Good women always think it is their fault when someone else is being offensive. Bad women never take the blame for anything.
Anita Brookner 1938— ‘Hotel du Lac’ (1984) ch. 7
Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.
Franklin P. Adams 1881-1960 ‘Nods and Becks’ (1944) p. 206.
Women have, commonly, a very positive moral sense; that, which they will, is right; that which they reject, is wrong; and their will, in most cases, ends by settling the moral.
Henry Brooks Adams 1838-1918 ‘The Education of Henry Adams’ (1907) ch. 6
If you were everything a woman wanted. She wouldn’t want you anymore
Women are really much nicer than men: No wonder we like them.
Sir Kingsley Amis 1922— ‘Something Nasty in the Bookshop’
Their sophistry I can control
Who falsely say that women have no soul.
Mary Astell 1668-1731 ‘Ambition’ l. 7
If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?
Mary Astell 1668-1731 ‘Some Reflections upon Marriage’ (1706 ed.) preface
Real solemn history, I cannot be interested in….The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all.
‘Northanger Abbey’ (1818) ch. 14 (Catherine Morland)
Women—one half the human race at least—care fifty times more for a marriage than a ministry.
Walter Bagehot 1826-77 ‘The English Constitution’ (1867) ‘The Monarchy’
Charm…it’s a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it, you don’t need to have anything else; and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t much matter what else you have. Some women, the few, have charm for all; and most have charm for one. But some have charm for none.
Sir J. M. Barrie 1860-1937 ‘What Every Woman Knows’ (performed 1908, published 1918) act 1
Women who love the same man have a kind of bitter freemasonry.
Sir Max Beerbohm 1872-1956 ‘Zuleika Dobson’ (1911) ch. 4
What is it men in women do require
The lineaments of gratified desire
What is it women do in men require
The lineaments of gratified desire.
William Blake 1757-1827
Women have no wilderness in them,
They are provident instead,
Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts
To eat dusty bread.
Louise Bogan 1897-1970 ‘Women’ (1923)
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer…it is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
Charlotte Brontë 1816-55 ‘Jane Eyre’ (1847) ch. 12
The works of women are symbolical.
We sew, sew, prick our fingers, dull our sight,
Producing what? A pair of slippers, sir,
To put on when you’re weary.
Sir William Browne 1692-1774 ‘Aurora Leigh’ (1857) bk. 1, l. 456
These impossible women! How they do get around us! The poet was right: Can’t live with them, or without them.
Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor. Which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony.
To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain for the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive.
When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even out virtues.
Balzac, Honore De
it’s a sort of bloom on a woman. If you have it you don’t need to have anything else; and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t much matter what else you have.
Barrie, Sir James M.
What Women Want: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held. What Men Want: Tickets for the world series.
The being who, for most men, is the source of the most lively, and even, be it said, to the shame of philosophical delights, the most lasting joys; the being towards or for whom all their efforts tend for whom and by whom fortunes are made and lost; for whom, but especially by whom, artists and poets compose their most delicate jewels; from whom flow the most enervating pleasures and the most enriching sufferings — woman, in a word, is not, for the artist in general… only the female of the human species. She is rather a divinity, a star.
We have dreamt of every woman there is, and dreamt too of the miracle that would bring us the pleasure of being a woman, for women have all the qualities — courage, passion, the capacity to love, cunning — whereas all our imagination can do is naively pile up the illusion of courage.
Femininity appears to be one of those pivotal qualities that is so important no one can define it.
discovery of any sort of importance. You have never shaken an empire or led an army into battle. The plays by Shakespeare are not by you, and you have never introduced a barbarous race to the blessings of civilization. What is your excuse?
As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.
The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity.
Women of quality are so civil, you can hardly distinguish love from good breeding.
To be born woman is to know — although they do not speak of it at school — women must labor to be beautiful.
Yeats, William Butler
To please a woman is to say ‘please’ to a woman…but at other times not.