11 things Virginia Woolf said about women

The author as a young womanPhoto credit: The Photo Collector/Photo Collector/Getty Images
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On the writer's 136th birthday, we've put together 11 of her most noteworthy feminist quotes

Compiled by Kamya Ramaswamy

  1. ​A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
  2. The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.
  3. It would be a thousand pities if women wrote like men, or lived like men, or looked like men, for if two sexes are quite inadequate, considering the vastness and variety of the world, how should we manage with one only? Ought not education to bring out and fortify the differences rather than the similarities? For we have too much likeness as it is, and if an explorer should come back and bring word of other sexes looking through the branches of other trees at other skies, nothing would be of greater service to humanity; and we should have the immense pleasure into the bargain of watching Professor X rush for his measuring-rods to prove himself superior.
  4. Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.
  5. Most of a modest woman's life was spent, after all, in denying what, in one day at least of every year, was made obvious.
  6. If one could be friendly with women, what a pleasure---the relationship so secret and private compared with relations with men. Why not write about it truthfully?
  7. As a woman, I have no country. As a woman, I want no country. As a woman, my country is the world.
  8. For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
  9. As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.
  10. I worship you, but I loathe marriage. I hate its smugness, its safety, its compromise and the thought of you interfering with my work, hindering me; what would you answer?
  11. I will not be "famous," "great." I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one's self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.

Virginia Woolf in her later yearsPhoto credit: Getty Images

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"Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size" WOW!