The Well-Spoken Women of 2017

womens march
Looking for inspiration? These women will bring you to your feet. 

From the U.S. Capitol to statehouses nationwide. From Alabama to Virginia. From jammed phone lines to packed town halls. From Hollywood to television studios. Silence breakers, candidates, organizers, and activists are giving voice to the resistance. 

Let’s celebrate the stirring words of strong women driving change.

womens marchThe Women’s March
The largest inaugural protest in history was the kick-off message of resistance to an administration that threatens the rights of women, people of color, and LGBTQ. It was a glorious day of marching and speeches. Three to hear again:

Keynoter Gloria Steinem
National Co-Chair Linda Sarsour

6-year old Sophia Cruz – With her family facing deportation, this activist declared, “We are here today creating a chain of love to protect our families.”

12-18AGSally Yates – American Hero

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates refused to defend an executive order banning travelers from majority Muslim countries.  

For taking a stand, she was unceremoniously fired.  

At the Fortune Most Powerful Women summit, Sally discusses her 10 days as the acting AG and shows what it means to be a true patriot.

12-18DanicaRoemDanica Roem – Herstory Maker

In another time, Danica Roem would not have been elected to the Virginia state legislature.  

But this is a different time and the 33-year old transgender journalist defeated a man self-described as the state’s “chief homophobe.”  

In a post-victory interview Danica was asked about her opponent and said, “Look, next year, Delegate Marshal is going to be my constituent.  I’m not trying to make him feel bad.”

12-18JayapalPramila Jayapal – Flipping the Script

A “young lady” who “doesn’t know a damn thing what she’s talking about.” That is how a white, 84-year old Congressman referred to the first Indian-American member. Rep. Pramila Jayapal immediately objected to the offensive comment and had it stricken from the official record. Seizing the moment, she then tweeted encouragement to others who have been similarly disrespected:

“Here’s a message to women of color out there: stand strong. Refuse to be patronized or minimized. Let the small guys out there be intimidated by you.”

Watch Rep. Jayapal handle the moment.

12-18RoseMcGowanRose McGowan – Silence Breaker  

Rose McGowan wasn’t alone when she took the stage at the 2017 Women’s Convention to share the story of sexual abuse that had haunted her adult life. 

On stage, she joined hands with Tarana Burke the women who initiated the #metoo movement 10 years ago to help people who’ve been sexually harassed or abused. 

The stories of Rose and Tarana reverberated enabling thousands more to speak up and be heard.

12-18CarmenCarmen Cruz – Won’t Be Bullied

The mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city was undeterred by repeated attempts to discredit her leadership in the wake of the worst storm to hit the island in 80 years.  

When the winds subsided, Mayor Cruz personally led rescue efforts wading through chest high water bullhorn in hand. With little aid reaching the island and thousands without basic necessities of water and electricity, the mayor generated urgency about the tragedy and demanded the federal government fix the logistical delays. The White House’s initial response was to call her a “nasty woman.” 

On The Late Show with Steven Colbert, the Mayor speaks out for her constituents.

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 1.28.09 PMAuntie Maxine – Reclaiming Our Time

No one runs out the clock on Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

When Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attempted to evade questions during a House Financial Services Committee hearing he hit a wall.  

The Congresswoman displayed a command of procedural rules to shut down his insolence.  “Reclaiming my time” is an apt metaphor for all who feel there isn’t time to waste.