Really saying something: 50 Fabulous Quotes about Women by Women

To coincide with International Women’s Day, Cream looks back at some the damn-right brilliant things our favourite gals had to say about women and, well, just about every subject under the sun.

From Patti Smith to Paloma Faith, Tori Amos to Charli XCX, Chrissy Amphlett to Courtney Barnett, and Cher to Beyoncé, here’s a huge batch of quality quotes from the Cream magazine archives.

They are women. Hear them roar.


“I think one of the reasons I’m 60-plus years old and still healthy is that I’ve always been grateful for my gifts  my voice is strong, I’m a mum, I like to work, I write poetry, I travel, I’m still making records.”  Patti Smith


“I was dyslexic at school, awful at English. And writing is something I never could do. But the way I spell things is fucking amazing. I think being dyslexic gave me an archaic influence in the way I write words; made me more loopy.”  Róisín Murphy


“What is that? You have so many men out there in hip-hop videos who say whatever they want, and who are obviously discriminating women, but that’s okay and that’s not being censored. Meanwhile, they have girls in these clips being sprayed with champagne. Viacom [the parent company of MTV] has made so much money from sexuality, and it’s so stupid that my video has come under their scrutiny.”  Christina Aguilera


“I guess I’m trying to reclaim some territory in the hip-hop scene. It’s been dominated by men for a long time and I want to show these boys women can have their way with them, too. It’s not always a one-way street.”  Princess Superstar


“Men won’t let you go Dutch in the UK. They treat you like a girl, and they say the man is supposed to pay. That is sure to bring out the ocker in me. I burp at the table just to freak them out.”  Natalie Imbruglia


“I wouldn’t go so far as to say you should put your body on display in order to rise up through the ranks of whatever career you’re in. I actually think there’s a problem in a world where a woman has to do that. But I wouldn’t place any blame on the woman, I would blame the society. And it does need to change.”  Abbe May


“Something like the video I shot for Where is the Feeling? seems to have a sexual nature. Being Australian is one excuse. I don’t think we have that much of a problem with nudity.”  Kylie Minogue


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-pop-shop-web-banner-402x-copy-1.jpg


“Frankly, I think every woman should have her own pole. You nailed it when you said they become the object of the art [of pole-dancing] as opposed to the subject. Then it gets into the demeaning, and there we are: subservient again. That is not what I am about.”  Tori Amos


“I need to choose my fictional songs more carefully and start singing about being a bazillionaire. Being an Angelina and adopting a bazillion babies and having a bazillion dogs and living in a house in some place that rhymes with bazillion.”  Sia


“I suppose a lot of my music is about turning tragedy into hope, coming out of bad situations and making them hopeful. I try to somehow channel some of the old records that I love. But then I might make an ‘It’s all gone to shit, so fuck it, let’s have a dance’ kind of record.”  Paloma Faith


“The music industry has changed. I can’t imagine singers back in the day covering each other’s songs so much; it was more about rivalry then. Everyone was fightin’ to be the best. Now it’s like camaraderie almost – everyone covers each other and it’s like complimenting one other.”  Ellie Goulding


“The reason I’m still here is because I do all the work that comes to me. I believe if I don’t do that work, there wouldn’t be anyone of my minority representing my race.”  Naomi Campbell


“My sisters are all doctors and they couldn’t care at all about the pop life. Sure, they want to borrow my clothes and shoes and stuff, but generally they’re unimpressed.”  Kelis


“On this album, one minute I’m slow and calm, the next minute I’m manic and over-the-top. Every woman who has suffered from PMT will identify with it.”  Geri Halliwell


“It’s a love song to women and it’s saying that you are who you are. With all the juiciness of who you are, all the magnificence of who you are, love yourself, get yourself off, declare yourself, and just step up.”  Toni Childs


“I had very florid love affairs in my teenage years. I had the most fantastic teen life – boys left, right and centre. I was an absolute slut.”  Kate Ceberano


“The ’80s was a great space for freaks, certainly. But on a serious note, we were the generation that started to see the benefit from the women’s movement. There was that first sense that women didn’t just have to be objects of seduction. Before that there was a certain gentleness that was expected of women. But in the ’80s you started to see the more angular kind of women. Do you know what I’m saying?”  Alison Moyet


“When you’re a ho, it’s rough because who wants to ask you out?”  Jennifer Love Hewitt


“People think I’m a man-basher, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s just that if you didn’t do me wrong, I wouldn’t have anything to write about.”  P!nk


“Life is so complex and, like, vastly full of different possibilities. Is this coming from sadness, pain, love, beauty? It’s hard to ever really pinpoint where a song comes from because of the massive array of shit that goes on in life.”  Julia Stone


“I’m quite hyperactive. When you see me at our house, I’m always dancing around. And you’ll never not see me talking away. And when I used to be on Neighbours, I’d always be jumping up and down on set.”  Delta Goodrem


“I wanted to challenge myself and I thought, shit, now’s the time. I really needed to break away and express just myself and who I am when no one else is around; to give myself that leeway to go ‘This is fucked’, or ‘I feel challenged’, or ‘I feel lost’, or ‘Who the hell am I?’”  Ella Hooper


“I don’t like the idea of trying to make people like the music you are trying to sell. You shouldn’t buy a record because every newspaper is telling you to buy it, you should buy it if someone shows it to you and you like it.”  Courtney Barnett


“If you’re going to record a soul album, you sort of need to go through shit. I mean, ‘I had breakfast today and there wasn’t enough cheese on my scrambled eggs’ is boring.”  Katy Steele


“As a female, I think I’ve been able to hold my own and to feel unfazed by the guys around me. And as a woman, I’ve always felt I could hold these guys down; this was not a problem.”  Neneh Cherry


“A talent is gonna last longer than being pretty. Women should realise there’s a lot more to life than having a tight behind and a nice haircut. You can’t hold on to your beauty.”  Shirley Manson, Garbage


“At the moment, the songs are feeling pretty rough, rude and dirty but they might all be cleaned up and sparkling in the end. I will be delving into the dark taboo issues because I do like the bleak side of life.”  PJ Harvey


“If you wanna get back at someone, I say put it in a song and release it to the world. It’s a great ‘fuck-you’ to them.”  Suze DeMarchi, Baby Animals


“Don’t get into this industry because you want to be a star. Do it because it’s your calling and because the only thing that makes you happy is music. Well, perhaps because you love the music and simply want a nice new pair of shoes.”

Marcia Hines


“I think my music teacher didn’t like me very much. She thought I was a little shit. But she was just a little old lady, so I’ve forgiven and forgotten about that now.”  Kate Miller-Heidki


“I might be at a gay club with friends, and when the drag queens are up there doing a show to one of my songs, it’s the most bizarre and beautiful thing. They dress like you, get a costume designed to look like one straight out of your video. I mean, a man dressed as a woman, miming along to your own song: as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.”  Ricki-Lee Coulter


“I would never do Australian Idol. You know, if I’d been starting out now and was on one of those Idol talent shows, I’d have been kicked off for being too different. Everything is just so generic now, it’s ridiculous.”  Chrissy Amphlett, Divinyls


“I wound up meeting Britney Spears a few days ago and we had a chat. Let’s just say there’s enough room for everyone.”  Janet Jackson


“That comparison with my father thing… It’s like, ‘Are you actually going to listen to this, or are you just going to throw me up against a wall and put me there next to him?”  Lisa Marie Presley


“I get a buzz every time I go out on stage but I get to dictate the pace of my life now. It would be terribly sad if I was constantly, like, sitting around trying to strap my ass up so that it’s right up, back to my 20-year-old self.  Sheena Easton


“I’ll keep flip-flopping from music to film and back. I’m able to sing at the Oscars, and I have a few Grammys. I’m respected. But I think people sometimes don’t pay attention to the voice when they have other things, like looks, to distract them.”  Beyoncé


“Baz [Luhmann] sent me flowers backstage with a note saying: ‘I have this great character for you to play – she sings, she dances, she dies. You’re going to love her’.”  Nicole Kidman


“You know, in this industry, nobody cares when you’re ‘doing it’. It’s funny, because you’re shooting [a sex scene] and there’s, like, 60 grown men eating salami sandwiches, kind of waiting for when they can get rolling. And you just think, ‘God, are we rolling? Because there are, like, trays of food being passed around… Oh, we are rolling, okay.”  Scarlett Johansson


“I never wanted to be seen as a trend. Anyone can look cute in a video. I wanted people to listen to my voice, so I wasn’t about the showiness of it all… But on the other hand, I was also the kid that loved to flaunt herself on the beach in a bikini, so, really, I’m just incorporating all the things I am.”  Mariah Carey


“I don’t care much to look back, nor do I listen to anything anymore. By the time I finish an album I’ve heard every song, like, a zillion times, and I don’t particularly like the sound of my voice, anyway.”  Cher


“I’m very comfortable with the way I look. I know it’s completely artificial to look at and all, and I’ve had to overcome that myself… The way I look comes out of a country girl’s idea of what glamour was. Still, the media can be cruel.”  Dolly Parton


All quotes are lifted from the music interview anthology ‘There’s Your Quote, Mate’ (New Holland Publishers) by Cream founding editor Antonino Tati.

For a copy click here.


Feel free to leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: