Women & Power Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Women & Power: A Manifesto Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
13,287 ratings, 4.08 average rating, 1,750 reviews
Open Preview
Women & Power Quotes Showing 1-30 of 54
“You cannot easily fit women into a structure that is already coded as male; you have to change the structure.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“For a start it doesn’t much matter what line you take as a woman, if you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It is not what you say that prompts it, it’s simply the fact that you’re saying it.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“We have to be more reflective about what power is, what it is for, and how it is measured. To put it another way, if women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women?”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“But in every way, the shared metaphors we use of female access to power - 'knocking on the door', 'storming the citadel', 'smashing the glass ceiling', or just giving them a 'leg up' - underline female exteriority. Women in power are seen as breaking down barriers, or alternatively as taking something to which they are not quite entitled.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“Those reasons are much more basic: it is flagrantly unjust to keep women out, by whatever unconscious means we do so; and we simply cannot afford to do without women’s expertise, whether it is in technology, the economy or social care. If that means fewer men get into the legislature, as it must do – social change always has its losers as well as its winners – I am happy to look those men in the eye.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“we have no template for what a powerful woman looks like, except that she looks rather like a man.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“You cannot easily fit women into a structure that is already coded as male; you have to change the structure. That means thinking about power differently. It means decoupling it from public prestige. It means thinking collaboratively, about the power of followers not just of leaders. It means, above all, thinking about power as an attribute or even a verb (‘to power’), not as a possession.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“Black Lives Matter, was founded by three women;”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“It is not just that it is more difficult for women to succeed; they get treated much more harshly if ever they mess up.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“Other classical writers insisted that the tone and timbre of women’s speech always threatened to subvert not just the voice of the male orator but also the social and political stability, the health, of the whole state.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“It is also true that one satiric stunt on US television featured a fake severed head of Trump himself, but in that case the (female) comedian concerned lost her job as a consequence. By contrast, this scene of Perseus-Trump brandishing the dripping, oozing head of Medusa-Clinton was very much part of the everyday, domestic American decorative world. You could buy it on T-shirts and tank tops, on coffee mugs, on laptop sleeves and tote bags (sometimes with the logo TRIUMPH, sometimes TRUMP). It may take a moment or two to take in that normalisation of gendered violence, but if you were ever doubtful about the extent to which the exclusion of women from power is culturally embedded or unsure of the continued strength of classical ways of formulating and justifying it – well, I give you Trump and Clinton, Perseus and Medusa, and rest my case.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“These attitudes, assumptions and prejudices are hard-wired into us: not into our brains (there is no neurological reason for us to hear low-pitched voices as more authoritative than high-pitched ones), but into our culture, our language and millennia of our history.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“In the Roman world, Ovid’s Metamorphoses – that extraordinary mythological epic about people changing shape (and probably the most influential work of literature on Western art after the Bible) – repeatedly returns to the idea of the silencing of women in the process of their transformation.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“What I mean is that public speaking and oratory were not merely things that ancient women didn’t do: they were exclusive practices and skills that defined masculinity as a gender.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“An enormous amount of modern feminist energy has been wasted on trying to prove that these Amazons did once exist, with all the seductive possibilities of a historical society that really was ruled by and for women. Dream on. The hard truth is that the Amazons were a Greek male myth. The basic message was that the only good Amazon was a dead one, or – to go back to awful Terry – one that had been mastered, in the bedroom. The underlying point was that it was the duty of men to save civilisation from the rule of women.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“How do I get my point heard? How do I get it noticed? How do I get to belong in the discussion? I am sure it is something some men feel too, but if there’s one thing that bonds women of all backgrounds, of all political colours, in all kinds of business and profession, it is the classic experience of the failed intervention; you’re at a meeting, you make a point, then a short silence follows, and after a few awkward seconds some man picks up where he had just left off: ‘What I was saying was …’ You might as well never have opened your mouth, and you end up blaming both yourself and the men whose exclusive club the discussion appears to be.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“if women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women?”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“But my basic premise is that our mental, cultural template for a powerful person remains resolutely male. If we close our eyes and try to conjure up the image of a president or – to move into the knowledge economy – a professor, what most of us see is not a woman.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“And it was that idea of the divorce between women and power that made Melissa McCarthy’s parodies of the one time White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live so effective. It was said that these annoyed President Trump more than most satires on his regime, because, according to one of the ‘sources close to him’, ‘he doesn’t like his people to appear weak.’ Decode that, and what it actually means is that he doesn’t like his men to be parodied by and as women. Weakness comes with a female gender.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“It is still the case that when listeners hear a female voice, they do not hear a voice that connotes authority; or rather they have not learned how to hear authority in it; they don’t hear muthos.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“first recorded example of a man telling a woman to ‘shut up’;”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“(In the Afghan parliament, apparently, they disconnect the mics when they don’t want to hear the women speak).”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“Just keep mum and “block” them’ you’re told.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“we should be thinking more about the fault-lines and fractures that underlie dominant male discourse.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“More interesting is another cultural connection this reveals: that unpopular, controversial or just plain different views when voiced by a woman are taken as indications of her stupidity. It is not that you disagree, it is that she is stupid.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“It is, however, with Hillary Clinton that we see the Medusa theme at its starkest and nastiest.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“How have we learned to look at those women who exercise power, or who try to? What are the cultural underpinnings of misogyny in politics or the workplace, and its forms (what kind of misogyny, aimed at what or whom, using what words or images, and with what effects)? How and why do the conventional definitions of ‘power’ (or for that matter of ‘knowledge’, ‘expertise’ and ‘authority’) that we carry round in our heads exclude women?”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“What I mean is that public speaking and oratory were not merely things that ancient women didn’t do: they were exclusive practices and skills that defined masculinity as a gender. As we saw with Telemachus, to become a man (or at least an elite man) was to claim the right to speak. Public speech was a – if not the – defining attribute of maleness.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto
“Si no percibimos que las mujeres están totalmente dentro de las estructuras de poder, entonces lo que tenemos que redefinir es el poder, no a las mujeres.”
Mary Beard, Women & Power: A Manifesto

« previous 1