Words of Wisdom

celebrate Women’s History Month with a little inspiration

celebrate Women’s History Month

BY ALEX KLINE/MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE

As March is now upon us, we celebrate Women’s History Month and commemorate the amazing ladies who took women from having no legal existence to being political leaders. The field is as vast as it is diverse, with martyrs, astronauts, poets and first ladies filling the outspoken — and at times shocking — role as revolutionaries. The memorable women said some incredible things and paved a solid road to equality, all while proving they were so much more than their necessary and important roles as wives, mothers and caregivers. The changes wrought by these women are best expressed through their own words. Read on for a brief history lesson on the important women of our past and for some inspiration to continue their work.


“The air is the only place free  from prejudices.”

Bessie Coleman, Aviator


“Loosen your girdle and let ’er fly!”

“Babe” Didrikson  Zaharias, athlete


“Life is too large to hang out a sign: ‘For Men Only.’ ”

Barbara Jordan, politician


“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.”

Janis Joplin, singer


“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, first lady


“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold the person down, so it means you cannot soar as you thought otherwise.”

Marian Anderson, singer


“Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.”

Susan B. Anthony, suffragist


“Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”

Rachel Carson, marine biologist and author


“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”

Amelia Earhart, aviator


“Energy rightly applied can accomplish anything.”

Nellie Bly, investigative journalist


“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

Ella Fitzgerald, jazz singer


“We rely upon the poets, the philosophers and the playwrights to articulate what most of us can only feel, in joy or sorrow. They illuminate the thoughts for which we only grope; they give us the strength and balm we cannot find in ourselves.”

Helen Hayes, actress


“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.”

Julia Ward Howe, social reformer and author


“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”

Zora Neale Hurston, anthropologist  and author


“If they want to hang me, let them. And on the scaffold, I will shout ‘Freedom for the working class!’”

Mary Harris Jones, labor  organizer


“I have no power of submitting tamely to injustice inflicted either on me or on the slave. I will oppose it with all the moral powers with which I am endowed. I am no advocate of passivity.”

Lucretia Mott,  feminist and abolitionist


“I can truthfully say I know of no other recreation that will do so much toward keeping a woman in good health and perfect figure than a few hours spent occasionally at trap shooting.”

Annie Oakley, markswoman


“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, slave, liberator of slaves and spy


“Sometimes questions are more important than answers.”

Nancy Willard, poet and writer


“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.”

Roseanne Barr, actress


“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

Dolly Parton, singer


“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”

Peace Pilgrim, teacher, spiritual leader and peace prophet


“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved.”

Barbara Johnson, best-selling writer


“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady


“I am not afraid… I was born to do this.”

Joan of Arc, Catholic saint and martyr


“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe, American abolitionist and author


“The soul should always stand ajar. Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”

Emily Dickinson, American poet


“Though I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, it hasn’t changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I’m just wearing better shoes.”

Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and producer


“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”

Anne Frank, Holocaust victim


“I am prepared to sacrifice every so-called privilege I possess in order to have a few rights.”

Inez Milholland, suffragist


“I was born to swing, that’s all.”

Lil Hardin Armstrong, bandleader


“We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room.”

Bella Abzug, lawyer and congresswoman


“I do not know the word ‘quit.’ Either I never did, or I have abolished it.”

Susan Butcher, Iditarod winner


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady


“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”

Mae Jemison, astronaut


“In politics if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

Margaret Thatcher, British politician


SOURCES: BIOGRAPHY.COM, WWW.GREAT-INSPIRATIONAL-QUOTES.COM; HTTP://WWW.LOC.GOV/TEACHERS/CLASSROOMMATERIALS/PRESENTATIONSANDACTIVITIES/PRESENTATIONS/WOMENS-WORDS/ALTERNATIVE.HTML

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHAEL HOGUE/ DALLAS MORNING NEWS/TNS

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