13 Feminist Book Quotes To Share With Your BFF

by Sadie Trombetta
reading, work, friends
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Birthday toasts, congratulations cards, thoughtful emails — finding the right words to say to those closest to you isn't always easy. But when you're looking for the perfect sentiment to express solidarity, encouragement, and empowerment to a member of your girl gang, you can count on feminist book quotes to get the message across loud and clear.

From literary fiction to fantasy, memoirs to essay collections, books are filled with feminist words of wisdom. The perfect medium to hear women's voices and explore the female experience through, books have long been a tool for sharing, examining, and celebrating feminism and feminist ideas. And while there are plenty of feminist books — fiction, nonfiction, short stories, long form essay collections — that should be on every woman's bucket list, but there are even more feminist book quotes that need to be shared. Messages of empowerment, declarations of protest, calls to action, these feminist texts express so much, so eloquently, and in such quote-worthy ways, they make perfect battle cries and ideal feminist tidbits easy to pass on.

Whether you're looking for a birthday card inscription, and encouraging text, or a closing remark in a motivational email, here are 13 feminist book quotes perfect for sharing with your best friend.

1. “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”

― Jane Austen, Persuasion

2. "For within living structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, our feelings were expected to kneel to thought as women were expected to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets.”

— Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider

3. “I want a Zero Tolerance policy on All The Patriarchal Bullshit.”

― Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman

4. 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, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”

― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

5. “The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”

― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

6. “I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.”

― Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist

7. "Every time you look in the mirror and your heart races because you think, 'I'm so fucking rad,' that's self protection. Protect yourself."

— Inga Muscio, Cunt: A Declaration of Independence

8. “If you want people to listen to you, you have to listen to them. If you hope people will change how they live, you have to know how they live. If you want people to see you, you have to sit down with them eye-to-eye.”

― Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road

9. "After all those years as a woman hearing 'not thing enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough,; almost overnight I woke up one morning and thought, I am enough."

— Anna Quindlen, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

10. “In almost every professional field, in business and in the arts and sciences, women are still treated as second-class citizens. It would be a great service to tell girls who plan to work in society to expect this subtle, uncomfortable discrimination —tell them not to be quiet, and hope it will go away, but fight it. A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex, but neither should she 'adjust' to prejudice and discrimination”

― Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique

11. “Why any woman give a shit what people think is a mystery to me.”

― Alice Walker, The Color Purple

12. “You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone.”

― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

13. “Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.”

― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

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