Whilst reading Hell Hath No Fury, I was happy to notice that some of these women had as much fire in their speech as they packed into their punch– alternately inspiring, enraging, or rallying. I couldn’t help but take note and pass along these few that stood out to me. Did somebody say soundbite?
Louise Michel, “The Red Virgin” (1830-1905): Defending her part in the burning of Paris: “I wanted to oppose the Versailles invaders with a barrier of flames…Since it appears that every heart that beats for freedom has no right to anything but a slug of lead, I demand my share. If you let me live, I shall never cease to cry for vengeance. If you are not cowards, kill me.”
Elizabeth I (1533-1603): “Though I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, I have the heart and stomach of a king, yea and a king of England too.”
Col. Martha McSally (1966-): “We are the pointing end of the spear. I understand the marching orders, and we will be prepared to deploy…with an aggressive attitude that we will win. I hope that I am a role model to both men and women, because we are a fighting force and should not be concerned with the differences between us.”
Haydee Santamaria (1922-1980): During interrogation, captors produced an eye and claimed it was her brother’s, to which Santamaria replied: “If you tore out his eye and he did not speak, neither will I.” (And she didn’t.)
Caterina Sforza (1462-1509): Upon learning that her husband was murdered, and her children held as hostages, she yelled to her enemies: “What do you think, you fools, that I don’t have the stuff to make more?” and then raised her skirts to reveal either a pregnant belly or her genitals, depending on the historian doing the telling.
Irena Sendlerowa (1910-2008): Honored by the Polish Parliament in 2007 for helping to rescue 2,500 children during the Holocaust, Sendlerowa explained: “I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion or nationality.”
Mary Edwards Walker (1823-1919): “Let the generations know that women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom.”
Share your favorites (either from life or the book) in the comments!