These women are reclaiming their time.
“The future is female.”
“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”
“Who run the world? Girls.”
Powerful quotes about feminism abound, but in the wake of #MeToo movement and the Women’s March in 2017, these quotes seem endowed with perhaps even more urgency than ever before.
This has been a year in which women have been anything but silent. In fact, TIME Magazine called the “Silence Breakers” its “Person of the Year” for 2017.
In 2017, women from all walks of life have added their voice to a growing national and global conversation about gender equality, which also happens to be the fifth Global Goal for Sustainable Development from the United Nations.
As conversations surrounding feminism and inequality become embedded in mainstream discourse, celebrities have an important platform to voice what it means to be a feminist, what it means to confront gender stereotypes, and why it’s so important to practice self-love regardless of your gender, age, or race.
These 17 celebrities — actresses, politicians, writers — are speaking out and fighting back. Here’s what they had to say about feminism in 2017:
“We live in a different time than we lived in a year ago. And I wish we were sitting here talking about this dystopian fictional world, and how glad we are that we’re not in that, because we have a female president. I wish that were the conversation.”
“[S]ome days, I’m just black, and I’m just a woman. Like, it’s not my choice. I know who I am. I know I’m Jessica, and I’m the hottest bitch on the planet I know.”
“I feel very proud that finally this movie is being made because all of the guys, all men, all boys, always had a figure to look up to. Whether it’s Superman or Batman or Spider-Man or whatever it is, they always had heroes to look up to, and for girls it’s always the princesses who are being saved, who are being passive. Finally, Wonder Woman. She’s fierce, she’s proactive, she believes in herself, she believes she can do everything, and that’s a true woman to me.”
“Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut. We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up.”
“Feminism isn’t a cloak that I put on in the morning and take off at certain times. It’s who I am. I look at the world through eyes that are very alert to gender injustice, and I always will.”
“The deeper into the issue of paid parental leave I go, the deeper I see the connection in the barriers to women’s full achievement and the need to redefine and de-stigmatize men’s roles as caregivers. In other words, in order to liberate women we need to liberate men.”
10/ Salma Hayek
“But why do so many of us, as female artists, have to go to war to tell our stories when we have so much to offer? Why do we have to fight tooth and nail to maintain our dignity?
I think it is because we, as women, have been devalued artistically to an indecent state, to the point where the film industry stopped making an effort to find out what female audiences wanted to see and what stories we wanted to tell.”
11/ Tiffany Haddish
“I feel like I should be able to wear what I want, when I want, however many times I want, as long as I febreezed it.”
12/ Nicole Kidman
“More than ever, I am aware of the need to support and celebrate each other. I like to believe I am part of a global support group network of 3.4 billion. Imagine: if you can fall back on the 3.5 billion sisters, and the many good men who are with us, what could we possibly not achieve?”
13/ Solange Knowles
“I want women’s rights to be equally honored, and uplifted, and heard…but I want to see us fighting the fight for all women — women of color, our LGBTQ sisters, our Muslim sisters. I want to see millions of us marching out there for our rights, and I want to see us out there marching for the rights of women like Dajerria Becton, who was body slammed by a cop while she was in her swimsuit for simply existing as a young, vocal, black girl. I think we are inching closer and closer there, and for that, I am very proud.”
14/ Melinda Gates
“There’s a strong chance the next Bill Gates isn’t going to look anything like the last one. So I’m interested in finding solutions that will help ensure we recognize her when we see her.”
“My goal is to make a feminist statement—shatter stereotypes, open minds, and impact our generation. For Muslim girls, they may see themselves in the stories I’ve written. I hope the next generation will not have to endure what we went through.”
16/ Hillary Clinton
“[F]eminism is the belief that men and women should be equal under the law, and in the economy, in our society. Not better. Not worse. Equal. And what I hope is that we will continue to move toward equality, because it still is the unfinished business in our country. And that’s equality not only between men and women, but between races and ethnicities and all the divides that we are still struggling with.”
17/ Maxine Waters
“When you’re on my time, I can reclaim it.”