The rise ideology of feminism did not get established by a single person or in a single era. There have been several contributors time and again, defying the stereotypes, raising their voice, challenging the impossible, their passion and their courage to not settle for anything less than they deserve has all come together to inspire women for decades to come.
10 Most Famous Feminists in History of World
Here is a list of some iconic women who ruled their era and went ahead to become a notable names in history.
1) Marlene Dietrichm
The sensational and fearless “Blue Angel” actress rose up to stardom with her distinct and notable femme fatale roles where her contribution towards the ideology of feminism came from her courage to never hold back and her iconic sense of dressing style. A particular incident where she called out on Hitler saying “Hitler is an idiot” during an interview back in the days of war and faced several criticism from the Nazis who put a ban on her from coming back to her own motherland to her several appearance wearing trousers and men’s suit which was considered scandalous at that time but later on went ahead to become inspiration for generations to come. As critic Kenneth Tynan stated: “She has sex, but no particular gender. She has the bearing of a man; the characters she plays love power and wear trousers. Her masculinity appeals to women and her sexuality to men.”
2) Gloria Steinem
The icon of feminism rightly earning her place in the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 she was the founder of several female centric sources such as Ms. Magazine, Women’s Action Alliance, Women’s Media Centre etc has fought for women rights and liberation since the 60’s and truly earn the title of “Mother of Feminism” conferred upon her. She was also awarded the Presiddential Medal of Freedom for her efforts and work. She continues to inspire women around the world with her work in “WOMAN” and Viceland”.
3) Coco Chanel
For Coco Chanel, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”. She turned this statement into her fashion ideas which got adopted by number of women. She made and innovative move during the times when women were limited to the discomfort of corsets and clubbed the comfort of men’s clothing and elegance of the women to design comfortable range of clothes which allowed freedom of movement and flexibility to women in the work force. She also established a fashion brand name which stands strong till date in the times when the fashion industry was ruled by men which also established her as a headstrong businesswoman.
4) Maya Angelou
The winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 and an inspiration for the African American women she advocated the feminism mainly through her poetry, public speeches and her literature, Maya Angelou was a well-known civil rights activists and a phenomenal personality who went ahead to inspire women to take action and rebel against the racial, economic and sexual discrimination which was prevalent in the society.
5) Amrita Pritam
The classic inspiration for the Indian women and the winner of the Bharataiya Janpith Award (the highest literary award in India) for Kaagaz Te Canvas in 1982, Amrita Pritam displayed her power through her numerous essays, poetry and fictions where she has emphasized the menace of violence against women and the inferior treatment of the lower castes. This unapologetic lady fought the society for her live in relationship with her partner and writer Imroz for 45 years which was considered a taboo during those time. She was the first woman to have won the Sahitya Akademi Award for Sunehade. She was also an active member of Rajya Sabha in 1986.
6) Sampat Pal Devi
The founder of the famous “Gulabi Gang”, this courageous social activist hailed from Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh who came across various problems and harassment faced by women around the locality and also have witnessed physical abuses faced by the women which triggered her and led her to the foundation of an all women gang, clad in pink which helped in teaching other women to fight for themselves and raise voice against the abuse.
7) Hillary Clinton
Clinton is the only First Lady to ever run for public office, serving as the first-ever female Senator from New York, Secretary of State under President Obama and of course, as the first-ever female candidate in the 2016 presidential election. She was an inspiration to many young women and girls out there to not get pulled down by patriarchy and consider yourself powerful and valuable. She used the famous phrase “Women’s rights are human rights” in her speech which marked her journey as a profound feminist and continued her journey strong headed inspite of the backlash and sexism she faced. She inspired the millions of women around the world with her words and work which makes her a truly remarkable personality.
8) Oprah Winfrey
“I never did consider or call myself a feminist, but I don’t think you can really be a woman in this world and not be.” This powerful quote was delivered by none other than Oprah Winfrey, one of the leading talk show hosts, who fought for her her rights about equal pay for women, went ahead to start her own talk show and motivate women on important issues such as right to equality and women empowerment. She was also chosen for the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 and also went ahead and founded the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. She is indeed one of the truly iconic women in the entertainment industry today.
9) Elsa D’Silva
Sometimes superhero’s come without capes. This superwomen who was the Vice President in Network Planning at Kingfisher Airlines, founded the Red Dot Foundation, established a social project that allowed women in the city to be aware whether the public places are safe or not and get information about the incidents that have happened in the past in any particular public vicinity for the same. This concept and technology was known as SafeCity. It also allowed the officials to understanding to trace repetitive occurances or patterns of any particular crime and place and take action against it. This foundation also works towards other important issues of the society such as gender equality and women empowerment.
10) Emma Watson
Using her influence on the generation towards something good, Emma pressed on the issue of how feminism was seen as a term expressing hatred for men whereas it was not. It is about equality with and choice to be rendered to women. She launched the #HeforShe movement where she emphasis the role of men understanding and implementing feminism as it is a not gender specific.
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