Jeannette Rankin Quotes

1st Woman Elected to Congress (1880 - 1973)

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Jeannette Rankin Quotes." ThoughtCo, Mar. 25, 2017, thoughtco.com/jeannette-rankin-quotes-3530010. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2017, March 25). Jeannette Rankin Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jeannette-rankin-quotes-3530010 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Jeannette Rankin Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jeannette-rankin-quotes-3530010 (accessed September 20, 2017).
Jeannette Rankin with American Flag
Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin is presented with the flag that flew at the House of Representatives during the passage of the suffrage amendment. Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

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.

More About Jeannette Rankin

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Jeannette Rankin Quotes." ThoughtCo, Mar. 25, 2017, thoughtco.com/jeannette-rankin-quotes-3530010. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2017, March 25). Jeannette Rankin Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/jeannette-rankin-quotes-3530010 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Jeannette Rankin Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/jeannette-rankin-quotes-3530010 (accessed September 20, 2017).