13 most empowering moments for women in 2016, from the HelloGiggles editorial team

Farewell, 2016, we barely knew ye! (JK, 2017 could not come fast ENOUGH.) While 2016 has been declared The Most Awful Year Ever, we did witness some inspiring moments, especially moments coming from strong, resilient women. Here at HG, we celebrate the things women do every single day, so let’s not forget these triumphs.

“For me, when the Emily Doe (Stanford rape victim) letter went viral, I felt that people EVERYWHERE were talking about sexual assault and rape culture and there was a dialogue going on and to be honest, I haven’t stopped talking about it since, loudly. I think it’s amazing that one letter could be the catalyst for a larger conversation.” -Karen Fratti, Weekend Editor

“When survivor Emily Doe allowed BuzzFeed to publish the victim statement she read to Brock Turner before his sentencing, she helped ignite a national conversation that had been forced into silence for too long. I witnessed men I had known for years starting to understand the reality or rape culture — and how they subconsciously perpetuate it — for the first time in their lives, all because of her words. I will always be motivated and empowered by Emily Doe’s ability to stand in her anger.” -Rachel Sanoff, Features Editor

Emmy Rossom fought for equal pay on Shameless — and she won. While more and more women are starting to make some noise about their pay, I feel like we’re not nudging, or being polite anymore. We’re fiercely demanding (Jennifer Lawrence, Patricia Arquette, Hilary Swank, and Emma Stone are just a few of those women), and that’s amazing to see.” -Gina Vaynshteyn, Editorial Director

Michelle Obama’s New Hampshire speech. Michelle Obama’s speech on October 13th in New Hampshire was hailed as her most powerful of the campaign season. Her impassioned words hammered home the notion that violating words and actions against women are “not just politics as usual. [They] are disgraceful. [They] are intolerable.” FLOTUS, you will be deeply missed.” -Emily Popp, Deputy Editor “Michelle Obama’s New Hampshire speech. Not only is it super inspiring, but she executes it with such grace and poise and never stoops to a low level. She remains calm and collected throughout, while making valid points. She rises above, and never once names anyone or shames anyone in particular. It’s a testament to her talent as a public speaker, but also to her strength and her power. I was moved to tears by it, and think that we could all learn something from it. Similarly, Madonna’s speech at the Billboard Women in Music event made me cry, too.” -Alim Kheraj, U.K. Editor


“The most empowering moment this year for me, for women but also as a woman, was casting my vote for Hillary Clinton. I teared up handing in my ballot, and the amazing group of women running the voting location all understood. One of them even gave me a high-five.” -Christina Wolfgram, Video Producer

“I really think that Beyoncé’s Lemonade was super empowering, inspiring, and very important because she showed off so many sides to being a woman. She was vulnerable, emotional, strong, confident, and powerful. She just embraced everything about being a woman!” -Alyssa Morin, Associate Beauty Editor