For as long as human beings have existed, we have been a vibrant, diverse and driven bunch in a world that hasn’t always been tolerant of our equality. For this edition’s horoscope segment, we wanted to introduce you to some of the names that have fought for female and queer rights throughout history.
These individuals, whether alive today or not, have paved the way for our future and continue to pass the torch to others in this evergoing fight for equality.
Activist, humanitarian and actress, Emma Watson, showed she has achieved far more than a successful career on the screen when she was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July of 2014. She has been one of the most influential faces in pop culture fighting for gender equality.
American feminist author, speaker, sex educator, media maker and consultant, Tristan Taormino is passionate about advocating for well-rounded and quality sex education. Tristan is committed to freeing the world of sexual shame and representing marginalised communities.
Margaret Fuller paved the way for working women today. She was the first American female war correspondent as well as a journalist, editor and critic in the 1800s. Margaret was a woman’s rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement.
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education, and became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate of all time in 2014. Whilst just a young girl, she defied the Taliban in Pakistan, fighting for girls to be allowed to receive an education.
Transgender pioneer Renee Richards is an American ophthalmologist and former tennis player. Renee famously undertook sex reassignment surgery, and fought to compete as a woman in the 1976 US Open.
Marsha P Johnson
Trans-rights activist and self-identified drag queen, Marsha P Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. At this time, being gay was classified as a mental illness in the U.S., and the bravery of individuals such as Marsha shaped the future of the LGBTQ+ community.
Otherwise known as AOC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is perhaps the most influential face in U.S. politics today, having served as Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019. Well loved by Gen Z, AOC fights everyday for female rights in politics, making women feel seen and represented globally.
French writer and politician, Marlène Schiappa became the French gender equality minister in 2017. Since then, Marlène has been leading government action against discrimination, sexual violence and street harassment against women, representing all French women in their fight for gender equality.
American singer, Taylor Swift, came forward with her political stance in 2019. She famously sent a letter to her Tennessee senator urging for the Equality Act to be passed, protecting LGBTQ+ people and women against violence and discrimination. Since then, the singer has been vocal about female and queer rights in songs such as You Need to Calm Down, The Man and Mad Woman.
Director of Centre for Social Research as well as Chairperson of Women Power Connect, Dr. Ranjana Kumari has dedicated her life to empowering women across the South Asia region. She aims to guarantee the fundamental rights of women and girls, increasing the understanding of social issues from a gender perspective.
British singer and actor, Harry Styles, was famously pictured as the first man to be featured on Vogue Magazine in a dress in their December 2020 issue. Harry has become a face for gender neutral fashion in today’s popular culture, redefining what it means to be a “man” today and deconstructing harmful toxic masculinity cultures.
Canadian actor, Elliot Page, is a central face for transgender rights and representation today. Featured as the female protagonist in the film Juno, Elliot has since come into himself as the man he always knew he was, vocalising his journey on social media. He expressed in an interview with Time Magazine his excitement to finally act in his true form.
Words by Stephanie Montatore
Art by Nikki Sztolc