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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 July 15, 2020

            How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

            How to Let Go of Toxic People in Your Life

            “Entitlement is an expression of conditional love. Nobody is ever entitled to your love. You always have a right to protect your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by removing yourself from toxic people and circumstances.” -Dr. Janice Anderson & Kiersten Anderson

            It’s not always obvious if you have someone toxic in your life. A toxic relationship is one that is harmful to you. A toxic person can create distress to the degree you feel inadequate and isolated. So, what makes a toxic person?

            A toxic person has toxic behavior, meaning it’s not that the whole person is toxic[1]. It’s what they do that counts. Most toxic people run from accountability and misrepresent reality to you. They misrepresent your worth and your ability to heal from them can be stifled the longer you keep them in your life. You have a role to play with it as well; if your values are dismissed by them and you don’t act on it, you have allowed room for toxicity to grow.

            When you are in a toxic relationship, you feel less than. You feel as though you are not worth anyone’s time or effort. You feel unheard, and sometimes you feel unsafe. You don’t feel good about yourself in a toxic relationship, whether it be with a partner, friend, or family member.

            You may stay in a toxic relationship for a number of reasons. You may believe yourself to be a burden, have a lack of boundaries, resist change, fear conflict, try to be a people pleaser, find yourself codependent, or are partially stuck in a pattern or unhealthy cycle of abuse.

            Letting go of toxic people may not be easy. In order to do so, you have to know why or how they are toxic to you and read between the lines that they do not have your best interests in mind.

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            Letting go of toxic people is hard because you are good and want to see the good in others. You think their apologies are authentic. You have trouble believing they are being dishonest. You don’t spend time healing from it. You get pulled back into the pain because you don’t want it to end. However, if you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t right.

            You should walk away from a toxic person because you need to preserve your peace. You need to feel like yourself again. And you need better support.

            Letting go of toxic people can involve four major steps.

            1. Recognize the Red Flags

            Red flags are signs a person is being toxic. It’s when someone shows characteristics that you should feel caution about. It’s when you feel any level of dissatisfaction and distrust. Trust your gut. When you recognize red flags, you can evaluate whether a person is trying to manipulate you or not. This gives you some level of control over what you allow in your life. The earlier you detect these behaviors, the better off you will be.

            Red flags can include:

            • They always put themselves first.
            • They point out imperfections and sabotage your self-esteem.
            • You may feel drained or used when you’re around them.
            • What you give isn’t reciprocated. They don’t return the goodness you provide as a friend.
            • They ignore your boundaries and get angry when you tell them “no.”
            • You catch them in half truths or outright lies when you confront them about anything.
            • You are the villain; they are the victim.
            • Second chances always lead to repeated patterns of behavior.
            • They may engage in abuse.

            2. Set Boundaries

            There are emotional boundaries that one can set, but there are also physical ones[2]. You can leave any time. Setting boundaries is also an important part of self-care.

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            You shouldn’t walk on eggshells. Tell them how you feel. Are they respecting you, fulfilling your needs, and listening to you? If not, it’s time to set up a healthy emotional distance and start letting go of toxic people around you.

            There are levels to this. You have your inner circle, which could include family, and then you have acquaintances and strangers. If a toxic person is in your inner circle, it’s time to pull back and put up some boundaries for them to follow. If they can’t hear you out, you can cut off the connection completely.

            You can give second chances, but you have to be careful. If someone knows they can get away with something, they will do it again. If there’s any chance for the relationship, they have to know not to cross certain lines.

            3. Invest in Yourself

            You deserve to know you are worthwhile. Try to remember that things will get better and that anything is possible. How do you do so? Invest in yourself.

            This means self care, goal setting, surrounding yourself with positive support, and feeling a sense of peace. Your greatest ambition should be to love yourself. Without self-love, letting go of toxic people will be difficult.

            Every relationship is a risk, but if you know yourself and what you will allow, toxic people will have less of a hold over you. If you are a giver or people pleaser, you are most at risk to being in a one-sided relationship. You shouldn’t be punished for caring, but sometimes trust needs to be earned. If you have self-love, you are treating yourself the best way possible. You know that others need to meet your standards; otherwise, they don’t get to be a part of your life.

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            It’s possible that you can love yourself and still not see the signs. It can be difficult for some to be aware that toxic people exist. However,, if you know how much you mean to others in your life and what you are worth, you will be less likely to take on a relationship that is harmful to you or repeat negative patterns. Self-love is how we get out of toxic relationships, but it’s also how they never begin.

            4. Know When Forgiveness Is Possible

            There are times a person will prove their worth to you. They may make a mistake that makes them seem like a horrible person. They may forget to be good to you because of their own issues. They may just have no example of what a healthy relationship looks like. They may have an inflated ego that really comes from insecurity. The list goes on.

            If they apologize, that’s a start. Look at their actions. Are they changing for the better because they really want to change or just seeming to in order to manipulate you? A person may control others with their image or perceived personality, but if you see through them, you may be able to discern the degree to which they are willing to be there for you.

            If they start to do the right thing, you may begin to trust them again. Don’t start forgiving them until time has passed and you are sure there is growth, even if they show vulnerability or remorse. You can give a second chance if they truly have an awakening. Otherwise, it’s best to get out. Don’t let them walk all over you; let them walk out the door.

            If you do give a second change and they still refuse to change, you have every right to remove them and continue the process of letting go of toxic people. The moment you even want to leave may also be a good time to get out. You don’t have to compromise yourself in order to care for them.

            Forgiveness is the release of resentment or anger[3]. Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. You have to go back to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone. You don’t have to let them back in. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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            Remember, forgiveness is ultimately for you, not them. You don’t need that person in your life in order to forgive them, and if you give them a second chance, proceed with caution.

            Final Thoughts

            Recognize the red flags, set boundaries, invest in yourself, and know when forgiveness is possible. This is how you cope with a toxic person impacting your life. You have power in the direction of your life and the people who accompany you as you move forward. Use it.

            If a person is worthwhile, they will prove themselves through their actions, not their words. If they cross certain lines that really harm you, you owe them nothing. You have every right to feel what you feel and to be upset. Honor your feelings and communicate them because it’ll only continue to keep happening if you don’t.

            If this is happening to you, it’s time to put a stop to it. It’s time to take control. It’s time to live for yourself, not for what others say about you. It’s time to set your standards higher than they’ve ever been before. And most of all, it’s time to let go.

            Resource reminder: A physically abusive relationship is ALWAYS toxic. There are resources for you. Always speak up.

            If you are in such a cycle or domestic violence or abuse reach out for help. For example, there is The National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/) which can be reached at 1−800−799−7233. There are other ways to get help if you simply ask for it. 

            More Tips on Letting Go of Toxic People

            Featured photo credit: Hannah Busing via unsplash.com

            Reference

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