International Women’s Day: 'When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch' - feminist quotes from female icons to inspire you

From Bette Davis to Hillary Clinton and Anais Nin, we celebrate empowering statements made by feminist icons we champion

It is astounding how many females in the public eye reject the term ‘feminism’ today.

Just this week, Lily Allen threw the very notion of the word under a metaphorical bus when she questioned why ‘there was still a conversation about feminism’ in the year 2014.

Feminism. I hate that word because it shouldn’t even be a thing anymore,” she told Shortlist in an interview to run alongside her guest edited ‘How To Be A Man’ issue of the magazine.

“We’re all equal, everyone is equal. Why is there even a conversation about feminism? What’s the man version of feminism? There isn’t even a word for it. Menanism. Male-ism. It doesn’t exist.”

“Fast-forward 100 years: ‘Yes, I do believe men should be treated equally,’” she added.

Similarly, Katy Perry famously rejected being labelled “a feminist”, but admitted she does believe in “strong women”.

Beyoncé, she of “Independent Women”, “Who Run The World [Girls]”fame is another who stopped short of being associated with the word feminism because she believes the word is “quite extreme”.

 

Then there are those like Carla Bruni, who say things like this: “[My generation] doesn't need feminism. There are pioneers who opened the breach. I'm not at all an active feminist. On the contrary, I'm a bourgeois. I love family life, I love doing the same thing every day.”

Others labour on the “I’m not a feminist, I’m a humanist” side of caution. Sarah Jessica Parker. Demi Moore. Madonna. All women who should know better. All women who, almost certainly, would change their minds about “feminism”, what it means and how painfully relevant it still is today if they read these shocking statistics on equality in the workplace, sexual violence and genital mutilation.

 “We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad,” writer Caitlin Moran rightly exclaims in her counter-Allen guide, How To Be A Woman.

“When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, ‘What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good sh*t GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?’”

Well, we still think this. And we still think that International Women’s Day is as important now as it ever has been.

To celebrate, we’ve eschewed the misunderstood musings of the modern-day mainstream in favour of empowering quotes by feminist icons, past and present, from around the world. Yes, like Katherine Hepburn. Like Anais Nin. Like Malala and Hillary Clinton and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Still don't think you want to be a feminist? Click through the gallery above and be inspired.

Read More: Shocking Stats: International Women's Day Is Still Important
Google Gets Involved With International Women's Day
If IWD Irks You, You Are Part Of The Problem
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform