No phallic hero, no matter what he does to himself or to another to prove his courage, ever matches the solitary, existential courage of the woman who gives birth.
(Andrea Dworkin (b. 1946), U.S. feminist critic. Speech, first delivered to Queens College, City University of New York, March 12, 1975. "The Sexual Politics of Fear and Courage," published in Our Blood, ch. 5 (1976).)
If a man wishes to become a hero, then the serpent must first become a dragon: otherwise he lacks his proper enemy.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 2, p. 320, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Human, All-Too-Human, "Man Alone With Himself," aphorism 498, "A Condition of Heroism," (1878).
An allusion to Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Idea, 1:173.)
Higher than "thou shalt" stands "I will" (the heroes), and higher than "I will" stands "I am" (the Greek gods).
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 11, p. 105, selection 25, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished fragments dating to Spring 1884.)
We are really so prejudiced by our educations, that, as the ancients deified their heroes, we deify their madmen.
(Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Feb. 22, 1748; (first published 1774). The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 142, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).)
(Uli Derickson (b. c. 1944), flight attendant. As quoted in People magazine, p. 111 (March 7-14, 1994).
Working on TWA flight 847 from Athens to Rome, which was hijacked for seventeen days by Lebanese terrorists in 1985, she persuaded the hijackers to spare the lives of all but one person on board and maintained calm throughout the ordeal. Rejecting the "hero" label, she insisted that she was only doing her job.)
I'm not an American hero. I'm a person that loves children.
(Clara Mcbride Hale (1905-1992), African American child care worker. As quoted in I Dream a World, by Brian Lanker (1989).
Hale was a poor mother of two who was widowed when her children were only five and six years old. She went on to raise forty foster children to successful adulthoods and to found Hale House (b. 1973) in the Harlem section of New York City. Hale House was a shelter for the babies of drug-addicted mothers. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan had cited her as "an American hero.")