If you're planning to take to the streets on Monday in protest of the 45th President of the United States and his administration's treatment of women, people of color, LGBTQIA individuals, religious minorities, and people with disabilities, you need these feminist quotes from books for your "Not My Presidents Day" march signs. Not only are the 20 excerpts below feminist and fiercely pro-woman, but they're also pro-book: something the 45th POTUS and his regime — I'm looking at you, Betsy — don't seem to be.
Monday, Feb. 20 has been named as a day of resistance to the new administration. Across the U.S. and Europe, groups of artists, musicians, and outraged citizens have planned demonstrations of dissent on the federal holiday. BAD AND NASTY — described as "a looseknit coalition of artists, activists, media makers, theater folk, web geeks, designers, performers, writers, concerned citizens, and [whatever YOU may be that is not in the list above]" — have released a guide to connecting locally-organized events with their national resistance movement.
The time has come again to buy up all of the cardboard, markers, and pink yarn your local craft store has to offer. Read through the list below to find your inspiration, and share your favorite feminist quotes from books with me on Twitter!
1"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."
— from "The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism" in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
2"If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."
— Abigail Adams, in a letter to John Adams, dated Mar. 31, 1776, contained in The Letters of John and Abigail Adams
3"What happens when you let an unsatisfactory present go on long enough? It becomes your entire history."
— from The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
4"My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me."
— from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
5"I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience."
— from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
6"I hate men who are afraid of women's strength."
— from Henry and June by Anaïs Nin
7"Any woman who is sure of her own wits, is a match, at any time, for a man who is not sure of his own temper."
— from The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
8"If one man can destroy everything, why can't one girl change it?"
— from I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
9"Freedom is dangerous but it's precious, too. You can't just throw it away or let it slip away. You can't sell it for bread and pottage."
— from The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
10"Women are never so strong as after their defeat."
— from Queen Margot, or Marguerite de Valois by Alexandre Dumas
11"Keep your language. Love its sounds, its modulation, its rhythm. But try to march together with men of different languages, remote from your own, who wish like you for a more just and human world."
— from Spiral of Violence by Hélder Câmara
12"Sometimes we have to do the work even though we don't yet see a glimmer on the horizon that it's actually going to be possible."
— from Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis
13"Conscience, the most terrifying thing in the world."
— from Human Acts by Han Kang
14"I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in."
— from We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
15"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
— from The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
16"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don't let the bastards grind you down."
— from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
17"If they put an iron circle around your neck I will bite it away."
— from Beloved by Toni Morrison
18"You have to live in the world to say anything meaningful about it."
— from Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García
19"When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."
— from The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
20"Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves."
— from Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel