16 Of The Most Feminist Quotes From Celebrities
Believe it or not, it's 2015 and some people still get confused by the definition of feminism. Whether they mistakenly associate it with man-hating or get distracted by other stereotypes, there are various reason that individuals are apprehensive to embrace the F-word. But at the root of it, feminism is all about equal rights for women and men. Although not everybody may be on board with the label, there are plenty of celebrities who are open about being feminists — males and females alike. Luckily, it's become a way less taboo term as time goes on, as it should. Even some celebrities have changed their opinions on the matter, like Taylor Swift, who previously misunderstood its meaning. Now she's like a beacon for girl power with her ever-growing squad.
Swift's not the only one embodying feminism. From young stars, like Amandla Sternberg and Rowan Blanchard, to #HeForShe activists, such as Emma Watson and Matthew McGorry, there are plenty of famous people to look to for inspiration when it comes to gender equality. Here's a round-up of the most feminist quotes from celebrities. Because when it comes to supporting equal rights, the people on this list are definitely role models.
1. Viola Davis
At the 2015 Emmys, Viola Davis accepted the award for Lead Actress in a Drama and became the first black woman to do so. In her memorable acceptance speech, she said,
The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here's to all the writers, the awesome people... Shonda Rhimes. People who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman. To be black. And to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharis, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union. Thank you for taking us over that line.
2. Rowan Blanchard
The Girl Meets World star was named one of 2015's Feminists of the Year by the Ms. Foundation, along with her pal Amandla Stenberg. While Blanchard's entire Instagram post about intersectional feminism belongs on this list, this quote about asking women more meaningful questions is equally awesome. In September, she told Elle,
I'm happy to talk about what I'm wearing. It's cool to spotlight a new designer on the runway, and to contribute to the fashion world that I love. It's a very special thing I get to do. But don't make my story, and who I am, be my dress, while my male co-star's story is how he picks scripts and gets inspired. Why not ask me that, too? Ask me work questions, too! Ask me about my life!
Zendaya's quote about how she defines feminism belongs in the dictionary itself. She told Flare magazine,
A feminist is a person who believes in the power of women just as much as they believe in the power of anyone else. It’s equality, it’s fairness, and I think it’s a great thing to be a part of.
4. Emma Watson
This outspoken #HeForShe activist has had many brilliant quotes about feminism. Here's one of her best:
You know, I feel like young girls are told that they have to be this kind of princess and be all delicate and fragile, and it’s bullsh*t. I identified much more with the idea of being a warrior, and being a fighter… I think women are scared of feeling powerful and strong and brave, and I think that’s something they’ve got to embrace.
5. Aziz Ansari
In 2014, Aziz Ansari appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and described feminism perfectly. It's actually an analogy I've referenced on multiple occasions when trying to get others to understand the concept. The comedian said,
If you believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re feminist, you have to say yes because that is how words work. "You can’t be like, "Oh yeah, I’m a doctor that primarily does diseases of the skin." Oh, so you’re a dermatologist? "Oh no, that’s way too aggressive of a word! No no not at all not at all."
6. Jennifer Lawrence
In the essay Lawrence penned for Lenny Letter, she tackled the wage gap flawlessly. The Hunger Games actress wrote,
I'm over trying to find the "adorable" way to state my opinion and still be likable! F*ck that. I don't think I've ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It's just heard.
7. John Legend
John Legend believes in empowered women and their ability to change the world — and he couldn't be more right. The singer said,
All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights, the world will be a better place. We are better off when women are empowered — it leads to a better society.
8. Taylor Swift
In an interview with Esquire, Swift commented on her boy-crazy reputation. The singer highlighted the double standards, as well as the importance of independence. She said,
I really didn’t like the whole serial-dater thing. I thought it was a really sexist angle on my life. And so I just stopped dating people, because it meant a lot to me to set the record straight —that I do not need some guy around in order to get inspiration, in order to make a great record, in order to live my life, in order to feel OK about myself. And I wanted to show my fans the same thing.
9. Matt McGorry
I like my women like I like my coffee: w/ infinite variations of size, color, & $ value, bc none of these determines its right to be loved
10. Amandla Stenberg
At age 17, Amandla Sternberg is wise beyond her years. Proving this, she once tweeted,
End the "angry black girl" narrative. It's just another attempt to undermine certain perspectives. I have strong opinions. I am not angry.
11. Nicki Minaj
Earlier in 2015, Nicki Minaj shut down a New York Times Magazine reporter who asked if she thrives off drama, in reference to the Meek Mill and Drake feud. She flawlessly pointed out that as a woman, she shouldn't be blamed for those immature actions of men. This isn't the only time the rapper stood up for herself. In an interview with V magazine, Minaj said,
There’s nothing wrong with speaking my mind, as long as when the song cuts off I’m still a businesswoman and I still respect myself. That’s where the true balance lies in my life. Women should be allowed to be as hardcore and sexual as we want, because men do it all the time.
12. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
When talking to Ellen DeGeneres, JGL explained his mom raised him as a feminist. The actor talked about breaking out of gender roles, saying,
I do call myself a feminist. Absolutely! It's worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us and that we don't have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we wanna be.
During her HBO documentary Life Is But A Dream , Beyoncé said,
We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.
14. Laverne Cox
The Orange Is The New Black actress sums up perfectly why anyone and everyone can support feminism. In an interview with DAME magazine, she said,
I think transwomen, and transpeople in general, show everyone that you can define what it means to be a man or woman on your own terms. A lot of what feminism is about is moving outside of roles and moving outside of expectations of who and what you’re supposed to be to live a more authentic life.
15. Amy Schumer
I am a woman with thoughts and questions and sh*t to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and f*ck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it.
16. Gina Rodriguez
I used to hear my mom say, "Cream always rises to the top, Gina, be patient, they just need to see you." I would be like, "I'm not pretty enough, I'm not tall enough" and she'd say, "You're exactly who you're supposed to be; you're enough. Just let people see it." Now I can talk to more girls and tell them that any skin color, any economic background, any shape they were born into is perfect and right and strong and beautiful and enough because I'm sitting here not the stereotype.
Rodriguez is right — all types of people are beautiful, strong, and worthy of equality. It's inspiring to see such a wide range of celebrities speak up and embody exactly what feminism is all about.