WOMEN

The Badass Women We're Most Thankful For This Year

Thank you, thank you, thank yooou (Alanis Morissette voice).

Thanksgiving is mostly about eating until you can't zip up your pants, but it's also a wonderful time for remembering the things -- and people -- we are most grateful for.

In honor of the holiday, we're highlighting some women we can all be thankful for this year. These women are working to change the conversations that surround feminism, intersectionality, race and female accomplishment. And for that, we're truly grateful. 

 

  • 1 Shonda Rhimes
    Shonda Rhimes is one of television's most influential writers and executives. Her shows "Scandal" and "How To Get Away W
    The Huffington Post/Getty
    Shonda Rhimes is one of television's most influential writers and executives. Her shows "Scandal" and "How To Get Away With Murder" have sparked important conversations about diversity on TV, paving the way for other racially diverse series. Rhimes is also unapologetically frank and opinionated about how she lives her life -- whether it's not regretting past mistakes or why marriage isn't for her.
  • 2 The Student Organizers of the Gender Equality Bake Sale
    Back in March, students at Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah held a bake sale event to spread awareness about gender inequality. Their Gender Equality Bake Sale For Equal Pay charged men $1 and women $0.77, highlighting the disparity in salary that sees white women get 77 cents to the dollar of every white man, while black and Latina women make even less. 
  • 3 Amandla Stenberg
    Amandla Stenberg is another outspoken and intelligent teen to be thankful for. The 16-year-old was recently named among <a hr
    The Huffington Post/Getty
    Amandla Stenberg is another outspoken and intelligent teen to be thankful for. The 16-year-old was recently named among Time's Most Influential Teens, and for good reason. From her "Don't Cash Crop My Cornrows" video on cultural appropriation, to bravely calling out Kylie Jenner for said cultural appropriation, Stenberg is leading the charge of young, woke black women in Hollywood. 
  • 4 Ravneet Vohra and the people behind #DropTheTowel
    &nbsp;Vohra is the Editor-in-Chief of Wear Your Voice, which launched the body positive <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/ent
    Wear Your Voice
     Vohra is the Editor-in-Chief of Wear Your Voice, which launched the body positive #DropTheTowel campaign in July. The campaign was designed to encourage women (and people of all gender expressions and identities) to embrace their beach bodies, no matter their size. According to Vohra, the goal of the campaign is to "inspire and evoke a deeper thought about what a perfect body is."
  • 5 Ellen Pao
    The former Reddit CEO has tenaciously <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ellen-pao-sexism-in-tech_564203c5e4b0307f2caee7
    The Huffington Post/Getty
    The former Reddit CEO has tenaciously refused to remain silent about the sexism and discrimination she's experienced during her long career in tech. In an essay published this month in Lenny Letter, Pao not only called out sexism in the tech industry, but also encouraged other women and people of color to speak up and share their stories. 
  • 6 Viola Davis
    What's not to love about Viola Davis? Not only has she turned in amazing performance after amazing performance on this season
    The Huffington Post/Getty
    What's not to love about Viola Davis? Not only has she turned in amazing performance after amazing performance on this season of "How to Get Away With Murder" (earning her an historic Emmy award this year), she's also been outspoken about why diversity and greater opportunity for women of color in Hollywood is so important. As she said in her Emmy acceptance speech: "The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity."
  • 7 Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    There's a reason she's called notorious. Not only was RBG an integral part of the SCOTUS decision to make marriage equality t
    The Huffington Post/Getty
    There's a reason she's called notorious. Not only was RBG an integral part of the SCOTUS decision to make marriage equality the law of the land in the United States this year, she's also just an all-around badass who has lived an incredible life. As she said in her recent discussion with Gloria Steinem for New York Times: “I just read Anne-Marie Slaughter’s book. She talked about ‘we don’t have it all.’ Who does? I’ve had it all in the course of my life, but at different times.”
  • 8 The Selfie Girls
    In October, a group of sorority girls were <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-power-of-selfies-is-real_560ee96ee4b0a
    MLB
    In October, a group of sorority girls were shamed by baseball announcers for taking selfies during a game between the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks . Thankfully, the incident inspired many to come to the young women's defense, highlighting just how sexist -- and ridiculous -- it is to stereotype and police the totally normal behavior of young women. Later, the girls declined free tickets from the Diamondbacks to future games, asking the team to instead donate money to a domestic violence charity.  
  • 9 Caitlyn Jenner
    Caitlyn Jenner may be an imperfect role model, but there's no denying that her coming out and subsequent Vanity Fair cover ea
    The Huffington Post/Getty
    Caitlyn Jenner may be an imperfect role model, but there's no denying that her coming out and subsequent Vanity Fair cover earlier this year were seminal and important moments. Through her platform she's raised awareness and acceptance of trans people, and also helped spark a larger conversation about the complexities of  gender and sexuality
  • 10 Rowan Blanchard
    The 13-year-old Disney actress is best known for her role as Riley Matthews on "Girl Meets World," but she's also quickly mak
    The Huffington Post/Getty
    The 13-year-old Disney actress is best known for her role as Riley Matthews on "Girl Meets World," but she's also quickly making a name for herself as an opinionated young feminist. Through her blog and Instagram, Blanchard eloquently writes about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, white feminism, and why men need to be just as active in the feminist movement as women. Did we mention she's just 13-years-old?
  • 11 The U.S. Women's Soccer Team
    The U.S. Women's Soccer Team <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/young-women-world-cup-video_55a42144e4b0b8145f735346" ta
    Kevin C. Cox via Getty Images
    The U.S. Women's Soccer Team did us proud this year by winning the Women's World Cup, becoming the first female athletes to get a ticker-tape parade in their honor since 1960. And they did this while playing under dismal conditions that their male counterparts don't deal with -- specifically leg-destroying turf instead of grass. As President Obama said, "Playing like a girl means you're a badass." 
  • 12 Ashley Callingbull Burnham
    Instagram
    In September, Burnham became the first First Nations woman to win the title of Mrs. Universe. That in and of itself is amazing, but what we're especially thankful for is the fact that she's used her platform to highlight the serious issues that indigenous people in Canada continue to face, including the ongoing and ignored murder of indigenous women. In an interview with the National Post the Cree pageant winner said: "People don’t expect a pageant girl to go out and say really crazy things right off the bat. They probably just expected me to have a title and be pretty and that’s it: be pretty and shut up. But I’m not going to shut up."
  • 13 Maisie Williams
    Hey Maisie, thanks for reminding us it's OK to <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/maisie-williams-like-a-girl_n_7754810?
    The Huffington Post/Getty
    Hey Maisie, thanks for reminding us it's OK to "fight like a girl."

 

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