To all the women and men continuing the fight for feminism in 2020, get inspired by the words of the trailblazing women who’ve said it best. From Hillary Clinton to Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Rihanna, and all the unapologetic, courageous women in between, these are the uplifting quotes to live by.
- “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.”
- I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.
- “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
- “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”
- Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Women are always saying, ‘We can do anything that men can do.’ But men should be saying, ‘We can do anything that women can do.’
- I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.
- Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- “A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.”
- “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
- “There’s something so special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.
- “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
- “I always wanted to be a femme fatale. Even when I was a young girl, I never really wanted to be a girl. I wanted to be a woman.”
Diane von Furstenberg
- “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit. So let’s keep going—let’s keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have.”
- “Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.”
- The more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.
- “Words have power. TV has power. My pen has power.”
- “We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”
- “Whether I am meant to or not, I challenge assumptions about women. I do make some people uncomfortable, which I’m well aware of, but that’s just part of coming to grips with what I believe is still one of the most important pieces of unfinished business in human history—empowering women to be able to stand up for themselves.”
- “We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.”
- “Women must learn to play the game as men do.”
- “You could make a case that, along with the technological revolution, the most provocative upending destabilizing thrilling change in the course of human history is that we’re finally in it. … We’re here now, women are in the world, and we will not be bullied.”
- “No woman should be told she can’t make decisions about her own body. When women’s rights are under attack, we fight back.”
- “Women will be hidden no more. We will not remain hidden figures. We have names. … It was woman that gave you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was woman that gave you Malcolm X. And according to the Bible, it was a woman that gave you Jesus. Don’t you ever forget it.”
- “I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story—I will.”
- “Women’s speech—and the fact that we are now listening to it—has enraged men in a way that makes them determined to reëstablish the longstanding hierarchy of power in America. … And yet this awful truth will not stop women from speaking, and I do not think that it will turn a movement into a moment. It has become clear that there is not nearly enough left to lose.”
- Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, often times, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.
- “In my opinion, the most exciting potential of women of color formations resides in the possibility of politicizing this identity—basing the identity on politics rather than the politics on identity.”
- “I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawingroom, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.”
- “I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.”
- “Around the world there are countless examples of women rising, taking leadership, taking their destiny into their own hands, inspiring all of us. But women and girls are still the majority of the victims of war. They are over half of all refugees, and the vast majority of the victims of rape and other sexual and gender-based violence.”
- “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman?”
From Harper’s Bazaar UK