It's Women's Equality Day, and you know what that means: Hordes of Facebook posts and tweets pointedly wondering why we're still celebrating gender equality. It's enough to make any feminist want to roll the eyes right out of their head. But before you do any permanent damage, check out these 17 inspiring quotes about women's equality. It won't erase the knowledge that half of your high school acquaintances and distant relatives don't have a basic understanding of how sexism works, but I promise it will help.
Every Women's Equality Day is cause for celebration, but this year is especially important. August 18, 2015 — just eight days ago — marked the 95th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. (Well, some women, anyway.) As difficult as it may be for women today, we owe the current progress in gender equality to our feminist sisters, who fought for more than 70 years to win the right to vote. Without women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and my personal favorite, Ida B. Wells, who knows where the fight for equality would be today?
We may have a long ways left to go, but we've certainly come pretty far from where we once were. With our feminist forebears in mind, let's celebrate women's equality with some badass feminist quotes both old and new.
1. "I am a feminist. I’ve been female for a long time now. I’d be stupid not to be on my own side."
— Maya Angelou
2. "A gender-equal society would be one where the word 'gender' does not exist: where everyone can be themselves."
— Gloria Steinem
3. "When God created man and woman, he was thinking, 'Who shall I give the power to, to give birth to the next human being?' And God chose woman. And this is the big evidence that women are powerful."
— Malala Yousafzai
4. "Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance."
5. "We are struggling for a uniting word, but the good news is that we have a uniting movement."
— Emma Watson
6. "Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. It is everyone's responsibility."
— Ban Ki-moon
7. "Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights."
— Hillary Clinton
8. "Women's liberation is the liberation of the feminine in the man and the masculine in the woman."
9. "Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism."
— Oprah Winfrey
10. "I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved."
— B. R. Ambedkar
11. "I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't."
— Audre Lorde
12. "I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves."
13. "One child must never be set above another, even in casual conversation, not to mention in speeches that circle the globe."
— Alice Walker
14. "Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult."
— Charlotte Whitton
15. "Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others."
— Amelia Earhart
16. "I demanded more rights for women because I know what women had to put up with."— Evita Peron
17. "Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less."
— Susan B. Anthony