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25 Empowering Quotes On Feminism By Famous People

25 Empowering Quotes On Feminism By Famous People

Emma Watson, in her recent UN speech on feminism, stated there is not one country in the world which can proudly claim to have total gender equality. There is still a long way to go. Once full equality is achieved in every sphere of life, the word ‘feminism’ will become obsolete. In the meantime, here are 25 quotes to help us in the process of empowerment so that we do not become discouraged or lose sight of our goal.

1. “We all fight over what the label ‘feminism’ means but for me it’s about empowerment. It’s not about being more powerful than men – it’s about having equal rights with protection, support, justice. It’s about very basic things. It’s not a badge like a fashion item.” – Annie Lennox.

Annielennox

    Once feminism is no longer a badge, women will have full empowerment.

    2. “What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy, and smug they might be.” – Caitlin Moran

    Women will no longer be slaves to traditional views regarding their looks, beauty and health.

    3. “The glass ceiling is not simply a barrier for an individual, based on the person’s inability to handle a higher-level job. Rather, the glass ceiling applies to women as a group who are kept from advancing higher because they are women.” – Ann Morrison

    Despite progress in women gaining top positions, they are still blocked by the glass ceiling, as mentioned above. The fact that there is still a 23% pay gap between the sexes speaks volumes.

    4. “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.” – Cheris Kramarae

    This still needs to be said when we read that women are sold for marriage and murdered when the dowry money is not enough. Inhuman acts against women are still rife. Just one of the things mentioned in Catharine MacKinnon’s book, Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law.

    5. “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” – Gloria Steinem

    Gloria Steinem

      Gloria Steinem always had doubts about the institution of marriage and to everyone’s surprise, became a first time bride at the age of 66. She said that this was proof that ‘feminism is about the ability to choose what’s right at each time of our lives.’ Sadly, her husband, David Bale, died three years later.

      6. “I would [call myself a feminist], yes, I believe in the unadulterated advancement of women. And we have so far to go still.” – Rashida Jones

      Rashida makes it clear that women are so talented in many ways that the reduction of them as sex symbols is wrong and must be challenged.

      7. “I think that unfortunately people who are maybe threatened by feminism think that it’s about setting your bra on fire and being aggressive, and I think that’s really wrong and really dangerous.” – Jenny Slate

      Many men feel that feminism is a threat rather than an opportunity.

      8. “I don’t think we are the same, women and men. We’re different. But I don’t think we are less than men. There are more women than men in the world – ask any single woman! So, it is shocking that men are in more positions of power.” – Salma Hayek

      Many women do not have to wait for marriage to realize their full potential. Marriage is not necessarily a requirement for a happy life. Many single women are perfectly happy.

      9. “The legal subordination of one sex to another — is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a system of perfect equality, admitting no power and privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other.” – John Stuart Mill

      It may come as a surprise but this is an extract from a book written by John Stuart Mill in 1869! He felt strongly that female inequality was a hindrance to human development.

      10. “In Pakistan, when we were stopped from going to school, at that time I realized that education…is the power for women, and that’s why the terrorists are afraid of education.” – Malala Yousafzai

      Malala

        Malala was shot in the head by religious extremists because she stood up for girls’ rights to education in the Swat valley in Pakistan. She survived the attack and 10 men have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

        11. “Gender equality is critical to the development and peace of every nation.” — Kofi Annan

        Kofi Annan is convinced that gender equality is not just a goal towards human development but must first be a precondition.

        12. “I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they’re out there and it really bothers me.” ― Kurt Cobain

        One of the few famous men who really believed that there was nothing wrong with a man who was an unadulterated feminist.

        13. “Beating women is not cultural, it is criminal and it needs to be treated as such.” Hillary Clinton

        In the USA, FBI figures show there are about 2 million men who regularly beat their female partners.

        14. “Rape is one of the most terrible crimes and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there.” – Kurt Cobain

        Kurt Cobain got to the heart of the matter. Society still tries to lay most of the blame on the victims.

        15. “Know what? Bitches get stuff done.” – Tina Fey

        Tina

          Tina Fey’s satirical and comic acts often stress the need for women to take responsibility for their part in our sexist society.

          16. “Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practised no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for child care, for social welfare, for rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist’, I ask ‘Why? What’s your problem?’” – Dale Spender

          Feminism has been a huge challenge due to ingrained views about women’s role in society. Enormous progress has been gained but much more needs to be done.

          17. “Has feminism made us all more conscious? I think it has. Feminist critiques of anthropological masculine bias have been quite important, and they have increased my sensitivity to that kind of issue.” – Clifford Geertz

          Geertz was an anthropologist who wrote a lot about ethnic diversity and how it shaped our modern world.

          18. “Feminism is sort of like God. Many people profess to believe in it, but no one seems to be able to define it to everyone’s satisfaction.” – Aaron Allston

          It has been difficult to define feminism due to the myriad views on beliefs, theories and activism surrounding the movement.

          19. “Our mothers’ generation fought so hard to change things and we’re the first generation to benefit. And now you get girls in their twenties who say they’re not feminists.”- Kristin Davis

          From over-romantic prude in Sex and the City to the bitch-goddess in the soap opera Melrose Place, Kristin knows something about playing female roles. Her upbringing encouraged her to be active in feminist issues. Her mother set the example by setting up a pregnancy advisory clinic in the Deep South, when this was frowned on.

          20. “I wanted to focus on creating a…new 21st century woman, someone who is not defined by her skin color or hair texture but by what she does for the community.” – Janelle Monae

          Janelle3

            21. “The stereotypes of feminists as ugly, or man-haters, or hairy, or whatever it is – that’s really strategic. That’s a really smart way to keep young women away from feminism, is to kind of put out this idea that all feminists hate men, or all feminists are ugly; and that they really come from a place of fear.” – Jessica Valenti

            The extreme reaction to this stereotype has been taken up by the Women Against Feminism which seems like a total waste of time and energy.

            22. “Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.” – Andrea Dworkin

            Time to stop the gender hatred war.

            23. “The word feminism needs to be taken back. It needs to be reclaimed in a way that is inclusive of men.” – Annie Lennox

            When and this happens, real progress will be made.

            24. “The word, and the concept of feminism, was a gift because it gave me a sense of identity and a way of defining how I wished to live my life.” – Betty Buckley

            Feminism has given millions of women a voice and a better chance of making progress in a male dominated society.

            25. “You cannot have a full career and a full life at home with your children if you are also doing all of the housework and child care.” – Sheryl Sandberg

            Sharing domestic and household work must still be an important piece of the feminist agenda. For it to be viewed as simply a feminine task is extremely limiting for women and reduces their status.

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            As we have seen, feminism is a campaign which has had mixed results but progress has definitely been made. Let us know in the comments below what direction feminism should now be taking.

            Featured photo credit: Emma Watson/Marco Bond via flickr.com

            More by this author

            Robert Locke

            Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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            Last Updated on January 15, 2019

            How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

            How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

            Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

            In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

            Step right up, don’t be shy!

            Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

            The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

            Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

            Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
            So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

            A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

            Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

            Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

            When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

            Culturally Conditioned

            We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

            I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

            The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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            Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

            Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

            Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

            1. Broadens Your Network

            After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

            2. Improves Your Communication Skills

            I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

            Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

            3. Continually Learning

            So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

            Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

            4. Increases Self Confidence

            Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

            Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

            So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

            How to Talk to Strangers

            Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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            1. Say Hello

            Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

            Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

            Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

            2. Ask About Them

            Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

            You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

            As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

            3. Just Do It

            One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

            When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

            Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

            4. Don’t Take It Personal

            One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

            When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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            5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

            I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

            One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

            6. Detach

            A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

            Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

            7. Share Your Stories

            Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

            To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

            So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

            8. Give a Compliment

            Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

            When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

            9. Relax Your Body Language

            If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

            When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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            If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

            10. Practice, Practice, Practice

            Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

            Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

            After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

            The Bottom Line

            As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

            There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

            Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

            Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

            More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

            Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

            Reference

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