12 Times Celebs Did Something Great for Womankind in 2017
This year has been capital R-ough for many people in this country. We are divided more starkly than we have been in decades, and the groundwork for change has only just begun. But turmoil aside, this has been a highly successful year for women considering the bravery and badassery we've started to see erupting in headlines, like the iconic Time Person of the Year cover featuring "The Silence Breakers" whose voices rang louder against injustice than ever before.
We still have a long way to go and many more glass ceilings to smash, but as 2017 comes to a close, we want to celebrate the people who made their mark on the world this year. We're talking about the people who participated in the Women's March that started as a Facebook event and ended up drawing out thousands to rally for women's rights across the world, the champion souls who stood up against their sexual harassers through the Harvey Weinstein scandal and #MeToo movement, plus many more. Celebrity participants in these events have used their platforms to help change the course of history; here's a worthy New Year's cheers to their actions that will hopefully inspire young people to pick up the torch.
Scroll through below to remember some 2017 highlights from celebrities who did something great for womankind.
Ashley Judd Stands Up to Harvey Weinstein
Actress Ashley Judd was one of the first women, including various prominent actresses with a major platform, to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct in October. She was joined by Rose McGowan and dozens of other brave women who decided to speak out was well. The scandal has sent shock waves through the Hollywood community and beyond and shed light on breadth of sexual harassment an assault in various workplaces.
Rose McGowan Stands Up to Harvey Weinstein
Rose McGowan added her voice to the dozens of women who've come out to accuse film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. McGowan says Weinstein raped her when she was a young actress, and since coming forward, has been a beacon of strength for women facing similar situations. "I give women permission to be angry. Because that’s our right. Because it’s an emotion. Because it’s been taken away from us. Because we’ve been silenced," McGowan told Time. "I’m interested in stopping women and children dying—that’s what I’m interested in. Especially via rape culture."
Alyssa Milano Revives the #MeToo Movement
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Charmed actress Alyssa Milano unleashed the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter in October inspiring thousands of people to share if they'd experienced sexual harassment or assault. The actress took her hashtag from the words of activist Tarana Burke who first used it more than a decade ago as part of her work creating Just Be, Inc. a non-profit that helps victims of sexual harassment and assault.
Kesha Marks Her Return with "Praying"
Kesha accused her longtime producer Dr. Luke of various forms of abuse back in 2014 but has since been legally barred from releasing music outside of Dr. Luke's contracts. Though her legal troubles are still not over, she released a new album, Rainbow, in August that details her personal and professional struggles. Legal bounds aside, Kesha's comeback and bravery have finally given the star and her fans something to celebrate. In fact, the lead single released with a moving, eclectic video, "Praying," and the album as a whole have earned the star two Grammy nominations this year.
Patty Jenkins Puts Wonder Woman on the Big Screen
In a female directorial feat, Patty Jenkins brought Wonder Woman to life on the big screen in May. And her rendition of the superhero's origin story landed the film a top spot in the DC Comics Extended Universe (at more than $821 million, Wonder Woman is currently the highest grossing superhero origin movie of all time). Now that's how you kick ass as a director.
Gal Gadot Becomes Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot became an icon for women worldwide this year when she introduced us to Patty Jenkin's Wonder Woman over the summer. She also filmed most of the physically demanding film while about five months pregnant. And if that weren't enough, she's recently stood up against producer Brett Ratner, accused of sexual assault by various Hollywood actresses, choosing not to hide the fact that she didn't want to continue working on the franchise if Ratner stayed on the project. And with that, Gadot officially exits 2017 a real-life superhero.
America Ferrera Gives a Powerful Women's March Speech
Actress America Ferrera kicked off the speeches at the Women's March on Washington in January, and what a speech it was. She spoke about the reason thousands of women banded together on that day as a sign of solidarity against the Trump Administration. She was quoted saying: "The president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America. And we are here to stay.” Her powerful words set the tone for the event and continue to resonate with women standing up against injustice.
Alicia Keys and Janelle Monae Perform at the Women's March on Washington
These two stars added their stellar voices to the thousands of women across the globe who participated in Women's Marches in January. Alicia Keys sang her hit "Girl on Fire" and Janelle Monae performed "Hell You Talmbout" with the mothers of Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Mohamed Bah, Trayvon Martin, and Dontre Hamilton (victims of police violence). Their powerful voices rang loud and clear in January and throughout the year empowering women to help affect change.
Celebs Showing Support for Planned Parenthood
Celebs like Amy Schumer, Chrissy Teigen, and Katy Perry have shown ample support for Planned Parenthood this year in the wake of Trump's administration proposing massive de-funding of PP's programs. Schumer starred in a video with other celebs explaining why PP's legacy is so important. Teigen has continually shared support on Twitter for PP saying that she and husband John Legend frequently make donations and encouraging her followers to do the same. Perry has publicly donated $10,000 to PP this year as well.
Connie Britton, Charlize Theron, Brie Larson Help #PinkOut the Internet
Lady Gaga and Joe Biden Release a Sexual Assault Awareness PSA
Taylor Swift Wins Her Harassment Lawsuit
Back in August, Taylor Swift helped remind us that no act of sexual harassment is too small to be a big deal when she won a lawsuit against former radio DJ David Mueller who groped her in 2013 while she was on her Red tour. She asked for one symbolic dollar in damages, and that same dollar is believed to make an appearance in her comeback video for "Look What You Made Me Do" off her album Reputation, which fully dropped in November. Regardless of your opinion on Swift's new musical attitude, her choice to speak up is an important one for all women faced with the decision to speak out against harassment or stay silent.