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10 Powerful Quotes that Will Make You Proud to be a Feminist


On September 20th, Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson delivered a speech at the UN that many media outlets have since labeled “game-changing”. In it, Watson not only introduces the “HeforShe” campaign, extending a “formal invitation” to men to join the movement against gender inequality, but also addresses a whole host of issues that have become associated with modern-day feminism. “I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me,” Watson said, “but my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Apparently, I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men, and unattractive.”

It is this aggressiveness, as Watson identifies, and this “man-hating” that have unfortunately come to be synonymous with feminism, and campaigns for basic equality have become buried beneath the harshness of this image. Part of the beauty of Watson’s speech, however, is the quiet way in which she defuses this idea, rallying all of her feminists and her “inadvertent feminists” to put aside their quibbles over the word and stand firm behind the ideal.

Watson’s speech was not the first – nor will it be the last – insightful commentary on feminism. Her words, and those of the women listed below, are powerful, inspiring, and would make anyone proud to be a feminist.

1. “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” (Rebecca West)

2. “I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists. Could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?” (Ellen Page)

3. “We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” (Malala Yousafzai)

4. “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” (G.D. Anderson)

5. “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” (Gloria Steinem)

6. “Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, ‘They are afraid women will laugh at them.’ When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, ‘We’re afraid of being killed.’” (Mary Dickinson, A Woman’s Worst Nightmare)

7. “I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.” (Amy Poehler)

8. “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” (Virginia Woolf)

9. “We need to stop telling girls they can be anything they want when they grow up. Because it would have never occurred to them that they couldn’t.” (Sarah Silverman)

10. “5 Rules of Feminism: 1. Women are equal to men. 2. Don’t be a dick. 3. That’s it.” (Caitlin Moran)

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