Before we’re all poppin’ bottles and partying like it’s 1999 (give or take 16 years), we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the complete and utter radness that was 2014. Here are the 14 moments that made us laugh, cheer, and high-five this year. Watch out, 2015, you’ve got a tough act to follow.
1. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US CHEER
We’ve been rooting for Becky Hammon long before 2014. We cheered when she surpassed Keith Van Horn as the Western American Conference’s all-time leading scorer while playing for the Colorado State Rams in 1999. We cheered when she led the San Antonio Stars to a WNBA best record in 2007. And we cheered when she became the 7th player in WNBA history to score 5,000 points. But, oddly enough, it was watching her sidelined that made us cheer the loudest. In 2014, the San Antonio Spurs made Hammon the first full-time female assistant coach in, not just the NBA, but any of the four major professional sports.
2. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US EXTREMELY UNPRODUCTIVE
We are personally holding Sarah Koenig responsible for ruining many a productive work day here at the Wildfang offices. Since releasing the first episode of Serial in October, the groundbreaking podcast has made us debate endlessly (who’s more credible—Jay or Adnan?), made us laugh (shrimp sale at the crab shack, anyone?), frustrated us (SERIOUSLY, CAN SOMEONE TELL US IF THERE WAS A PHONE BOOTH AT THE BEST BUY OR NOT!???!), and made us feel all the feels. What started as a spin off of This American Life has devolved into a sensation in its own right. Over 11 episodes, Koenig and producer Julie Snyder explore not only the aspects of Adnan Syed’s case, but the merits of a new format of non-fiction storytelling—an experiment that went on to become the most downloaded podcast in history. We may never know who really killed Hae Min Lee, but the success of Serial is undeniable.
3. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US WANT TO TURN OFF THE NETFLIX MARATHON & GET OFF OUR COUCH
Standing at over 29,000 feet, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth. Every year, a new pack of brave adventurers sets out to reach its peak, plant their flag, and say they have literally stood on top of the world. But this year, while some of us courageously attempted to watch every episode of Gilmore Girls in under a week, 13-year-old Malavath Poona became the youngest person ever to reach Everest’s summit. Hey, one woman’s Stars Hollow is another woman’s Everest.
4. THE STYLE MOMENT THAT WE COVETED, LIKE, SUPER HARD
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—tomboy is not a trend. From Dietrich to Hepburn to Keaton, women have been borrowing from the boys for as long as we can remember, and 2014 was no exception. Babes in blazers cropped up everywhere this year from the runways to the red carpets… and then there was Julia Roberts. As the face of Givenchy’s Spring ‘15 line, the black and white images of Roberts in the ultimate power suit rendered us pretty much speechless (and that’s no easy feat). Rather than sporting the grin that made her famous, Roberts looks serious, powerful, and magnificently masculine. We’re taking this as a PSA from America’s Sweetheart that it’s officially time to suit up or ship out.
5. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US WANT TO LET IT GOOOOOO
Disney movies have taught us a lot over the years. Mulan, for example, taught us about the exact specifications of manhood (#1. Be swift as a coursing river; #2. Be as forceful as the great typhoon; #3. Be strong like a raging fire; #4. Be as mysterious as the dark side of the moon), while Aladdin taught us the real meaning of the golden rule (whoever has the gold makes the rule, ya dig?). And in 2014, Disney’s Frozen certainly taught us that women are f*cking awesome (that is, in case you didn’t already know). Frozen was far and away one of the biggest movies of the year, not to mention the highest grossing animated film of all time—and did we mention it was written, directed, and composed by women? In fact, by March of 2014, Jennifer Lee became the first-ever female director to hit a billion in profits. How do you like them zeros?
6. THE MOMENT THAT GAVE US HOPE
Though the Taliban had banned education for girls in Pakistan’s Swat Valley where she was raised, Malala Yousafzai not only continued attending school, she shared her experience with the rest of the world through an anonymous blog for the BBC. In 2012, Yousafzai was shot aboard her school bus, causing worldwide outrage and reminding us all that education should be a basic human right. The 17 year-old has since recovered and spent the last two years as a human rights advocate, campaigning all over the world for girls’ education. In 2014, she became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. NBD.
7. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US CELEBRATE
Speaking of basic human rights… 2014 was a banner year for marriage equality. Just twelve months ago, same sex marriage was legal in only 18 states plus Washington, D.C. Today, that number has almost doubled. Now all we need is the final 15 in ‘15! GO USA!
8. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US HIGH FIVE
Oh, J.Law, is anyone having a better year than you? From X-Men to the Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence brought in a total of 1.4 billion dollars this year making her the highest grossing actor of 2014. Though the Sony hacking scandal shed some much needed light on the fact that Hollywood has a long way to go toward closing the wage gap, Lawrence is trip-on-your-Oscars-gown proof that women can not only carry a film—we can knock ‘em out of the park.
9. THE MOMENT WE WISHED WE’D PAID MORE ATTENTION IN MATH CLASS
Like Marie Curie in physics and chemistry, Field’s medal recipient Maryam Mirzakhani has smashed new barriers as the first woman to be awarded the most prestigious prize in mathematics. As big proponents of the calculator, we think the ship has probably sailed on this end; but, kids, if you’re reading this, we strongly advise you to take a break from folding cootie catchers and start practicing your long division.
10. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US WANT TO JUMP OFF A MOUNTAIN… LITERALLY
Why it took 90 years for women’s ski jump to make it to the Olympics, we may never know. But watching the likes of Jessica Jerome and Lindsey Van go sailing head first off mountains at 60 MPH during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, kinda made us feel like we could fly, too. Shout out to our girl Deedee Corradini for spearheading this watershed moment!
11. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US THINK
In September, the world’s most famous witch stood up in a United Nation’s meeting and delivered an impassioned speech about gender politics and feminism. “I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts,” said Hermione Granger—ehrm, Emma Watson. “I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.” The speech, which quickly went viral, has since stirred up a lot of debate about the nature of feminism and where our efforts should be focused—but all discourse aside, the important thing is that it got us talking. Watson’s star power opened up the conversation and encouraged a new generation of girls to stand up and be part of the dialogue.
12. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US PROUD
Winning the 2014 special election to North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, Democrat Alma Adams became the 100th woman currently sitting in Congress. This marks the first time in history that the number of women in Congress has reached triple digits and an important step toward giving women an audible voice in legislation and policy-making in the United States.
13. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US LAUGH
From standups like Whitney Cummings and Stephanie Simbari to TV queens like Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler, what was once a large gaping hole where female comedians should be, is now packed with more funny women than we can count. However, 2014 was undoubtedly the year of Broad City. Creators and stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have zero-ed in on the comedy of the every-day experience—somehow making the stupid sh*t we all do feel somehow less tragic and more comedic. Best explained by Glazer herself, “a ‘broad’ is like this full woman. She knows what she wants, knows who she is, and is doing the best she can.” #TRUTH
14. THE MOMENT THAT MADE US WANT TO PLAY BALL
At the risk of using every bad baseball idiom we know, can we just say Mo’ne Davis really stepped up to the plate, batted 1,000, and knocked this year out of the park!? As one of only 18 girls ever to play in the Little League World Series, Davis went on to pitch a shutout, be the first little leaguer to land the cover of Sports Illustrated, was named Sports Illustrated’s Sports Kid of the Year, and successfully gave new meaning to the phrase “throw like a girl.”