Three Guineas Quotes


…the public and the private worlds are inseparably connected; that the tyrannies and servilities of the one are the tyrannies and servilities of the other.


This quote is a central precept of the essay; the foundation upon which all succeeding arguments are based. Woolf makes the connection between domestic tyranny and fascism with the suggestion that fascism is really just an extension of mainstream patriarchy to the extreme.

…as a woman, I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.


In calling for a Society of Outsiders to join forces in the battling the primacy of the patriarchy and, in turn, prevent fascism, Woolf declares that men have no right to expect women to conform to the same sense of nationalism as they since they have historically not enjoyed any advantages and benefits of being a citizen of any country. As such, no devotion is owed any single nation, the nationalistic tendencies inherent in patriarchal domination will also serve to prevent the tide of fascism.

“I don’t know if I ever revealed the fact to you that being allowed to learn German was ALL the paid-for education I ever had. £2,000 was spent on my brother’s. I still hope not in vain.”

Mary Kingsley

Kingsley was an explorer, travel writer, ethnographer and feminist whose legacy has ultimately outstripped that of her brother, Charles. Woolf uses this quote from Kingsley as an example of the means by which the patriarchy constantly attempts to control the destiny of women by controlling access to opportunities. Though the money of her family was spent on providing the best education for her brother, Mary managed to become self-taught to the point where her accomplishments were every bit as equal.

By freedom from unreal loyalties is meant that you must rid yourself of pride and nationality in the first place; also of religious pride, college pride, school pride, family pride, sex pride and those unreal loyalties that spring from them.


Woolf refers to “unreal loyalties” several times throughout the text, but it with this quote—almost the last usage—that she explicitly explains what she means. Once she has outlined the definition, she immediately proceeds to implicate that meaning within the context of patriarchal control through the use of familiar metaphor for women. Urging women to rip up the parchments and forms, she warns them to beware when “the seducers come with their seductions to bribe you into captivity.”

“There has been no perceptible woman’s movement to resist the practical obliteration of their freedom by Fascists or Nazis.”

H. G. Wells

To this assertion which the author attributes to the famous author of War of the Worlds, The Time Machine and other classic, (more through paraphrase and inference than direct quote), Woolf replies with a scathing sarcasm and bitterly corrosive irony which takes the form of turning the implicit in what Wells is suggesting into an explicit call to arms for female rebellion by reminding them (and Wells) that even though it is men who have enjoyed the benefits of wealth and the right to vote, it is also men who “have not resisted the practical obliteration of your freedom by Fascists or Nazis.”

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