Watching women constantly make major headlines shouldn’t feel like an anomaly, but something about the rate at which they’re doing so in 2016 feels almost revolutionary. From politicians to performers, female voices seem to be competing with, or even crowding out, those of their male counterparts, and we’re not exactly sad to see it happening. Here, eight women who are absolutely crushing 2016.
Beyoncé blew our minds more than one time this year. First, there was that controversial Super Bowl performance. Then, she made jaws drop all over the world when her Lemonade visual album aired on HBO, exposing her relationship woes with Jay-Z and making "Becky with the good hair" a thing. She's also invested in summer's best beverage, staged the massive Formation tour despite boycotts by the police meant to protect her as she performs, and infused activism into her art in a way that goes far beyond anything she's ever done before. If ever there was a woman to look up to in 2016, it's Queen Bey.
Watching Nancy Pelosi sing "we shall overcome" Wednesday night in the midst of the Democrats' gun control sit-in gave us chills. The minority leader vowed to hold the House floor until "hell froze over," and though that didn't happen, we applaud her leadership on efforts to pass bills that would tighten gun control in the wake of the Orlando tragedy. Also, that bracelet.
Despite having been thrown a formidable opponent in Bernie Sanders and being forced to compete with the endless media attention afforded to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has managed to rise to the top of the crop in terms of this year's presidential candidates. No matter what your personal politics may be, you have to admire her poise and quiet confidence in what has become little more than a circus show or schoolyard fight. She's well on her way to becoming the first female president of the United States later this year, and even if that doesn't end up being the outcome of November's elections, she's made history for women just by making it this far.
Amy Schumer is inarguably having the best year ever. Even when negative things happen to Schumer, she responds like a boss, and the admiration and love of her innumerable fans only increases. This year, her popular Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer debuted its fourth season, and she managed to cover both Vanity Fair and Vogue , headline Madison Square Garden, and now has a memoir in the works. Somehow it feels like it won't be long until she's running for president in which case, we dare Donald Trump to run.
Kendall Jenner's become absolutely ubiquitous this year, and if it's hard to standout in the most well-known family in the world, then Kendall Jenner has basically done the impossible by outshining even the most famous of her famous sisters. In 2016 alone, she walked for Chanel, Diane Von Fürstenberg, Vera Wang, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Fendi,Versace, Bottega Veneta, Balmain, Dior, Elie Saab, and Miu Miu. In April, she scored her own special edition of Vogue, which is probably the most envy-inducing of all her envy-inducing accomplishments. Also, she's only 20 years-old, so there's that.
As President Obama's term ends, it seems Michelle Obama is feeling more free to "do her," which is a good thing because her "her" is awesome. In addition to the innumerable events she's hosted and causes she's supported, the First Lady recently hosted the United States of Women summit, joined Snapchat and, in a rare move, voiced her support of the Democrats' gun control sit-in on Twitter. Rumors are now swirling that she'll run for a Senate seat once she's moved out of the White House, where she could affect change for decades to come.
Brock Turner's Victim
We feel weird including Brock Turner's victim on this list, but we would also feel weird not including her. We can't imagine what it's taken for this woman to stand up to the man who victimized her, but the impassioned letter she addressed to him in court has singlehandedly changed how many people view sexual assault and sparked outrage on behalf of victims. Her bravery will definitely go down in history as a landmark moment in the continued fight against sexual assault, victim-blaming, and the like.
Deshauna Barber won Miss USA this year and, in doing so, became the first woman serving in the U.S. Army Reserve to ever earn the distinction. What really gets us, however, is her answer to one of the questions asked of her in the interview portion of the competition. If you haven't seen it her now viral response, you must watch it ASAP (and then re-watch it, daily). She's definitely one of our newest heroes.