6 Ways Women Changed The World In 2017: Stories To Share ‘Round The Thanksgiving Table

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It’s finally Thanksgiving, and by now we all know the drill. Pile your plate sky-high with delicious holiday fixings, gather around your family’s or friend’s dinner table, and share what you’re grateful for.

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And while most people express thankfulness for those close to them, and things like good health, job security, and success in school (and rightfully so!), we thought we’d add a pinch — okay, more like a heaping helping — of women’s empowerment to the gratitude mix.

This Thanksgiving, we want to celebrate the inspiring women artists, activists, and everyday citizens who served up progress with a side of equality this year. Give thanks, friends: Here are seven (easily shareable) ways women changed the world in 2017!


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Millions march worldwide for women’s equality

What first began as a single march for women’s rights in Washington, D.C., the Women’s March later became the largest public demonstration in United States history.

Drawing upwards of 500,000 protestors to our nation’s capital, and spawning sister marches in over 500 cities across the country, in the end, some 3.3 million Americans marched for human rights — including women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and equality for people of color.

Demonstrators outside of the U.S. took to the streets, too, pushing the estimated number of protest participants worldwide to 5 million.


#WonderWoman is the hero you’ve been waiting for.

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Wonder Woman smashes Hollywood box office records

When Wonder Woman exploded onto movie screens this summer, women everywhere rejoiced. FINALLY, a standalone major motion picture tentpole featuring one of pop culture’s most recognizable icons of women’s empowerment! (And directed by Patty Jenkins, to boot!)

And boy, did Wonder Woman show Hollywood — and audiences the world over — who’s boss. The film’s opening weekend alone pulled in over $100 million (the best opening ever for a film directed by a woman) and in the months since, Wonder Woman has become the highest-grossing woman-directed superhero origin movie ever!


Can you handle this? #GLOW

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TV series like GLOW, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Insecure Season 2 show the importance of women-centered narratives

The revolution will be televised. This year, women creatives took over the airwaves and filled up our streaming service queues with refreshingly inclusive, hilarious, poignant, and powerful programming with women and women’s stories at the center.

From Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive’s women’s pro-wrestling series GLOW to Season 2 of Michaela Coel’s side-splitting coming-of-age series Chewing Gum to the modern retelling of Margaret Atwood’s disturbing sci-fi classic The Handmaid’s Tale, women are changing the channel on male-dominated entertainment — and changing culture.


Lena Waithe becomes the first black woman to win the Emmy for writing in a comedy series

Lena Waithe’s “Thanksgiving” episode for friend and collaborator Aziz Ansari’s Master of None series really hit homeInspired by her own coming-of-age as a queer adolescent, Waithe masterfully captured the need in us all to be seen and accepted by our friends and family for who we truly are. In September, Waithe became the first black woman to win the Emmy for writing in a comedy series.

In her acceptance speech, Waithe thanked her LGBTQIA family:

“I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers,” Waithe said. “Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world. Because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”


Foundation for all. 40 shades. What's yours? #PROFILTR #FENTYBEAUTY

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Rihanna introduces Fenty Beauty, the world’s first truly inclusive beauty line

As if we needed another reason to love RiRi! This year, the pop star debuted Fenty Beauty, the world’s first truly inclusive beauty line.

Featuring 40 different shades of foundation and eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks designed to complement all skin tones, Fenty makes visible the gap in the makeup market for women of color, while highlighting the unique beauty of every woman.

And Fenty’s attracting lots of positive attention. Just last week it was named one of TIME‘s 25 Best Inventions of 2017! Shine on.



Danica Roem is the first openly transgender person to win and serve in a US state legislature. On November 8 she was elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates, unseating Robert Marshall, who has described himself as the state’s “chief homophobe.” Marshall was the architect of Virginia’s anti-trans “bathroom bill,” which would have forced people to use the bathroom that corresponded to the sex they were assigned at birth. . The 33-year-old Roem is an award-winning journalist and the lead singer in a thrash metal band called Cab Ride Home. . This time though, she rocked the stage with one message: “To every person who’s ever been singled out, who’s ever been stigmatised, who’s ever been the misfit, who’s ever been the kid in the corner, who’s ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn’t have a voice of their own […]. This one’s for you.” . Artwork by Genevieve LaCroix . #RiseUp #ElectionDay #DanicaRoem #transwoman #transgender #lgbt #lgbtq #pride #transgirl #nonbinary #transboy #transwoman #transguy #transman

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Danica Roem and Andrea Jenkins break barriers for transgender women in U.S. elected public office

Transgender representation in public office? You’ve got our vote! Earlier this month, Virginia’s voters elected the state’s first openly transgender candidate, Danica Roem, to the Virginia House of Delegates, unseating the state’s self-identified “chief homophobe” incumbent, Bob Marshall.

But that’s not all. Over in Minneapolis, Andrea Jenkins became the first openly trans black woman elected to public office ever!

Of her victory, Jenkins said in a statement, “As an out African-American trans-identified woman, I know first-hand the feeling of being marginalized, left out, thrown under the bus. Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table — we want to set the table.”

We don’t know about you, but we’re bursting with gratitude! Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Kitty Lindsay
Kitty Lindsay

Kitty Lindsay is a Ms. blogger and a regular weekend contributor at Hello Giggles. Her writing has appeared in Ms. magazine and on the Feminist Majority Foundation blog, The Establishment, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Theatre Is Easy. Follow her on Twitter! @KittyLindsayLA