Happy International Day of the Girl!
In honor of today, we bring you messages from young women who boldly speak out about equality and empowerment.
“White feminism’ forgets all about intersectional feminism,” Rowan wrote in an essay. “The way a black woman experiences sexism and inequality is different from the way a white woman experiences sexism and inequality. Likewise with trans-women and Hispanic women.”
“To only acknowledge feminism from a one sided view when the literal definition is the equality of the sexes is not feminism at all,” Rowan said. “We need to be talking about this more. Discussion leads to change.”
“It confuses me when I see feminists tearing down other feminists, completely defeats the purpose of feminism in the first place,” the actor and activist tweeted.
“We live in a society where girls are hyper-sexualised, but I don’t feel like me or my friends are victimised by it. We’re learning how to take control of our identities and I’m asserting my gender identity and my sexuality. It’s scary and overwhelming, but I feel empowered, ready to take on the world. I’m surrounded by people who are really changing things by being themselves and that’s exciting.”
“Girl power is helping others believe they can do anything without limitations! Girls who can recognize their own power are in a better place to create strong, healthy relationships, make positive choices, and inspire others.”
“Feminism is about giving women choice. It’s not a stick with which to beat other women with,” the actress told Reuters. “It’s about freedom. It’s about liberation. It’s about equality.”
“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”
“What’s so amazing is seeing young girls empowered in STEM fields because there is an overwhelming lack of a female presence… I feel like it’s so important that somebody’s love or interest in STEM isn’t squashed by this idea that, ‘Well, I’m not a man, this is not appropriate for a woman,’” she told The LA Times of the DoSomething.org initiative.
“As I’ve grown older, my understanding of what it means to be ‘a feminist’ has developed and become stronger and I’ve become more open about it,” Zendaya said in an interview with Chicago Tribune. “To me, feminism is believing in the power of a woman as you would believe in the power of anyone else. We’re very strong, special creatures, and feminism is just appreciating that within ourselves.”
“As a black woman, a large part of my mission is helping others like me in appreciating and loving themselves as the creatures they are and the things that they have,” she said. “We have to work on empowering each other—that’s very much what I stand for.”
“I’m a feminist… because when a man cries he’s called sensitive and when women cries she’s called weak.”
“Yeah, it’s okay to be complex. It’s okay to need stuff. It’s okay to be complicated. I think that women are so praised, even though we think we’re passed it,” the actor shared in an interview on Laughing Place. We’re praised for being the caretaker, or for being maternal, or for being the peacemaker, or for being sweet, whatever, like ‘Oh the womanly energy.’ “I don’t want that! And I don’t want to inspire young girls to be that way! Don’t be a peacemaker. Go after what you need, go after what you want, put yourself first.”
“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,” Demi said in an interview with Dolly.
On what she would say to her 15 year old self: “I’d say you’re beautiful the way you are, you don’t have to change yourself for anyone or anything, even yourself; just love yourself.”
“I think if you ask the majority of teenage girls on social media if they’re ever scared to post certain things or worried about what people will say, I’m pretty sure a lot of them will say yes. And I want to change that. If young women want to bare some skin then they should, and not be scared of what men will comment on their page, or what other women will judge them for. If they want to share their thoughts on feminism or politics they should, without worrying about being viewed differently in the eyes of their followers.”
“It’s totally not about me,” the singer said of what feminism means to her during an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes. “It’s about all women, women who might not have the opportunities that I have or the privileges that I have. Trying to fight for better conditions and better treatment of all women, whether that be trans women, or women of color, or women in professions that don’t typically get a lot of respect.”
“I am tired of living in a world where women are mostly referred to as a man’s past, present or future property/possession. I…do not. belong. to anyone. but myself. and neither do you.”