What I Learned From The Book of Gutsy Women By Hillary And Chelsea Clinton

October 29, 2021

“Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing, and the cherry on top, too.” —Billie Jean King

The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience is written by former First Lady and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter Chelsea Clinton. The book highlights more than 100 remarkable women throughout history who have paved the way for the rest of us, from activists to scientists to athletes to storytellers.

book of gutsy women cover

The gutsy women in the book are categorized into their respective fields. Examples of some of these trailblazers include:

Early Inspirations

  • Harriet Tubman
  • Anne Frank

Education Pioneers

  • Maria Montessori
  • Ruby Bridges Hall
  • Malala Yousafzai

Earth Defenders

  • Marjory Stonenman Douglas
  • Jane Goodall and “The Trimates”
  • Greta Thunberg

Explorers and Inventors

  • Ada Lovelace
  • Marie Curie
  • Sally Ride


  • Florence Nightingale


  • Billie-Jean King
  • Venus & Serene Williams
  • Aly Raisman

Advocates and Activists

  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Rosa Parks
  • Coretta Scott King


  • Maya Angelou
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Elected Leaders

  • Bella Abzug
  • Danica Roem


  • Edie Windsor
  • Sally Yates
  • Ellen DeGeneres

Women’s Rights Champions

  • The Suffragists
  • Manal al-Sharif
  • Nadia Murad

The book is a fantastic reminder of the many women who have changed the course of history, who have stood up to the status-quo and that have fought for their and our rights. Some of them have been overlooked for way too long or had their accomplishments diminished or taken away by others who have presented them as their own. Nonetheless, they all persisted, showed great strength and heroism and kept fighting against all odds.

While reading the book and admiring what women have accomplished throughout history it also becomes clear how much more fighting there is to do. Many of the women mentioned in the book are alive today and are still advocating for various causes. While we have come far, we haven’t come far enough. Let Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi (whom I have written about here before) tell us about how we all still need to be feminists, watch Malala Yousafzai fight for education for all girls worldwide, or look at Ruby Bridges Hall, the first African-American girl at a desegregated school, who is now only in her late 60s, to see how even today there are still many inequalities and issue to talk about and to fight for change.

It’s also important to note that not all gutsy women have to bring big changes on a large scale or on the world stage. Gutsy women are all around us. Your mom, your sister, your best friend. They all do things day-to-day that might make your life or the lives of your friends and family better. Hillary and Chelsea also speak about their relatives that have shown them in their personal life that you can be a gutsy women no matter how many people you affect with your actions.

The book presents some amazing role models and it also gives you the feeling that you, too are a gutsy woman or at least that there is a gutsy woman in all of us and that you can go on to do incredible things for you and for others. It’s a great reminder that we can change the world if we want to and that we all should fight for what we think is right, no matter how daunting that may be. Sometimes we might think that standing up to the status-quo is useless or we might feel left alone in whatever change we are working towards. This book is a good reminder that we are never alone. There is always someone fighting the same fight and no matter how small you think your input might seem at times, it can have a roll-over effect on others. You never know what you might accomplish if you believe in yourself and in what you stand for. The book is a homage to every women who strives to be and do better. We can change the world together – one gutsy woman at a time.

“If history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do.” – Hillary & Chelsea Clinton

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Photo: Courtesy of publisher

Rebecca Willems
A self-described queer vegan feminist, Rebecca is also trying to live a more zero-waste and minimalist life. During her undergraduate and graduate studies she put a lot of focus on sustainability, LGBTQ+ rights and gender issues across the globe. Having lived on 5 continents in many different cultures and being an avid traveler, she loves to learn about new cultures, learn languages, and try all the amazing vegan food across the world.


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