We already know that 2018 was the "Year of the Woman," shattering ceilings and making history from the polls to the box office. But we can't forget that behind every great woman, there's an army of allies.
As MAKERS celebrates all the amazing things that women have accomplished in 2018, we're also celebrating our favorite feMANists who supported us along the way.
1,600 men sign a newspaper ad in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
In 1991, 1,600 African-American women took out a full-page ad in the @nytimes to show support for Anita Hill.
In today's NYT, 1600 male allies, in a crowdfunded effort, place a full-page ad in support of Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford.https://t.co/EA6ojVD8mPpic.twitter.com/Z32SoTBiih
— MAKERS (@MAKERSwomen) September 26, 2018
On Sept. 26, 1,600 men ran a full-page ad in the New York Times' print edition in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who brought forth sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The message "We believe Anita Hill. We also believe Christine Blasey Ford" appeared above the names of all the men who contributed to paying for the ad.
The move was inspired by a similar ad that ran in 1991 around Anita Hill's testimony. With the headline "African American Women in Defense of Ourselves," 1,600 Black women came together to publicly support Hill amidst the backlash she experienced for her sexual harassment claims against Justice Clarence Thomas.
"Too frequently, survivors of sexual assault are forced to suffer in silence. Those who choose to speak out often face backlash, skepticism, and ridicule," the men wrote in a letter. "We are a group of men with varying political and legal views. But we each believe women should no longer have to carry these burdens alone."
Barack Obama says 'men are getting on his nerves lately'
On July 17, former president Barack Obama said what many women have been saying, thinking, and screaming for the past year.
"Men have been getting on my nerves lately," former president Barack Obama said to leaders of the Obama Foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa. "Every day I read the newspaper, and I just think, 'Brothers, what's wrong with you guys?' What's wrong with us? I mean we're violent; we're bullying — you know, just not handling our business," Obama continued, voicing his disappointment of the behavior from powerful men revealed in the past year.
His solution? Focus less on the men who have failed us and focus on the potential of the women and men who can help lift all of us up.
Says Obama: "I think empowering more women on the continent—that right away is going to lead to some better policies."
Justin Trudeau stands up for women (again)
When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office in 2015, he started with a bold move and showed the world what it looked like to lead like a feminist, appointing a gender-balanced cabinet. (Guess what? It's working—America Justin Trudeau stands up for women (again)take notes.)
In 2018, Trudeau is keeping his word to advocate for women. While on a trip to negotiate new terms for the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trudeau said an integral part of bringing the decades-old policy to the modern era was to protect the rights of women.
"Violence against women and girls is prevalent in all facets of life, from the studios of Hollywood to the digital public squares, our halls of Parliament," Trudeau said in front of a crowd of Mexican politicians, whom he urged "to use your position and power to strongly push for the rights of women and girls in Mexico and around the world."
Dr. Denis Mukwege wins Nobel Peace Prize
Alongside Yazidi activist and sex slave survivor Nadia Murad, gynecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege was honored with the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his life's work to repair and heal women brutally raped and mutilated by armed men in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What started out as a hospital made from tents has become Panzi Hospital, which now cares for more than 3,500 women a year, performing as many as 10 operations a day. Despite the dangers of his work to help the survivors amidst two decades of armed conflict in the Congo, Dr. Mukwege continued to speak out against "an unjust war that has used violence against women and rape as a strategy of war."
"It is to all victims of sexual violence across the world that I dedicate this prize," Dr. Mukwege said at the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Award ceremony in Oslo, Norway. "It is with humility that I come before you to raise the voice of the victims of sexual violence in armed conflicts and the hopes of my compatriots."
Stephen Curry makes his shoes available for little girls
Stephen Curry is fighting for gender equality not one step, but one shoe at a time. Nine-year-old Riley Morrison wrote a letter to the Golden Warriors basketball player asking him to make his line of Under Armour shoes available for girls after finding they were only offered to boys on the company's website.
"I asked my dad to buy me the new Curry 5s because I'm starting a new basketball season," Morrison wrote in a letter her father posted on Instagram. "I hope you can work with Under Armour to change this because girls want to rock the Curry 5s too."
The basketball all-star replied to Riley with a hand-written letter of his own, saying that he would "correct this now," and send her a free pair of the Curry 5s so she could wear his kicks proudly. Curry also promised to send Morrison the first pair of Curry 6s and invited her to celebrate International Women's Day at the Golden State Warrior game on March 8.
Justin Baldoni gets men to talk about #MeToo
Six men sit around a table talking about #MeToo and their role in the women's movement. That's either a scene from a feminist fever dream or the latest episode of Justin Baldoni's series "Man Enough." Lucky for everyone, it's all of the above.
"I think it's important to start small—you're not going to have an awakening of a billion men that are suddenly going to wake up and everyone's going to be a feminist," Baldoni told MAKERS. "What we can do is create a new race of men that are aware of their actions and that are respecting women in a new way."
MAKERS Man Justin Baldoni poses provocative questions to former Arena League football player Lewis Howes, Canadian political activist Jamey Heath, "How To Get Away With Murder" actor Matt McGorry, entertainment exec Scooter Braun, and A Call to Men CEO and MAKER Tony Porter. The guys sat down to talk about the problematic ways in which men view women, why "good guys" stay on the sidelines, and how they can do better in the future.
A Navy Vet shuts down his mom's #HimToo tweet
That was my Mom. Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it. Let's turn this around. I respect and #BelieveWomen . I never have and never will support #HimToo . I'm a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad and Ally. Also, Twitter, your meme game is on point. pic.twitter.com/yZFkEjyB6L
— Pieter Hanson (@Thatwasmymom) October 9, 2018
There are embarrassing mom moments. And then there's what Pieter Hanson went through: When his mom took to Twitter bemoan the "current climate of false sexual assault allegations" for prohibiting her single son from going on solo dates, she sparked a wave of "That's MY son" memes mocking her #HimToo claims.
While his mom's tweet has been taken down, Hanson started a new account called @thatwasmymom and set the record straight: "Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it. Let's turn this around. I respect and #believewomen. I never have and never will support #HimToo. I'm a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad, and Ally. Also, Twitter, your meme game is on point."
That's MY ally.
Idris Elba comments about working as an actor after #MeToo
Men across all industries have complained have raised the concern about how to conduct themselves, particularly around women, in the wake of the #MeToo movement. After Dr. Christine Blasey Ford stood up the Senate Judiciary committee insisting that the country believe survivors, even President 45 made controversial comments about what a "scary and difficult time for young men in America."
But, in an interview with Sunday Times, Elba was asked if it was difficult to be a man in entertainment amidst the reckoning of powerful men who had sexually harassed men and women. The Luther actor shut down these notions with the perfect response: "It's only difficult if you are a man with something to hide." Cue the mic drop.