Gender Roles Quotes

Quotes tagged as "gender-roles" Showing 1-30 of 292
Margaret Thatcher
“In politics, If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”
Margaret Thatcher

J.R.R. Tolkien
“What do you fear, lady?" [Aragorn] asked.
"A cage," [Éowyn] said. "To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Oscar Wilde
“Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them.”
Oscar Wilde

Gloria Steinem
“We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.”
Gloria Steinem

Katharine Hepburn
“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

J.R.R. Tolkien
“All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more. But I am of the House of Erol and not a serving-woman. I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Charles Dickens
“A man is lucky if he is the first love of a woman. A woman is lucky if she is the last love of a man.”
Charles Dickens

Connor Franta
“Girls can be athletic. Guys can have feelings. Girls can be smart. Guys can be creative. And vice versa. Gender is specific only to your reproductive organs (and sometimes not even to those), not your interest, likes, dislikes, goals, and ambitions.”
Connor Franta, A Work in Progress

Ian McEwan
“Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it's okay to be a boy; for girls it's like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.”
Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden

bell hooks
“the wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others. When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth, and most important, we affirm the value of truth telling. Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love.”
bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

John Green
“Alaska decided to go help Dolores with dinner. She said that it was sexist to leave the cooking to the women, but better to have good sexist food than crappy boy-prepared food.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

Matthew Henry
“The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible

Brandon Sanderson
What is a woman's place in this modern world? Jasnah Kholin's words read. I rebel against this question, though so many of my peers ask it. The inherent bias in the inquiry seems invisible to so many of them. They consider themselves progressive because they are willing to challenge many of the assumptions of the past.

They ignore the greater assumption--that a 'place' for women must be defined and set forth to begin with. Half of the population must somehow be reduced to the role arrived at by a single conversation. No matter how broad that role is, it will be--by-nature--a reduction from the infinite variety that is womanhood.

I say that there is no role for women--there is, instead, a role for each woman, and she must make it for herself. For some, it will be the role of scholar; for others, it will be the role of wife. For others, it will be both. For yet others, it will be neither.

Do not mistake me in assuming I value one woman's role above another. My point is not to stratify our society--we have done that far to well already--my point is to diversify our discourse.

A woman's strength should not be in her role, whatever she chooses it to be, but in the power to choose that role. It is amazing to me that I even have to make this point, as I see it as the very foundation of our conversation.

Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Tamora Pierce
“You ride as a man, fight as a man, and you think as a man-"
"I think as a human being," she retorted hotly. "Men don't think any differently from women- they just make more noise about being able to.”
Tamora Pierce, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man

Oscar Wilde
“My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

G.K. Chesterton
“To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can imagine how this can exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.”
G.K. Chesterton

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Teach her that the idea of 'gender roles' is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl.
'Because you are a girl' is never reason for anything.
Ever.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Jennifer Donnelly
“And I knew in my bones that Emily Dickinson wouldn't have written even one poem if she'd had two howling babies, a husband bent on jamming another one into her, a house to run, a garden to tend, three cows to milk, twenty chickens to feed, and four hired hands to cook for. I knew then why they didn't marry. Emily and Jane and Louisa. I knew and it scared me. I also knew what being lonely was and I didn't want to be lonely my whole life. I didn't want to give up on my words. I didn't want to choose one over the other. Mark Twain didn't have to. Charles Dickens didn't.”
Jennifer Donnelly, A Northern Light

J.R.R. Tolkien
“A time may come soon," said he, "when none will return. Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defence of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised."
She answered: "All your words are but to say: you are a woman, and your part is in the house. But when the men have died in battle and honour, you have leave to be burned in the house, for the men will need it no more. But I am of the House of Eorl and not a serving-woman. I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death."
"What do you fear, lady?" he asked.
"A cage," she said. "To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Naomi Alderman
“Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn't. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not. Tap on it and it's hollow. Look under the shells: it's not there.”
Naomi Alderman, The Power

Jessica Valenti
“When women's sexuality is imagined to be passive or "dirty," it also means that men's sexuality is automatically positioned as aggressive and right-no matter what form it takes. And when one of the conditions of masculinity, a concept that is already so fragile in men's minds, is that men dissociate from women and prove their manliness through aggression, we're encouraging a culture of violence and sexuality that's detrimental to both men and women.”
Jessica Valenti, The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women

Madonna
“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.”
Madonna

Shashi Deshpande
“A wife should always be few feet behind her husband. If he is an MA you should be a BA.If he is 5'4'tall you shouldn't be more than 5'3'tall. If he is earning five hundred rupees you should never earn more than four hundred and ninety nine rupees.That's the only rule to follow if you want a happy marriage...No partnership can ever be equal.It will always be unequal, but take care it is unequal in favor of the husband. If the scales tilt in your favor, God help you, both of you.”
Shashi Deshpande

Terry Pratchett
“The girls were expected to grow up to be somebody's wife. They were also expected to read and write, those being considered soft indoor jobs that were too fiddly for the boys.”
Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men

Rebecca West
“People call me a feminist whenever I express statements that distinguish me from a doormat.”
Rebecca West

Lois McMaster Bujold
“The world demands I make good choices on no information, and then blames my maidenhood for my mistakes, as if my maidenhood were responsible for my ignorance. Ignorance is not stupidity, but it might as well be. And I do not like feeling stupid.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion

Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
“Valerie stood with the other women, watching the men go. She couldn't help bristling at this division of the sexes. Her fingers itched to hold a weapon, too, to do something, to kill something with her anger.”
Sarah Blakley-Cartwright, Red Riding Hood

Antonella Gambotto-Burke
“The self-esteem of western women is founded on physical being (body mass index, youth, beauty). This creates a tricky emphasis on image, but the internalized locus of self-worth saves lives. Western men are very different. In externalizing the source of their self-esteem, they surrender all emotional independence. (Conquest requires two parties, after all.) A man cannot feel like a man without a partner, corporation, team. Manhood is a game played on the terrain of opposites. It thus follows that male sense of self disintegrates when the Other is absent.”
Antonella Gambotto-Burke, The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“If we don't place the straitjacket of gender roles on young children, we give them space to reach their full potential.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Yuval Noah Harari
“The most common theory points to the fact that men are stronger than women and that they have used their greater physical power to force women into submission. A more subtle version of this claim argues that their strength allows men to monopolize tasks that demand hard manual labor, such as plowing and harvesting. This gives them control of food production, which in turn translates into political clout. There are two problems with this emphasis on muscle power. First, the statement that men are stronger is true only on average and only with regard to certain types of strength. Women are generally more resistant to hunger, disease, and fatigue than men. There are also many women who can run faster and lift heavier weights than many men. Furthermore, and most problematically for this theory, women have, throughout history, mainly been excluded from jobs that required little physical effort, such as the priesthood, law, and politics, while engaging in hard manual labor in the fields....and in the household. If social power were divided in direct relation to physical strength or stamina, women should have got far more of it. Even more importantly, there simply is no direct relation between physical strength and social power among humans. People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twenty-somethings are much stronger than their elders. ...Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In fact, human history shows that there is often an inverse relation between physical prowess and social power. In most societies, it’s the lower classes who do the manual labor.

Another theory explains that masculine dominance results not from strength but from aggression. Millions of years of evolution have made men far more violent than women. Women can match men as far as hatred, greed, and abuse are concern, but when push comes to shove…men are more willing to engage in raw physical violence. This is why, throughout history, warfare has been a masculine prerogative. In times of war, men’s control of the armed forces has made them the masters of civilian society too. They then use their control of civilian society to fight more and more wars. …Recent studies of the hormonal and cognitive systems of men and women strengthen the assumption that men indeed have more aggressive and violent tendencies and are…on average, better suited to serve as common soldiers. Yet, granted that the common soldiers are all men, does it follow that the ones managing the war and enjoying its fruits must also be men? That makes no sense. It’s like assuming that because all the slaves cultivating cotton fields are all Black, plantation owners will be Black as well. Just as an all-Black workforce might be controlled by an all-White management, why couldn’t an all-male soldiery be controlled by an all-female government?”
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

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