It is not a dirty word. It is not a word that is or should be thrown around lightly.
It is a movement, a belief, that all humans should be treated equally. There is no superior gender.
Today we celebrate women, who in the public eye or in every day life, are breaking the glass ceiling and showing the world that we are more than meets the eye. We are strong, we are smart, we are independent, talented, beautiful, brave, unique, and are a force to be reckoned with.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, here are some inspirational women who have taken the world by storm and have/are changing the way the word “feminist” is being perceived as.
Actress and producer. Viola Davis is the only African-American to win an Academy Award, Emmy, and a Tony.
“You can’t be hesitant about who you are.”
“You are born being worth, and that’s a message a lot of women need to hear”
“I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are...truly being who you are.”
“Do not live someone else’s life and someone else’s idea of what womanhood is. Womanhood is you. Womanhood is everything that’s inside of you.”
Writer, professor, editor, and commentator from Omaha, Nebraska. New York Times best selling author for her essay collection, Bad Feminist.
“We don’t all have to believe in the same feminism. Feminism can be pluralistic so long as we respect the different feminisms we carry with us, so long as we give enough of a damn to try to minimize the fractures among us.”
“I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying - trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.”
Academy Award winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur.
“I believe ambition is not a dirty word. It’s believing in yourself and your abilities. Imagine this: What would happen if we were all brave enough to believe in our own ability, to be a little more ambitious. I think the world would change.”
Dr. Mae Jemison
First African-American woman to travel in space.
“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life.”
Lexicographer and founder of the non-profit Wordnik.com, the world’s biggest online dictionary, previous editor-in-chief of American Dictionaries for Oxford University Press, and author of the Weird and Wonderful Words books. The Secret Lives of Dresses, and The Hundred Dresses.
“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street…...Prettiness is not a rent you pay to occupy a space marked “female”.
First woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only person to win a Nobel Prize twice; for her work in Chemistry and Physics.
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
She was only 11 years old when she started “blogging about that like was like under the Taliban for the BBC” under the pseudonym Gul Makai (Biography.com). At the age of 15, she was shot in her head and neck by the Taliban when boarding a bus to advocate for Pakistani girls’ education. In April 2017, Malala became a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.”
“I raise up my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
“Revolutionized the role of the First Lady.” She was the first First Lady to speak openly and be involved with women’s rights and civil rights issues.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan
The three female African-American mathemeticians, known as “computers in skirts”. Recognized in the 2016 film, Hidden Figures, for their work on the Redstone, Mercury and Apollo space programs for Nasa (The Guardian).
“I don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better.” - Katherine Johnson
American lawyer, educator, and politician elected to the House of Representatives in 1972 and leader of the Civil Rights Movement.
“One thing is clear to me; we, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
First generation American, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and pioneer of gender equality.
“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant to be your own person, be independent.”
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made….It shouldn't be that women are the exception.”
Fought for women’s rights in the 1920s, led by Emmeline Pankhurst. In particular, they fought for a woman’s right to vote. This group led both peaceful and tests. radical protests.
“Men make the moral code and they expect women to accept it. They have decided that it is entirely right and proper for men to fight for their liberties and their rights, but that it is not right and proper for women to fight for theirs.” - Emmeline Pankhurst
“Remember the dignity of your womanhood. Do not appeal, do not beg, do not grovel. Take courage, join hands, stand beside us, fight with us.” - Emmeline Pankhurst
Openly transgender actress on the hit series, Orange is the New Black, and LGBT advocate.
“We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.”
“By doing the work to love ourselves more, I believe we will love each other better.”
Happy International Women’s Day.