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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 March 30, 2020

            What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

            What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

            Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

            You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

            This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

            What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

            According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

            Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

            There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

            How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

            When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

            Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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            1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

            One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

            The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

            Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

            2. Be Honest

            A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

            If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

            On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

            Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

            3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

            Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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            If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

            4. Succeed at Something

            When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

            Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

            5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

            Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

            Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

            If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

            If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

            Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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            6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

            Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

            You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

            On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

            You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

            7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

            Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

            Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

            Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

            When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

            Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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            In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

            Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

            It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

            Final Thoughts

            When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

            The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

            Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

            Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

            Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

            More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

            Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
            [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
            [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
            [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
            [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
            [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
            [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
            [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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