In this era of uncertainty, sometimes we need a quick reminder that women are strong, capable leaders. We need to remember that in the event that our rights our threatened, we have and will continue to fight for them. Every so often, we need a slight nudge to remind us of the greatness of women.
In those moments, I find it the most helpful to turn to badass women who have helped pave the way to where women are in today’s society. Women have been speaking about women’s rights, leadership, and strength for centuries, and in that time have have left us with so many inspiring quotes. Women are awesome.
Here are 37 of our favorite quotes from awesome women.
“The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’”
“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up.”
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”
―Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
"If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman."
"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made... It shouldn't be that women are the exception."
—Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”
—Ida B. Wells
“Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.”
“You have the right to be involved. You have something important to contribute, and you have to take the risk to contribute it.”
“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”
“Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. 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.”
“If Congress refuse to listen to and grant what women ask, there is but one course left then to pursue. What is there left for women to do but to become the mothers of the future government?”
―Victoria Claflin Woodhull
"I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard...we cannot succeed when half of us are held back."
"It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent."
“I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”
—Susan B. Anthony
“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”
—Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
—Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."
"When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit. So let's keep going — let's keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have."
“No woman can call herself free who does not control her own body.”
“I just want to be myself, and I really can't say I'm sorry for it. I just can't.”
“‘You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?’ Aunty Ifeka said. ‘Your life belongs to you and you alone.’”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun
“I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue—my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.”
—Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera
“Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”
"Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism."
"Who knows what women can be when they are finally free to be themselves."
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass."
“There’s nothing a man can do, that I can’t do better and in heels.”
“The point is not for women simply to take power out of men’s hands, since that wouldn’t change anything about the world. It’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power.”
—Simone de Beauvoir
“In my view, all that is necessary for faith is the belief that by doing our best we shall come nearer to success and that success in our aims (the improvement of the lot of mankind, present and future) is worth attaining.”
“Your value will not be what you know; it will be what you share”.
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
“I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear. Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
“I think women want to take care of themselves, and I think having a voice in how that is done is very important.”
“The emerging woman…will be strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, and strong-bodied…strength and beauty must go together.”
—Louisa May Alcott
"A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water."
“That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman?”
“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”
Read more: 10 Best Podcasts for Women
“Success, for me, is staying true to who you are and not deviating off a path.”
“Walk away from friendships that make you feel small and insecure, and seek out people who inspire you and support you.”
"It’s not the absence of fear. It’s overcoming it. Sometimes you’ve got to blast through and have faith."
Alyssa Huntley lives and works in Washington, D.C. She has written about a range of topics, from technology to real estate to women's issues. You can find her on Twitter @alyssajhuntley and at www.alyssajhuntley.com.