It’s March which means one thing, it’s Women’s History Month! Women’s History Month is an annual holiday where all month long we get to celebrate the highlights of women from around the world who have made history by making contributions to the upliftment and empowerment of women.
We’ve come a long way and while women are at liberty to pretty much do anything we damn well please or put our minds to, we still have quite a long way to go. Women still face issues when it comes to gender equality, sexism and sexual harassment, especially in the workplace. Over the past years, several cases of sexual harassment in the workplace, equal pay and the right to choose have been significant hot-button issues in the entertainment, journalism and sports industry.
More and more women are coming forth daily and demanding a change and to be respected. Feminists and women around the world are coming together and letting it be known we deserve to be treated like queens.
These 10 women have one way or another shown us the importance of being a Girl Boss and how bad ass we are or have been fearlessly outspoken on some of the issues women face today in society. Here are 10 bad ass women on Instagram you should be following.
1. Jessica Chastain
Chastain has been incredibly vocal on the necessity of gender equality countless times. In 2017 at the Cannes Film Festival, she took home the iconic French Festival’s prestigious award for best director. Of the win, Chastain said “I do believe that if you have female storytelling you also have more authentic female characters. The one thing I really took away from [all the films at Cannes] is how the world views women from the female characters that I saw represented. It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest.”
Beyonce has been giving us girl power anthems since her Destiny’s Child days. Since her days as a solo artist, she’s been giving us countless girl boss anthems and officially proclaimed herself a feminist when at the 2014 VMAs, gave an equally kick-ass performance as the word “FEMINIST” lit up on the screen behind her.
3. Kristen Bell
Bell spoke out against the gender pay gap women faced when she appeared in the 2016 video called, Pinksourcing.
“Why outsource all your production to faraway countries like India, China, and Narnia when we have the cheapest and best workforce right here in the good ole U.S. of A.: women,” Bell joked. “Women are a bargain at the workplace since you only have to pay them 77 cents on the dollar.” The actress later tweeted about the matter, saying, “Equal pay is no joke – which is why I made this video with @HuffingtonPost #CelebsHaveIssues.”
4. Ashley Judd
In October of 2017, the entertainment industry was rocked by The New York Times exposé reporting decades of alleged sexual harassment by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Ashley Judd was one of the several actresses who came forth about Weinstein speaking out against the producer on past instances where she was sexually harassed. Following the exposed being published 50 more women followed suit and shared allegations of misconduct by Weinstein.
This wouldn’t be Judd’s first time speaking out about gender inequality either. In 2012, Judd published an essay slamming critics who made insensitive remarks about her appearance and calling for women everywhere to challenge the patriarchy. In 2017, she also participated in the Women’s March on Washington and reciting the feminist poem, “Nasty Woman.”
5. Shonda Rhimes
Rhimes is the true definition of a boss! The television writer, author and mother has completely taken over our Thursdays as the show frontrunner behind Greys Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. Since Shondaland (her production company) has completely taken over primetime television, she’s become a huge inspiration to women everywhere and is showing us that we can have it all, do it all and be it all. One of the best things about Rhimes’ shows is that she gives us strong-minded female lead characters who are humanly flawed but fabulous.
6. Mindy Kaling
Aside from being a successful actress, writer and best-selling author, Kaling is also a proud feminist. Her feminist perspective can be seen on her show The Mindy Project, which she created and stars in, and she has made it a point of assembling a writers’ room with a multitude of female voices.
7. Charlize Theron
In 2016 Theron made big waves when she negotiated a higher salary for herself for 2016’s Snow White and the Huntsman to match the wage by her co-star Chris Hemsworth. In 2017 she told Elle “Girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing.”
8. Zooey Deschanel
We may know her from New Girl, but Deschanel has been outspoken about doing what she pleases, being with who she pleases and dressing how she pleases. “I want to be an f***ing feminist and wear an f***ing Peter Pan collar,” she told Glamour in 2013. “So f***ing what?”
9. Margaret Cho
Cho has been vocal for many years as an intersectional feminist. She’s been incredibly transparent as identifying herself as a queer woman of color. In 2012 she wrote an essay for Jane she wrote, “My feminism — it’s kind of necessary. I don’t want to feel like I am less than anyone, and I so I have to label myself in order to be ready for the fight.”
10. Gina Rodriguez
Rodriguez has acknowledged her own celebrity and has commented on how she wants to use her unique platform to reach a lot of people. “Now I can talk to more girls and tell them that any skin color, any economic background, any shape they were born into is perfect and right and strong and beautiful and enough because I’m sitting here not the stereotype,” she told TV Guide in 2014. She is an incredibly vocal activist on social media, and in 2016 Rodriguez launched the We Will Foundation, which supports arts education for young women from low-income backgrounds.