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22 Powerful Moments That Made You Proud To Be A Feminist In 2014

"Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes." —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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1. When Beyoncé LITERALLY stood (and danced) by the word "feminist" at the 2014 VMAs.

Pictured: Beyoncé literally refusing your antifeminist nonsense in front of the world and everybody.
Getty Images / Michael Buckner

Pictured: Beyoncé literally refusing your antifeminist nonsense in front of the world and everybody.

2. When Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz launched her "Carry That Weight" project, and her fellow Columbia students rallied to help.

Sulkowicz began a visual arts senior thesis in which she pledged to carry a mattress with her as long as her rapist remains a student at Columbia.
Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Sulkowicz began a visual arts senior thesis in which she pledged to carry a mattress with her as long as her rapist remains a student at Columbia.

3. When, in the wake of the UCSB tragedy, the #YesAllWomen hashtag reached over 1 million tweets.

Just gotta say, on the almost-summer's day, I love you my brave web friends #YesAllWomen

Lena Dunham@lenadunhamFollow

Just gotta say, on the almost-summer's day, I love you my brave web friends #YesAllWomen

6:30 PM - 26 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I shouldn't have to hold my car keys in hand like a weapon & check over my shoulder every few seconds when I walk at night #YesAllWomen

Sophia Bush@SophiaBushFollow

I shouldn't have to hold my car keys in hand like a weapon & check over my shoulder every few seconds when I walk at night #YesAllWomen

10:35 AM - 25 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I can't stop reading all of the #YesAllWomen tweets. I'm so moved by so many of them.

Gabourey Sidibe@GabbySidibeFollow

I can't stop reading all of the #YesAllWomen tweets. I'm so moved by so many of them.

10:49 PM - 25 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

4. When Laverne Cox totally slayed the cover of Time magazine — and became the first out transgender actor to be nominated for an Emmy.

Major media moment: Waking to a @time cover story featuring #twoc superstar @Lavernecox! #girlslikeus

Janet Mock@janetmockFollow

Major media moment: Waking to a @time cover story featuring #twoc superstar @Lavernecox! #girlslikeus

7:06 AM - 29 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

5. When Taylor Swift came out in support of feminism.

In an interview with The Guardian this August, Swift revealed that while she had initial misconceptions about identifying as a feminist, she realized that she had "been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so."
AFP / Getty Images ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ

In an interview with The Guardian this August, Swift revealed that while she had initial misconceptions about identifying as a feminist, she realized that she had "been taking a feminist stance without actually saying so."

6. When Roxane Gay reminded us that feeling like a bad feminist was actually OK:

(And when a lot of people agreed with her and put Bad Feminist on the New York Times Best Seller list!)

7. When deputy leader of the British Labour party, Harriet Harman, wore a feminist T-shirt to the House of Commons.

This is what a feminist will look like at Prime Minister's Questions today @ELLEUK @fawcettsociety #ellefeminism

Harriet Harman@HarrietHarmanFollow

This is what a feminist will look like at Prime Minister's Questions today @ELLEUK @fawcettsociety #ellefeminism

6:29 AM - 29 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

8. When Michelle Howard became the first woman in the history of the U.S. Navy to be promoted to the rank of four-star admiral.

Peter D. Lawlor / Getty Images Handout

9. When a video exposing street harassment in NYC went viral and started real conversations about sexism that women face every day.

View this video on YouTube

10. And when street artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh used her portraits to speak out about street harassment.

View more of the project here.
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh / Via stoptellingwomentosmile.com

View more of the project here.

11. When Emma Watson spoke about gender equality and feminism at the U.N., and generally threw down like a queen.

As a Goodwill Ambassador and in support of the HeForShe gender equality campaign, Emma Watson emphasized the need for men to support women's rights initiatives worldwide and disassemble stereotypes that are harmful for both genders.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images Entertainment

As a Goodwill Ambassador and in support of the HeForShe gender equality campaign, Emma Watson emphasized the need for men to support women's rights initiatives worldwide and disassemble stereotypes that are harmful for both genders.

12. When Nicole Perlman, a previously unknown screenwriter, co-wrote the year's highest grossing blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy.

Getty Images for Disney Alberto E. Rodriguez
Marvel

And became the first woman writer credited on a Marvel film.

13. When Renee Zellweger calmly schooled everyone for freaking out about her changed appearance.

The actor said in an interview with People: "I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows" — which is what it sounds like when haters are put in their place.
Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

The actor said in an interview with People: "I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows" — which is what it sounds like when haters are put in their place.

14. When Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, and Zoe Quinn spoke out about harassment and stereotypes in the gaming industry...even in the face of threats.

Sarkeesian, pictured above, faced online harassment after creating a series of videos about how women were portrayed as stereotypes in video games, while Quinn and Wu spoke out after being targeted as women working in game development. They were joined by celebrities such as Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton calling for greater inclusiveness in the gaming community.
Anita Sarkeesian / Via youtube.com

Sarkeesian, pictured above, faced online harassment after creating a series of videos about how women were portrayed as stereotypes in video games, while Quinn and Wu spoke out after being targeted as women working in game development. They were joined by celebrities such as Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton calling for greater inclusiveness in the gaming community.

15. When Shonda Rhimes was in charge of every show on ABC's Thursday night.

In September, ABC rolled out an unprecedented primetime lineup of programming helmed by Shonda Rimes, adding How to Get Away With Murder in the time slot following long-standing favorites Scandal and Grey's Anatomy. All three shows have been celebrated for portraying diverse, multifaceted characters.
Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown

In September, ABC rolled out an unprecedented primetime lineup of programming helmed by Shonda Rimes, adding How to Get Away With Murder in the time slot following long-standing favorites Scandal and Grey's Anatomy. All three shows have been celebrated for portraying diverse, multifaceted characters.

16. When Janet Yellen became the first female chairperson of the United States Federal Reserve.

Her career at the Federal Reserve has spanned two decades.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Her career at the Federal Reserve has spanned two decades.

17. When Rihanna didn't give a single fuck what anyone thought at the CFDA awards.

Getty Images Larry Busacca
Getty Images / Larry Busacca

18. When pickup artist Julien Blanc (whose "techniques" involve harassing women) got kicked out of Australia.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he cancelled the visa of controversial "pick up artist" Julian Blanc #auspol @ABCNews24

Anna Henderson@annajhendersonFollow

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he cancelled the visa of controversial "pick up artist" Julian Blanc #auspol @ABCNews24

12:44 AM - 07 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

19. When Daniel Radcliffe, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt all voiced their support for gender equality.

AFP/Getty Images BEN STANSALL
Elle
YouTube

In an interview this fall, actor Daniel Radcliffe said: “Well, I think I’m a feminist, just by the virtue of the fact that I believe in equal rights for everyone.” Benedict Cumberbatch recently posed in a "This is what a feminist looks like" T-shirt for Elle, and in September Joseph Gordon-Levitt uploaded a video to YouTube explaining how his mother had taught him feminist principles from a young age.

20. When Cate Blanchett advocated female-driven films in her Oscar acceptance speech.

"To those of us in the industry still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences: They are not. Audiences want to see them, and, in fact, they earn money."
AFP / Getty Images ROBYN BECK

"To those of us in the industry still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences: They are not. Audiences want to see them, and, in fact, they earn money."

21. When some awesome young girls swore in support of feminism and pretty much stomped all over the idea that girls are always "princesses in distress."

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

22. When Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making her the first Pakistani — and youngest person ever — to have received the award. The prize honors her work as an activist for children around the world after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012 for speaking out about the importance of education for girls.
Getty Images Christopher Furlong

Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making her the first Pakistani — and youngest person ever — to have received the award. The prize honors her work as an activist for children around the world after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012 for speaking out about the importance of education for girls.

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