wants a woman who is free because his dream is to put her in a cage.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
With the spread of conformity and image-driven superficiality, the allure of an individuated woman in full possession of herself and her powers will prove irresistible. We were born for plenitude and inner fulfillment.
Elizabeth Prioleau (Seductress - Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love)
Sometimes being a good mother gets in the way of being a good person.
Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey (A Woman of Independent Means)
Was I the only woman in the world who, at my age - and after a lifetime of quite rampant independence - still did not quite feel grown up?
Dodie Smith (The Town in Bloom)
Every woman who is aroused by submission is also aroused by an alpha male who can tame her. These women aren’t looking for a husband in the bedroom who will make them feel safe and loved. They already have that in their relationship. These women are looking for a man who is strong enough to conquer them. That way the woman can still feel vibrant and independent… but also feel comfortable submitting to their lover. That’s the turn-on for women. They don’t want to be submissives… they want to feel like they can’t resist submitting.
Jason Luke (Interview with a Master (Interview with a Master, #1))
As an independent woman, you are not defined by your partners or your parents. You are defined by you. - STRONG: Powerful Philosophy for Timeless Thoughts by Kailin Gow.
Kailin Gow
The bitch is an empowered woman who derives tremendous strength from the ability to be an independent thinker, particularly in a world that still teaches women how to be self-abnegating. This woman doesn't live someone else's standards, only her own.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl―A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
And who's to say that just because something lasts only a short time, it has little value?
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
In Pakistan when women say they want independence, people think this means we don’t want to obey our fathers, brothers or husbands. But it does not mean that. It means we want to make decisions for ourselves. We want to be free to go to school or to go to work. Nowhere is it written in the Quran that a woman should be dependent on a man. The word has not come down from the heavens to tell us that every woman should listen to a man.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
Many speak to her but she's looking for the one who knows her souls language.
Nikki Rowe
I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
Happily Single is permission to CHOOSE your life rather than having it handed to you, and it’s living life on your own terms instead of those that are expected of you.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
Sofia the kind of woman no matter what she have in her hand she make it look like a weapon.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
I've got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don't want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I'd rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before 'thin'. And frankly, I'd rather they didn't give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.
J.K. Rowling
She is like a cat in the dark And then she is the darkness She rules her life like a fine skylark And when the sky is starless All your life you've never seen a woman Taken by the wind Would you stay if she promised you heaven? Will you ever win?
Stevie Nicks (Best of Fleetwood Mac)
Not many women got to live out the daydream of women—to have a room, even a section of a room, that only gets messed up when she messes it up herself.
Maxine Hong Kingston (The Woman Warrior)
Depend on no one else to give you what you want
Destiny's Child
She did not date. She did not have time for men. Men were never, ever worth a great amount of energy. She was the kind of woman that looked down on what she called ‘settlers’, women who chose love and fleeting passion that turned to dull, lifeless marriages over a career and independence.
Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney (Autumnal Dancer)
Regardless of how pretty a woman is, looks alone will not sustain his respect. Appearance may pull him in, but it is your independence that will keep him turned on.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done
Marge Piercy
It is one of the strongest bonds, I think, that can spring up between people: sharing a passion for certain books and their authors.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
...it has crossed my mind that the key to happiness should not be found in a man. That an independent, strong woman should feel fulfilled and whole on her own. Those things might be true. And without Dex in my life, I like to think I could have somehow found contentment. But the truth is, I feel freer with Dex than I ever did when I was single. I feel more myself with him than without. Maybe true love does that.
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
When I'm single, I'm this fabulous, independent, confident woman, and then I get involved with one disastrous man after another and I turn into this needy, insecure, fearful girl who becomes frightened of her own shadow.
Jane Green (Dune Road)
The greatest gift a parent can leave a child is that parent's own independence.
Rosamunde Pilcher (The Shell Seekers)
So many people are so terrified to be alone that they settle for a loveless relationship or stay trapped in a miserable one for months and even years on end. But as it turns out, alone means unique, unequaled, and unexcelled. Or in other words: Unparalleled. Unrepeatable. Unable to be imitated or duplicated. Brave. FABULOUSLY ORIGINAL.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
We need to stop telling the story about the woman who stayed home, passive and dependent, waiting for her man. She wasn't sitting around waiting. She was busy. She still is.
Rebecca Solnit (The Mother of All Questions)
Women would be better off when they no longer needed men more than they needed their own independent identities...How long a time it took me after my divorce to understand that being alone is not the same as being lonely.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belong to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virle. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chasity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past…, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chasity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched. When Joan of Arc, with her witch coven associations, was called La Pucelle - ‘the Maiden,’ ‘the Virgin’ - the word retained some of its original pagan sense of a strong and independent woman. The Moon Goddess was worshipped in orgiastic rites, being the divinity of matriarchal women free to take as many lovers as they choose. Women could ‘surrender’ themselves to the Goddess by making love to a stranger in her temple.
Monica Sjöö (The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth)
With a new awareness, both painful and humorous, I begin to understand why the saints were rarely married women. I am convinced it has nothing inherently to do, as I once supposed, with chastity or children. It has to do primarily with distractions. The bearing, rearing, feeding and educating of children; the running of a house with its thousand details; human relationships with their myriad pulls--woman's normal occupations in general run counter to creative life, or contemplative life, or saintly life. The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and Independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
You think I am very cute, you think me sexy, as well. I can read your thoughts, remember.” I hoisted myself up and slid across his body. You are conceited, arrogant, and domineering, everything I dislike in a man. And you are independent, stubborn, and heedless, everything I dislike in a women. I slid my hands under his back and kissed his dampened lips. So why is it that I love you so much? He smiled a smug, masculine little smile and captured my legs with his. Because I love you, and to be loved by a Dark One is enough for any woman. I pinched him in a particularly vulnerable spot and allowed him to kiss me with all the sexy arrogance he had.
Katie MacAlister (Sex and the Single Vampire (Dark Ones #2))
[In 16th century European society] Marriage was the triumphal arch through which women, almost without exception, had to pass in order to reach the public eye. And after marriage followed, in theory, the total self-abnegation of the woman.
Antonia Fraser (The Wives of Henry VIII)
Time is a cruel thief to rob us of our former selves. We lose as much to life as we do to death.
Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey (A Woman of Independent Means)
His presence made me feel self-concious: of my appearance, of the way I was sitting, of my movements and gestures...It was the behavior of a woman reacting to a man who attracts her.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
Cat doesn’t have to work. She’s a woman of independent means. I settled enough money on her to allow her the freedom to do anything she wished. She went to boarding school for four years, and stayed to teach for another two. Eventually she came to me and said she’d accepted a position as a governess for the Hathaway family. I believe you were in France with Win at the time. Cat went for the interview, Cam and Amelia liked her, Beatrix and Poppy clearly needed her, and no one seemed inclined to question her lack of experience.” “Of course not,” Leo said acidly. “My family would never bother with something so insignificant as job experience. I’m sure they started the interview by asking what her favorite color was.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
A man that knows your worth doesn't need to be told how to treat you. That's a given! You won't have to question his feelings, his motives, nor his intentions. How will I know? You ask. See, he will freely show you how he feels and prove it consistently. If you're settling for anything less than what you deserve. Then, maybe you don't even know your worth.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
In fairy tales the evil characters disappear or die, in reality, evil spreads while you wait for your hero on a horse, only to realise the sword to save yourself was always in your hand...
Seja Majeed (The Forgotten Tale of Larsa)
What if more of life could be like that? Like the last slow dance, where, to echo T.S. Eliot, a lifetime burns in every moment.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
Once a woman is comfortable in her own skin, living her own life and building a foundation by herself; it takes one heck of a man to make her want to sacrifice her independence.
Nikki Rowe
The world is a big place for a little heart like mine, I have kept it locked away until I meet warrior that tames my wild.
Nikki Rowe
Freedom has its dangers as well as its joys. And the sooner we learn to get up after a fall, the better off we'll be.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
You could be the most perfect woman on the Lord’s green earth—you’re capable of interesting conversation, you cook a mean breakfast, you hand out backrubs like sandwiches, you’re independent (which means, to him, that you’re not going to be in his pockets)—but if he’s not ready for a serious relationship, he’s going to treat you like a sports fish.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man)
I didn't want to be the woman who gave herself over willingly to the first man to notice her. I didn't want to be the stupid girl in every novel who loved without question and entered relationships that didn't make sense.
Destinee Hardwick (Wishing on Raining Stars (The Mayhem Fairy Chronicles, #2))
If a woman does not fit the shape of what you think a woman should, if a woman is not obedient, does not see things the way you do, if a woman is too independent to need anything more than herself, does she automatically become a threat filled with such terror to you?
Nikita Gill (Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters)
The import is not the kind of work woman does, but rather the quality of the work she furnishes. She can give suffrage or the ballot no new quality, nor can she receive anything from it that will enhance her own quality. Her development, her freedom, her independence, must come from and through herself. First, by asserting herself as a personality, and not as a sex commodity. Second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family, etc., by making her life simpler, but deeper and richer. That is, by trying to learn the meaning and substance of life in all its complexities, by freeing herself from the fear of public opinion and public condemnation. Only that, and not the ballot, will set woman free, will maker her a force hitherto unknown in the world, a force for real love, for peace, for harmony; a force of divine fire, of life-giving; a creator of free men and women. from Woman Suffrage- 1910
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
To stay in recovery, you must be responsible for finding your own motivation. Remember, motivation may not be easy to come by at first. It will probably be a very small, timid part inside of you. When you find it, let that part be in charge. Let the minority rule and lead you to a life you never dreamed was possible
Jenni Schaefer (Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too)
I really have discovered something at last. Through watching so much at night, when it changes so, I have finally found out. The front pattern does move - and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over. Then in the very ' bright spots she keeps still, and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard. And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern - it strangles so:...
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wall-Paper)
I think about how truly interesting and odd it is that when a woman marries, traditionally she loses her name, becoming absorbed by the husband's family name - she is in effect lost, evaporated from all records under her maiden name. I finally understand the anger behind feminism - the idea that as a woman you are property to be conveyed between your father and your husband, but never an individual who exists independently. And on the flip side, it is also one of the few ways one can legitimately get lost - no one questions it.
A.M. Homes (The Mistress's Daughter)
Men,you say you want a strong, intelligent, truly independent woman who wants you rather than needs you, who inspires you, who pushes you towards being yourself, who can stick by you through the hardest times, and who can be your rock through life's obstacles. But you need to know that a truly strong, independent woman does not walk through life with her heart wide open. She has had to put up walls to block toxicity to obtain her strength. She is skeptical and always on alert from a lifetime of defense against predators. She is going to be a bit jaded, a little cynical, and a little scary because those qualities come with the struggle of obtaining that strength that gravitates you. She is going to doubt and question your good intentions because it has become her adaptability instincts that have allowed her to thrive. She is not a ball of sunshine. She has flaws. She has a past. She has her demons. She knows better than to just let down her barriers for you simply because you voice a desire to enter. You have to prove your right of entrance. She will assume the worst of you because the worst has happened. If you want her to see otherwise, prove her wrong.
Maggie Georgiana Young
It used to surprise me, the intensity with which I still remembered these distant memories. But when I entered my fifties...I understood their enduring clarity....In the end, what adds up to a life is nothing more than the accumulation of small daily moments.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
My name," I tell Wilbur in the most dignified voice I can find, "Was inspired by Harriet Quimby, the first female American pilot and the first woman ever to cross the Channel in an aeroplane. My mother chose it to represent freedom and bravery and independence, and she gave it to me just before she died." There's a short pause while Wilbur looks appropriately moved. Then Dad says, "Who told you that?" "Annabel did." "Well, it's not true at all. You were named after Harriet the tortoise, the second longest living tortoise in the world." There's a silence while I stare at Dad and Annabel puts her head in her hands so abruptly that the pen starts to leak into her collar. "Richard," she moans quietly. "A tortoise?" I repeat in dismay. "I'm named after a tortoise? What the hell is a tortoise supposed to represent?" "Longevity?
Holly Smale (Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1))
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone, they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality; in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you even think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced; they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned. Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness. Remember, freedom is a higher value than love. That’s why, in India, the ultimate we call moksha. Moksha means freedom. Freedom is a higher value than love. So if love is destroying freedom, it is not of worth. Love can be dropped, freedom has to be saved; freedom is a higher value. And without freedom you can never be happy, that is not possible. Freedom is the intrinsic desire of each man, each woman – utter freedom, absolute freedom. So anything that becomes destructive to freedom, one starts hating it. Don’t you hate the man you love? Don’t you hate the woman you love? You hate; it is a necessary evil, you have to tolerate it. Because you cannot be alone you have to manage to be with somebody, and you have to adjust to the other’s demands. You have to tolerate, you have to bear them. Love, to be really love, has to be being-love, gift-love. Being-love means a state of love. When you have arrived home, when you have known who you are, then a love arises in your being. Then the fragrance spreads and you can give it to others. How can you give something which you don’t have? To give it, the first basic requirement is to have it.
Osho (Tantric Transformation: When Love Meets Meditation (OSHO Classics))
Independence is a complex word in a foreign tongue. To resist occupation, whether you're a nation or merely a woman, you must understand the language of your enemy. Conquest and liberation and democrac and divorce are words that mean squat, basically, when you have hungry children and clothes to get out on the line and it looks like rain.
Barbara Kingsolver
You may think novelists always have fixed plans to which they work, so that the future predicted by Chapter One is always inexorably the actuality of Chapter Thirteen. But novelists write for countless different reasons: for money, for fame, for reviewers, for parents, for friends, for loved ones; for vanity, for pride, for curiosity, for amusement: as skilled furniture makers enjoy making furniture, as drunkards like drinking, as judges like judging, as Sicilians like emptying a shotgun into an enemy's back. I could fill a book with reasons, and they would all be true, though not true of all. Only one same reason is shared by all of us: we wish to create worlds as real as, but other than the world that is. Or was. This is why we cannot plan. We know a world is an organism, not a machine. We also know that a genuinely created world must be independent of its creator; a planned world (a world that fully reveals its planning) is a dead world. It is only when our characters and events begin to disobey us that they begin to live.
John Fowles (The French Lieutenant’s Woman)
Shortly afterwards it started raining, very innocently at first, but the sky was packed tight with cloud and gradually the drops grew bigger and heavier, until it was autumn’s dismal rain that was falling—rain that seemed to fill the entire world with its leaden beat, rain suggestive in its dreariness of everlasting waterfalls between the planets, rain that thatched the heavens with drabness and brooded oppressively over the whole countryside, like a disease, strong in the power of its flat, unvarying monotony, its smothering heaviness, its cold, unrelenting cruelty. Smoothly, smoothly it fell, over the whole shire, over the fallen marsh grass, over the troubled lake, the iron-grey gravel flats, the sombre mountain above the croft, smudging out every prospect. And the heavy, hopeless, interminable beat wormed its way into every crevice in the house, lay like a pad of cotton wool over the ears, and embraced everything, both near and far, in its compass, like an unromantic story from life itself that has no rhythm and no crescendo, no climax, but which is nevertheless overwhelming in its scope, terrifying in its significance. And at the bottom of this unfathomed ocean of teeming rain sat the little house and its one neurotic woman.
Halldór Laxness (Independent People)
a woman who contributes to the life of mankind by the occupation of motherhood is taking as high a place in the division of human labor as anyone else could take. If she is interested in the lives of her children and is paving the way for them to become fellow men, if she is spreading their interests and training them to cooperate, her work is so valuable that it can never be rightly rewarded. In our own culture the work of a mother is undervalued and often regarded as a not very attractive or estimable occupation. It is paid only indirectly and a woman who makes it her main occupation is generally placed in a position of economic dependence. The success of the family, however, rests equally upon the work of the mother and the work of the father. Whether the mother keeps house or works independently, her work as a mother does not play a lower role than the work of her husband.
Alfred Adler (WHAT LIFE COULD MEAN TO YOU (Timeless Wisdom Collection Book 196))
Feminists know that if women are paid equal wages for equal work, women will gain sexual as well as economic independence. But feminists have refused to face the fact that in a woman-hating social system, women will never be paid equal wages. Men in all their institutions of power are sustained by the sex labor and sexual subordination of women. The sex labor of women must be maintained; and systematic low wages for sex-neutral work effectively force women to sell sex to survive. The economic system that pays women lower wages than it pays men actually punishes women for working outside marriage or prostitution, since women work hard for low wages and still must sell sex. The economic system that punishes women for working outside the bedroom by paying low wages contributes significantly to women's perception that the sexual serving of men is a necessary part of any woman's life: or how else could she live? Feminists appear to think that equal pay for equal work is a simple reform, whereas it no reform at all; it is revolution. Feminists have refused to face the fact that equal pay for equal work is impossible as long as men rule women, and right-wing women have refused to forget it.
Andrea Dworkin
That's because true travel, the kind with no predetermined end, is one of the most selfish endeavors we can possibly undertake-an act in which we focus solely on our own fulfillment, with little regard to those we leave behind. After all, we're the ones venturing out into the big crazy world, filling up journals, growing like weeds. And we have the gall to think they're just sitting at home, soaking in security and stability. It is only when we reopen these wrapped and ribboned boxes, upon our triumphant return home, that we discover nothing is the way we had left it before.
Stephanie Elizondo Griest (Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana)
I’d been raised to be confident and see no limits, to believe I could go after and get absolutely anything I wanted. And I wanted everything. Because, as Suzanne would say, why not? I wanted to live with the hat-tossing, independent-career-woman zest of Mary Tyler Moore, and at the same time I gravitated toward the stabilizing, self-sacrificing, seemingly bland normalcy of being a wife and mother. I wanted to have a work life and a home life, but with some promise that one would never fully squelch the other. I hoped to be exactly like my own mother and at the same time nothing like her at all. It was an odd and confounding thing to ponder. Could I have everything? Would I have everything? I had no idea.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Right-wing women have surveyed the world: they find it a dangerous place. They see that work subjects them to more danger from more men; it increases the risk of sexual exploitation. They see that creativity and originality in their kind are ridiculed; they see women thrown out of the circle of male civilization for having ideas, plans, visions, ambitions. They see that traditional marriage means selling to one man, not hundreds: the better deal. They see that the streets are cold, and that the women on them are tired, sick, and bruised. They see that the money they can earn will not make them independent of men and that they will still have to play the sex games of their kind: at home and at work too. They see no way to make their bodies authentically their own and to survive in the world of men. They know too that the Left has nothing better to offer: leftist men also want wives and whores; leftist men value whores too much and wives too little. Right-wing women are not wrong. They fear that the Left, in stressing impersonal sex and promiscuity as values, will make them more vulnerable to male sexual aggression, and that they will be despised for not liking it. They are not wrong. Right-wing women see that within the system in which they live they cannot make their bodies their own, but they can agree to privatized male ownership: keep it one-on-one, as it were. They know that they are valued for their sex— their sex organs and their reproductive capacity—and so they try to up their value: through cooperation, manipulation, conformity; through displays of affection or attempts at friendship; through submission and obedience; and especially through the use of euphemism—“femininity, ” “total woman, ” “good, ” “maternal instinct, ” “motherly love. ” Their desperation is quiet; they hide their bruises of body and heart; they dress carefully and have good manners; they suffer, they love God, they follow the rules. They see that intelligence displayed in a woman is a flaw, that intelligence realized in a woman is a crime. They see the world they live in and they are not wrong. They use sex and babies to stay valuable because they need a home, food, clothing. They use the traditional intelligence of the female—animal, not human: they do what they have to to survive.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model and the San Fernando Valley is her teenybopper sister, then New York is their cousin. Her hair is dyed autumn red or aubergine or Egyptian henna, depending on her mood. Her skin is pale as frost and she wears beautiful Jil Sander suits and Prada pumps on which she walks faster than a speeding taxi (when it is caught in rush hour, that is). Her lips are some unlikely shade of copper or violet, courtesy of her local MAC drag queen makeup consultant. She is always carrying bags of clothes, bouquets of roses, take-out Chinese containers, or bagels. Museum tags fill her pockets and purses, along with perfume samples and invitations to art gallery openings. When she is walking to work, to ward off bums or psychos, her face resembles the Statue of Liberty, but at home in her candlelit, dove-colored apartment, the stony look fades away and she smiles like the sterling roses she has brought for herself to make up for the fact that she is single and her feet are sore.
Francesca Lia Block (I Was a Teenage Fairy)
Happiness, she would explain, was when a person felt good, light, creative, content, loving and loved, and free. An unhappy person felt as if there were barriers crushing her desires and the talents she had inside. A happy woman was one who could exercise all kinds of rights, from the right to move to the right to create, compete, and challenge, and at the same time could be loved for doing so. Part of happiness was to be loved by a man who enjoyed your strength and was proud of your talents. Happiness was also about the right to privacy, the right to retreat from the company of others and plunge into contemplative solitude. Or sit by yourself doing nothing for a whole day, and not give excuses or feel guilty about it either. Happiness was to be with loved ones, and yet still feel that you existed as a separate being, that ou were not just there to make them happy. Happiness was when there was a balance between what you gave and what you took.
Fatema Mernissi (Dreams Of Trespass: Tales Of A Harem Girlhood)
Reading for me, was like breathing. It was probably akin to masturbation for my brain. Getting off on the fantasy within the pages of a good novel felt necessary to my survival. If I wasn't asleep, knitting, or working, I was reading. This was for several reasons, all of them focused around the infititely superior and enviable lives of fictional heroines to real-life people. Take romans for instance. Fictional women in romance novels never get their period. They never have morning breath. They orgasm seventeen times a day. And they never seem to have jobs with bosses. These clean, well-satisfied, perm-minty-breathed women have fulfilling careers as florists, bakery owners, hair stylists or some other kind of adorable small business where they decorate all day. If they do have a boss, he's a cool guy (or gal) who's invested in the woman's love life. Or, he's a super hot billionaire trying to get in her pants. My boss cares about two things: Am I on time ? Are all my patients alive and well at the end of my shift? And the mend in the romance novels are too good to be true; but I love it, and I love them. Enter stage right the independently wealthy venture capitalist suffering from the ennui of perfection until a plucky interior decorator enters stage left and shakes up his life and his heart with perky catch phrases and a cute nose that wrinkles when she sneezes. I suck at decorating. The walls of my apartment are bare. I am allergic to most store-bought flowers. If I owned a bakery, I'd be broke and weigh seven hundred pounds, because I love cake.
Penny Reid (Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0))
[Hot flashes] are the prime cause of sleep disruption in women over age fifty, Suzanne Woodward of Wayne State University School of Medicine reports. Her studies show that hot flashes in sleep occur about once an hour. Most prompt an arousal of three minutes or longer. Independently of their hot flashes, women who have them still awaken briefly every eight minutes on average. The sleep process dramatically blunts memory for awakenings, Woodward said, and in the morning women seldom realize how poorly they slept. Instead, they often focus on the daytime consequences of poor sleep, which include fatigue, lethargy, mood swings, depression, and irritability. Many women and their doctors, Woodward said, dismiss such symptoms as "just menopause." This is a mistake, she suggested, because treatment can reduce or eliminate hot flashes, aid sleep, relieve other symptoms, and improve a woman's quality of life. Treatment also helps keep frequent awakenings from becoming a bad habit that continues after hot flashes subside.
Michael Smolensky (The Body Clock Guide to Better Health: How to Use your Body's Natural Clock to Fight Illness and Achieve Maximum Health)
To prove to [her friend, Swedish diplomat Count] Gyllenborg that she was not superficial, Catherine composed an essay about herself, "so that he would see whether I knew myself or not." The next day, she wrote and handed to Gyllenborg an essay titled 'Portrait of a Fifteen-Year-Old Philosopher.' He was impressed and returned it with a dozen pages of comments, mostly favorable. "I read his remarks again and again, many times [Catherine later recalled in her memoirs]. I impressed them on my consciousness and resolved to follow his advice. In addition, there was something else surprising: one day, while conversing with me, he allowed the following sentence to slip out: 'What a pity that you will marry! I wanted to find out what he meant, but he would not tell me.
Robert K. Massie (Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman)
Because women tend to turn their anger inward and blame themselves, they tend to become depressed and their self-esteem is lowered. This, in turn, causes them to become more dependent and less willing to risk rejection or abandonment if they were to stand up for themselves by asserting their will, their opinions, or their needs. Men often defend themselves against hurt by putting up a wall of nonchalant indifference. This appearance of independence often adds to a woman's fear of rejection, causing her to want to reach out to achieve comfort and reconciliation. Giving in, taking the blame, and losing herself more in the relationship seem to be a small price to pay for the acceptance and love of her partner. As you can see, both extremes anger in and anger out-create potential problems. While neither sex is wrong in the way they deal with their anger, each could benefit from observing how the other sex copes with their anger. Most men, especially abusive ones, could benefit from learning to contain their anger more instead of automatically striking back, and could use the rather female ability to empathise with others and seek diplomatic resolutions to problems. Many women, on the other hand, could benefit from acknowledging their anger and giving themselves permission to act it out in constructive ways instead of automatically talking themselves out of it, blaming themselves, or allowing a man to blame them. Instead of giving in to keep the peace, it would be far healthier for most women to stand up for their needs, their opinions, and their beliefs.
Beverly Engel (The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing)
Within sixty-minute limits or one-hundred-yard limits or the limits of a game board, we can look for perfect moments or perfect structures. In my fiction I think this search sometimes turns out to be a cruel delusion. No optimism, no pessimism. No homesickness for lost values or for the way fiction used to be written. Everybody seems to know everything. Subjects surface and are totally exhausted in a matter of days or weeks, totally played out by the publishing industry and the broadcast industry. Nothing is too arcane to escape the treatment, the process. Making things difficult for the reader is less an attack on the reader than it is on the age and its facile knowledge-market. The writer is the person who stands outside society, independent of affiliation and independent of influence. The writer is the man or woman who automatically takes a stance against his or her government. There are so many temptations for American writers to become part of the system and part of the structure that now, more than ever, we have to resist. American writers ought to stand and live in the margins, and be more dangerous. Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous. That’s why so many of them are in jail. Some people prefer to believe in conspiracy because they are made anxious by random acts. Believing in conspiracy is almost comforting because, in a sense, a conspiracy is a story we tell each other to ward off the dread of chaotic and random acts. Conspiracy offers coherence. I see contemporary violence as a kind of sardonic response to the promise of consumer fulfillment in America... I see this desperation against the backdrop of brightly colored packages and products and consumer happiness and every promise that American life makes day by day and minute by minute everywhere we go. Discarded pages mark the physical dimensions of a writer’s labor. Film allows us to examine ourselves in ways earlier societies could not—examine ourselves, imitate ourselves, extend ourselves, reshape our reality. It permeates our lives, this double vision, and also detaches us, turns some of us into actors doing walk-throughs. Every new novel stretches the term of the contract—let me live long enough to do one more book. You become a serious novelist by living long enough.
Don DeLillo
This night the woman of his belittling deprecations was thinking how great and good her husband was. But over them both there hung a deeper shade than the shade which Angel Clare perceived, namely, the shade of his own limitations. With all his attempted independence of judgment this advanced and well-meaning young man, a sample product of the last five-and-twenty years, was yet the slave to custom and conventionality when surprised back into his early teachings. No prophet had told him, and he was not prophet enough to tell himself, that essentially this young wife of his was as deserving of the praise of King Lemuel as any other woman endowed with the same dislike of evil, her moral value having to be reckoned not by achievement but by tendency. Moreover, the figure near at hand suffers on such occasions, because it shows up its sorriness without shade; while vague figures afar off are honoured, in that their distance makes artistic virtues of their stains. In considering what Tess was not, he overlooked what she was, and forgot that the defective can be more than the entire.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D’Urbervilles)
You speak as if you envied him." "And I do envy him, Emma. In one respect he is the object of my envy." Emma could say no more. They seemed to be within half a sentence of Harriet, and her immediate feeling was to avert the subject, if possible. She made her plan; she would speak of something totally different—the children in Brunswick Square; and she only waited for breath to begin, when Mr. Knightley startled her, by saying, "You will not ask me what is the point of envy.—You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.—You are wise—but I cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment." "Oh! then, don't speak it, don't speak it," she eagerly cried. "Take a little time, consider, do not commit yourself." "Thank you," said he, in an accent of deep mortification, and not another syllable followed. Emma could not bear to give him pain. He was wishing to confide in her—perhaps to consult her;—cost her what it would, she would listen. She might assist his resolution, or reconcile him to it; she might give just praise to Harriet, or, by representing to him his own independence, relieve him from that state of indecision, which must be more intolerable than any alternative to such a mind as his.—They had reached the house. "You are going in, I suppose?" said he. "No,"—replied Emma—quite confirmed by the depressed manner in which he still spoke—"I should like to take another turn. Mr. Perry is not gone." And, after proceeding a few steps, she added—"I stopped you ungraciously, just now, Mr. Knightley, and, I am afraid, gave you pain.—But if you have any wish to speak openly to me as a friend, or to ask my opinion of any thing that you may have in contemplation—as a friend, indeed, you may command me.—I will hear whatever you like. I will tell you exactly what I think." "As a friend!"—repeated Mr. Knightley.—"Emma, that I fear is a word—No, I have no wish—Stay, yes, why should I hesitate?—I have gone too far already for concealment.—Emma, I accept your offer—Extraordinary as it may seem, I accept it, and refer myself to you as a friend.—Tell me, then, have I no chance of ever succeeding?" He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her. "My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma—tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said."—She could really say nothing.—"You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more." Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling. "I cannot make speeches, Emma:" he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.—Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
Consider the genesis of a single-celled embryo produced by the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. The genetic material of this embryo comes from two sources: paternal genes (from sperm) and maternal genes (from eggs). But the cellular material of the embryo comes exclusively from the egg; the sperm is no more than a glorified delivery vehicle for male DNA—a genome equipped with a hyperactive tail. Aside from proteins, ribosomes, nutrients, and membranes, the egg also supplies the embryo with specialized structures called mitochondria. These mitochondria are the energy-producing factories of the cell; they are so anatomically discrete and so specialized in their function that cell biologists call them “organelles”—i.e., mini-organs resident within cells. Mitochondria, recall, carry a small, independent genome that resides within the mitochondrion itself—not in the cell’s nucleus, where the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes (and the 21,000-odd human genes) can be found. The exclusively female origin of all the mitochondria in an embryo has an important consequence. All humans—male or female—must have inherited their mitochondria from their mothers, who inherited their mitochondria from their mothers, and so forth, in an unbroken line of female ancestry stretching indefinitely into the past. (A woman also carries the mitochondrial genomes of all her future descendants in her cells; ironically, if there is such a thing as a “homunculus,” then it is exclusively female in origin—technically, a “femunculus”?) Now imagine an ancient tribe of two hundred women, each of whom bears one child. If the child happens to be a daughter, the woman dutifully passes her mitochondria to the next generation, and, through her daughter’s daughter, to a third generation. But if she has only a son and no daughter, the woman’s mitochondrial lineage wanders into a genetic blind alley and becomes extinct (since sperm do not pass their mitochondria to the embryo, sons cannot pass their mitochondrial genomes to their children). Over the course of the tribe’s evolution, tens of thousands of such mitochondrial lineages will land on lineal dead ends by chance, and be snuffed out. And here is the crux: if the founding population of a species is small enough, and if enough time has passed, the number of surviving maternal lineages will keep shrinking, and shrinking further, until only a few are left. If half of the two hundred women in our tribe have sons, and only sons, then one hundred mitochondrial lineages will dash against the glass pane of male-only heredity and vanish in the next generation. Another half will dead-end into male children in the second generation, and so forth. By the end of several generations, all the descendants of the tribe, male or female, might track their mitochondrial ancestry to just a few women. For modern humans, that number has reached one: each of us can trace our mitochondrial lineage to a single human female who existed in Africa about two hundred thousand years ago. She is the common mother of our species. We do not know what she looked like, although her closest modern-day relatives are women of the San tribe from Botswana or Namibia. I find the idea of such a founding mother endlessly mesmerizing. In human genetics, she is known by a beautiful name—Mitochondrial Eve.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
Having proven that solitary pleasures are as delicious as any others and much more likely to delight, it becomes perfectly clear that this enjoyment, taken in independence of the objectwe employ, is not merely of a nature very remote from what could be pleasurable to thatobject, but is even found to be inimical to that object’s pleasure: what is more, it may becomean imposed suffering, a vexation, or a torture, and the only thing that results from this abuse isa very certain increase of pleasure for the despot who does the tormenting or vexing; let usattempt to demonstrate this.”Voluptuous emotion is nothing but a kind of vibration produced in our soul by shockswhich the imagination, inflamed by the remembrance of a lubricious object, registers uponour senses, either through this object’s presence, or better still by this object’s being exposedto that particular kind of irritation which most profoundly stirs us; thus, our voluptuoustransport Ä this indescribable convulsive needling which drives us wild, which lifts us to thehighest pitch of happiness at which man is able to arrive Ä is never ignited save by twocauses: either by the perception in the object we use of a real or imaginary beauty, the beautyin which we delight the most, or by the sight of that object undergoing the strongest possiblesensation; now, there is no more lively sensation than that of pain; its impressions are certainand dependable, they never deceive as may those of the pleasure women perpetually feign andalmost never experience; and, furthermore, how much self-confidence, youth, vigor, healthare not needed in order to be sure of producing this dubious and hardly very satisfyingimpression of pleasure in a woman. To produce the painful impression, on the contrary,requires no virtues at all: the more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable,the more resounding his success. With what regards the objective, it will be far more certainlyattained since we are establishing the fact that one never better touches, I wish to say, that onenever better irritates one’s senses than when the greatest possible impression has been produced in the employed object, by no matter what devices; therefore, he who will cause themost tumultuous impression to be born in a woman, he who will most thoroughly convulsethis woman’s entire frame, very decidedly will have managed to procure himself the heaviest possible dose of voluptuousness, because the shock resultant upon us by the impressionsothers experience, which shock in turn is necessitated by the impression we have of thoseothers, will necessarily be more vigorous if the impression these others receive be painful,than if the impression they receive be sweet and mild; and it follows that the voluptuousegoist, who is persuaded his pleasures will be keen only insofar as they are entire, willtherefore impose, when he has it in his power to do so, the strongest possible dose of painupon the employed object, fully certain that what by way of voluptuous pleasure he extractswill be his only by dint of the very lively impression he has produced.
Marquis de Sade