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Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024
The Observer

Six girl-power moments this year

Emily Danaher
Emily Danaher
Between female artists dominating the music charts to inspirational girls grabbing peace prizes and throwing Little League pitches, here's a look back at the best and brightest moments for women in the media this year.

Beyoncé was Beyoncé and “FEMINIST” was her backup dancer for seven blissful seconds Somehow topping her 2013 Superbowl halftime show that literally shut everything down, the world stood still for 16 and a half perfect minutes this August at the MTV Video Music Awards as Queen B once again proved that girls do in fact run the world. The iconic image of her majesty standing in front of the word “FEMINIST”  (which has arguably been the most controversial buzzword of the year) suddenly started appearing everywhere, even making a cameo on my pumpkin this Halloween. Beyoncé yet again let us all know that she is not only one of the hardest working and talented women in the industry, one that stands for the empowerment of women and makes the idea of feminism accessible to her fans.

“1989” sells 1.287 million copies in its first week, turning even the haters into Swiftie converts Taylor Swift unsurprisingly dominated again in 2014, her fifth studio album becoming the second most successful album of the year, bowing only to the “Frozen” soundtrack, which was released a whole 10 months before Swift dropped the mic in late October. “1989” is an undeniable mainstream masterpiece and showcases T-Swizzle’s new identity as an independent woman in a business that always labeled her as simply a “whiny serial dater with a guitar.” Whether you’re in awe of “Blank Space” or bumpin’ it to “Shake It Off,” you have to admit that Taylor has killed it on every level this year – and she did it all without a man.

Mo’ne Davis pitched a shutout, got on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” and showed us all how an MLB first pitch should be thrown “Mo’ne – remember her name” are the large words that caption a photo of 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis on the front of America’s most popular sports magazine. Not a big deal, but it made her the first Little League player ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. As the first girl to earn a win and pitch a shutout in the televised World Series for 11 to 13 year olds, Davis told the world girls can do anything a man can – and she hasn’t even graduated middle school.

Emma Watson was starts a worldwide movement Unless you spilled Starbucks on your laptop, dropped your cracked iPhone in the toilet or never got around to plugging that cable thing into your TV, then you probably have heard about Emma Watson’s speech introducing the “He For She” campaign at the UN this September. The most talented Hogwarts student of our age reminded everyone that gender stereotypes affect everyone, springing a global movement of male supporters of women’s rights. Nearly 200,000 men have taken the pledge, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hiddleston.

Laverne Cox was amazing – and the world finally recognized We know and love Lavern Cox as Sophia Burset on the Netflix Original Series “Orange is the New Black” — a role that has helped aid in the nationwide discussion of transgender rights in our country. The role has also given Cox a springboard to continue her work as one of the fiercest advocates for equality for the transgender community. After being the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category, the activist went on to be the first openly trans person to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine in May of this year.

Malala Yousafzai The youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize all in pursuit of better access to education for females around the world, Malala Yousafzai is girl power personified and at 17 years old as an assassination survivor, and she’s just getting started.