4 Young Feminist Trailblazers to Watch

In the past few years especially, the word feminism has become part of mainstream culture.

Outspoken individuals, particularly young women, are demystifying feminism — helping to redefine its definition as a dirty word, or a movement exclusive to any one particular group of people.  

We'd like to think that feminism is here to stay, and with these daring young ladies setting their own agendas and making bold statements about the movement, we're pretty sure feminism isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Meet four young women in the gallery above who are shaping today's feminist movement.

NEXT: New Zealand's New 'Gender Diverse' Category »

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Tavi Gevinson | At the tender age of 12, Tavi Gevinson began chronicling snapshots of outfits and daily musings on culture, books and film on her style blog Style Rookie to entertain her own nostalgia for all things 'cool' from the past. The world quickly became captivated with her words and her quirky personal sense of style, and almost overnight, she became a sensation. Gevinson has been featured in top publications and showered with admiration at fashion shows around the globe. As a high school student, Gevinson launched online publication Rookie Mag for teenage girls that features writing, photography, illustrations, videos and more from a wide range of contributors and readers. Passionate about her work, Gevinson has travelled to conferences and workshops speaking to audiences about writing and the digital space. When it comes to feminism, she not only embodies her personal outlook but articulates it eloquently as well: "Feminism to me means fighting. It's a very nuanced, complex thing, but at the very core, I'm a feminist because I don't think being a girl limits me in anyway." Photo Credit: Andrew Toth via Getty Images

Amandla Sternberg | Perhaps best known for her role portraying Rue in the blockbuster series "The Hunger Games," Sternberg has stepped into the limelight as an activist, voicing concerns on cultural appropriation and the complications of mainstream feminism. Sternberg is apt about sharing her words and views on such subject matters with her robust social media following on both Instagram and Twitter. Most recently, Sternberg has utilized social media to speak out against the lack of much needed activism in both the media and in Hollywood. When Sternberg isn't on set of her new show "Sleepy Hollow," hanging with fellow feminist bud Tavi Gevinson, or being a normal teenager, the actress is involved with Share Our Strength, an organization working to end child hunger in the U.S. Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/NBC via Getty Images

Malala Yousafzai | At the age of 14, Malala Yousafzai was a target of the Taliban and received multiple death threats after she began receiving worldwide support as an advocate for girls' education. Her activism roots were cultivated while she was a student at the all-girls school her father founded. Soon after, the Taliban began attacking girls' schools in Yousafzai's hometown of Swat. She gave a speech in Peshawar, Pakistan in 2008 titled, "How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?" The young activist became a universal symbol of resilience after she was shot by a gunman of the Taliban while traveling home from school. Surviving the incident, Malala continued to champion for girls' rights to education. Most notably, Yousafzi delivered a speech at the United Nations on her 16th birthday, penned an autobiography "I AM Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban," and became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. To commemorate her 18th birthday in 2015, Malala opened an all-girls school in Lebanon, calling on Lebanese leaders to invest in education "instead of bullets." Photo Credit: Brent Lewis via Getty Images

Emma Sulkowicz | In a year laden with controversial sexual assault incidents on college campuses, Emma Sulkowicz, a student at Columbia University, spoke up against the university's mishandling of her rape case by carrying around the mattress (on which she had claimed to have been raped on) around campus. Originally the statement was a part of her senior thesis, "Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)," but the project quickly morphed into a visible protest for the institution to address mishandled cases of rape and sexual assault on campus with more diligence and accountability. Sulkowicz's act of defiance landed her on a cover of New York Magazine, which dubbed her a leader of a "very different kind of sexual revolution," inspiring student activists everywhere to haul around their own mattresses. Photo Credit: Andrew Burton via Getty Images