Growing up in Catholic school with nuns as the arbiters of comportment left little room for deviant behavior that would go unpunished, unless you didn’t get caught. The nuns discouraged “nasty” girls who where outspoken, yet ironically cited historical women who had achieved some fame as role models – Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others. Linda Picone notes the modern version of compelling women in her collection referencing lines by women who dared to speak their minds in Quotes for Nasty Women.
This short book has over three hundred pages of one liners from women novelists, politicians, actors, entrepreneurs, and other women of influence. Just for fun, I picked out six quotes by an assortment of famous “nasty women” who are among my favorites – both the women and the quotes. Can you guess who said which?
The women who said the lines below are: irreverent New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, my favorite chef Julia Child, ubiquitous poet Emily Dickinson, the long-lasting influential Queen Victoria, American singer Joan Baez, and the witty American writer Dorothy Parker. The answers are at the bottom of the post.
- “The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.”
- ” I dwell in possibility.”
- “I’ve never had a humble opinion. If you’ve got an opinion, why be humble about it?”
- “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”
- “Drama is very important in life: You have to come in with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper.”
- “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”
Perhaps the strongest influences in my life were the nuns, and Thea Marshall brought back that memory in her short story “Catholic School Daze” in the book Tuesdays at Two, a compilation of short writings by a local writer’s group. Little girls, thankfully, often grow up to be “nasty women.”
Answers to the list of quotes:
- Queen Victoria
- Emily Dickinson
- Joan Baez
- Dorothy Parker
- Julia Child
- Maureen Dowd