Quotations about men and their place in the world. What men and women think about men: sometimes humorous, sometimes insightful, sometimes outrageous. (And no, I don’t agree with all of these!)

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In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.

— Abigail Adams, Letter to John Adams, 31 March 1776

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

— Albert Camus

[M]en are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.

— Alice Duer Miller

Had I been a man, I might have explored the Poles or climbed Mount Everest, but as it was, my spirit found outlet in the air.

— Amy Johnson

Men who want to support women in our struggle for freedom and justice should understand that it is not terrifically important to us that they learn to cry; it is important to us that they stop the crimes of violence against us.

— Andrea Dworkin

Men know everything – all of them – all the time – no matter how stupid or inexperienced or arrogant or ignorant they are.

— Andrea Dworkin

To understand how a society functions, you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.

— Angela Davis

A lot of guys think the larger a woman’s breasts are, the less intelligent she is. I don’t think it works like that. I think it’s the opposite. I think the larger a woman’s breasts are, the less intelligent the men become.

— Anita Wise

It is men who face the biggest problems in the future, adjusting to their new and complicated role.

— Anna Ford, 1995

The friendship between a man and a woman which does not lead to marriage or desire for marriage may be a life long experience of the greatest value to themselves and to all their circle of acquaintance and of activity; but for this type of friendship both a rare man and a rare woman are needed. Perhaps it should be added that either the man or the woman thus deeply bound in lifelong friendship who seeks marriage must find a still rarer man or woman to wed, to make such a three cornered comradeship a permanent success.

— Anna Garlin Spencer

A woman can say more in a sigh than a man can say in a sermon.

— Arnold Haultain

Yes, I am crying although I am a man. But has not a man eyes! Has not a man hands, limbs, senses, thoughts, passions? Is he not fed with the wine food, hurt by the same weapons, warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter as a woman? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? And if you poison us, do we not die? Why shouldn’t a man complain, a soldier weep? Because it is unmanly? Why is it unmanly?

— August Strindberg

I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He’s just incapable of it.

— Barbara Jordan

The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.

— bell hooks

Learning to wear a mask … is the first lesson in patriarchal masculinity that a boy learns. He learns that his core feelings cannot be expressed if they do not conform to the acceptable behaviors sexism defines as male. Asked to give up the true self in order to realize the patriarchal ideal, boys learn self-betrayal early and are rewarded for these acts of soul murder.

— bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity & Love

The power of patriarchy has been to make maleness feared and to make men feel that it is better to be feared that to be loved. Whether they can confess this or not, men know that just is not true.

— bell hooks

Men weren’t really the enemy — they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.

— Betty Friedan

Why do people say ‘grow some balls’? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.

— Betty White

I would like it if men had to partake in the same hormonal cycles to which we’re subjected monthly. Maybe that’s why men declare war — because they have a need to bleed on a regular basis.

— Brett Butler

You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.

— Brigham Young

The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.

— Charles de Gaulle

I am neither a man nor a woman but an author.

— Charlotte Brönte

The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses.

— Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The female of the genus homo is economically dependent on the male. He is her food supply.

— Charlotte Perkins Gilman

In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.

— Christopher Morley

Behind every good man, there’s a good woman reminding you I knew you when you didn’t have nothing.

— Coretta Scott King

Man is willing to accept woman as an equal, as a man in skirts, as an angel, a devil, a baby-face, a machine, an instrument, a bosom, a womb, a pair of legs, a servant, an encyclopedia, an ideal or an obscenity; the one thing he won’t accept her as is a human being, a real human being of the feminine sex.

— D.H. Lawrence

Men need rule books. Women want men to intuit what they want. And only about 2% of men can do that, and most of them are not heterosexual.

— Dennis Prager

My weaknesses have always been food and men — in that order.

— Dolly Parton

Too often the great decisions are originated and given form in bodies made up wholly of men, or so completely dominated by them that whatever of special value women have to offer is shunted aside without expression.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Women share with men the need for personal success, even the taste of power, and no longer are we willing to satisfy those needs through the achievements of surrogates, whether husbands, children, or merely role models.

— Elizabeth Dole

What’s wrong with you men? Would hair stop growing on your chest if you asked directions somewhere?

— Erma Bombeck

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.

— Faith Whittlesey

God made man stronger but not necessarily more intelligent. He gave women intuition and femininity. And, used properly, that combination easily jumbles the brain of any man I’ve ever met.

— Farrah Fawcett

It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

— Frederick Douglass

The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Years ago, manhood was an opportunity for achievement, and now it is a problem to be overcome.

— Garrison Keillor

Scientific theories never dictate human values, but they can often cast new light on ethical issues. From a sexual selection viewpoint, moral philosophy and political theory have mostly been attempts to shift male human sexual competitiveness from physical violence to the peaceful accumulation of wealth and status. The rights to life, liberty, and property are cultural inventions that function, in part, to keep males from killing and stealing from one another while they compete to attract sexual partners.

— Geoffrey Miller

All young women begin by believing they can change and reform the men they marry. They can’t.

— George Bernard Shaw

Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.

— George Carlin

Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.

— George Carlin

What passes for woman’s intuition is often nothing more than man’s transparency.

— George Jean Nathan

Friends are generally of the same sex, for when men and women agree, it is only in the conclusions; their reasons are always different.

— George Santayana

Perhaps women have always been in closer contact with reality than men: it would seem to be the just recompense for being deprived of idealism.

— Germaine Greer

Women fail to understand how much men hate them.

— Germaine Greer

Every time a man unburdens his heart to a stranger he reaffirms the love that unites humanity.

— Germaine Greer

For a male child to become a man, he has to reject his mother. It’s an essential part of masculinisation.

— Germaine Greer

I think that testosterone is a rare poison.

— Germaine Greer

The sight of women talking together has always made men uneasy; nowadays it means rank subversion.

— Germaine Greer
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