Five Modern Day Feminists to Lookout For

    Now more than ever we need feminism, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as the belief that men and women should have equal rights. Feminism is what has encouraged women generations before mine to make tremendous landmarks such as women’s suffrage and Roe V Wade. Women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gloria Steinem, and Betty Friedan have paved the way for modern day feminists to step up and make a difference like they did. Modern day feminists are the future of this country and here’s a list of specific ones to look out for:


Lauren Duca


Lauren Duca is a writer, columnist, and reporter that has contributed to publications, such as New York Magazine, Vice, and The New Yorker. In 2015 she won the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for best film/television/theater feature for the Huffington Post article “The Rise of the Woman-child”. In December 2016 she wrote an article in Teen Vogue called “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America” which has been viewed a few million times since being released. She has had to push through many obstacles including unsupportive men. Although she has had her share of battles, Duca continues to fight on and give the world her opinion through articles, appearing on television, and even on social media. On Twitter she is a very outspoken feminist and posts her full and unfiltered thoughts which has gained her many followers. Her opinions sprawled on social media gave her a rise in the feminist blogosphere and made her one of the women to count on.


Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox is an actress and LGBT advocate. She became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category. She has been noted by many for being “a trailblazer for the transgender community” and has also won numerous awards for her activism in this area. She is also the first transgender person on the cover of Time magazine, as well as having a wax statue in Madame Tussauds. She fights for intersectional feminism by saying “many of our feminist foremothers cautioned against such essentialism & not having an intersectional approach to feminism”, “patriarchy and cissexism punished my femininity and gender nonconformity”, and “intersectionality complicates both male and cis privilege. This is why it is paramount that we continue to lift up diverse trans stories.” Laverne is not only spreading the word about feminism in Orange is the New Black, but she posts online and speaks to communities on how to make an impact.


Emma Watson


Emma Watson is a British actress, best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series. Additionally she is an activist and model. She has promoted worldwide education for women and has visited a few countries, including Zambia and Bangladesh, during her journey in doing so. In 2014 she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. She launched a campaign called HeForShe, which calls for men to be advocates for gender equality. She stated how even when she was little she was called “bossy” which she credited to the sexualized media. After making the speech, she received threats which only pushed her to work more towards overall equality. She essentially says that feminism is not something we should use to break each other down, but to lift each other up.


Ava DuVernay


Ava DuVernay is a director and screenwriter, as well as film marketer and distributor. Ava has made a name for herself as a Sundance award-winner, as well as an advocate for gender equality in the film industry among A-list directors. She was the first woman of color to direct a film with a budget over $100 million. There are very few female directors, even those of color, who have received as much attention as she has. During an interview with Makers, DuVernay described herself as a feminist as well as a womanist, a feminist slant from a woman of color point of view. She stated that a feminist is” anyone—man or woman—who believes in equality of the sexes.” She proudly describes herself as a black woman filmmaker because that’s her point of view and she stands proud of her viewpoints. Ava has even hired an all-women directorial team on her OWN series. She continues to work hard with tackling issues of racial and gender equality by featuring women and people of color in every story she tells, hoping to take away from the negativity women face in Hollywood.

Gina Rodriguez


Gina Rodriguez is an actress best known for her role as Jane in Jane the Virgin. She has been involved with numerous charities as well as making many philanthropic efforts. This has helped her rise in her career, leading to personal connections and new experiences. In October 2015, Rodriguez was announced as a partner of Naja, a lingerie line wanting to benefit both women and the environment. The company’s savings goes towards school books, lunches, and uniforms for the children of the employees. She has used her fame to speak out to young women, mainly Latinas and girls from low-income families. Rodriguez was recently given Unite4: Humanity’s Young Humanitarian Award for the We Will Foundation, which helps women from low-income areas find their voices through the arts. Additionally she uses her social media as a platform for featuring a different Latin actor each week as a response to the notorious “whitewashed award ceremonies”.