Life Quotes from Extraordinary Women in the US
Women in the United States have played important roles in science, theatre, music, business, STEM, and more. Many of them have also had a chance to share their thought, philosophies, and feelings with the country.
It wasn’t always easy getting the recognition they deserved, but it didn’t stop them from reaching for greatness.
Here are some of the things they have had to say:
"It is shameful that there are so few women in science...There is a misconception in America that women scientists are all dowdy spinsters. This is the fault of men."
“These were moments of exhilaration and ecstasy! A glimpse of this wonder can be the reward of a lifetime. Could it be that excitement and ennobling feelings like these have kept us scientists marching forward forever? “
- Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese American experimental physicist. Through experimentation, she was able to prove that identical nuclear particles do not always act alike, thus disproving what had been considered a standard fact at that point.
Learn more about the physicist at:
- Columbia University: Chien-Shiung Wu
“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it and make it the life you want to live.”
“What we find is that if you have a goal that is very, very far out, and you approach it in little steps, you start to get there faster. Your mind opens up to the possibilities.”
- Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison is an astronaut, doctor, and a STEM icon for women and girls. She became the first African American woman to go into space.
Learn more about the astronaut at:
- NASA: Astronaut Mae Jemison
“If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.”
“I always want to make films. I think of it as a great opportunity to comment on the world in which we live.”
- Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow is a film director, producer, and screenwriter with a long list of films, including Near Dark, Point Break, Strange Days, Zero Dark Thirty, and Detroit.
Learn more about the screenwriter at:
- Harvard University: Kathryn Bigelow: Filmmaking a the dark edge of exhilaration
"You're gonna have to learn to get out there in front of those cameras and hold your head up. Take charge when you're singing."
“You don't appreciate home until you leave it and, let me tell you, you can't appreciate life till you've almost left it! Some people hope and die with their song still in them. I used to think that happiness resulted when my earnings matched my yearnings! But not anymore!”
- Patsy Cline
Patsy Cline was an American country music singer who successfully crossed over to pop music. She was also one of the most influential singers of her time.
To learn more about the singer, go to:
- National Park Service: Patsy Cline house
“Some women choose to follow men, and some choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”
“Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses, cuz we were born this way!“
- Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is a singer, songwriter, and actress who is known for her unconventional performances and visual experimentation. She has sold more than 27 million albums.
To learn more about her, go to:
University of Texas at Arlington: Lady Gaga
“What would you do if you weren't afraid?”
“You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”
“There is no perfect fit when you're looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
- Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is a billionaire and Chief Operating Officer at Facebook. She became the first woman to serve on the board of directors at Facebook.
To learn more about the technology executive, visit:
- Stanford University: Sheryl Sandberg: Careers aren’t ladders, they’re jungle gyms
“Experiences is just paying attention as time passes.”
"You don't have to be pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female.'"
- Erin McKean
Erin McKean is a lexicographer and founder of Reverb. She has written for the Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yok Times.
To learn more about her, visit:
- University of Chicago: Caution: Words at work
"For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; 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.”
“You do not win by struggling to the top of a caste system, you win by refusing to be trapped within one at all.”
- Naomi Wolf
Naomi Wolf is a liberal progressive feminist author and journalist. She has been a political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton.
To learn more, go to:
- Sweet Briar College: A woman’s place
“It’s possible to climb to the top without stomping on other people.”
“To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. It's not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”
- Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is a singer and songwriter. She is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
To learn more about her, go to:
- SUNY New Paltz: Taylor Swift has fun, makes people mad