To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren't is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men's sexual - and hence social - confidence while undermining that of women.

— Naomi Wolf

The most unexpected Naomi Wolf quotes that will transform you to a better person

No matter what a woman's appearance may be, it will be used to undermine what she is saying and taken to individualize - as her personal problem - observations she makes about the beauty myth in society.

75

For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself;

that we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech; we deserve to be sexual AND serious--or whatever we please; we are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.

62

A Mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance actually VACCINATES her daughter against low self-esteem.

59

A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.

57

The woman wins who calls herself beautiful, and challenges the world to change to fit her vision.

57

What editors are obliged to appear to say that

52

In the US, the 50s and 60s marked the documentary's golden age, especially at CBS, where pioneering televison journalist Edward R Murrow, immortalised in George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck, produced such landmark investigations as the CBS Reports programme Hunger in America.

52

What, after all, is the narrative of the American Dream? It was a discourse formulated between the 1880s and the 1920s in the United States during the great waves of migration and expansion and reforms of the Progressive Era.

52

Culture stereotypes women to fit the myth by flattening the feminine into beauty-without-intelligence or intelligence-without-beauty; women are allowed a mind or a body but not both.

45

Women who love themselves are threatening; but men who love real women, more so.

44

The surgeons' market is imaginary, since there is nothing wrong with women's faces or bodies that social change won't cure; so the surgeons depend for their income on warping female self-perception and multiplying female self-hatred.

43

Excellence, to me, is the state of grace that can descend only when one tunes out all the world's clamor, listens to an inward voice one recognizes as wiser than one's own, and transcribes without fear.

38

About Naomi Wolf

Quotes 155 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

Spokespeople sell women the Iron Maiden and name her "Health": if public discourse were really concerned with women's health, it would turn angrily upon this aspect of the beauty myth.

37

What becomes of a man who acquires a beautiful woman, with her 'beauty' his sole target? He sabotages himself. He has gained no friend, no ally, no mutual trust: She knows quite well why she has been chosen. He has succeeded in buying something: the esteem of other men who find such an acquisition impressive.

34

To ask women to become unnaturally thin is to ask them to relinquish their sexuality.

31

Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking.

30

Cosmetic surgery processes the bodies of woman-made women, who make up the vast majority of its patient pool, into man-made women.

28

Obstacles, of course, are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience and resourcefulness.

27

Become goddesses of disobedience.

26

A culture fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.

26

The idea that women are innately gentle is a fantasy, and a historically recent one. Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction, is depicted as wreathed in male human skulls; the cruel entertainments of the Romans drew audiences as female as they were male; Boudicca led her British troops bloodily into battle.

25

Pain is real when you get other people to believe in it.

If no one believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria.

25

Our society does reward beauty on the outside over health on the inside.

Women must not be blamed for choosing short-term beauty "fixes" that harm our long-term health, since our life spans are inverted under the beauty myth, and there is no great social or economic incentive for women to live a long time.

22

'Beauty' is a currency system like the gold standard.

Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West is is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact.

21

The beauty myth moves for men as a mirage;

its power lies in its ever-receding nature. When the gap is closed, the lover embraces only his own disillusion.

21

Democracy is disruptive... there is no right in a democratic civil society to be free of disruption.

19

When [beauty pornography is] aimed at men, its effect is to keep them from finding peace in sexual love. The fleeting chimera of the airbrushed centerfold, always receding before him, keeps the man destabilized in pursuit, unable to focus on the beauty of the woman--known, marked, lined, familiar—-who hands him the paper every morning.

16

Since Madonna is positioned as always "cooler than thou", we all are primed for schadenfreude if something in her fabulous life goes amiss.

16

Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men's eyes when deciding what provokes it.

16

To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren't is to learn inequality in little ways all day long.

14

To me, my version of feminism, it's co-extensive with human rights and democracy. It's just part of the same fight for everyone being free, and having autonomy and dignity. It's not pitting one gender against another, it's not saying anything is better, it's just clearing away injustice.

14

Western women have been controlled by ideals and stereotypes as much as by material constraints.

13

As women demanded access to power, the power structure used the beauty myth materially to undermine women's advancement.

13

The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behaviour and not appearance.

13

Democracy is disruptive. Around the world, peaceful protesters are being demonised for this, but there is no right in a democratic civil society to be free of disruption. Protesters ideally should read Gandhi and King and dedicate themselves to disciplined, long-term, non-violent disruption of business as usual - especially disruption of traffic.

12

The Western sexual revolution sucks. It has not worked well enough for women.

12

The Victorian woman became her ovaries, as today's woman has become her "beauty.

11

The stronger that women grow, the more prestige, fame, and money is accorded to the display professions: They are held higher and higher above the heads of rising women, for them to emulate.

10

If people wake up, think critically, and get angry, we get connected to that courage that the founding generation meant us to have. History shows when millions just don't go along, resist at any level - and I'm talking about all the way up to bipartisan impeachment and arrest of the leaders of the coup - then it can't happen.

10

...When we quietly go about our business as our rights are plundered, when we yield to passivity and switch on the wii and hand over our power, we are not acting like true Americans. Indeed, at those moments we are giving up our citizenship.

9

Pain is real when you get other people to believe in it.

If no one believes in it but you, your pain is madness or hysteria or your own unfeminine inadequacy. Women have learned to submit to pain by hearing authority figures - doctors, priests, psychiatrists - tell us that what we feel is not pain.

9

The maturing of a woman who has continued to grow is a beautiful thing to behold. Or, if your ad revenue or your seven-figure salary or your privileged sexual status depend on it, it is an operable condition.

9

Peaceful, lawful protest - if it is effective - IS innately disruptive of “business as usual.” That is WHY it is effective.

7

When women are subordinate by their culture, in being able to anticipate or think about pleasurable sex, it boosts dopamine, which is about confidence and assertiveness and motivation and drive and focus. So that to me, explained why for 5,000 years female sexuality has been targeted.

6

Looking back on 200 years of feminist agitation in this country, we've got to get it that the moral high ground doesn't get us anything. Pleading with powerful men never gets us what we need. Talking doesn't do it. Being right doesn't do it. Hardball politics does it ... and a political strategy.

6

“Healthy" and “diseased," as Susan Sontag points out.

..are often subjective judgments that society makes for its own purposes. Women have long been defined as sick as a means of subjecting them to social control.

6

Beauty' is a currency system like the gold standard.

6

We are in the midst of a violent backlash againist feminism that uses images of female beauty as political weapons against women's advancement.

5

Cosmetic surgery and the ideology of self-improvement may have made women's hope for legal recourse to justice obsolete.

4
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