Just because 2016 was a trash-fire, doesn’t mean we should forget the women who refused to go with the flow, be silenced, or change themselves in the face of opposition.
As we slide into 2017, and into an unknown future for women’s rights, let’s bring with us the lessons of strength, hope, and resistance that these 8 women shared with the world.
Qandeel Baloch: Social Media Influencer
Qandeel was provocative, political, and broadcasting her voice to the world. All things that are not exactly encouraged for women in Pakistan. Victim of what is called “honor killing”, Qandeel was murdered by her own brother.
Pakistani feminists had celebrated Baloch. Madiha Tahir, co-founder of the feminist magazine Tanqeed, called her a “gutsy feminist provocateur” who had exposed “the hypocrisy of the male-dominated establishment, especially the clergy, through her social media videos.” “She wasn’t rich,” Tahir said. “She was a working class woman who dared to be exactly herself.” Tahir said Qandeel’s death was not due to a matter of honor but due to the “pervasive misogyny” of Pakistani society.
On the morning she was murdered, Qandeel had shared a picture of herself staring defiantly into the camera, wearing a pair of leopard print pants and a black tank top. She had written that she was a fighter. “I will bounce back,” she said, adding she wanted to inspire women who have been “treated badly and dominated by society.” More
Kate McKinnon: Comedian, Actor
Winning over hearts across the country as Dr. Jillian Holtzmann from 2016’s Ghostbusters, and for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live. As the first openly gay woman on SNL, Kate McKinnon has paved so much ground for women in comedy and weirdos everywhere.
Whitney Wolfe: Bumble Founder and CEO
Named one of Elle’s 2016 Women in Tech, Whitney Wolfe went from the sole woman in the founding boys-club of Tinder, to the head of a business comprised by mostly women and is proud to be called a feminist organization. The app puts women in charge of the dating game, and business is flourishing. More
Tamika Mallory: Activist
Tamika lost her partner, and the father of her son, to gun violence, now she champions for civil rights and gun-violence awareness. After spending 4 years as the National Executive Director of the civil rights non-profit organization, National Action Network, Tamika founded her own consulting firm, and is currently a national co-chair for the Women’s March on Washington, June 21, 2017.
Shailene Woodley: Actor and Activist
The Fault In Our Stars and Divergent Series actor used facebook live to broadcast the peaceful protest of the Dakota Access pipeline to over 40 thousand of her fans. The feed ended up capturing her arrest, which subsequently brought even more media coverage and attention to the cause. As of December 4th 2016, The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline. More
Ashley Graham: Model and Designer
Sass, curves, and realness, Ashley Graham (unapologetically) puts it all out there. She’s designed her own lingerie and swimsuit lines, and made headlines in 2016 as the first plus-sized model to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In her spare time, she chooses to inspire body confidence in girls and women globally.
Tatiana Maslany: Actor
After playing 5 distinctly different main characters, and essentially acting most scenes with herself, Tatiana finally received the recognition she has deserved for 3 years. In 2016 she won an Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series, playing women with layers and complexity, difficult even when acting only a single character. More
Samantha Bee: Comedian and Writer
After 12 years on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee went on to host Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. After so many late-night let-downs since Jon Stewart’s retirement, we finally have a queen of late-night political satire, and she is f***ing crushing it. More
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Magical Unicorn
“I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks. Sometimes, really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too.
This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.
It is. It is worth it.
And so we need – we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.
And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.
Now, I – I know – I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.
And – and to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” More