Humanities › History & Culture Jeannette Rankin Quotes Share Flipboard Email Print Bettmann Archive / Getty Images History & Culture Women's History Important Figures History Of Feminism Key Events Women's Suffrage Women & War Laws & Womens Rights Feminism & Pop Culture Feminist Texts American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century View More By Jone Johnson Lewis Women's History Writer B.A., Mundelein College M.Div., Meadville/Lombard Theological School Jone Johnson Lewis is a women's history writer who has been involved with the women's movement since the late 1960s. She is a former faculty member of the Humanist Institute. our editorial process Jone Johnson Lewis Updated March 25, 2017 Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress, and also the only member of the House of Representatives to vote "no" to U.S. entry into both World War I and World War II. She worked for women's suffrage and for peace. Selected Jeannette Rankin Quotations "You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake." "I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war. I vote no." (Congressional speech, 1917) "As a woman, I can't go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else." (Congressional speech, 1941) "Killing more people won't help matters." (1941, after Pearl Harbor) "There can be no compromise with war; it cannot be reformed or controlled; cannot be disciplined into decency or codified into common sense; for war is the slaughter of human beings, temporarily regarded as enemies, on as large a scale as possible." (1929) "It is unconscionable that 10,000 boys have died in Vietnam...If 10,000 American women had mind enough they could end the war, if they were committed to the task, even if it meant going to jail." (1967) "If I had my life to live over, I would do it all again, but this time I would be nastier." "Men and women are like right and left hands; it doesn't make sense not to use both." "We're half the people; we should be half the Congress." "Small use it will be to save democracy for the race if we cannot save the race for democracy." "What one decides to do in crisis depends on one's philosophy of life, and that philosophy cannot be changed by an incident. If one hasn't any philosophy in crises, others make the decision." "The individual woman is required...a thousand times a day to choose either to accept her appointed role and thereby rescue her good disposition out of the wreckage of her self-respect, or else follow an independent line of behavior and rescue her self-respect out of the wreckage of her good disposition." "You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go."