There has been a lot of discussion about “feminism” in the news lately – particularly since Emma Watson’s outstanding speech supporting the U.N.’s HeForShe Campaign. The oppression of women that continues to happen around the globe must stop, and we can all help by watching out for intentional and unintentional negative stereotypes. I have been heartened by a few other stories that I’ve seen in the media during the last week of young people who are brave enough to take a stand against those who continue to reinforce sexist viewpoints:
Malala Yousafzai, who was announced last week to be the co-winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize (along with Kailash Satyarthi), is 17 years old, and continues to fight for the education of women everywhere despite being shot in the head in retaliation for her actions. She recently appeared in a video for Code.org, urging girls to participate in the Hour of Code.
Not long ago, McKenna Peterson wrote an eloquent letter to Dick’s Sporting Goods after noticing that their 2014 Basketball catalog included no female athletes. She is 12. After the fury of media attention, the CEO of the company wrote a letter of apology, and promised to rectify the situation.
And finally, another impressive letter supporting the abolition of gender stereotypes was published in a London newspaper in late September. It was written by a 15-year-old boy, Ed Holtom, as an endorsement of Emma Watson’s U.N. speech. His mature and insightful words remind us that wisdom is not restricted to people over 21.