10 Feminist Icons You Should Know, and Their Accomplishments

BY: KIANA McDONALD

  1. Joseph Gordon Levitt

Levitt identifies himself as a feminist. In 2004 he established HitRecord, a social media site where he advocates for gender equality and promotes healthy conversations. He produced a video titled Feminism in 2014, which gained a lot of attention from women and allies around the world after he used his platform to define what it means to be a feminist. 

  1. Malala Yousafzai 

Malala is only 23 years old but she has already become a Pakastani activist for women’s rights, has won the Nobel Peace Prize, written a memoir, and in 2013 started the Malala Fund, which supports education for girls. She’s been a voice for Pakistan since 2009 when she began blogging under a pseudonym for the BBC about life under Taliban control. She doesn’t plan to stop fighting for justice anytime soon. 

  1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie’s 2012 TED Talk sparked a worldwide conversation about the definition of feminism for the 21st century, which led to the publication of a book based on her speech, We Should All Be Feminists. Samples of her TED Talk were used in Beyonce’s song, “Flawless” and her famous “We Should All Be Feminists” saying was used by Dior on T-Shirts in their 2016 Fall Collection. 

  1. Michelle Obama

“Strong men, men who are truly role models don’t need to put women down to make themselves feel powerful”, this quote by former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, resonates with many women who look up to her and admire her fight for women’s rights. As a mother and traveler, she understands the hardships of womanhood across the world. Her experiences have made her a passionate Feminist which she writes about in her bestselling memoir, Becoming.

  1. Tarana Burke

Following the exposure of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein in the fall of 2017, the #MeToo movement, founded by Burke, finally gained the massive momentum it deserved. She began to use “MeToo” in 2006 to defend sexual assault survivors and expose their abusers. She has won many titles and awards for her accomplishments, including a spot on Time Magazine’s People of the Year in 2017. 

  1. Prince Harry

In 2019 the Duke of Sussex confirmed that he is a Feminist alongside his Duchess, Meghan Markle. At Harry and Meghan’s first royal engagement of 2019, they visited Tomorrow’s Women Wirral, a project dedicated to assisting women in making permanent, positive lifestyle changes. The CEO of TWW shared her experience with Harry and the way he “highlighted that it is equally important for men to support the movement in female empowerment!” He’s comfortable speaking about his Feminist views and has done so many times, a refreshing stance, given the history of the Royal Family. 

  1. Serena Williams

Other than receiving 73 career and 23 grand slam titles, Serena Williams has been a longtime advocate for body positivity and women’s rights. Strong-willed Williams doesn’t have a problem with sharing a piece of her mind to stand up for herself and women all over the world. In addition to bringing awareness to body positivity and sexism, in 2018 she went out of her comfort zone and sang the Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself” for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

  1. Naomi Wolf

Wolf, a feminist American author, has written numerous books including her debut 1991 best-seller, The Beauty Myth. The book talks about unfair beauty standards for women set by men and was listed on The New York Times 70 Most Influential Books of the 20th century. Since then, she’s educated men and women alike on abortions, sexual assault, and the anatomy of a woman. 

  1. Demi Lovato

Demi, who stepped into the limelight at a young age, identifies herself as a feminist. The record-breaking actress, singer, and songwriter told Dolly magazine that “Feminism doesn’t have to mean burning bras and hating men, what feminism means to me is just standing up for gender equality and trying to empower our youth.” Her singles “Confident” and “Sorry Not Sorry” have been called feminist anthems by her fans. 

  1. Adwoa Aboah

British model and activist Adwao Aboah founded Gurls Talk, an online community that connects women around the world and facilitates conversations about sexuality, mental health, and education. She’s used her platform to break the outdated stigma around what it means to be a feminist, which began a domino effect among her peers. In 2017 she was named Model of the Year. 

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