Words of Wisdom from some Badass Women Artists and Writers

by Rosie Cuppaige
You can find this piece in the current herstory issue of wom*news!

Nobel and Pulizter Prize winner (for novel Beloved).

Did you know?

Morrison started writing fiction as part of an informal meetup at her university. She completed her first novel while teaching full time and raising her two children as a single mother.

“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”


Activist, painter, all-round brazen woman based in Coyoacán, Mexico.

Did you know?

Kahlo spent her last years bedridden due to various injuries throughout her life. This didn’t stop her from persuading her doctors to allow her to attend a rally in the streets of Mexico City in her hospital bed, in her last public appearance the year before her death.

“I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.”


Russian journalist and author famous for her unflinching reports on the war in Chechnya.

Did you know?

Politkovskaya was one of the few people allowed in the Moscow Theatre in October 2002 to negotiate with Chechen militants who had seized hundreds of hostages.

“Living streets full of dead eyes. Mad and half-mad people. Streets teeming with weapons. Mines everywhere. Permanent explosions. Despair.”
– Politkovskaya’s evocative description of life in the Chechen capital, Groznyy


Writer and Activist from NYC via Havana via Paris.

Did you know?

Although she started writing erotic fiction as something of a joke and as a means to get make easy cash, Nin became a prolific female erotic fiction writer, and is still studied in gender studies courses to this day.

“This image of herself as a not ordinary women, an image which was trembling now in his eyes, might suddenly disappear. Nothing more difficult to live up to than men’s dreams.”


The self-proclaimed “Grandmother of Performance Art”

Did you know?

Abramovic’s performances frequently pushed the boundaries of performance art by incorporating grave bodily pain. In one performance, to contrast control over mind and body, she ingested medication prescribed for catatonia, inducing convulsions and a loss of control over her body. After the effects of this had worn off, she ingested a drug resulting in mobility but a complete loss of control of her mind.

“The audience is like a dog. They can feel immediately that you are afraid, that you are insecure, that you’re not in the right state of mind – and they just leave…”

~ Rosie Cuppaige


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