In the United States, the 1968 Miss America pageant was the threshold of modern feminism, wherein protesters led by Carol Hanisch fled to the Atlantic City Boardwalk and rallied against the event organization’s wrong implication about women. They were complaining how the competition’s panel of judges was judging the finalists based on ‘ludicrous’ standards of beauty. Fast forward to 2014, there are new breeds of feminists who are actively promoting equal rights among women, and excelling in their own professions.
Below are some of the amazing and empowered women, who are great inspirations in today’s world.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Writer
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian-based writer, who attracts new generations of readers to preserve their African literature. Apart from being popular in Africa as one of the top young writers on the continent, NPR.com reported that Adichie is making a big mark in the Atlantic. Last year, Adichie partnered with TED Talks to deliver a speech entitled “We Should All Be Feminists,” outlining how women are being silenced by the presence of men.
Apart from his regular talks, a movie will be released this year based on her novel entitled “Half of a Yellow Sun.” The story revolves around two sisters during the Biafran War in Nigeria. She told NPR that she took a risk in this novel by discussing the issue of race from a different point of view in literary fiction.
Kara Scott: Poker Player
From being a TV presenter, Kara Scott has found another calling in the world of poker. Today, she’s the only woman ambassador in the roster of professional poker players at Partypoker, and also a regular blogger at Partypoker’s blog. In terms of playing, Scott calls for the equality of the sexes, especially in terms of treatment. In one of her blog entries, she recalled an incident where she attended the World Poker Tour (WPT) in Biloxi, Mississipi, where she rubbed elbows with mostly male players. “Everyone I met in Mississipi had a smile, there was a lot of old school gentlemanly behavior, which I’m a sucker for and no I don’t think that’s incompatible with being a feminist,” she said.
In an interview with Poker Listings, Scott argued that in the table, women must be viewed as real players, instead of models. She also reiterated that poker tournaments must be conducted in places where it’s conducive to the needs of female participants.
Beyonce: Singer and songwriter
Before 2013 ended, American Popstar Beyonce made history in the music industry when she launched her fifth studio album “BEYONCE: The Visual Album” without any promotional efforts. While the “Single Ladies” singer has always been perceived as a strong activist of feminist through her songs, Beyonce took it to the next level with her pro-women ideals, without being anti-man. Time.com sums up this album with the thought that BEYONCE shows a lot of phases of being a women, including motherhood, innate beauty, being a wife, and a career woman.
Beyonce last year signed a deal with the Chime for Change by Gucci, an organization that promotes education, health, and justice among women in depressed areas. She headlined the Chime For Change Charity Concert in London, together with Madonna and Jennifer Lopez. She campaigned for the organization during the launch of her recent single “Grown Woman,” a thumping Afropunk jam that celebrates female independence.
Ellen Page: Actress
Despite a 2013 report saying that movies with strong female roles have a higher chance of making it to the box office, actress Ellen Page still feels that there’s an under representation of female characters. In an interview with The Guardian, Page noted that there are only 23% of the speaking roles given to women.
She also gave her opinion on how feminist critiques react when the script writers craft the movie wherein the female is central to the mood and theme of the picture. “If you just write a script in which the women has control over her destiny and love isn’t the main thing in the film, that’s seen as super feminist,” she said.
Maslaha: Feminism among Muslim women
Islamic feminist voices Kubra Gumusay, Myriam Francois-Cerrah, and Hannah Habibi Hopkin have joined hands to establish the Maslaha, which invites more Muslim-British women to unite and tackle issues of gender equality. Earlier this month, the organization has started to gain a huge response, especially on its initiatives to improve social conditions in small Muslim communities. Aside from the United Kingdom, Maslaha is also thinking of venturing into other Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.
These powerful names are the future of women empowerment. They carry the torch that was once lit by well-known feminists such as Oprah and Sonia Gandhi, who showed that femininity is a character.