Celebrating International Women’s Day

“One is not born a woman, one becomes one”

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Today is International Women’s Day. Whether we should really have a specific day dedicated to women is a matter of opinion. Every day should be a celebration of women just as every day should be a celebration about all that is valued in life. Yet there are many women from the past, and painfully still in the present, whose thoughts have been disregarded, whose imaginations have been dismissed, whose feelings have been belittled. Men might arguably say the same can be said for the male of the species, and they’d be right but they haven’t had to endure the systematic, societal denial of their rights in the same way as women.

Margaret Thatcher famously said that there was no such thing as society. She also said, “I owe nothing to Women’s Lib”.

The fact that she got an education was down to the Women’s Movement. The fact that she got a vote  was because of the determination of the Suffragettes. The fact that she could be a working mother was enabled by women.

Today, everyone – man and woman alike, should think carefully about the role of women: past, present and future. Our world would be sadly diminished without the foresight, encouragement, determination, resilience, empathy, thoughtfulness and lovingkindness of humanity, and women make up their significant percentage of this.

This post is a collection of relatively random quotes about women and by women to celebrate this special day.

Quotes about women

 

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman” – Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

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“Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.” – Joseph Conrad

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“There are no good girls gone wrong – just bad girls found out.” – Mae West

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Mae West

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“A woman has to live her life, or live to repent for not living it.” – DH Lawrence  from Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

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“A woman is like a tea- bag. You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

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“I see when men love women. They give them but a bit of their lives. But women when they love give everything.”
 Oscar Wilde

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“I never realised until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex.” – Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

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“I do not wish for them [women] to have power over men, but over themselves.” – Mary Wollstonecraft

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“L’action des femmes n’a jamais été qu’une agitation symbolique; elles n’ont gagné que ce que les hommes ont bien voulu leur concéder; elles n’ont rien pris: elles ont reçu.”

“The action of women has never been a symbolic agitation, they gained only what men have been willing to concede, they have taken nothing: they have recieved.”
Simone de Beauvoir

de-Beauvoir-Simone

Simone de Beauvoir

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“A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty.” – Rudyard Kipling

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Quotes by women

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn but to unlearn.” – Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem

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“We are tomorrow’s past.” – Mary Wollstonecraft  Shelley

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“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” – J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling

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“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.” – Simone de Beauvoir

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“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

Anne Frank

Anne Frank

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“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” – Maria Montessori

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“No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it.” – Helen Keller

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

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“People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.” – Indira Gandhi

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“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free………. so other people would also be free.” – Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

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And some light amusing quotes from women on being a woman

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“I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb and I also know that I’m not blonde.” – Dolly Parton

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“My mother buried three husbands, and two of them were just napping.” – Rita Rudnor

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“All my friends started getting boyfriends, but I didn’t want a boyfriend. I wanted a thirteen-colour biro.” –
Victoria Wood

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“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” – Gloria Steinem

Woman Laughing

Seasonal Values – For Every Season: Independence, 16th December

16. Independence

“True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what’s right.”

Brigham Young

©3Di Associates Photography

©3Di Associates Photography

 “The man least dependent upon the morrow goes to meet the morrow most cheerfully.”

Epicurus

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 “Solitude is independence.”

Herman Hesse

George Bernard Shaw said, “Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.”

Ho Chi Minh said, “Nothing is more precious than independence and liberty.”

Who’s right – Bernard Shaw or Ho Chi Minh? Can they both be correct in what they’re saying?

Sometimes this world of ours offers all sorts of paradoxes, and ideas that cancel one another out,  but when you consider them together and separately they can make complete sense.

“Never the twain shall meet” is sometimes right, but other times it’s wrong. Two minds of completely different opinions can meet, if they can accept their differences and respect one another’s point of view.

Many people seem to interpret “yin and yang” as complete opposites – one good, one bad, one right one wrong. But that isn’t the case. This is why the two statements above from Bernard Shaw and Ho Chi Minh are both right, even though they seem to be saying completely different things about the same subject.

It’s good to be independent. It’s right to be independent. As Mae West says, “I’m single because I was born that way”. But that doesn’t mean complete solitude. It doesn’t mean that you need to shut yourself off and pretend that the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

We need to develop our independence, just as Ho Chi Minh said – of thought, of action, of imagination. It’s extremely liberating. We shouldn’t be reliant on others completely for our wellbeing and enjoyment of life, but neither should we be totally reliant on ourselves. George Bernard Shaw was right too. We are all dependent on one another, to some extent. Sometimes, we need others to bounce ideas off, to love and care for – and be loved and cared for, and to simply enjoy the pleasure of being together.

The trick is in the balance.

There is as much to value in independence as there is in togetherness. Times of solitude are vital for our wellbeing. “Dependence” is a difficult word. Nobody wants to be dependent upon any other living soul but there are times in life when dependency can work in a positive way; when people grow because they learn from others.

We can be dependent but not reliant on others. We can be independent but not remote from others.