"Handling it," is just the beginning of the way Scandal star and all around goddess Kerry Washington takes on life. Not only is the actress incredibly successful in her professional life, Washington is also a wife, mother of two, and feminist spokesperson who has no time for anyone's misogynistic comments or actions. And like her endorsement of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, Washington hasn't shied away from sharing her opinions. As a mom to young girl, Kerry Washington's feminist parenting quotes are especially poignant, powerful, and passionate.
Washington gave birth to daughter Isabelle Amarachi in April 2014, and more recently had her son, Caleb Kelechi Asomugha, in October 2016. She and husband Nnamdi Asomugha have made it a priority to raise their children with an emphasis on equality, kindness, and love. And despite the current political climate, it's clear that Washington is not only setting a positive example for her kids, but is also living her wisdom. Whether she's leading feminist rally cries at the Women's March in Los Angeles, wearing red to support the national Day Without Women, or just sharing sweet anecdotes about her kids, Washington is clearly crushing the mom game.
Here are some of her best feminist quotes on parenthood, to get you inspired and fired up:
How Playing Olivia Pope Inspired Her Parenting
In a 2016 interview with Elle, Washington spoke about how her character on Scandal showed her the power of parenthood, and of personal choice.
Even though Olivia Pope has obviously made the decision that she is not a mom, playing her made me feel like I could be a mom. Because she knows there's always another way—there's always a way to fix it, there's always a way to solve it, to win. And I feel like playing her made me feel like, All right, I can do it. I will figure out how to juggle it all.
When She Spoke About Having A Voice
Clearly, Isabelle and Clay will grow up knowing that their voices matter, with a mom like Washington by their sides. At the Women's March in Los Angeles, Washington spoke to the power of standing up for what you believe in.
Six months from now, a year from now, if you feel like, "Wow, there is an agenda at work to make me feel like I don’t matter, because I’m a woman my voice doesn’t matter, because I’m a person of color my voice doesn’t matter, because I’m an immigrant, because I’m a person of the LGBTQ community, because I’m an old person, because I’m a young person, because I have a f-cking voice, I don’t matter." You matter!
When She Remembered To Pace Herself
In an interview with Glamour this year, Washington spoke to the key aspect of her badass feminist parenting: rest. Obviously, Washington works extremely hard, but she remembers that her children need her to be present — and the notion of the "martyr mom" is pretty antiquated anyway. No?
Because of my baby or a 5:30 A.M. call time, the day starts really early. We have to pace ourselves. That’s a big theme for me these days. I have to pace myself for this political moment. Pace myself for my relationship with my family. Pace myself in my career to get through the rest of the season with a new child and a toddler. It is about slowing down, but it’s also about being present. Not rushing ahead or being stuck in yesterday.
When She Spoke About Raising Her Equally Badass Daughter
In a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, Washington described the close relationship she has with her daughter, saying she's "not her headmistresses," but rather an "ambassador." She even said that she's content to stand to the side and let her daughter be herself. "You do you," she said.
When Winfrey asked Washington about the greatest impact her daughter has had on her life, Washington responded with a simple answer, hand clutched to her heart: "She's my teacher."
When She Ended An Interview With A Rallying Cry
At the end of her recent interview with Glamour, Washington emphasized the kind of world she wants to live in, and one she wants her children to grow up in:
My deepest desire is to create a world where there’s room for all of us, where no matter who you are, you get to wake up in the morning and know that you are worthwhile and deserving. If that’s the world I want to live in, I have to do the work to make that true for me. I have to do the work of self-love and affirmation, and say, “I am a woman, I am a person of color, I am the granddaughter of immigrants, I am also the descendant of slaves, I am a mother, I am an entrepreneur, I am an artist, and I’m joyful.” And maybe in seeing my joy, you can finish your sentence with, “And I am joyful too."
Kerry Washington may play a kickass working woman on TV — but let's face it, her real life self is so much more inspiring.