The 11 Women We’re So Very Thankful For In 2017

Are you tired yet of all the terrible men, their awful behavior, and their even worse apologies in 2017? This Thanksgiving, then, let’s not waste our breath on them and instead celebrate the women who have carried us all through the year. These 11 women have all been vital in 2017. Some have exploded onto the scene making money moves, others have been laying in wait for us to appreciate them properly. Here, the women we really want to give thanks for today.

Tracee Ellis Ross
Photographs by Mario Sorrenti. Styled by George Cortina.

For her we’re always thankful, but this year especially. For being both brilliant and hilarious, and for being the first black woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy since 1982. For her wit and grace, her flawless Instagram presence and impeccable style—everything about Tracee Ellis Ross inspires.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

For returning after years of being bullied, belittled, abused, and denied her own creative vision with the deeply personal song “Praying”—which, amidst near daily revelations of sexual abuse and misconduct, has become the year’s most cathartic and necessary pop music anthem.

Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, and Marilyn Minter

For Laurie Anderson and her Performa 17 tribute to Yoko Ono, a recreation of one of her instruction paintings, Voice Piece for Soprano. The 1961 original called on viewers to scream—”against the wind, against the wall, against the sky”—and so, at Anderson’s command, everyone at the gala dinner did for 30 uninterrupted, very loud seconds. After a year under Donald Trump, it must have been a moment of catharsis. For the great Marilyn Minter, too, we’re thankful—she gave Anderson the idea to make Ono’s primal scream a simple act of protest on the anniversary of Trump’s election. (And for all her Resist-ing.)

Jodi Kantor
Juliana Sohn

For Jodi Kantor, the New York Times reporter who cracked the story (along with Megan Twohey) that has eluded journalists for years: Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predations. For throwing herself headlong into the trauma of these crimes, for defying a literal army of spies, and for finally breaking the dam on the terrible men who have misused their power over the years.


For Rihanna today and every day. As one wise and knowing observer tweeted this week: “There is still only Rihanna.”

Carly Rae Jepsen
Ben Gabbe

For her pure and sparkling and unproblematic escapist pop music in these trying political times.

Olivia Wilde
Nicholas Hunt

For championing female directors for basically forever, and for her active political and social consciousness in an industry where actors—and especially the women among them—are discouraged from speaking out.

Taylor Swift (on the witness stand)
Jeff Kandyba/AP

For the sure and unremitting way she cut down every one of the dark insinuations aimed at her by the attorney of the former Denver radio DJ who groped her, Taylor Swift deserves a shout out—even what came after wasn’t Taylor at her best.

Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski
Chip Somodevilla

For proving that Donald Trump truly underestimated their nerve when it came time to stand up against his repeal of Obamacare—even if John McCain stole the spotlight and no matter what we feel about these two Republican Senators’ politics, it was their resistance that carried the day.

Judith Butler

For being the trailblazing feminist and queer theorist exposing masculinized systems of power that she has been for three decades. And for letting us finally start to catch up to her now.

Cardi B

For having a personality as humongous as her ass (her words), for bringing some fun and swagger back to pop, for not being real and not born of the industry, for making money moves—and for making them an act of empowerment.