Projects

145. the illusion of choice / pick your box

femininity boxes-3

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Happy International Women’s Day everyone!

I thought I’d do something different for a change, so here’s some of my favorite quotes I thought fit with today’s “holiday” (or better yet, let’s call it a reminder).

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Someday there will be girls and women whose name will no longer mean the mere opposite of the male, but something in itself, something that makes one think not of any complement and limit, but only life and reality: the female human being.

Rainer Maria Rilke

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Responsibility to yourself means that you don’t fall for shallow and easy solutions–predigested books and ideas…marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short…and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be “different”…The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.

Adrienne Rich

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It’s your life — but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else or a community or a pressure group, you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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That’s one of the reasons I never wanted to get married. The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.

Sylvia Plath

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The next time you try to seduce anyone, don’t do it with talk, with words. Women know more about words than men ever will. And they know how little they can ever possibly mean.

William Faulkner

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There will always be a part of me that is dirty and sloppy, but I like that, just like all the other parts of myself.

Matthew Quick

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I myself, from the very beginning,
Seemed to myself like someone’s dream or delirium
Or a reflection in someone else’s mirror,
Without flesh, without meaning, without a name.
Already I knew the list of crimes
That I was destined to commit.

Anna Akhmatova

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I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don’t worry, there is still time.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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“I would like to have your sureness. I am waiting for love, the core of a woman’s life.”
Don’t wait for it,” I said. “Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. And then love will come to you, then it comes to you. It was only when I wrote my first book that the world I wanted to live in opened to me.”

Anais Nin

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As a woman, I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.

Virginia Woolf

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She sort of kept her will ready against me, always, always: her ghastly female will: her freedom! A woman’s ghastly freedom that ends in the most beastly bullying! Oh, she always kept her freedom against me, like vitriol in my face.

D.H. Lawrence

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I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.

Simone de Beauvoir

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Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.

And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.

Audre Lorde
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