While 2017 has included all sorts of ups and downs, one positive effect of the particularly negative news cycle and political climate is the new rise of feminism. Merriam-Webster corroborated these #girlpower vibes by spotlighting that powerful term as its 2017 Word of the Year.
According to the dictionary’s release, people were looking up the definition of feminism all year long—which is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests,” by the way. And, when certain events transpired, search volume spiked.
Women, more now than before, are standing up for what they believe in and are taking steps to break the silence on wide-ranging matters.
Here are 3 moments from 2017 that support “feminism” being the word of the year.
1. Women’s March
On January 21, one of the largest protest marches in American history took place in Washington, DC, (and across the country) with the goal to promote women’s rights and peacefully fight some of President Trump’s campaign policies, including his plan to abolish the Affordable Care Act, which is especially important for its no-cost birth control. Even those who may not have dedicated much thought to feminism in the past got involved to show the administration—and everyone, for that matter—that women’s rights are human rights.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
After The New York Times published its exposé on Harvey Weinstein, which damningly highlighted his years of committing sexual assault, actress Alyssa Milano opened the discussion started by activist Tarana Burke by sharing a message to women around the globe: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me Too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” And that quickly grew into a worldwide movement of women who finally felt safe enough to share their stories too.
3. Time‘s Person of the Year cover
Time‘s recently revealed Person of the Year cover showed the magazine decided to dedicate the issue to not just one person, but many: The Silence Breakers, a predominantly female group of people who spoke out about difficult experiences and aimed to strike progress in order to end an era of systemic abuse.
Though a lot of this year’s feminist progress resulted from pain, it’s clear that if the movements continue along the same path, the future is most definitely going to be female.
Stream these movies and shows for peak #girlpower vibes. Also, here’s the moment that made one badass wellness influencer want to be a feminist.