When I talk to girls, they go, ‘I’m not a feminist.’ And I say: ‘What? You don’t want to vote? Do you want to be owned by your husband? Do you want your money from your job to go into his bank account? If you were raped, do you still want that to be a crime? Congratulations : you are a feminist.’
A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen, instead.
The world is difficult and we are all breakable. So just be kind.
What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy and smug they might be. Are you a feminist? Hahaha. Of course you are.
I told my girls, ‘Look at Rihanna: She’s one of the biggest pop stars in the world. She’s really famous, really powerful, really rich. Yet in every single video she can only wear panties. Poor Rhianna! We’ll know when she is properly powerful and successful when we see her in a lovely cardigan.’
Always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit. You’d be amazed how easily and repeatedly you can confuse the two. Get a big biscuit tin.
It’s always sunny above the clouds. Always. Every day on earth – every day I have ever had – was secretly sunny, after all.
My core belief is that if you’re complaining about something for more than three minutes, two minutes ago you should have done something about it.
When I hear women talking about how their wedding is going to be/was the best day of their life, I can’t help but think, You just haven’t taken enough MDMA in a field at 3 a.m., love.
When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.
But deciding not to have children is a very, very hard decision for a woman to make: the atmosphere is worryingly inconducive to saying, “I choose not to,” or “it all sounds a bit vile, tbh.” We call these women “selfish” The inference of the word “childless” is negative: one of lack, and loss. We think of nonmothers as rangy lone wolves – rattling around, as dangerous as teenage boys or men. We make women feel that their narrative has ground to a halt in their thirities if they don’t “finish things” properly and have children.
You can always tell when a woman is with the wrong man, because she has so much to say about the fact that nothing’s happening. When women find the right person, on the other hand, they just… disappear for six months, then resurface, eyes shiny, and usually about six pounds heavier.
I want a Zero Tolerance policy on All The Patriarchal Bullshit.
It’s actually technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism. Without feminism, you wouldn’t be allowed to have a debate on a woman’s place in society. You’d be too busy giving birth on the kitchen floor, biting down on a wooden spoon so as not to disturb the men’s card game, before going back to hoeing the rutabaga field.
I always give three pieces of advice to all the teenage girls when I do my talks: long country walks – it’s important to get some fresh air in your lungs, and be in contact with your body; masturbation – it takes the edge off, it’ll get you through; and the revolution – believing in changing the world.
I have a rule for working out if the root problem of something is, in fact, sexism. And it is this: asking ‘Are the boys doing it? Are the boys having to worry about this stuff? Are the boys the centre of a gigantic global debate on this subject?
If you eat enough books, you start pooping out words.
I like a little bit of revolution. I think it’s a very good hobby for a young woman. Better than squash.
For throughout history, you can read the stories of women who – against all the odds – got being a woman right, but ended up being compromised, unhappy, hobbled or ruined, because all around them, society was still wrong. Show a girl a pioneering hero – Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, Frida Kahlo, Cleopatra, Boudicca, Joan of Arc – and you also, more often than not, show a girl a woman who was eventually crushed.
If you are lying down to give birth, gravity is not helping you. You know, you stand up and, you know, a baby will basically kind of fall out of you, if you keep walking ’round.
I cannot understand antiabortion arguments that center on the sanctity of life. As a species, we’ve fairly comprehensively demonstrated that we don’t believe in the sanctity of life. The shrugging acceptance of war, famine, epidemic, pain, and lifelong, grinding poverty show us that, whatever we tell ourselves, we’ve made only the most feeble of efforts to really treat human life as sacred.
If you’ve been fat, you will always feel and see the world as a fat person; you know how difficult it is… It’s the same coming from a working-class background… it never leaves you.
You just wanted to be normal. It wasn’t even being beautiful. I just wanted to be smooth and thin and have, and you know, have beautiful glossy hair and lovely clothes and be able to walk in heels. And I thought that once I did all of that stuff that my life would begin.
The motto I have penned on my knuckles is that this is the best world we have–because it’s the only world we have. It’s the simplest math ever. However many terrible, rankling, peeve-inducing things may occur, there are always libraries. And rain-falling-on-sea. And the moon. And love. There is always something to look back on, with satisfaction, or forward to, with joy. There is always a moment where you boggle at the world–at yourself–at the whole, unlikely, precarious business of being alive–and then start laughing
We must recall the most important of humanity guidelines: Be polite. Being polite is possibly the greatest daily contribution everyone can make to life on Earth.