One of the best scenes in Mean Girls is when Tina Fey’s character guides the unruly teenage girls through a trust fall exercise. Throughout my life I’ve reminisced on that scene, and when I’m feeling unsupported and isolated I remind myself that there are plenty of people who would catch me, if they were around to do so, from falling into the metaphorical abyss.
This thought has always been therapeutic for me because it reminds me that I’m not alone. So often as activists, advocates, allies, and social justice warriors we face intolerant work environments, ignorant family members, biased media, and naive partners. Sometimes we even fail ourselves. It’s tiring to be an activist! But we’re not alone on the journey. We’ve got each other.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I have aggregated here a list of public figures whose arms I would most definitely feel comfortable falling blindly into. Throughout 2014 they have all had an impact on my life, and I am thankful to all of them for the work they have done, and continue to do, for women everywhere. I lift my Thanksgiving wine glass up to toast:
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Texas Senator Wendy Davis
Massachusetts US Senator Elizabeth Warren
Minnesota US Senator Amy Klobuchar (from my home state!)
US Congresswoman Betty McCollum (also from my home state!)
Former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and actress Emma Watson
Actress, film producer, writer, former fashion model, and a women’s Olympics archery team semi-finalist Geena Davis
Actress, comedian, voice artist, producer and writer Amy Poehler
Actress, comedian, producer and writer Tina Fey
I also raise my glass to:
- Actress, activist and musician Lucy Lawless
- Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift
- Singer and actress Beyoncé Knowles
- Screenwriter, producer, and director Lena Dunham
- Actress and singer Keira Knightley
- Comic book writer Gail Simone
- Television host, political commentator, and author Rachel Maddow
And I especially raise my glass to artist and student Emma Sulkowicz
I feel so blessed to have so many awesome kindred spirits roaming the world with me. This list is not all inclusive, simply because I do not have the time to include everyone that should be on it! Please share who you would add in the comments.