bell hooks. (b. 1952) Gloria Jean Watkins is an American author, social activist, and a feminist – best known under her pen name, bell hooks.
– “Feminism is a struggle to end sexist oppression. Therefore, it is necessarily a struggle to eradicate the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels.”
– “I am passionate about everything in my life – first and foremost, passionate about ideas. And that’s a dangerous person to be in this society, not just because I’m a woman, but because it’s such a fundamentally anti-intellectual, anti-critical thinking society.”
– “It is obvious that many women have appropriated feminism to serve their own ends, especially those white women who have been at the forefront of the movement; but rather than resigning myself to this appropriation I choose to re-appropriate the term “feminism,” to focus on the fact that to be “feminist” in any authentic sense of the term is to want for all people, female and male, liberation from sexist role patterns, domination, and oppression.”
– “I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”
Gloria Steinem. (b. 1934) American born feminist, journalist, and a social and political activist. Nationally recognised as a leader and spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the late 1960s and late 70s.
– “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”
– “Age brings a freedom. When you’re young, you’re much more subject to the idea of what feminine is or how you should look or how you should behave.”
– “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke… She will need her sisterhood.”
– “If you are not a feminist in love, you fail to recognise someone who does not love you. Feminism makes love easier. Otherwise, there is the danger of feeling romantically drawn to someone who does not see you as an equal.”
Maya Angelou. (1928-2014) American author, poet, and civil rights activist. In her lifetime, Angelou published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several book of poetry.
– “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
– “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
– “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
– “A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally.”
Emma Watson. (b. 1990) British born actress, model, and activist. English Literature graduate, in 2014 Watson was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign, #HeForShe.
– “If you want to run for Prime Minister, you can. If you don’t, that’s wonderful, too. Shave your armpits, don’t shave them, wear flats one day, heels the next. These things are so irrelevant and surface to what it is all really about, and I wish people wouldn’t get caught up in that. We want to empower women to do exactly what they want, to be true to themselves, to have the opportunities to develop.”
– “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do or achieve. Do what you want to do and be who you want to be. Just encourage and include each other, don’t ostracize the gender in front of you.”
– “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals.”
– “I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”
Tavi Gevinson. (b. 1996) American born writer, actress, singer, magazine editor and founder of Rookie. Since the age of 15, Gevinson has been focusing on feminist discussion and pop culture.
– “For most people, being a feminist sounds so complicated. It’s always more convenient to not be someone with controversial opinions.”
– “If the next thing I do is not necessarily filling the role of ‘the future of journalism,’ it’ll probably be whatever is making me happiest, and that’s enough for me.”
– “Feminism is not a rulebook, but a discussion, a conversation, a process.”
– “You will never hear more people tell you that you’re wrong than when you’re succeeding.”
Amandla Stenberg. (b. 1998) American actress, musician, and a social activist. Declared as “one of the most incendiary voices of her generation” by Dazed Magazine, Stenberg helped to bring the topic of culture appropriation into public light.
– “End the ‘angry black girl’ narrative. It’s just another attempt to undermine certain perspectives. I have strong opinions. I am not angry.”
– “It can be really discouraging to see how far we still have to go and how much work still needs to be done before we can create a world where we’re all judged by how we are and not how we look, but I’m strengthened every day because I’m still here, I’m surviving, and I’m using my voice.”
– “I think the internet forces you to be okay with your mistakes, and the things you’ve done in the past, especially when you’re in the media. Personally, that helps me to stop self-editing or being self-conscious, and instead realise that my previous mistakes have allowed me to grow.”
– “I want to see more black creators. I want a place for black girls to exist within art and fashion and all components of pop culture.”
Malala Yousafzai. (b. 1997) Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.
– “We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential.”
– “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
– “So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak not for myself, but so those without a voice can be heard. Those who have fought for their rights. Their right to live in peace. Their right to be treated with dignity. Their right to equality of opportunity. Their right to be educated.”
– “I raise up my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
Frida Kahlo. (1907-1954) Mexican painter best known for her self-portraits, born under the name of Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón. Frieda’s work has been widely recognised and celebrated as emblematic of Mexican national and indigenous traditions, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.
– “I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.”
– “I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”
– “I used to think I was the strangest person in the world, but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.”
– “I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”
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Compiled by Dominika Wojciechowska;
featured photographs of Amandla Stenberg sourced via Teen Vogue,
all other images sourced via Google.