When Bella Abzug was 13, her father died. There was no one to say the Mourner’s Kaddish for him in synagogue because that was the responsibility of the sons of the deceased — and Bella’s father didn’t have any sons. So Bella defied her community and said the prayers herself. It was one of her first feminist actions.
The daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Bella started giving speeches about causes that were important to her in her childhood — speaking out in subways because she had no other pulpit. Over the course of her life, however, Bella found greater stages to stand on and larger audiences to listen to her words. including the House of Representatives, where she served from 1971 to 1977. She supported civil rights and women’s rights, and changed the world for the better.
Quotes from Bella Abzug:
“We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an equal share in government and we mean to get it.”
“Women have been trained to speak softly and carry a lipstick. Those days are over.”
“The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.”
“Women have been and are prejudiced, narrow minded, reactionary, even violent. Some women. They, of course, have a right to vote and a right to run for office. I will defend that right, but I will not support them or vote for them.”
“They used to give us a day–it was called International Women’s Day. In 1975 they gave us a year, the Year of the Woman. Then from 1975 to 1985 they gave us a decade, the Decade of the Woman. I said at the time, who knows, if we behave they may let us into the whole thing. Well, we didn’t behave and here we are.”
Novelist. Playwright. Journalist. Director. Screenwriter. Producer. It might be easier to list all the things that Nora Ephron had not done as the list above is nowhere near complete. Nora had a way of writing about people and relationships that was deep and humorous, touching and laugh-inducing.
A New York Times book reviewer once wrote, “She’s like Benjamin Franklin or Shakespeare: her words are now part of the fabric of the English language.” So when I was looking for my first Quotable Nerdy Chick, I was immediately drawn to Nora.
Quotes from Nora Ephron:
Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.
My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next.
Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.
I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.
Learn more about Nora HERE, or read some of her work HERE.
Wilma Mankiller (b. 1945) made history when she became the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985. She strove to improve health care, the education system and the government of her people. She served for a decade before deciding not to seek re-election because of poor health. Mankiller still advocates for Native American rights and women’s rights.
Wilma Mankiller Quotes
The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.
A lot of young girls have looked to their career paths and have said they’d like to be chief. There’s been a change in the limits people see.
Everybody is sitting around saying, ‘Well, jeez, we need somebody to solve this problem of bias.’ That somebody is us. We all have to try to figure out a better way to get along.
I don’t think anybody anywhere can talk about the future of their people or of an organization without talking about education. Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future.
I’ve run into more discrimination as a woman than as an Indian.
Prior to my election, young Cherokee girls would never have thought that they might grow up and become chief.
One of the things my parents taught me, and I’ll always be grateful as a gift, is to not ever let anybody else define me; that for me to define myself . . . and I think that helped me a lot in assuming a leadership position.
Wilma Mankiller must have had some wonderful parents. I try to teach my children the same thing that she mentioned in that last quote.
When W. H. Beck agreed to be interviewed for Monday’s post, I knew I’d just have to find a quotable librarian. I found several famous female librarians who are also writers including Ann Tyler and Beverly Cleary! But I loved that first quote from Joanna Cole so much that I decided to feature this famous creator of the Magic School Bus Series. There is a very nice biography about Joanna Cole HERE at Teen Ink.
Joanna Cole Quotes
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
Take chances! Get messy! Make mistakes!
Children’s view of the world and their capacity to understand keep expanding as they mature, and they need to ask the same questions over and over, fitting the information into their new level of understanding.
I love the fact that Joanna Cole used her gift of explaining things and storytelling to enrich my children’s childhoods through her Magic School Bus books and the cartoons they spawned. I hope to add to this quote bank someday too.
To see a compiled list of nerdy chick quotes, click HERE.