Women's history is the primary tool for women's emancipation.

— Gerda Lerner

The most belligerent Gerda Lerner quotes you will be delighted to read

The main thing history can teach us is that human actions have consequences, and that certain choices, once made, cannot be undone.

36

Black people cannot and will not become integrated into American society on any terms but those of self-determination and autonomy.

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. . . black women . . . are trained from childhood to become workers, and expect to be financially self-supporting for most of their lives. They know they will have to work, whether they are married or single; work to them, unlike to white women, is not a liberating goal, but rather an imposed lifelong necessity.

17

Long-term commitment to an intimate relationship with one person of whatever sex is an essential need that people have in order to breed the qualities out of which nurturing thought can rise.

7

nursing was regarded as simply an extension of the unpaid services performed by the housewife - a characteristic attitude that haunts the profession to this day.

5

Everything that explains the world has in fact explained a world that does not exist, a world in which men are at the center of the human enterprise and women are at the margin helping them. Such a world does not exist -- never has.

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When I started working on women's history about thirty years ago, the field did not exist. People didn't think that women had a history worth knowing.

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Autonomy means women defining themselves and the values by which they will live, and beginning to think of institutional arrangements which will order their environment in line with their needs.... Autonomy means moving out from a world in which one is born to marginality, to a past without meaning, and a future determined by others--into a world in which one acts and chooses, aware of a meaningful past and free to shape one's future.

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The appeal of the New Right is simply that it seems to promise that nothing will change in the domestic realm. People are terrified of change there, because it's the last humanizing force left in society, and they think, correctly, that it must be retained.

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Men develop ideas and systems of explanation by absorbing past knowledge and critiquing and superseding it. Women, ignorant of their own history [do] not know what women before them had thought and taught. So generation after generation, they [struggle] for insights others had already had before them, [resulting in] the constant inventing of the wheel.

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Women's history is women's right-an essential, indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long range vision.

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[There is a] depth and urgency of the search of Jewish and Christian women for connection to the Divine, which found expression in more than 1000 years of feminist Bible criticism and religious re-visioning.

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About Gerda Lerner

Quotes 13 sayings
Profession Historian
Birthday October 16
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