Sisters, I a'n't clear what you'd be after. Ef women want any rights more'n dey's got, why don't dey jes take 'em, an' not be talkin' about it?
(Sojourner Truth (c. 1777-1883), African American slave; later an itinerant preacher and advocate of various social reforms including abolition, woman suffrage, and temperance. As quoted in The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, part 2: "Book of Life," by Frances W. Titus (1875).
Truth was recounting to Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) and her family what she had said when asked to address a gathering of women's rights advocates. At this time, she was a guest in the home of Stowe, the famous abolitionist author of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Stowe described the visit in "Sojourner Truth, the Libyan Sibyl," an article first published in the Atlantic Monthly (April 1863) and reprinted by Titus in this book.)
It is with our brothers and sisters that we learn to love, share, negotiate, start and end fights, hurt others, and save face. The basis of healthy (or unhealthy) connections in adulthood is cast during childhood.
(Jane Mersky Leder (20th century), U.S. magazine writer, author. Brothers and Sisters, ch. 3 (1991).)
Before any woman is a wife, a sister or a mother she is a human being. We ask nothing as women but everything as human beings.
(Ida C. Hultin, U.S. minister and suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 17, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902).
Speaking before the twenty-ninth annual convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association, held January 26-29, 1897, in Des Moines, Iowa. Hultin's address was entitled "The Point of View"; she was from Illinois.)
I said in my novel that the clergyman is a kind of human Sunday. Jones and I settled that my sister May was a kind of human Good Friday and Mrs. Bovill an Easter Monday or some other Bank Holiday.
(Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British author. First published in 1912. Samuel Butler's Notebooks, p. 34, E.P. Dutton & Company (1951).
The novel to which Butler refers is Ernest Pontifex, or The Way of All Flesh.)
I should fear the infinite power and inflexible justice of the almighty mortal hardly as yet apotheosized, so wholly masculine, with no sister Juno, no Apollo, no Venus, nor Minerva, to intercede for me, thumoi phileousa te, kedomene te.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 65, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
The great renewal of the world will perhaps consist in this, that man and maid, freed of all false feelings and reluctances, will seek each other not as opposites, but as brother and sister, as neighbors, and will come together as human beings.
(Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), German poet. Letter, July 16, 1903. Letters to a Young Poet (1934, rev. 1954).)