8 Powerful Quotes That Reflect Womanhood

What makes a woman a woman? Is it the inherent trauma of how we are perceived by our bodies? Is it the constant struggle to be heard in a patriarchal society? Womanhood may be defined by many things. As women, we often relate to the struggle each of us has for power and recognition. There is a natural defiance within every woman who wants to be known and heard on her own individual merit. I have compiled this list of quotes from famous women writers about women to inspire and provide strength to all women. 

  1. 1. Anna Quindlen

    women fists raised in air

    “After all those years as a woman hearing 'not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough,' almost overnight I woke up one morning and thought, 'I'm enough.'”

     

  2. 2. Audre Lorde

    “I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't.”

     

  3. 3. Virginia Woolf

    Feminist activist holding sign

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

  4. 4. Eve Ensler

    “To love women, to love our vaginas, to know them and touch them and be familiar with who we are and what we need. To satisfy ourselves, to teach our lovers to satisfy us, to be present in our vaginas, to speak of them out loud, to speak of their hunger and pain and loneliness and humor, to make them visible so they cannot be ravaged in the dark without great consequence, so that our center, our point, our motor, our dream, is no longer detached, mutilated, numb, broken, invisible, or ashamed.”

  5. 5. Simone de Beauvoir

    Vlad Tchompalov

    "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman."

  6. 6. Margaret Atwood

     “Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it's all a male fantasy: that you're strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren't catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you're unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.”

  7. 7. Jane Austen

    Crowd of women, one holding a sign that says "the future is female"

    “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”

  8. 8. Maya Angelou

    "Now you understand

    Just why my head’s not bowed.

    I don’t shout or jump about

    Or have to talk real loud.

    When you see me passing

    It ought to make you proud.

    I say,

    It’s in the click of my heels,

    The bend of my hair,

    the palm of my hand,

    The need of my care,

    ‘Cause I’m a woman

    Phenomenally.

    Phenomenal woman,

    That’s me."

Womanhood is experienced by all who identify with being a woman. Each of us struggles with what it means to be a woman. Sometimes how we feel as women in a still male-dominated society is difficult to articulate. I, therefore, hope these women’s statements may empower women with the strong and thoughtful words they weave. It is important to find empowerment by being a woman and celebrate womanhood as well.