110+ Barbara Ehrenreich Quotes On Education, Cancer And Dimed

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Top 10 Barbara Ehrenreich Quotes (BEST)

  1. Considering the absence of legal coercion, the surprising thing is that men have for so long, and, on the whole, so reliably, adhered to what we might call the breadwinner ethic.
  2. For anyone worn down, The Impossible Will Take a Little While is a bracing double cappuccino.
  3. Exercise is the yuppie version of bulimia.
  4. No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.
  5. The 'working poor,' as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society.
  6. Marriage is socialism among two people.
  7. Poverty is not a character failing or a lack of motivation. Poverty is a shortage of money.
  8. Personally, I can't see why it would be any less romantic to find a husband in a nice four-color catalogue than in the average downtown bar at happy hour.
  9. The one regret I have about my own abortions is that they cost money that might otherwise have been spent on something more pleasurable, like taking the kids to movies and theme parks.
  10. Middle-class-led reform movements, from the Progressive Era to the War on Poverty, have been marred by an elitist distance from the would-be beneficiaries of reform.

Barbara Ehrenreich Short Quotes

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  • Jesus: a wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist.
  • The failure to think positively can weigh on a cancer patient like a second disease.
  • The Republican Party: a few million gun-toting, Armageddon-ready Baptists.
  • America is addicted to wars of distraction.
  • Someone has to stand up for wimps.
  • Upscale young men seem to go for the kind of woman who plays with a full deck of credit cards.
  • There is a vast difference between positive thinking and existential courage.
  • no job, no matter how lowly, is truly 'unskilled.
  • Cheerfulness, up to and including delusion and false hope, has a recognized place in medicine.
  • I'm not a nice person.

Barbara Ehrenreich Quotes On Life

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In sci-fi convention, life-forms that hadn't developed space travel were mere prehistory -- horse-shoe crabs of the cosmic scene -- and something of the humiliation of being stuck on a provincial planet in a galactic backwater has stayed with me ever since. — Barbara Ehrenreich

When someone works for less pay than she can live on - when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently - then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. — Barbara Ehrenreich

We who officially value freedom of speech above life itself seem to have nothing to talk about but the weather. — Barbara Ehrenreich

My Turn is the distilled bathwater of Mrs. Reagan's life. It is for the most part sweetish, with a tart edge of rebuke, but disappointingly free of dirt or particulate matter of any kind. — Barbara Ehrenreich

So why do people keep on watching? The answer, by now, should be perfectly obvious: we love television because television brings us a world in which television does not exist. In fact, deep in their hearts, this is what the spuds crave most: a rich, new, participatory life. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The secret of the truly successful, I believe, is that they learned very early in life how not to be busy. They saw through that adage, repeated to me so often in childhood, that anything worth doing is worth doing well. — Barbara Ehrenreich

An asteroid could hit us at any moment. This is not - and also, the most successful kind of life on this planet is not us, it's microbes. They're the ones who greatly outnumber us, and may eventually destroy us. — Barbara Ehrenreich

... there hasn't been a serious life-style trend since the couch potato was sighted, in about 1986, on one of its rare forays to the video store. Cocooning remains a significant mass enterprise, encouraged by the availability of five hundred new cable channels and microwavable popcorn. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The secret of the truly successful ... is that they learned early in life how not to be busy. — Barbara Ehrenreich

What you don't necessarily realize when you start selling your time by the hour is that what you're really selling is your life. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich Quotes On Love

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Americans love marriage too much. We rush into mariage with abandon, expecting a micro-Utopia on earth. We pile all our needs onto it, our expectations, neuroses, and hopes. In fact, we've made marriage into the panda bear of human social institutions: we've loved it to death. — Barbara Ehrenreich

At best the family teaches the finest things human beings can learn from one another generosity and love. But it is also, all too often, where we learn nasty things like hate, rage and shame. — Barbara Ehrenreich

That's the really neat thing about Dan Quayle, as you must have realized from the first moment you looked into those lovely blue eyes: impeachment insurance. — Barbara Ehrenreich

When you watch television, you never see people watching television. We love television because it brings us a world in which television does not exist. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich Quotes On People

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The "discovery" of poverty at the beginning of the 1960s was something like the "discovery" of America almost five hundred years earlier. In the case of each of these exotic terrains, plenty of people were on the site before the discoverers ever arrived. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Roman Catholicism: a hundred million people bowing down before a flesh-hating, elderly celibate. — Barbara Ehrenreich

People who just pretend to have a positive attitude may be more acceptable, but they will still attract according to how they are really vibrating- the energy they are emanating will attract their circumstances. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The psychological trauma of losing a job can be as great as the trauma of a divorce. It creates a lot of anger and emotional hardship. People may become quite depressed. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Some people make stuff; other people have to buy it. And when we gave up making stuff, starting in the 1980s, we were left with the unique role of buying... We've shopped till we dropped alright, face down on the floor. — Barbara Ehrenreich

People tend to judge presidents on how the economy performs, and yet we don't expect them to have the power to do much about it. Or we don't want them to exercise that power, if they were to have it. — Barbara Ehrenreich

our great common challenge ... is to free people from religion, get it out of our laws, our schools, our health systems, our government and, I would add, also our sporting events. I would really like to see some separation of church and stadium, if we could work on that. — Barbara Ehrenreich

If you can attribute your success entirely to your own mental effort, to your own attitude, to some spiritual essence that you have that is better than other peoples, then that must feel pretty good. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Even when uttered by Democrats, "middle class" often sounds like a mealymouthed way of saying, "Us, and not them," where "them" includes poor people, snake handlers and those with pierced tongues. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Consider the standard two-person married couple. ... They will share a VCR, a microwave, etc. This is not a matter of ideology or even personal inclination. It is practically the definition of marriage. Marriage is socialism among two people. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich Quotes On Free

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That's free enterprise, friends: freedom to gamble, freedom to lose. And the great thing - the truly democratic thing about it - is that you don't even have to be a player to lose. — Barbara Ehrenreich

That's free enterprise, friends: freedom to gamble, freedom to lose. And the great thing -- the truly democratic thing about it -- is that you don't even have to be a player to lose. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The fact is that heterosexual sex for most people is in no way free of the power relations between men and women. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich Famous Quotes And Sayings

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The media have just buried the last yuppie, a pathetic creature who had not heard the news that the great pendulum of public consciousness has just swung from Greed to Compassion and from Tex-Mex to meatballs — Barbara Ehrenreich

Frankly, I adore your catchy slogan, "Adoption, not Abortion," although no one has been able to figure out, even with expert counseling, how to use adoption as a method of birth control, or at what time of the month it is most effective. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The label of liberalism is hardly a sentence to public ignominy: otherwise Bruce Springsteen would still be rehabilitating used Cadillacs in Asbury Park and Jane Fonda, for all we know, would be just another overweight housewife. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The money that fueled the explosion of gluttony at the top had to come from somewhere or, more specifically, from someone. Since no domestic oil deposits had been discovered, no new seams of uranium or gold, and since the war in Iraq enriched only the military contractors and suppliers, it had to come from other Americans. — Barbara Ehrenreich

a great deal of the wealth at the top is built on the low-wage labor of the poor. Take Wal-Mart, our largest private employer and premiere exploiter of the working class. ... You think it's a coincidence that this union-busting low-wage retail empire happens to have generated a $65 billion family fortune? — Barbara Ehrenreich

Thus will the fondest dream of Phallic science be realized: a pristine new planet populated entirely by little boy clones of great scientific entrepreneurs free to smash atoms, accelerate particles, or, if they are so moved, build pyramids -- without any social relevance or human responsibility at all. — Barbara Ehrenreich

There seems to be no stopping drug frenzy once it takes hold of a nation. What starts with an innocuous HUGS, NOT DRUGS bumper sticker soon leads to wild talk of shooting dealers and making urine tests a condition for employment -- anywhere. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The feminist anti-pornography movement, no less than the feminist movement of a century ago, encourages the assumption that male and female sexuality, and possibly morality, are as unlike as yin and yang. — Barbara Ehrenreich

In economics, we borrowed from the Bourbons; in foreign policy, we drew on themes fashioned by the nomad warriors of the Eurasian steppes. In spiritual matters, we emulated the braying intolerance of our archenemies, the Shite fundamentalists. — Barbara Ehrenreich

No culture on earth outside of mid-century suburban America has ever deployed one woman per child without simultaneously assigning her such major productive activities as weaving, farming, gathering, temple maintenance, and tent-building. The reason is that full-time, one-on-one child-raising is not good for women or children. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it on a moral pedestal until some brash feminists pointed out, about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the career ladder nonexistent. — Barbara Ehrenreich

To be homeless in America is to live like a fugitive. The destitute are our own native-born "illegals." — Barbara Ehrenreich

To live in poverty is to live with constant uncertainty, to accept galling indignities, and to expect harassment by the police, welfare officials and employers, as well as by others who are poor and desperate. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Of all the nasty outcomes predicted for women's liberation... none was more alarming, from a feminist point of view, than the suggestion that women would eventually become just like men. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Sometime in the eighties, Americans had a new set of 'traditional values' installed. ... the poor and the middle class were shaken down, and their loose change funneled blithely upwards to the already overfed. — Barbara Ehrenreich

I grew up hearing over and over, to the point of tedium, that "hard work" was the secret of success: "Work hard and you'll get ahead" or "It's hard work that got us where we are." No one ever said that you could work hard - harder even than you ever thought possible - and still find yourself sinking ever deeper into poverty and debt. — Barbara Ehrenreich

in our culture, the professional, and largely white, middle class is taken as a social norm - a bland and neutral mainstream - from which every other group or class is ultimately a kind of deviation. — Barbara Ehrenreich

we are reaching the point, if we have not passed it already, where the largest public housing program in America will be our penitentiary system. — Barbara Ehrenreich

A cynic might conclude that the real purpose of the $500 million-a-year implant business is the implantation of fat in the bellies and rumps of underemployed plastic surgeons. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Call it 'nationalism' when you affix a flag to your car, and leave the word 'patriotism' for your efforts to make this country a kinder, more egalitarian place, and one that is less dangerous to the rest of the world. — Barbara Ehrenreich

In fact, there is clear evidence of black intellectual superiority: in 1984, 92 percent of blacks voted to retire Ronald Reagan, compared to only 36 percent of whites. — Barbara Ehrenreich

A child is not a salmon mousse. A child is a temporarily disabled and stunted version of a larger person, whom you will someday know. Your job is to help them overcome the disabilities associated with their size and inexperience so that they get on with being that larger person. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Some of us still get all weepy when we think about the Gaia Hypothesis, the idea that earth is a big furry goddess-creature who resembles everybody's mom in that she knows what's best for us. But if you look at the historical record -- Krakatoa, Mt. Vesuvius, Hurricane Charley, poison ivy, and so forth down the ages -- you have to ask yourself: Whose side is she on, anyway? — Barbara Ehrenreich

Heads of state are notoriously ill prepared for their mature careers; think of Adolf Hitler (landscape painter), Ho Chi Minh (seaman), and our own Ronald Reagan. — Barbara Ehrenreich

It seems to me that there must be an ecological limit to the number of paper pushers the earth can sustain, and that human civilization will collapse when the number of, say, tax lawyers exceeds the world's total population of farmers, weavers, fisherpersons, and pediatric nurses. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Natural selection, as it has operated in human history, favors not only the clever but the murderous. — Barbara Ehrenreich

war has dug itself into economic systems, where it offers a livelihood to millions ... It has lodged in our souls as a kind of religion, a quick tonic for political malaise and a bracing antidote to the moral torpor of consumerist, market-driven cultures. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Of all the nasty outcomes predicted for women's liberation...none was more alarming than the suggestion that women would eventually become just like men. — Barbara Ehrenreich

There is the fear, common to all English-only speakers, that the chief purpose of foreign languages is to make fun of us. Otherwise, you know, why not just come out and say it? — Barbara Ehrenreich

Imagine spending four billion years stocking the oceans with seafood, filling the ground with fossil fuels, and drilling the bees in honey production -- only to produce a race of bed-wetters! — Barbara Ehrenreich

Given the cultural barriers to intersex conversation, the amazing thing is that we would even expect women and men to have anything to say to each other for more than ten minutes at a stretch. — Barbara Ehrenreich

it used to be almost the first question (just after 'Can you type?') in the standard female job interview: 'Are you now, or have you ever, contemplated marriage, motherhood, or the violent overthrow of the U.S. government? — Barbara Ehrenreich

There is a reason why America produced the most vigorous feminist movement in the world: We were one of the only countries in which the middle class (which is wealthy by world standards) customarily employed its own women as domestic servants. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Once you do lose a job, there are not a lot of social supports for you. You lose health insurance because we have this absurd system in America where health insurance is usually tied to employment. Your income dips. And that's when you get into selling the house. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Surely there must be some way to find a husband or, for that matter, merely an escort, without sacrificing one's privacy, self-respect, and interior decorating scheme. For example, men could be imported from the developing countries, many parts of which are suffering from a man excess, at least in relation to local food supply. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The less sophisticated of my forbears avoided foreigners at all costs, for the very good reason that, in their circles, speaking in tongues was commonly a prelude to snake handling. The more tolerant among us regarded foreign languages as a kind of speech impediment that could be overcome by willpower. — Barbara Ehrenreich

For the millions of us who live glued to computer keyboards at work and TV monitors at home, food may be more than entertainment. It may be the only sensual experience left. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Upscale young men seem to go for the kind of woman who plays with a full deck of credit cards, who won't cry when she's knocked to the ground while trying to board the six o clock Eastern shuttle, and whose schedule doesn't allow for a sexual encounter lasting more than twelve minutes. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Marriage probably originated as a straightforward food-for-sex deal among foraging primates. Compatibility was not a big issue, nor, of course, was there any tension over who would control the remote. — Barbara Ehrenreich

There can be no more ancient and traditional American value than ignorance. English-only speakers brought it with them to this country three centuries ago, and they quickly imposed it on the Africans--who were not allowed to learn to read and write--and on the Native Americans, who were simply not allowed. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The war with Iraq ... had to be one of the greatest non sequiturs in military history. Attacked by a gang composed largely of Islamic militants from Saudi Arabia, the United States countered by invading an unrelated country, and one of the most secular in the Middle East at that. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Anyone who has invented a better mousetrap, or the contemporary equivalent, can expect to be harassed by strangers demanding that you read their unpublished manuscripts or undergo the humiliation of public speaking, usually on remote Midwestern campuses. — Barbara Ehrenreich

It seems to me that there must be an ecological limit to the number of paper pushers the Earth can sustain. — Barbara Ehrenreich

If there is no God or no evidence of God and certainly no evidence of a very morally engaged god, then whatever has to be done has to be done by us. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Transcendent Oneness does not require self-examination, self-help, or self-work. It requires self-loss. — Barbara Ehrenreich

It's a glorious universe the positive thinkers have come up with, a vast, shimmering aurora borealis in which desires mingle freely with their realizations. ... Dreams go out and fulfill themselves; wishes need only to be articulated. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Ineluctably, the insults inflicted in one war call forth new wars of retaliation, which may be waged within months of the original conflict or generations later. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Those Romans who perpetrated the rape of the Sabines, for example, did not work themselves up for the deed by screening Debbie Does Dallas, and the monkish types who burned a million or so witches in the Middle Ages had almost certainly not come across Boobs and Buns or related periodicals. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Even healthy families need outside sources of moral guidance to keep those tensions from imploding--and this means, among other things, a public philosophy of gender equality and concern for child welfare. When instead the larger culture aggrandizes wife beaters, degrades women or nods approvingly at child slappers, the family gets a little more dangerous for everyone, and so, inevitably, does the larger world. — Barbara Ehrenreich

If men were equally at risk from this condition -- if they knew their bellies might swell as if they were suffering from end-stage cirrhosis, that they would have to go nearly a year without a stiff drink, a cigarette, or even an aspirin, that they would be subject to fainting spells and unable to fight their way onto commuter trains -- then I am sure that pregnancy would be classified as a sexually transmitted disease and abortions would be no more controversial than emergency appendectomies. — Barbara Ehrenreich

the fastest-growing brand of religion is of the magical 'name it and claim it' variety, in which the deity exists only to meet one's immediate, self-identified needs. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Marx was wrong: It is not only the 'means of production' that shape societies, but the means of destruction. In our own time, the costs of war, or just war readiness, are daunting. ... The resulting cost squeeze has led to a new type of society, perhaps best terms a 'depleted' state, in which the military has drained reources from all other social functions. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Personally, I have nothing against work, particularly when performed, quietly and unobtrusively, by someone else. I just don't happen to think it's an appropriate subject for an ethic. — Barbara Ehrenreich

We need a kind of feminism that aims not just to assimilate into the institutions that men have created over the centuries, but to infiltrate and subvert them. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Given the cultural barriers to intersex conversation, the amazing thing is that we would even expect women and men to have anything to say to each other for more than ten minutes at a stretch. The barriers are ancient -- perhaps rooted, as some paleontologist may soon discover, in the contrast between the occasional guttural utterances exchanged in male hunting bands and the extended discussions characteristic of female food-gathering groups. — Barbara Ehrenreich

I don't know when the cult of conspicuous busyness began, but it has swept up almost all the upwardly mobile, professional women I know. Already, it is getting hard to recall the days when, for example, 'Let's have lunch' meant something other than 'I've got more important things to do than talk to you right now. — Barbara Ehrenreich

James Bond in his Sean Connery days ... was the first well-known bachelor on the American scene who was not a drifter or a degenerate and did not eat out of cans. — Barbara Ehrenreich

What would it mean in practice to eliminate all the 'negative people' from one's life [as demanded by motivational speaker J.P. Maroney]? It might be a good idea to separate from a chronically carping spouse, but it is not so easy to abandon the whiny toddler, the colicky infant, or the sullen teenager. — Barbara Ehrenreich

I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, or course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever -- on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country -- vote Republican. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Whether you work outside the home or not, never tell them [your children] that being a mommy is your 'job.' Being a mommy is a relationship, not a profession. — Barbara Ehrenreich

In matters of the heart as well, a certain level of negativity and suspicion is universally recommended. You may try to project a thoroughly positive outlook in order to attract a potential boyfriend, but you are also advised to Google him. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Historians differ on when the consumer culture came to dominate American culture. Some say it was in the twenties, when advertising became a major industry and the middle class bought radios to hear the ads and cars to get to the stores. ... But there is no question that the consumer culture had begun to crowd out all other cultural possibilities by the years following World War II. — Barbara Ehrenreich

No one should be incarcerated for debt or squeezed for money they have no chance of getting their hands on. — Barbara Ehrenreich

while everything else in our lives has gotten simpler, speedier, more microwavable and user-friendly, child-raising seems to have expanded to fill the time no longer available for it. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Upscale people are fixated with food simply because they are now able to eat so much of it without getting fat, and the reason they don't get fat is that they maintain a profligate level of calorie expenditure. The very same people whose evenings begin with melted goats cheese... get up at dawn to run, break for a mid-morning aerobics class, and watch the evening news while racing on a stationary bicycle. — Barbara Ehrenreich

If that's how it all started, then we might as well face the fact that what's left out there is a great deal of shrapnel and a whole bunch of cinders (one of which is, fortunately, still hot enough and close enough to be good for tanning). Trying to find some sense and order in this mess may be as futile as trying to ... reconstruct the economy of Iowa from a bowl of popcorn. [On searching for evidence of the Big Bang.] — Barbara Ehrenreich

Racist, sexist, and homophobic thoughts cannot, alas, be abolished by fiat but only by the time-honored methods of persuasion, education and exposure to the other guy's-or excuse me, woman's-point of view. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The secret of the truly successful, I believe, is that they learned very early in life how not to be busy. They saw through that adage, repeated to me so often in childhood, that anything worth doing is worth doing well. The truth is, many things are worth doing only in the most slovenly, halfhearted fashion possible, and many other things are not worth doing at all. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The nation was not founded by habitual groupthinkers. But it stands a fair chance of being destroyed by them. — Barbara Ehrenreich

You still don't like the idea of gay marriage? Then, as my friend, the economist Julianne Malveaux, says: Don't marry a gay person. Case closed, problem solved. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Wars produce warlike societies, which in turn make the world more dangerous for other societies, which are thus recruited into being war-prone themselves. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Crime seems to change character when it crosses a bridge or a tunnel. In the city, crime is taken as emblematic of class and race. In the suburbs, though, it's intimate and psychological -- resistant to generalization, a mystery of the individual soul. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Labor is like motherhood to most of our political leaders: a calling so fine and noble that it would be sullied by talk of vulgar, mundane things like pay. — Barbara Ehrenreich

war is, in some not yet entirely defined sense, a self-replicating pattern of behavior, possessed of a dynamism not unlike that of living things. — Barbara Ehrenreich

The urge to transform one's appearance, to dance outdoors, to mock the powerful and embrace perfect strangers is not easy to suppress." --Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets, 260. — Barbara Ehrenreich

Life Lessons by Barbara Ehrenreich

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  1. Barbara Ehrenreich's work emphasizes the importance of hard work, resilience, and compassion in the face of adversity. She encourages readers to take an active role in their own lives and to never give up in the face of difficulty.
  2. Through her writing, Ehrenreich promotes the idea that everyone is capable of making a difference, no matter their background or circumstances.
  3. Ehrenreich's work encourages readers to be mindful of their own privilege and to use it to help those less fortunate.

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