empowerment, feminism, transformative, women

18 Transformative Moments For Women in 2014(Part 2)

..(Continued) Click here for Part 1

11.Emma Watson Launched The #HeForShe Campaign, Calling Men To Act Against Sexism
During a Sept. 21 address to the UN, the actress introduced the #HeForShe campaign, which encourages men to join the fight for gender equality.

”When I was 8, I was confused about being called “bossy” because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents. But the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media, when at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscle-y,” when at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings, I decided that I was a feminist. And this seems uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists.

Apparently, I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, “too aggressive,” isolating, and anti-men, unattractive, even. Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one?The more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating,” Watson said. “If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop… Men — I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too.”

12.Gabrielle Union And Jennifer Lawrence Responded Eloquently And With Class To Their Nude Photos Being Stolen
After private photographs were stolen and published on the Internet, Jennifer Lawrence and Gabrielle Union spoke out about the violation. Lawrence referred to the hack as “a sex crime,” telling Vanity Fair: “Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this. It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world.I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for,” she said. Amen to that.”

13. Mo’ne Davis made everyone want to “throw like a girl.”

When the 13-year-old Davis led her team to the Little League World Series, it’s safe to say she captivated the nation. Poised and confident, Davis was an instant role model for millions of little girls — and boys — and also was the first Little Leaguer to grace a Sports Illustrated cover. To top it off, she was also recently named Sports Illustrated Kid‘s “SportsKid of the Year.” You go, girl.

14.When Indian actress Mallika Sherawat shut down a reporter for asking her to stay silent on the issue of women’s rights.

”Indian society is regressive for women. With female feticide, infanticide happening on an almost daily basis; with gang rapes making the headlines of almost every newspaper; with honor killings… I think it’s a very, very regressive state for women.As a woman, I should lie about the state of women that’s in our country? So I didn’t lie. I said the truth.” Seemed pretty badass and legit to me

15.Getty Images Introduced The “Lean In” Collection
We’re all tired of stock photos that feature women laughing alone with salad. This year, Getty Images teamed up with “Lean In” and released a new stock photo gallery with 2,500 images breaking down stereotypes about gender roles.

“The stock imagery around women is embarrassing,” Jessica Bennett, contributing editor at LeanIn.org, said in a press release. “You can’t be what you can’t see, so if women and girls are not seeing images of powerful women and girls who are leaders, then they may not aspire to become that.” We are extremely thankful to Sheryl sandberg for blessing this with the term ‘lean in’

16. Aziz Ansari broke down feminism for dudes.

During his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in October, Ansari made crucial points about feminism to an otherwise pretty mainstream late night audience: “If you look up feminism in the dictionary, it just means that men and women have equal rights. And I feel like everyone here believes men and women have equal rights. But I think the reason people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture.”

Ansari’s message was clear — feminism is not about pitting men and women against each other. “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,” he said. “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.'”

17. Cosmo redefined its target female.

In addition to launching the #CosmoVotes initiative to engage the young female electorate,Cosmopolitan‘s decision to increase its feminist content and redefine its standard reader is a testament to the mainstreaming of the modern female-empowered movement. In the words of Joanna Coales, the editor-in-chief, the new Cosmo woman is “interested in mascara and the Middle East.” Clearly, being interested in sex and fashion doesn’t mean women aren’t also interested in solving the global oil crisis.

18. Frozen gave us a lot of feelings — and broke all the records.

Signaling an important break in the traditional princess genre, Disney’s smash hit Frozen featured a prince-less feminist cartoon hero who sings, “Yes, I’m alone, but I’m alone and free!” Equally important, the blockbuster became the highest-earning animated movie of all time, proving that children — and grown-ups — will pay to watch complex and strong female characters. And it was written, directed and composed by women! Currently, only 1 in 4 speaking animated characters are female. The success of Frozen is expected to change the way we think about gender at the movies.

In 1998, Time magazine declared feminism dead. Nearly 15 years later, it wondered if instead, perhaps feminism should be banned. Constantly on attack from all sides, feminism has spent the past few decades proving its importance and relevance over and over and over again. If there’s one thing history has taught us, it’s that the backlash against feminism will always be a measure of our success. That’s the thing with progress — it is perceived as a threat by those too weak to embrace it.

Indeed, it’s clear 2014 was a historic one for feminism. Women stood up for their rights, challenged stereotypes, fought for recognition and took control of the dialogue.