They are women, hear them roar. And laugh, and cry and lament and bluster.
On Friday, PBS’s Emmy-winning documentary series American Masters spotlights 15 women who are trailblazers in their fields, from politics to television to science and beyond. A DVD of the one-hour special will also be available on shoppbs.org.
Among those profiled are Alicia Keys, Betsey Johnson, Margaret Cho, Shonda Rhimes, Edie Falco, Madeleine Albright and Gloria Allred. They speak directly to the camera, sharing their struggles against discrimination and determination to make a mark on the world.
All have accomplished much publicly, but they’re also cancer survivors, victims of sexual assault, single parents, amputees, recovering alcoholics, women who fret about cellulite and women who admit they don’t cook or clean.
Here are 10 of the most inspiring quotes from the The Women’s List.
1. “Wherever there’s a glass ceiling, there is an iron woman right underneath it.” – Elizabeth Holmes, health technology entrepreneur
2. “If you’re going to tell me that I got something because I’m a women, I’ll say, ‘Well thanks.’ But I’m going to show you that I would’ve gotten it anyway.” – Wendy Williams, radio DJ and talk show host
3. “I’m disturbed by the fact that people think ‘feminist’ is a bad word. I’m disturbed by the fact that young women thing ‘feminism’ is a bad word. It’s as if they want guys to think they’re cute. They’d rather be cute than equal.” – Shonda Rhimes, screenwriter, director and producer
4. “It’s a great feeling to fly. The best are the takeoffs, those are the best for me. It’s exhilarating. You have all this power. From that perspective, you just see things differently.” – Nia Wordlaw, pilot
5. “It’s an objective fact that I’m a double amputee. But it’s very subjective opinion as to whether or not that makes me disabled.” – Aimee Mullins, athlete and model
6. “Women of colour, if you’re over 40 and you get fat, you will work. But if you’re hot and over 40 and a woman of colour, they don’t know what to do with you.“ – Rosie Perez, actress, dancer and director
7. “(My mom) is a very comical figure to me. She’s also the voice of my Asian-ness. She’s the voice of the part of me that is eternally an immigrant and eternally an outsider.” – Margaret Cho, actress and comedian
8. “One of the most important messages to young women is that it’s a wonderful time of opportunity, but basically young women can’t forget how hard it’s been. We need to respect each other and we need to help each other.” – Madeleine Albright, former United States Secretary of State
9. ”Men of quality are not threatened by women of equality.” – Gloria Allred, attorney
10. “There is no modernity and no justice without the talent, the passion and the steely intelligence of women.” – Toni Morrison, novelist and professor
American Masters: The Women’s List airs Friday, Sept. 25, on PBS. It will air Sunday on WNED, and Monday on WTVS. (Not airing on WCML.)