by Julia Ward Howe (May 27, 1819–
October 17, 1910)
Mothers Day Proclamation
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have breasts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly: "We will not have great questions
decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity,
mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of
those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes
up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder
is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for
a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as
to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress,
not of Caesar, But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly
That a general congress of women without limit of
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.
have been our
Muriel Rukeyser (The Life of Poetry)
overfill their lives in order
to feel needed, wanted and important
instead of getting to know themselves
and appreciating the greatness of who they are
in each moment
of understanding that
a meangful life comes from within --
to know yourself
at the deepest level.
Dr. Ilene Cummings, Author
The Lavendar Lace Bra
The moment a woman comes home
the moment she knows that
she has become a person
an artist of her life, a sculptor of her universe,
a person with rights and responsibilities
who is respected and
the resurrection of the world begins.
—Sister Joan Chittister, OSB (1936 - )
Benedictine nun and Chair, Global Peace Initiative of Women
you consider that God could have commanded anything he wanted--anything!--the
Ten [Commandments] have got to rank as one of the great missed
moral opportunities of all time. How different history would
have been had he clearly and unmistakably forbidden war, tyranny,
taking over other people's countries, slavery, exploitation
of workers, cruelty to children, wife-beating, stoning, treating
women--or anyone--as chattel or inferior beings.”
Katha Pollitt (1949-), "Stacked Decalogue,"
September 22, 2003
the wrongs that need resistance,
To the right that needs assistance,
To the future in the distance,
(As president of the National American
Woman Suffrage Association,
Catt revitalized the flagging suffrage
movement and in the space of just four years
"Winning Plan" succeeded where all other approaches had failed,
and the 19th Amendment was ratified in the U.S. Senate
on June 4, 1919. On Aug. 18, 1920 it became law)
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action,
and there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique, and if you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is,
not how it compares with other expression.
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly,
to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you
Martha Graham (1894-1991) Dancer/Choreographer
I was the conductor of the
Underground Railroad for eight years,
and I can say what most conductors can't say:
I never ran my train off the track and
I never lost a passenger.
Harriet Tubman (1820-1913)
Slave, liberator of slaves and spy
Life's not about
waiting for the storms
We need to honor women in all their complexity.
It's time that we acknowledge the wisdom women have acquired
by managing the chaos of daily life.
Women are realists, the glue that holds society together.
They bring a reverence to life that's instinctual, not just intellectual. Teresa Heinz Kerry
There is a collective force rising up on
the earth today,
an energy of the reborn feminine...
This is a time of
monumental shift, from the male dominance
of human consciousness back to
a balanced relationship
between masculine and feminine. Marianne Williamson, Author (from A Woman's
keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds,
but don't you
forget to have fun doin' it.
Lord, let your laughter ring forth.
Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats,
rejoice in all the
oddities that freedom can produce.
And when you get through
and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight,
sure to tell those who come after
how much fun it was."
Molly Ivins, Author (1944-2007) Quote from "The Fun's in the Fight"
column for Mother Jones, 1993)
have gained and sustained my optimism
as a humble student of
our living universe, our living Earth, which clearly shows us
the way out of our
adolescent crisis into a mature global future.
The sooner we create our vision of all we desire,
our intention to implement it together,
and put our individual
capacities into collective action,
the greater our chances of
Sahtouris, Evolution Biologist
For what is done or learned by one class
of women becomes,
by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of
all women. Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D. (1821-1910)
(The first woman in the U.S. to
become a physician)
day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer,
not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation.
Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship,
union between the sexes that shall result
in the highest development of
Susan B. Anthony, Suffragist 1820-1906
Our difficulties launch us into new
states of consciousness
where we are inspired to step out of the reality
of our smallest thoughts and step into
the limitless freedom of our biggest
Debbie Ford, Author
is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was
the pig was committed."
World Tennis Champ
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach
them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them, and try
to follow where they lead."
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) American Novelist
Help us to be ever faithful
gardeners of the spirit,
who know that without darkness nothing comes
and without light nothing flowers.
Sarton (1912-1995) American Poet and Novelist
A woman in harmony with her spirit
is like a river flowing.
She goes where she will without pretense
and arrives at her destination
to be herself and only herself.
Maya Angelou, Author & Poet,
To know how to choose a path with heart
is to learn how to follow intuitive feeling.
Logic can tell you superficially where
a path might lead to, but it cannot
judge whether your heart will be in it.
Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD
We say the time of waiting
We say the silence has been broken.
We say there can be no forgetting now.
We are the bones
of your grandmother's grandmothers.
We have returned now.
We say you cannot forget us now
We say we are with you
And you are us.
Patricia Reis, Author
from The Ancient Ones
is it when we talk to God we are said to be praying,
And when God talks to us we're said to be schizophrenic?
It is essential to collectively
struggle to recover our status as Daughters of the Earth. In that is
our strength, and the security, not in the predator, but in the security
of our Mother, for our future generations. In that we can insure our
security as the Mothers of our Nations.
LaDuke (Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate-2000 Election)
book came out recently written by scientists
that made me so angry.
It said the only thing we have to worry about
is big industry.
Each individual who tries to make his or her own environment
better is useless.
I find this criminal, because then you have a billion
people all saying,
"It doesn't matter what
I do because I'm just one person."
But if you turn that around and
a billion people say,
"What I do does make a difference,"
it will make a difference.
We've got a generation now who were born
with semiequality. They don't know how it was before, so they think, this
isn't too bad. We're working. We have our attaché cases and our
three-piece suits. I get very disgusted with the younger generation of
women. We had a torch to pass, and they are just sitting there. They don't
realize it can be taken away. Things are going to have to get worse before
they join in fighting the battle.
Bombeck, Author (1927-1996)
Maybe the things we're working
won't bring about changes for years.
But, it's just as important
that we do them.
Co-Chair, Communities Organized
for Public Service (COPS)
Women, please let your own sun,
your concentrated energy,
your own submerged authentic vital power
shine out from you.
We are no longer the moon,Today we are truly the sun,
We will build shining golden cathedrals
at the top of crystal mountains,
East of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Women, when you paint your own portrait,
do not forget to put the golden dome at
the top of your head.
have a calling which exists
you and which
only you can fulfill.
Naomi Stephan, Composer
we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must
recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities. We must weave a social
fabric in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place. Never
doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the
world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Mead, Anthropoligist (1901 to 1978)
There are the holding actions,
the changing actions,
and the vision of the future
what we want
to see happen for the Earth.
All are essential.
To seek approval is to have no resting
place, no sanctuary.
Like all judgment, approval encourages a constant
It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value.
Approval cannot be trusted. It can be withdrawn
at any time no matter
what our track record has been.
It is as nourishing of real growth as
Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, Author
thing women must do to rise to power
is to redefine their femininity.
Once, power was considered a masculine attribute.
In fact, power has
~ Katharine Graham (1917-2001)
President of the Washington Post
women of today are the thoughts of their
mothers and grandmothers, embodied,
and made alive.
They are active, capable, determined and bound to win.
They have one thousand generations back of them ...
Millions of women,
dead and gone
are speaking through us today. Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826 - 1898)
from National Citizen and Ballot
a newspaper she founded and edited.
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed,
goes to the next as blossom
and that which comes to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit. Dawna Markova, Author of Open Mind
What women have to stand on squarely
[is] not their
ability to see the world
in the way men see it,
but the importance
of their seeing it in some other way. Mary Austin
Woman Citizen (1918)
As a woman, I have no country.
As a woman, I want no country.
As a woman, the whole world is my country.”
(1882-1941) Three Guineas
There are two ways
to be the candle
or the mirror
that reflects it.
(1862 - 1937)
I am daughter, sister, mother in thousands of generations of women,
women whose skills created peaceful and bountiful civilizations,
women who preserved remnants of our knowledge
when the civilizations passed.
I am a woman. In me lives the knowledge and experience of all
beings. I can use that knowledge and experience to create a loving,
I am a woman, a part of and the whole of the first circle, the circle
that transcends space and time, the circle of women joined.
I am woman, a human being of extraordinary strength,
wisdom and grace.
And this is true.
and The Womancraft Guide Manual Collection
What are the words you do not yet have?
What do you need to
...for it is not difference which immobilizes us,
there are so many silences to be broken.
Audre Lorde, Poet (1934-1992)
Get the thing done
and let them howl.
~Nellie McClug (1873-1951) Canadian suffragist
(She was one of the people most influential and active
in obtaining the vote for women in Canada in 1918
And the day came
when the risk it took
to remain tight inside the bud
was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom. Anais
Nin (1903-1977) American Author
Because man and woman
the complement of one another,
we need woman's thought in
a safe and stable government.
~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)
President National American Woman
If it is true that men
are better than
because they are stronger,
why aren't our sumo wrestlers
~ Kishida Toshiko (1863-1901)
I come to the edge
of all the light I know,
and am about to step off
into the darkness of the unknown.
Faith is knowing
one of two things will happen:
either there will be something solid to stand on
or I will be taught how to fly.
Barbara J. Winter, author
The world you desire can be won.
it is real,
it is possible,
it is yours. Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
Challenges make you discover
yourself that you
never really knew.
They're what make the instrument
what make you go beyond the norm.
Cicely Tyson, actor
on either side
than the heart
~ Emily Dickenson
Do not follow where the path
Go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail. Muriel Strode
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism
I only know that people call me a feminist
whenever I express sentiments
that differentiate me
from a doormat.
Rebecca West (1892-1983)
The Clarion, 1913,
The test for whether or not
hold a job should not be
the arrangement of your
Attorney and Congresswoman
Men have singled out women
of outstanding merit
and put them on a pedestal
to avoid recognizing
the capabilities of
Egyptian writer and
women's rights organizer,
she stopped conforming
to the conventional picture of femininity
she finally began to enjoy
being a woman.
~ Betty Friedan
A Pledge of Allegiance to the
Family of Earth
I pledge allegiance to the Earth,
and to the flora, fauna
and human life that it supports,one planet, indivisible,
with safe air, water and soil,
economic justice, equal rights
and peace for all.
Women's Environment and Development
Organization of the Women's Foreign Policy Council
The young women of today, free to study, to speak, to write, to
choose their occupation, should remember that every inch of this freedom
was bought for them at a great price. It is for them to show their gratitude
by helping onward the reforms of their own times, by spreading the light
of freedom and of truth still wider. The debt that each generation owes
to the past it must pay to the future.
Scott Duniway (1834-1915)
suffrage organizer in the Pacific Northwest
You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which
you really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing
which you think you
cannot do. Eleanor
Worry does not empty
of its sorrow;
it empties today
of its strength.
Ten Boom (1892-1983)
Freedom is actually a bigger
game than power.
Power is about what you can control.
Freedom is about what you can unleash. Harriet Rubin, Author
We must not,
in trying to think about how
make a big difference,
ignore the small daily difference
make which, over time,
add up to big differences that
we often cannot foresee.
Marian Wright Edelman lawyer, educator, activist, reformer, children's advocate
Whatever women do
do twice as well as men
to be thought half as good.
Luckily, this is
not difficult. ~Charlotte Whitton