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Feminism seems to be very much in discussion online at the moment. In fact, it’s probably one of the main reasons you come to B2W, since we place feminist critique very much at the heart of our storytelling, characterisation and representation articles.

So I thought now was a good time to curate some quotes from well known writers, authors and/or performers about how they see feminism, in both a societal and writing context. I don’t agree with all of them, but it certainly makes for interesting reading, especially if you’re struggling with your own female characters right now. Enjoy!

1) Callie Khouri

“To me, feminism is such a simple description: it’s equal rights, economic rights, political rights, and social rights.”

2) Jane Austen

“Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands.”

3) Scott Lynch

“I’m not beholden to the confirmation of your prejudices; to be perfectly frank, the prospect of confining the female characters in my story to placid, helpless secondary places in the narrative is so goddamn boring that I would rather not write at all.” 

4) Virginia Woolf

“For most of history, ‘Anonymous’ was a woman.”

5) Chimanda Ngozi Adichie

6) Bell Hooks

“Being oppressed means the absence of choices.”

7) Amy Poehler

“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, ‘bossy’ is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.”

8) M.E. Thomas

“When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood.” 

9) Moderata Fonte

“Do you really believe that everything historians tell us about men – or about women – is actually true? You ought to consider the fact that these histories have been written by men.”

10) Maya Angelou

11) Joss Whedon

“Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition.”

12) Roseanne Barr

“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ”

13) Caitlin Moran

“What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy, and smug they might be.”

14) Chuck Palahniuk

“Horror stories give us a way of exhausting our emotions around social issues, like a woman’s right to an abortion, which I always thought was the core of ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ or the backlash against feminism which I always thought was the core to ‘Stepford Wives.'”

15) Tori Amos

“Some of the biggest advocates for feminism seem to believe that in order to feel powerful you have to make another woman subservient and that is not what feminism is about at all.”

16) Dorothy L. Sayers 

“A woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual.”

17) Julie Burchill

“Sadly, a lot of what passes for feminism these days is just moaning about men, congratulating ourselves on nothing in particular, and mocking them for being big kids while doing everything we can to keep them that way.”

18) Neil Strauss

“A lot of guys are very intimidated by an attractive woman, and they dehumanise her because our culture perceives beautiful women as commodities. But I think if you’re able walk up to a person and get to know them, and you see their flaws and their impurities, and realise that they’re like you, then you can humanise them again.”

19) Amy Schumer

“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story. I will.”

20) Charlotte Bronte

“If men could see women as we really are, they would be a little amazed; but the cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women: they do not read them in a true light … They misapprehend them, both for good and evil. Their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend.”

21) Gloria Steinem

“After feminism, I suddenly realised: not everyone has to live the same way. Imagine that!”

22) Roxanne Gay

“Feminism is, I hope, a way to a better future for everyone who inhabits this world. Feminism should not be something that needs a seductive marketing campaign. The idea of women moving through the world as freely as men should sell itself.”

23) Tina Fey

“Know what? Bitches get stuff done.”

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