The Most Inspiring Women of 2015

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  • Women have kicked a lot of ass in 2015 – and with the launch of our new What’s Trending Fem channel, we’ve loved taking a closer look at women’s issues and the people who inspire us to work toward gender equality. So as the year draws to a close, we’re taking a look back at some of the women in news, entertainment and pop culture who have spoken out and pushed the discussion forward.

    They include Misty Copeland, the first black ballerina to become the principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre; and Anita Sarkeesian, “Feminist Frequency” host and face of the Gamer Gate controversy, who braved online abuse, rape threats and death threats to speak out on how women are portrayed in video games.

    Constance Wu’s breakout role in “Fresh Off the Boat” gave her a platform to talk about the representation of Asian women in television and film, while Laverne Cox from “Orange is the New Black” brought visibility to the trans community, including the violence trans women often face.

    Malala Yousafzai became an international education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner after refusing to back down in the face of terrorism, and her interview with Emma Watson went big on social media this year.

    Serena Williams was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated, as well as challenging the way people think about black women and beauty; and Amy Schumer made hilarious sketches and standup comedy about women’s issues and gave the long-dead “can women be funny” debate a few extra kicks for good measure.

    Other feminist all-stars include “Hunger Games” star Amandla Stenberg, who educated people on cultural appropriation and issues related to black women’s hair; Latina actor Diane Guerrero from “Orange is the New Black” who bravely spoke out about her family’s deportation to Colombia; and Senator Claire McCaskill, who famously asked men to “sometimes shut the hell up.”

    We can’t wait to see which women will be stepping forward to lead the way next year. Stay tuned to What’s Trending Fem to find out more.

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