Quotable Women

Remember my making my own quote journal? Looking up quotes daily for where I happened to be at the moment. Then I decided I wanted to make a pretty quote journal as a gift, so I’ve been searching books and online for those quotes that would make an inspirational theme. I began to see a disturbing pattern, which is that quotes by men far, and I mean by light-years, out number quotes recorded by women.

I’m sure you knew this, and I really did, too, but I had no idea as to the enormity of the disproportion. Clearly, women can’t speak nearly as much as everyone jokes about. In fact, one would think that women hardly spoke at all. On one website, I counted ten quotes by men before I encountered one by a woman. Roughly the same in several books of quotes on my shelf, and on a quote app I downloaded, there were fifteen quotes by men before I came to one by a woman, and that one quote was shoved in there as if by mistake, because directly following were a string of quotes by men.

Curiosity aroused, I went to my copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, and the ratio was even worse. Page after page of historical figures, and all of them men. Bartlett’s, for heavensake! One would think that men procreated themselves all those years ago, and women did not arrive on the scene at least until the late 1800s, and even then only a few of them had a voice with which to speak.

Okay, Bartlett’s is an old book. We’re here at 2012. I ran a search on the internet for women’s quotes. That did not work well. I came up with a number of sites with quotes about women, a lot of them by men.

I ran another search for quotes by women. This worked a little better, but did not fully satisfy me. (Give it a try.)

Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a stupid situation in this day and time. I am not a feminist, at least not in the sense that I feel the need to fight about it. I do feel gypped. I’m missing out on a lot of wisdom and cleverness. Women are by nature wise. And I don’t want a bunch of quotes by women bashing men, or snipping about women’s place in today’s world. I simply want some of the feminine spirit in quotes, and not just from those feminine spirits who got famous, but from educators, business women, authors, grandmothers, mothers, sisters-in-heart. I want to hear women’s voices.

I’m starting today. Here are a few I’ve found. I’ll try to start a page and keep going.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Deal with the little things. It’s not the big things that’ll get you…you can stand the big things. It’s the little things that get you. ~Anna Henderson, my mother.

As I grow older, part of my emotional survival plan must be to actively seek inspiration instead of passively waiting for it to find me. ~Bebe Moore Campbell, author and teacher.

Cultivate the moments of solitude. Learn to cherish your privacy, your quiet time. Learn to be comfortable being alone with yourself. ~ Melody Beattie, writer, teacher.

One need ever be dull as long as one has friends to help, gardens to enjoy and books in the long winter evenings. ~ D.E. Stevenson, novelist.

Not only is it every man’s privilege to be happy, it is his duty, his manifest obligation. ~Lilian Whiting, pioneer.

So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman, educator.

If I cannot give my children a perfect mother I can at least give them more of the one they’ve got–and make that one more loving. I will be available. I will take time to listen, time to play, time to be home when they arrive from school, time to counsel and encourage. ~Ruth Bell Graham.

Foolishness is the human condition, and exactly what God handles best. ~Curtiss Ann Matlock, author of Cold Tea on a Hot Day.

Enjoy finding your own!


16 thoughts on “Quotable Women

  1. I’ve begun a quote page on Facebook…. perhaps I can change it to quotes by women… I’ll have to think of a title… Thanks for pointing that out! ♥


  2. Here is a quote that has stuck with me:
    “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”
    ― Oprah Winfrey


  3. Pingback: Weekend Highlights – Noteworthy Articles by Fellow Bloggers – December 1, 2012 « Granny's Parlour

    • I had George Eliot confused with George Sand in my mind, so I had to go look her up. Eliot was the author of Silas Marner! Must read that again. Thanks so much for the wonderful quote. Reminds me of Nancy Thayer’s quote: “It’s never too late –in fiction or in life– to revise.”


  4. As you usually do, my dear friend, you have inspired me to think beyond my own little world. You sent me on a research mission on a lady whom I greatly admire,(second to you of course!!) LOL! Laura Ingalls Wilder. The two of you have you have raised the bar on my writing venture. I found several really good quotes to share with you. 1. – Remember me with smiles and laughter for that is how I will remember you all, If you can only remember me with tears, then do not remember me at all. 2. – It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. 3.- Home is the nicest word there is. 4.- Lessons learned at mother’s knee, last through life. 5.- The only stupid thing about words is the spelling of them.


    • Oh, Carolyn, thank you for sharing this heartfelt wisdom from Laura Ingalls Wilder. Surely that woman met many challenges. From my own post, I’m now really paying attention to things I’m reading, looking for the inspiring and wise.


  5. As I began to read your observations about quotations by women, I wondered how many of the male names are actually pen names used by female writers. Georges sand comes to mind, though this is a poor example because I am sure this name would not fool you, but you get the idea. Mostly, I appreciate your sense of humor in approaching this subject. No men bashing, as you say. Just the facts, mam! You might be interested in this small fact: I use quotes daily on our facebook page. Due to our range of products, the areas of interest for these quotes are food, gardening and nature. Invariably, I find a large number of quotes from women. Perhaps it’s an industry-specific phenomenon. Thank you for the great food for thought.


    • So very true, Granny. Glad you spoke of this. George Sand is the only one I know, but surely there were many others. Thanks for the tip about your Facebook Page! I do adore quotes. I like to track down the authors, to find out something about them, too.


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