The Most Feminist Moments Of 2016

by Kiersten Hickman

If I could label the year 2016, I think I would dub 2016 the year of women not taking it anymore. Of course, women have been fighting for equal rights for decades — but there was something about about 2016 that really made it a year to make nasty women everywhere proud. Although there are so many moments where people fought for equal rights during the past year, there are some feminist moments that occurred in 2016 that need to be revisited as the year comes to an end.

During 2016, we saw numerous spotlighted figures (both in the political and entertainment realm) speak up for women’s rights. Some even took some serious action to make equal rights a reality. From when President Obama declared himself a feminist to when women dominated in the Rio Olympics, there were a lot of feminist moments to appreciate in 2016. Of course, the year was also a tumultuous one for feminism and women's rights — Donald Trump became the president-elect, Planned Parenthood's funding continues to be threatened, and 2017 promises to be a year in which women are going to have to be vigilant and fight for their rights.

So, with 2016 coming to a close, there's no better time than to remember the top moments in all their glory. Here are some of the top feminist moments we experienced during 2016:

Emma Watson’s Feminist Book Club

As if Emma Watson wasn’t an amazing enough feminist role model, she went and started a feminist book club called Our Shared Shelf in 2016 — making her even more amazing. As a part of her work with UNWomen, Emma was inspired by numerous books and essays she found on equality and decided to create a space that would empower others to read the same materials. Her way of advertising? Placing books all around the London Underground. Ugh, she is literal #goals.

Emmy Rossum Wins Equal Pay

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Since fighting for equality is what feminism is all about, Emmy Rossum certainly made the ultimate feminist act while fighting for a salary raise. No, she wasn’t simply asking for more — she was asking to have the same pay as her Shameless co-star William H. Macy. And what do you know, she got it, and then some. Go girl!

The #NastyWoman Tribe

Sure, Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman”during the final presidential debate was not pleasant, but thankfully, the internet took the opportunity to fight back. Memes, t-shirts, pins, photos, and much more began flooding screens and streets around the country, declaring that yes, we too are nasty women and, yes, we are proud of it.

The Anti-Tampon Tax Bill Passing

Although an anti-tampon-tax bill has been in the works in numerous states starting in 1975, it was President Barack Obama’s declaration of injustice in a January interview that made the anti-tampon-tax possible. In February, anti-tampon-tax bills were introduced in Illinois, Wisconsin, and New York — leading to Chicago’s dropping of the tax in March and the New York Senate dropping it in April. Now, eight different states hold this legislation.

Harriet Tubman On The $20 Bill

The United States Treasury announced in April that women will finally be represented on U.S. paper currency. Well-known suffragists will appear on the $5 and the $10 bills, but the $20 is for Harriet Tubman – the first black woman to appear on U.S. currency.

Amy Schumer Became The First Woman To Make The Highest-Paid Comedian List

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Not only is Amy Schumer #goals when it comes to standing up for herself, her body, and her work, but, in 2016, she became the first woman to be on the world’s highest-paid comedians list this year in Forbes, with an income of $17 million.

U.S. Women Took Home More Medals At The Rio Olympics Than Any Group


People basically couldn’t shut up about Simon Biles after the Rio Olympics, and with good reason: because she's freaking brilliant. But she wasn’t the only U.S. female athlete to completely slay the scoreboard in Rio. In fact, the U.S. women came home with more medals (121, to be exact) than any other country, both male and female, at the games this year. Slay, girls, slay.

Marley Dias' #1000BlackGirlBooks Campaign

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Dias got sick of reading about white boys and their dogs, and decided to do something about it for girls just like her around the nation. In her campaign #1000BlackGirlBooks, 11-year-old Dias is hard at work putting together a list of books that highlight black girls — providing girls, as well as herself, characters they can actually connect with.

President Obama’s Speech On Feminism

President Obama was not afraid to not only explain that he’s a feminist during a White House United State of Women meeting back in June, but he also pointed out that “we need to keep changing the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dad’s, penalizes working moms… we need to keep changing the attitude that prioritizes being confident, independent, and ambitious in the workplace unless you are a woman.”

... And First Lady Michelle Obama's Demoratic National Convention speech

If the First Lady’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 didn’t have you in tears, well, I’m not sure what else would get you to that point. Michelle’s words were powerful for women not only throughout the world. Just watch the speech in full above, it's worth it.

Jill Soloway Calling For Everyone To "Topple the Patriarchy!"

At the Emmys in 2016, Jill Soloway — the creator of Amazon Prime's Transparent — stated the following, powerful words: “We need to stop violence against transwomen, and topple the patriarchy. Topple the patriarchy!” Yaaaas.

Full Funding For Global Fund For Women To Help Promote Gender Equality In Asia

The year 2016 was also significant for the Global Fund for Women, who officially raised $5.9 million in order to create gender equality in Asia after four years of raising funds. They support 140 women-led organizations in 26 different countries that will help end violence, recruit women for office, apply solutions for climate change, and help women to have an equal voice in their community overall.

Hillary Clinton Was The First Woman To Be Nominated For President

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Words cannot express how proud Nasty Women everywhere were of the brave woman that is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not only did she become the first female presidential nominee ever, but gave a concession speech that, despite the horrific election results, still gave women sources of hope and motivation to follow their dreams.

Want to have an awesome 2017? Then check out the "You IRL" stream in the Bustle App for tips on how to have the most empowering year yet.