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25 Empowering Quotes On Feminism By Famous People

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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

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            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 20, 2021

            How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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            How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

            You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

            Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

            Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

            Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

            1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

            According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

            “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

            Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

            Warming up

            If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

            If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

            Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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            1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
            2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
            3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

            Stay hydrated

            Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

            To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

            Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

            Meditate

            Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

            Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

            Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

            Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

            2. Focus on your goal

            One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

            Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

            Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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            Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

            If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

            3. Convert negativity to positivity

            There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

            ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

            It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

            Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

            Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

            Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

            4. Understand your content

            Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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            However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

            “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

            Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

            Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

            One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

            5. Practice makes perfect

            Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

            In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

            Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

            6. Be authentic

            There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

            Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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            Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

            To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

            With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

            Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

            7. Post speech evaluation

            Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

            Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

            We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

            You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

            Improve your next speech

            As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

            Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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            • How did I do?
            • Are there any areas for improvement?
            • Did I sound or look stressed?
            • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
            • Was I saying “um” too often?
            • How was the flow of the speech?

            Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

            If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

            Reference

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