Top Quotes by Gail Collins

For the undocumented immigrants, the big priority is just to get out from the shadows, be able to get a driver’s license, buy an airplane ticket and stop worrying about sudden deportation. But for the country as a whole, it’s crucial that everybody have a citizen’s stake in the nation’s welfare.

Gail Collins

In the 1960s, you had this booming economy, and you didn’t really have enough men around to fill all the jobs. So there was this sudden demand that women come back and perform a lot of the white-collar and pink-collar roles that men had done before or that hadn’t existed before.

Gail Collins

The middle of ‘America’s Women’ is about the Civil War, and how women, black and white, confronted slavery and abolition. As in every other period of crisis, the rules of sexual decorum were suspended due to emergency.

Gail Collins

You reduce illegal immigration by making it harder to get jobs here, or easier to get jobs south of the border. This idea that we can’t pass an immigration law until we hit some imaginary security target is just a way to derail reform.

Gail Collins

The key to success for any woman who wants to have a really serious career and a family is to marry a guy who is going to take at least half the responsibility for the house and kids – and sometimes more than half.

Gail Collins

One line I’d draw would be on raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare. It sounds fair, since people are living longer. But it isn’t. Lower income workers are the ones who find it hardest to keep working after 65. And they’ll get penalized with lower benefits.

Gail Collins

Illegal immigration can never be completely stopped, no matter how high the wall or how many patrol agents you have watching it.

Gail Collins

The history of American women is about the fight for freedom, but it’s less a war against oppressive men than a struggle to straighten out the perpetually mixed message about women’s role that was accepted by almost everybody of both genders.

Gail Collins

Texas is a great place to be rich and a terrible place to be poor. It’s got the highest percentage of people without health insurance in the country. If you get injured on the job, good luck getting workers’ comp. And God help you if you’re poor and mentally ill.

Gail Collins

Once when I was working for the Daily News, I was summoned back to work from vacation because Donald Trump announced he was getting a divorce.

Gail Collins

I don’t think the folks in the low-tax states really want to go into a fairness discussion. Residents of Connecticut and New York would love to remind them how much they pay in federal taxes to support programs for Mississippi and South Dakota.

Gail Collins

You know, I really miss sex scandals. They’re generally colorful. They almost never mean anything over the long run. And while they’re going on, the people who actually keep the government running are let alone to go about their business. Good old sex scandals.

Gail Collins

The idea that ‘if you don’t like how things are going, you can just leave’ is so ingrained in Texas, the secession movement is no surprise.

Gail Collins

When the simple word processors came in, writing became crisper, less dense – just because of the way we could instantly edit on the screen. Now the ability to mash up words and pictures and links and songs and tweets is what matters. I can’t imagine what writing will be like in 2154.

Gail Collins

Until Eleanor Roosevelt, there was only one or two First Ladies in all of American history who made an impact, who people could even have recognized or identified. And it’s really only been since Jackie Kennedy that there’s been this idea that the family life of the president is such a central thing.

Gail Collins

Back in the ’70s when my friends in California were at Berkeley, in-state tuition was around $700 a year.

Gail Collins

Texas has no income tax, which is a big draw for corporate executives who do business there. But it’s hardly tax-free. The property taxes are high for a Southern state. The sales taxes are high. One study found that the bottom 20 percent of the Texas population pays 12 percent of its income in state and local taxes.

Gail Collins

Sarah Palin is an heir to the women’s movement. She has not been constrained by gender. At no point in her life has she thought, ‘I can’t do that because I’m a woman.’

Gail Collins

I’m sort of suspicious of most economic development projects, but the ones that encourage taxpayer-funded relocation bidding wars should be declared unconstitutional.

Gail Collins

I did some research once on the way people in the past imagined the year 2000. They tended to picture the things they already had getting more sophisticated – flying cars, self-cleaning windows. And the folks in the early 1900s had a wildly optimistic estimate of the future of pneumatic tubes.

Gail Collins

The work-family divide is the biggest issue for American women. But in some ways it’s amazing how adjusted society has become to it. In the 1970s, as women began to take more jobs, society was reeling.

Gail Collins

Women are needed in the military because there aren’t enough soldiers, and we’re seeing more women serve.

Gail Collins

The fantasy I’ve always had is that somehow I could move back in time. I would like to be there when Susan B. Anthony was dying, or someone like that. I would say to her, ‘You won’t believe what’s going to happen.’ And then I would tell her.

Gail Collins

Women in America will have to find an answer for the pressures of work and family, but if you really care about women’s issues you have to think about women in the world, especially Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Gail Collins

If you live in a place that you perceive to be a crowded place, you appreciate government; you see it as this thing that protects you against crime, that keeps order, that makes sure that nobody puts a massage parlor next to your house, that keeps other people’s dogs from pooping on the sidewalk.

Gail Collins

I just really like Houston despite its craziness. There is a sense of energy and a kind of excitement, ‘We’re going places and God knows what’ll happen next.’ It’s very interesting. It’s very exciting.

Gail Collins

For a border state, I would argue that Texas is less lunatic on the subject of immigration issues than other places around it, like Arizona. They’re much more comfortable with their long-term identity as a place with a very large Hispanic population.

Gail Collins

Any time you write history, you insert your opinion. You pick and choose what you are going to write about. I feel really happy not inserting myself. I spend too much of my life inserting myself. It’s just great to let other people carry the narrative.

Gail Collins

Hillary Clinton almost got to be president. The reasons why she didn’t become president had to do with bad judgments about how to handle the early caucus states, which is not a gender-specific trait.

Gail Collins

Sarah Palin is treated like a bimbo sometimes, but she has never given the public the respect they deserve. She acts silly and doesn’t know stuff. She didn’t even finish her term.

Gail Collins

What naturally you want to do if you were a prominent person in the public light and you are disgraced, you want to make a comeback, and normally that begins with somebody saying, ‘I want to do something to help people. I want to do something to help the lepers in the Third World. I want to do something to help abandoned wives in India.’

Gail Collins

Natural Texas politicians make terrible, terrible presidential candidates. Phil Gramm, I remember the ‘Phil Gramm for President’ campaign. I thought that was the worst thing in the history of the world, but Rick Perry was possibly worse.

Gail Collins

The Bushes were certainly part of Texas in their mind, but they didn’t have the kind of political flavor that you normally find in Texas politicians. It’s just Texas is such a unique place to itself that politically, at least so far, they haven’t found anybody to play nationally.

Gail Collins

The high point was that the people are really nice – despite the crazy politics – and I loved being there. The hardest part was knowing some of the things I was probably going to write about Texas would make those nice people very unhappy.

Gail Collins

When I started giving talks about women’s history, one of the things that bothered me was the tendency to say, ‘Well, everybody was totally oppressed and suddenly in 1964 we rose up, got our freedom, and here we are.’ It dismisses the women who fought for rights for several hundred years of our history up to that point.

Gail Collins

When the women’s movement began, it was a middle-class phenomenon. Certainly, black women had other stuff to think about in the ’60s besides a women’s movement. Working-class women were slow to get into it.

Gail Collins

The economic sense of possibility was so great when I was growing up that my parents had no question that I could do anything I wanted to do, even as a girl. I’ve always believed that the economics of a story intersects with the women’s story – that stuff often happens at the time it happens because of the economy.

Gail Collins

You hear younger women say, ‘I don’t believe I’m a feminist. I believe women should have equal right and I believe in fighting for the rights of other women, but I’m certainly not a feminist. No, no, not that!’ It’s just a word. If you called it ‘Fred’ would it be better?

Gail Collins

The one big, humongous, immense thing that we didn’t change, that we didn’t figure out how to deal with is, if men and women are both going to work throughout their lives, who’s going to take care of the kids?

Gail Collins

There are lots of reasons for that gap between men’s and women’s wages but to me, the big one is the work-family issue. Trying to juggle children and a job is tough under any circumstances, but especially if you’re shooting for the kind of career that involves long hours at work and being on call 24-7.

Gail Collins

When the women’s movement started in the 1960s, there was a vision of a future where women didn’t wear makeup or worry about how their hair looked, and everybody wore sensible, comfortable clothes. It ran into an absolute brick wall.

Gail Collins

It’s possible that you have been told a time or 10 that you don’t appreciate how tough your elders had it. It’s true that, if you had been coming of age back in, say, 1960, you would probably be feeling more restricted, if only because you were doomed to spend your days in a skirt, nylon stockings and girdle.

Gail Collins

You can hit as many revolutions as you want, but women are always going to wear uncomfortable shoes that look good.

Gail Collins

The history of American women is all about leaving home – crossing oceans and continents, or getting jobs and living on their own.

Gail Collins

Some of our national heroines were defined by the fact that they never nested – they were peripatetic crusaders like Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Sojourner Truth, Dorothy Dix.

Gail Collins

Certainly Nancy Reagan had an extraordinary effect on her husband. I’m truly not sure that, say, Laura Bush had that much effect on the Bush administration. She certainly, you know, seems to be a nice person who I think the public likes. But I can’t really put my finger on any huge impact she’s had.

Gail Collins

Billy Jean King could not get credit when her husband was in law school and she was winning the Wimbledon, because he had to sign the cards. You know, you had these cases in the ’70s of women who were mayors who couldn’t get credit unless their husbands signed for them.

Gail Collins

My all-time favorite program in my entire life was ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’

Gail Collins

As long as we decline to allow sick, uninsured people to just lie down and die on the side of the road, everybody has to have insurance for the health care system to work sanely.

Gail Collins

Can I say that I think it should be against the law for one state to use taxpayer money to try to bribe businesses in another state to move? Which then causes the target state to use taxpayer dollars to try to bribe the businesses to stay.

Gail Collins

I think voters want somebody who understands their problems. You’re right that they don’t expect the president to fix everything. When he’s wrestling with Congress and Wall Street and the rest of the world, they hope he’ll be looking at things from their vantage point.

Gail Collins

You know what Americans are really sensitive to? Issues of fairness. I think this is a modern phenomenon, born of the civil rights movement. Once you convince Americans that something is basically unfair, you’ve got a winning cause.

Gail Collins