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20 Times Feminism Won in 2015

20 Times Feminism Won in 2015


2015 was a year of powerhouse women.

Women were wowing us as leads in major films, women were rising to the tops of the fields, and women were using new positions of power to make a difference. Women were winning.

To celebrate the end of this year, and to help ring in the new one, here is a look back at some of our favorite moments of 2015, all of which star incredible, badass, hugely talented women:

1. Viola Davis makes the acceptance speech of the year

While accepting her award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Davis used her platform to discuss the serious racial divide in Hollywood, stating that "the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there."

2. Jennifer Lawrence writes an open letter about pay inequality in Hollywood

When given the opportunity to write for Lena Dunham's publication Lenny, Lawrence chose to write about the pay and gender inequality she deals with in the film industry, an action that garnered national attention and support from dozens of other female celebrities.

3. Taylor Swift conquers the world

Tay Sway toured almost all year all over the world, had one of the most talked-about and viewed music videos in history with "Bad Blood," (which also inspired the now infamous hashtag #SquadGoals) and took on Apple Music to demand artists be paid for allowing the service to stream their music.

In short, Swift seems unstoppable, and we aren't complaining.

4. Female protagonists dominate film

Nearly half of the highest grossing films of 2015 featured female protagonists.

Movies such as Mockingjay Part 2, Trainwreck, Carol, and Mad Max: Fury Road proved once and for all that female-led films can hold their own at the box office while engaging and entertaining audiences everywhere.

5. Taraji P. Henson reigns over the Empire

FOX's Empire is an unstoppable hit, pulling in record viewership, drawing in incredible guest stars, and displaying impressive sales of its original music. While there are several theories as to why that is, there is no disputing that one of the biggest reasons people continue to watch every week is the oustanding performance of Cookie Lyon by Ms. Taraji P Henson.

Every week, Henson stuns audiences with her portrayal as the unstoppable matriarch, and proves why she is one of the greatest actors of our time.

6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens passes the Bechdel Test

The brilliance of the Bechdel Test lies in its simplicity. In theory, every film and TV show should pass it. But they don't.

So when a film that comes from a franchise as huge, as legendary, as integral to our society as Star Wars does pass, it's a pretty damn good day.

7. Adele takes over the music industry

Adele shattered record after record with her November release of junior album 25, including the first album to sell more than 3 million copies its first week, the best first-week sales for a female artist, and the best sales of 2015. Last week, it was reported that nearly 10 million people tried to buy tickets for her upcoming 2016 world tour.

Basically, it's Adele's world and we're all happy just living in it.

8. Noor Tagouri dreams big

Noor Tagouri is a self-described "journalist, speaker, and firebender" who has one clear dream: to become the first hijabi anchor on American TV. After creating social media buzz about her goal back in 2012, Tagouri has continued to become more well-known, and has appeared on countless news programs.

9. Hillary Clinton launches massive presidential campaign

Regardless of personal politics and opinions, Clinton deserves to be recognized for being the first woman to launch two huge, well-funded presidential campaigns. There is a solid chance that the 2016 democratic nominee for president could be Hillary Clinton and that, in itself, is extraordinarily impressive in a country where no woman has ever been the nominee from either of the two major parties.

10. Jen Welter becomes first female NFL coach

This summer, Welter was made Assistant Coach for the Arizona Cardinals, officially making her the first woman to hold a coaching position in the history of the NFL.

During a press conference, Welter stated: "I didn't even dream that [this] was possible. And I think the beauty of this is that, though it's a dream I never could have had, now it's a dream that other girls can grow up and have."

11. Shonda Rhimes takes over an entire night of television

With the massive success of How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, and Grey's Anatomy -- all of which air back-to-back on Thursday nights -- showrunner Shonda Rhimes has cemented herself as a Thursday night staple, an unstoppable #TGIT force.

12. The US Women's Soccer Team becomes Women's World Cup Champions

The nation was captivated this summer, glued to our TV's and laptops to watch some of the most incredible athletes in the world become champions.

If there was ever any doubt about women being capable of being legendary, powerhouse athletes, look no futher.

13. Amber Rose hosts Slut Walk and says goodbye to the "Walk of Shame"

Rose made headlines several times this year, almost all of which were related to her activism and take-no-shit attitude when it comes to body autonomy for women.

After hosting her own SlutWalk in LA this summer, Rose gained more attention recently with her A+ "Funny or Die" video about refusing to feel shameful the morning after a one night stand:

14. Jessica Jones is the superhero of the year and the hero we need

Netflix really struck gold with this one. For years, we've been asking for a leading female superhero; not only does Jessica give us that, but it also gives us a leading female superhero who is deeply flawed, who's been through deeply painful experiences, and who, throughout it all, remains so perfectly human.

Along with a determined, empathetic female best friend and a powerful, brilliant female ally Jessica gives us a cast dominated by women. And we can't get enough.

15. Misty Copeland becomes the first African American female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre

After years and years of hard work and dedication, Copeland has risen to the top of her field, and made history doing it.

Says Kerry Washington of the massively talented Copeland: "She has just boldly blazed her own path despite what anybody else has to say about it."

16. Marriage equality is legalized 5 SCOTUS justices, 3 of whom are women

In June, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan helped to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

The landmark decision has and will continue to push the United States in the right direction.

17. Isis Anchalee proves that anyone can look like an engineer

After starring in an ad campaign for her emplyer, social media trolls called Anchalee out for her appearance and gender. Basically, people were implying that there's no way she could actually be an engineer because she's an attractive woman.

Anchalee saw this as an opportunity to call out gender inequalities in her chosen field and founded the #ILookLikeAnEngineer movement, which allowed women all over the nation to post selfies with the hashtag as a way to prove that engineers, like with any other occupation, come in all shapes, sizes, and genders.

18. Amy Schumer takes over the comedy world

Schumer appeared on our radar early in the year when she hosted the MTV Movie Awards. She continued to dazzle us throughout the rest of the year with her TV show, (Inside Amy Schumer) a huge summer movie, (Trainwreck) and most recently with her comedy special Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo.

She also reportedly wrote a screenplay with Jennifer Lawrence that will begin production next year. If that doesn't have you excited about 2016, I don't know what will.

19. Serena Williams is named Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year

Williams is an unstoppable force on and off the court. That's a given. She's also an inspiration to women and athletes of all genders all over the world.

Earlier this month, when accepting the award, Williams said "For all the ladies out there, yes, we can do it." 

20. Laverne Cox becomes the first trans woman to win an Emmy as an Executive Producer

Back in April, OITNB fave Laverne Cox made Emmy's history (yet again) by winning an award for "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word," a series she hosted and produced about the lives of seven young trans people. 

Cox has established herself as a true icon on film and behind the scenes and we cannot wait to see what more milestones this trailblazer sets in 2016.

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Mckenna Ferguson

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll

McKenna is a freelance writer, Netflix addict, and Colorado State University alumna. Her hobbies include sleeping, staying indoors, and crop top advocacy. #CropTopsForAll