Now that 2016 is about to end (thank you, universe!) – it’s time to look back on the year that earned the title of the Worst Year Ever according to our book and yet became the best year for feminism.
First of all, 2016 was the year when we realized that death is all around us. We lost Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Fidel Castro, George Michael, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Thicke, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, among others. Add Donald Trump and violence in Aleppo, the attacks on Paris, the Orlando night club shooting and other horrible things and we’re ready to jump off a building.
However, in stark contrast from these events, 2016 was also the year of women empowerment and feminism. Here are 5 of the best and most kick-ass moments for women this year.
1. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Won
Last July, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team did us proud by bagging the trophy in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, defeating Japan.
President Barack Obama praised the girls for bringing glory to American sports, saying: “This team taught all of America’s children that ‘playing like a girl’ means you’re a badass.”
2. Misty Copeland Became The First Black Principal Ballerina
Ever since the American Ballet Theater has been established, there has never been a black female principal dancer – until Misty Copeland came along.
The 33-year-old ballerina had to work hard to reach her status, giving her best at every turn of her career.
“I’m a black dancer — that’s who I am; it’s so much a part of my story,” Copeland told The Hollywood Reporter. “I didn’t fit the mold. Based on my body type, pedigree and background, I should not have been a part of one of the world’s greatest ballet companies.”
3. Michelle Obama Delivered A Moving Speech Against Rape Culture
Following a leaked interview where Donald Trump said he could do anything to women because he was famous and that he can just “grab them by the pussy,” FLOTUS Michelle Obama gave one of the most memorable and powerful speeches during the 2016 presidential campaign period.
“The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. It is cruel. It’s frightening. And the truth is, it hurts,” she said.
She added, “Too many are treating this as just another day’s headline, as if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted […] This is not normal, this is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable.”
“Enough is enough,” Obama urged. “This has got to stop right now
4. Bruce Jenner Came Out As Caitlyn Jenner On Vanity Fair
In April, Bruce Jenner finally revealed his authentic self when he graced the April cover of Vanity Fair as Caitlyn Jenner.
The former Olympian had faced lots of criticisms and backlash following her brave move to come out to the world as a transgender woman. She even had struggles with her own family when in the process.
“I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self,” Caitlyn said when the magazine cover came out. “Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.”
However, Caitlyn’s big reveal opened up the conversation on mainstream media involving transgender women and the discrimination they face and their daily struggles in transitioning to their new identities. The said struggles were also seen in Caitlyn’s E! reality show, I Am Cait.
5. Hillary Clinton Became The First Female Presidential Nominee
When Hillary Clinton announced her desire to run in the 2016 presidential elections and won as the Democratic Party nominee, she made history as the first female candidate to do so.
Clinton centered her campaign on women’s rights, gender equality and providing women services and opportunities to women in the country. Men and women rallied behind Clinton and embraced their ”Nasty Woman” personas.
And although Clinton lost to Donald Trump, Clinton delivered such an inspiring and powerful concession speech that for a moment, all our broken hearts were healed.
“To all the little girls watching, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams,” she said.
Salute to all women! Hope 2017 will be just as bad-ass as this year!