This hasn't exactly been the easiest year for marginalized groups. Between the election, government threats to reproductive rights, the surge in discrimination and hate in the United States, and many other issues, a lot of us are feeling a little discouraged. But that's where these feminist quotes to give you hope for the future come in — they're especially needed as we ring in the new year. Without discounting all the work that needs to be done, we can still remind ourselves that we have the ability to do it.
It helps, of course, to have concrete actionable items in mind: Whether they're organizations you donate to or volunteer for, marches and demonstrations you take part in, letters you write or phone calls you make to your representatives, or even the tiny, little things you do on a day-to-day basis, having an actual goal to accomplish can go a long way towards keep your spirits up. Sometimes, though, a few words of wisdom can provide some extra support, refueling your drive and keeping your momentum going.
These feminist words might play that role. If this year has left you feeling hopeless, there's still hope to be found — you just have to look for it.
"And to all the women and especially the young women who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion. Now, I know, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams."
— Hillary Clinton, Former Secretary of State and Democratic Candidate For President of the United States
"We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better."
— J.K. Rowling, Author
"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."
— Amy Schumer, Comedian
"Women have to harness their power — it's absolutely true. It's just learning not to take the first no. And if you can't go straight ahead, you go around the corner."
—Cher, Singer and Actress
"When I grow up I’ll become the prime minister and I’ll bring the change."
— Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Activist
"Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture."
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
― Maya Angelou, Writer
"Any way I say this it’s going to sound pseudo-intellectual or something, but I feel like even though the world feels big and intimidating, it’s almost calming to realize that even within the smallest thing, like a cell, there’s an infinity. And you’d think that wouldn’t be calming, that it would be disconcerting, but actually it just makes me feel that there’s an organization between everything in the world."
—Amandla Stenberg, Actress