... my aim is now, as it has been for the past ten years, to make myself a true woman, one worthy of the name, and one who will unshrinkingly follow the path which God marks out, one whose aim is to do all of the good she can in the world and not be one of the delicate little dolls or the silly fools who make up the bulk of American women, slaves to society and fashion.
Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842–1911), U.S. chemist and educator. As quoted in The Life of Ellen H. Richards, ch. 3, by Caroline L. Hunt (1912).
Written when she was a student at Vassar College, in a May 16, 1869, letter responding to her parents' question about what they should tell people who asked about the purpose of her college preparation.