Just like that, 2015 is coming to a close. Despite some serious ups and downs, 2015 became the year that same-sex marriage was legalized, global support for women’s education surged and feminist consciousness soared. So let us bask in the feminist glory of the year with a few of our favorite quotes from 2015.
1. “When you said in your speech, ‘If not now, when? If not me, who?’, I decided there’s no way and there’s nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist. So I’m a feminist and we all should be a feminist because feminism is another word for equality.” — Malala Yousafzai, in conversation with Emma Watson in November.
2. “As one of just 20 women currently in the Senate, it’s important to me to encourage more women to run for office…But equally important is encouraging more men to sometimes just shut the hell up. It’s not that women don’t value your thoughts, it’s just that we don’t value all of them. The world doesn’t need your opinion on everything. For example, what women do with their bodies. Hush.” —Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), in a satirical skit on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert in November.
3. “As a first lady, a mother, and a human being, I cannot walk away from these girls, and I plan to keep raising my voice on their behalf for the rest of my life. I plan to keep urging world leaders to invest in their potential and create societies that truly value them as human beings. I plan to keep reaching out to local leaders, families and girls themselves to raise awareness about the power of sending girls to school. And I plan to keep talking about this issue here at home, because I believe that all of us—men and women, in every country on this planet—have a moral obligation to give all of these girls a future worthy of their promise and their dreams. “—First Lady Michelle Obama, in an essay written in November for The Atlantic about the Let Girls Learn initiative.
4. “Let me tell you something: 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.” —Viola Davis, during her Emmy Award acceptance speech in September.
5. “People ask me sometimes, when—when do you think it will it be enough? When will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is when there are nine.” —Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking at Georgetown University in February.
6. “I have a personality defect where I sort of refuse to see myself as an underdog. I often am reminded of it when people ask why I am confident. It’s because my parents…they raised me with the entitlement of a tall, blonde, white man.” —Mindy Kaling, at a Q & A during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in January.
7. “There can be no great triumph over racism without addressing capitalism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, the environment that we live in and the food that we consume. We have to recognize all of these connections.” —Angela Davis, speaking at “Angela Davis: A Lifetime of Revolution,” hosted by USC’s Black Student Assembly and the USC Speakers Committee in February.
8. “When I was in preschool, I played catch with the other kids, and was told I threw ‘like a girl.’ I have been a feminist ever since.” —Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard, speaking at U.N. Women’s annual conference in June.
9. “End the ‘angry black girl’ narrative. It’s just another attempt to undermine certain perspectives. I have strong opinions. I am not angry.” —actor Amandla Stenberg, in a July tweet .
10. “People are always asking me, ‘Who will you pass the torch to?’ The question makes me angry. There is no one torch—there are many torches—and I’m using my torch to light other torches. There shouldn’t have been a ‘first’ Gloria Steinem, and there won’t be a last one.”—Gloria Steinem, in an October interview with The New Yorker.
Photos of Mindy Kaling, Amandla Stenberg and Viola Davis via Shutterstock. Photo of Angela Davis courtesy of Universität Wien. Photo of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg via Wake Forest University School of Law. Photo of Rowan Blanchard courtesy of Dominick D. Photo of Gloria Steinem courtesy of Jewish Women’s Archive. Photo of Malala Yousafzai courtesy of Utenriksdepartementet UD. Photo of First Lady Michelle Obama courtesy of U.S. Embassy Tokyo. Photo of Sen. Claire McCaskill courtesy of Senator Claire McCaskill. All images licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.