Abbey Slattery is a writer, editor, and pop culture aficionado. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and websites, but is most prolific on Twitter.
Women have dealt with a lot of garbage. We didn’t get the right to vote until 70 years after all white men—and almost 150 years after white men who owned land and paid taxes. We’ve always made less than our male counterparts (even if we’ve recently won the FIFA Women’s World Cup, for the fourth time). Almost half of all working women have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace. And aside from the gender dynamics of it all, life in general just...brings us down.
While strength and femininity are rarely considered to go hand-in-hand, that couldn’t be further from the truth—just take it from a few of these women. From actresses and filmmakers to government officials and lawyers, these women know what it takes to battle adversity and come out stronger on the other side.
25 quotes about being strong—to power your day
1. "You can't make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen."
—Michelle Obama, attorney and former First Lady of the United States
2. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
—Nora Ephron, author and filmmaker
3. “Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author and activist
4. “Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.”
—Mindy Kaling, writer and, producer, actress
5. "On my own I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be."
—Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and all-around queen
6. "Run to the fire; don’t hide from it."
—Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi
7. "[My mother] told me that fear was not an option. I was always told that women are stronger, so I believed it.”
—Diane Von Furstenberg, fashion designer
8. “Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”
—Beyonce, singer, icon, and another all-around queen
9. “We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
—Malala Yousafzai, activist and youngest ever Nobel laureate
10. “I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author and activist
Read more: What is Intersectional Feminism?
11. “I wanted to show that women are empowered and strong, and don’t have to be saved by some male hero, but they can take care of themselves using their intelligence and their power.”
—Gal Gadot, actress
12. “You don't learn from successes; you don't learn from awards; you don't learn from celebrity; you only learn from wounds and scars and mistakes and failures. And that's the truth.”
—Jane Fonda, actress and activist
13. “Revolution is not a one-time event.”
—Audre Lorde, poet and activist
14. ”Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”
—Charlotte Whitton, former Mayor of Ottawa, Ontario
15. ”Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”
—Marie Curie, physicist, chemist, and Nobel laureate
16. “I will leave you with one last piece of advice, which is: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And if you don’t got it? Flaunt it. ’Cause what are we even doing here if we’re not flaunting it?”
—Mindy Kaling, writer, producer, and actress
17. “Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions...Do your thing and don't care if they like it.”
—Tina Fey, writer, producer, actress, and comedian
18. "Great people do things before they're ready. They do things before they know they can do it...Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that, that's what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special, and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself."
—Amy Poehler, writer, producer, actress, and comedian
19. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
—Maya Angelou, poet and activist
20. “Fill your life with women that empower you, that help you believe in your magic and aid them to believe in their own exceptional power and their incredible magic too. Women that believe in each other can survive anything. Women who believe in each other create armies that will win kingdoms and wars.”
—Nikita Gill, writer and poet
21. “People will say to me, ‘You’ve played so many strong women,’ and I’ll say, ‘Have you ever said to a man, “You’ve played so many strong men?”’ No! Because the expectation is [men] are varied. Why can’t we have that expectation about women?”
—Meryl Streep, actress
22. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
—Amelia Earhart, pilot and author
23. “The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all, be humble.”
—Serena Williams, professional tennis player and winner of 23 Grand Slams
24. I’ve often thought it unfair that women are expected to stay at home when there’s a fight to be won. If a woman has the strength to bear a child, she can swing a sword as well as any man.”
—Karen Hawkins, author
25. Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.”
—Nancy Pelosi, first female Speaker of the United States House of Representatives