I don’t know where this quote originates, but I love it! It captures the essence of what feminism means to me: women working together towards equality for everyone. I’m not in some unwilling competition with every other woman in the world; there are women who are smarter than me, prettier than me, more socially active than me, and the list goes on and on. I don’t resent them; I’m uplifted by their accomplishments and encouraged by them to be better everyday.
- Cyndi Lauper almost had it right
- Maya Angelou knew what was up
- Adult Wednesday Addams shutting down catcallers is so damn relatable
- We’re prepared to stab patriarchy in the heart, Buffy the Vampire Slayer style
- Everyone deserves basic human decency and respect
- Leslie Knope loved to empower young women and (spoiler alert!) young men, too. Because equality is for everyone.
- Speaking of Leslie Knope and equality…
- Because she embodied the idea that…
- Belle might not have actually said this, but she totally would’ve, right?
- Remember, you are amazing!
- Whenever someone tells you you can’t do something because you’re a girl…
- And finally, we must uplift each other, and that definitely includes our littlest feminists (girls AND boys!)
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Hermione Granger is an amazing character. She is kind, brave, smart, independent, loyal, clever, vulnerable, hard-working, and is always willing to stand up for what she believes in. The following are just a few of my favorite Hermione Granger quotes.
10. “Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire p.400
Hermione likes Ron, but she’s not willing to let him be a jerk. Sometimes he was downright clueless. Instead of waiting for him to figure out what he wanted, she went out and lived her life.
9. “Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour (Minister of Magic).
“No, I’m not. I’m hoping to do some good in the world!” Hermione
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows p.123-124
When speaking to the most powerful wizard in Britain, Hermione shows nothing but sass. That takes some serious lady balls!
8.“Harry, you’re a great wizard, you know” Hermione
“I’m not as good as you.” Harry
“Me! Books! And cleverness! There are more important things– friendship and bravery and– oh Harry, be careful!” Hermione
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, p.287
While she is often seen as a know-it-all, Hermione is truly quite humble. Here we see how much she admires Harry, and recognizes (at 12 years old, I might point out) that the things she is good at are not the only things worth being good at.
7. “Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have.” Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix p.459
Harry and Ron spend much of the later books perplexed by the opposite sex. Hermione acts as translator for the boys, and often gets frustrated with their dense responses. This quote is mostly here because it makes me laugh.
6. “We’ll go with you wherever you’re going.” Ron
“You said to us once before that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We’ve had time, haven’t we?” Hermione
“We’re with you whatever happens.” Ron
Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince p. 651
This one is a combo Hermione/Ron quote. It made the list because it demonstrates their unwavering loyalty to Harry and the cause the Order fights for. This is the time when they agree to drop out of school and join Harry on his journey to destroy the Horcruxes. Hermione, who loves school, who values her education and the pursuit of knowledge doesn’t hesitate to agree to leave Hogwarts to travel with Harry and Ron.
5.“And just look at these books! …Harry, this is wonderful, there’s everything we need here!” Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix p.390
Books=Happiness in Hermione’s mind (and mine). She sees a room full of books as the answer to all of her problems, all she has to do is read.
4. “Well, if you two are going to chicken out, fine. I don’t want to break the rules, you know. I think threatening Muggle-Borns is far worse than brewing up a difficult potion.” Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets p.165
Hermione is a rule-follower by nature. Attending Hogwarts means everything to her, but she’s willing to risk expulsion if it means solving the puzzle they’re facing and stopping the prejudiced attacks on Muggle-Born students.
3.“The way they were treating her! Mr. Diggory, calling her ‘elf’ all the time… and Mr. Crouch! He knows she didn’t do it and he’s still going to sack her! He didn’t care how frightened she’d been or how upset she was — it was like she wasn’t even human!” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire p.139
One of Hermione’s most admirable qualities is her fearless pursuit of justice for everyone in the magical community. Perhaps influenced by being a Muggle-Born and a bit of an outsider, Hermione always stands up for the underdog, to whomever is challenging their rights. Her outrage at the treatment of House elves is brushed off by her best friends, but she relentlessly pursues her goals of freeing the enslaved race of magical creatures.
2. “I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed– or worse, expelled.” Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, p.162
Hermione always has her priorities in order. She knows what she wants and refuses to let anyone get in the way.
“I mean, you could claim that anything’s real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody’s proved it doesn’t exist!” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows p.411
If I was to pick a single quote from the whole series that sums up Hermione, it would be this one. She’s skeptical, thorough in researching whatever her latest project is, and refuses to settle for less than the absolute truth.
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The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- Marie Curie
One of my personal favorite scientists is Maria Skłodwska Curie, better known as Madame Marie Curie, is one of the most well-known scientists in history. She was born in Warsaw, Poland (which was controlled by Russia at the time), where she began her studies. Dr. Curie went on to become the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel prize, and is the only person (not just the only woman, the only person) to win a Nobel prize in two different science categories. She was a physicist and chemist who pioneered research in radioactivity (she even coined the term “radioactivity”), and paved the way for women like me to become scientists.
- Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Franklin was a major contributor to our current understanding of the structure of DNA. Using X-rays, Dr. Franklin examined DNA, and her images helped Watson and Crick to discover the double helix structure, a discovery that earned them a Nobel prize (which was unfortunately awarded after Dr. Franklin’s death, and therefore she was not a co-recipient of the award). In addition to her work with DNA, Dr. Franklin also researched virus structure, for which her co-worker, Aaron Klug earned a Nobel prize in chemistry (again, this was after her death, so Dr. Franklin was not a co-recipient).
- Flossie Wong-Staal
Flossie Wong-Staal, as the image above states, was the first researcher to clone and map the genes of HIV. Her research was instrumental in the discovery that HIV causes AIDS. She also discovered the function of the genes in the virus. Currently, Dr. Wong-Staal is the chief scientific officer for iTherX, a pharmaceutical company she co-founded.
- Barbara McClintock
Dr. Barbara McClintock’s biggest achievement is the discovery of genetic transposition, for which she earned a Nobel prize in physiology or medicine. She is the only woman to earn an unshared Nobel prize in that category. Dr. McClintock conducted her research on maize, where she studied chromosomes. Her research led to many discoveries in the field of genetics, including crossing over during meiosis, also known as genetic recombination, the roles of various chromosomal segments, and theories on the suppression and expression of genes.
- Valentina Tereshkova
On June 16th, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to go to space. After being honorarily inducted into the Soviet Air Force, Tereshkova joined the cosmonaut corps, and became the first civilian to travel to space. After her cosmonaut career, she attended the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy where she graduated as a cosmonaut engineer; she later earned a doctorate in engineering. Dr. Tereshkova was a prominent member of the communist party, and remained politically active after the fall of the Soviet Union. She is still well-loved and in 2013 expressed her love of Mars and desire to travel there. Dr. Tereshkova was quoted saying “We know the human limits. And for us this remains a dream. Most likely the first flight will be one way. But I am ready.”
- Stephanie Kwolek
You may not have heard of Stephanie Kwolek, but I assure you, you know her legacy, Kevlar. While working for DuPont as a chemist, she was tasked with developing a new fiber to be used in tires. The mixture she created was almost thrown away, but Kwolek convinced a co-worker it should be tested, and it was found to be incredibly strong, especially considering its weight. This fiber was perfected into what we know as Kevlar, the material bulletproof vests are made from. Her discoveries also led to the rise of the polymer science.
- Shirley Ann Jackson
In 1973, Shirley Ann Jackson became the first African-American woman to earn a PhD from MIT, and the second African-American woman to earn a doctorate in Physics. Dr. Jackson spent her scientific career as a theoretical physicist, an overwhelmingly male-dominated field. She has contributed to over 100 scientific articles. In 1995, Dr. Jackson was appointed to serve as the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commision by President Clinton, and was the first woman and first African-American to hold the position. In 1999 she became the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and was, again, the first woman and first African-American to hold the position. Since then, Dr. Jackson has become one of the highest paid professors in the United States and serves on the board of directors for over a dozen companies including IBM, FedEx, and the New York Stock Exchange.
- Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and computer scientist in the 19th century. She is widely considered the creator of the first computer program. Lovelace created an algorithm to be run on an “Analytical Engine” which would compute Bernoulli numbers.
- Mary Jackson
In 1958, Mary Jackson became NASA’s first African-American female engineer. After graduating college with a dual degree in math and physical science, Jackson began her career as a teacher at a black school in Maryland (public schools were still segregated at the time). Her first job at NASA was as a mathematician, and after 34 years she had achieved the most senior engineer position at NASA. Throughout her life she tutored high school and college students, and was an advocate for women and other minorities.
Hypatia, also known as Hypatia of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher in 300-400 CE. She collaborated with her father and fellow mathematician, Theon of Alexandria. No written work of hers has survived to modern times, however, it is documented that she was head of the Neoplatonist School in Alexandria sometime around 400, where she taught philosophy.
I barely hit the tip of the iceberg with this post. These women contributed so much to the scientific community, as did many, many women like them. I could write ten articles about amazing women in science, but I chose these ten women for their groundbreaking contributions to science and/or for being the first woman to contribute to their field.
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