2015 was a notoriously BIG (or notorious R.B.G., as it so were) year for females. We laughed, we cried, we banded together, we kicked some corporate ass, and we had some fun in the process. As we're gearing up to say goodbye, we tip our hats and kick off our heels to the women who owned this year. You make our future look bright.
1. Patricia Arquette started the year off on the right fancy foot. When the actress won Best Supporting Actress at the Oscar's she took the time to address wage inequality and a rallying cry for all women. "It's our time to have wage equality once and for all," she exclaimed, which got both Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez out of their seats.
2. Jennifer Lawrence continued the wage convo, when she penned an open-letter about the Hollywood pay gap for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter, entitled: STORIES Hollywood’s Gender Wage Gap Jennifer Lawrence Letters to Lenny Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner Get That Second Wave Style Laia Garcia How Sports Gave Me Swagger Gina Prince-Bythewood Becoming Grace Jones Doreen St. Fél
“Are we socially conditioned to behave this way?” she wrote. Not if boss women have anything to say about it.
3. During the Superbowl Always #LikeAGirl commercial struck a chord with the nation. And then the U.S Women’s Soccer Team showed the whole world what playing like a a girl really meant. The U.S. team defeated Japan to win the FIFA wold cup. According to some news outlets it was the most watched soccer match in the history of television— men or women. Annndd then Obama mic-dropped everyone: "This team taught all of America’s children that 'playing like a girl' means you're a badass.”
4. In 75 years of ABT (American Ballet Theater) there was never an African American female principle dancer. In June of 2015 Misty Copeland broke down that barrier. “I’m here to be a vessel,” she said at the April 2015 TIME 100 gala, “for these brown ballerinas who have come before me.”
5. Adele said FU to the male gaze on the cover of Rolling Stone, and sold 3 million album copies in one week. Hello. It’s me. The boss.
6. United we stand. 35 women banded together to fight Bill Cosby and a history of sexual assault. On the July cover of NY Magazine, 35 women sat in chairs facing the world: "I'm No Longer Afraid," they told announced. Together. One chair remained empty for all voiceless victims of sexual assault.
7. Hillary Clinton announced her run for the 2016 Presidential bid. "I'm running for President," she said in a video that also featured a diverse group of American stories.
8. Gloria Steinem dedicated her book, "My Life On the Road," to Dr. John Sharpe who performed her illegal abortion when she was 22 years old who made her promise him: "you will do what you want to do with your life."
9. In March Monica Lewinsky gave a TED Talk: The Price of Shame, where the now 41 year old took back her narrative.
10. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has been known for her “incrementalism,” -- a slow-but-steady approach to feminism that really hit its stride in 2015 (thanks to the Internet and a few great memes). As an architect for the women's rights movement in the '60s and '70s, Bader Ginsberg has been fighting for gender equality for decades. The now 82-year-old is the oldest Justice on the bench, bit that's not slowing her down.
11. Viola Davis became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy in the Best Actress in a drama category. “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that simply are not there,” she told the crowd.
12. Female-friendly, safe place on the Internet, HelloGiggles- the website founded by Sophia Rossi and Zooey Deschanel, sold to TIME Inc. this year for a reported 20 million dollars. These ladies proved that you can play nice on the Internet and win.
13. Nepal made history when it elected its first female President. A long-running proponent of equal rights for women, Bidhya Devi Bhandari is seen as cultural shift in male-dominated Nepal politics.
14. The Pentagon announced that women can now serve in front-line ground combat positions.
15. Saudi women not only registered to vote for the first time (in a country where they still aren't allowed to drive), but Saudi women also won a monumental 20 seats in the municipal polls.
AND finally, our hats are off to the following female CEOs and leaders of HUGE tech companies, proving that women have broken through that glass ceiling once and for all: Marissa Mayer, CEO Yahoo!, Meg Whitman, CEO HP, Virginia Rometty, CEO IBM, Susan Wojcicki, CEO YouTube, Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook, Angela Ahrendts, Senior VP, Apple, and Ursula Burns, CEO, Xerox.