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Formidable Words by Some of My Favorite Formidable Women

Formidable Words by Some of My Favorite Formidable Women

In honor of Formidable Women Day, I’d like to let some of them speak for themselves:

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the same horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.”

– Zora Neale Hurston


“The first essential in writing about anything is that the writer should have no experience of the matter.”

– Isadora Duncan


The door might not be opened to a woman again for a long, long time, and I had a kind of duty to other women to walk in and sit down on the chair that was offered, and so establish the right of others long hence and far distant in geography to sit in the high seats.

– Frances Perkins


“Literature ought to join minds together… turning ignorance into mutual understanding. Time, place and institutions cannot separate it from the friends it wins.”

– Ding Ling


“I introduced sex into films in the 20’s, but it was sex in good taste and left a great deal to one’s imagination.”

– Pola Negri


“I did not break up the Beatles. You can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to blame me for breaking the Beatles up, you should be thankful that I made them into myth rather than a crumbling group.”

– Yoko Ono


“People under seventy and over seven are very unreliable if they are not cats.”

– Leonora Carrington


“One can perfectly well philosophize while cooking supper.”

– Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz


Singing is like a celebration of oxygen.

– Bjork


“I like my human experience served up with a little silence and restraint. Silence makes experience go further and, when it does die, gives it that dignity common to a thing one had touched and not ravished.”

– Djuna Barnes


“It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple: one must be a woman manly, or a man womanly.”

– Virginia Woolf


“To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.”

– Angela Davis


“Darling, the legs aren’t so beautiful, I just know what to do with them.”

– Marlene Dietrich

“I have walked into the palaces of kings and queens and into the houses of presidents. And much more. But I could not walk into a hotel in America and get a cup of coffee, and that made me mad.”

– Josepine Baker


“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are a bourbon biscuit.”

– Frida Kahlo


Amber Sparks

About The Author

Amber Sparks

Amber Sparks is the author of the short story collection MAY WE SHED THESE HUMAN BODIES and co-author of the novella THE DESERT PLACES (with Robert Kloss and illustrator Matt Kish.) Her second short story collection, THE UNFINISHED WORLD AND OTHER STORIES, will be published in early 2016 at Liveright/Norton.

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Good hair, crooked gait

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