The global fight for equality rages on and while it looks different depending on where in the world you are, for one 12-year old girl in Ohio, it looked like sexist commentary during a 4th of July parade. Julianne Speyer may be young but she's got the heart of a feminist warrior and at a time when our voices are so important, her youthful determination has been like a rallying cry all over the United States.
Julianne was enjoying her local 4th of July parade, like anyone else in town, when an announcer did something that left her angry and frustrated. He announced the boy scouts and the girl scouts very differently. In one moment of blatant sexism and disrespect, he announced the boys of the boy scouts as the “future leaders of America,” and then described the girls of the girl scouts as, "just having fun." Whether or not the announcer was being intentionally sexist, Julliane and everyone in attendance were listening and they all knew what happened was wrong.
Perhaps it was the eloquent way with words the 12-year old had, or perhaps it was the spotlighting of a genuinely problematic scenario, but either way, these words of Julianne Speyer resonated with the community, and later... the whole Internet:
The announcer labeled the Boy Scouts the ‘future leaders of America and he said the Girl Scouts were ‘just having fun.’ I found this comment very sexist and patronizing. I would appreciate it if you would help me to let other people know how much this kind of things happens and bad it is. I feel it is an insult to women and girls of all ages. This kind of thing happens way too much, and it is not OK at all.
I have always been taught that if you think something is unjust, change it. This is how I am making a change. So, this is how I am making a change. Thank you for listening to me and I hope you can help me.
"It's not OK that they did this, this kind of thing happens way too often," Speyer said. "I needed help getting the word out and I asked the news to help me."
With the support and rallying cry of her fellow girl scouts, Julianne spoke from her heart like a true, strong girl scout.
ok this is my new fav letter to the editor pic.twitter.com/KGfX8BgZlH— Sara Kenigsberg (@skenigsberg) July 26, 2018
Organizers from the city of Chesterland's Fourth of July parade released a statement that the incident was an "unfortunate misunderstanding of two unrelated comments," and that "the announcer is a volunteer and made an observation that participants were enjoying the parade, with no disrespect intended."
Let it be known—Girl Scouts ARE America’s leaders! In true Girl scout style, Julianne spoke out against an injustice and raised her voice to lead change. This is what the #GIRLagenda is all about! 🙌👏 pic.twitter.com/1eYDdrVkqJ— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) July 26, 2018
Well I adore Julianne Speyer. Adore her. What a wise and wonderful twelve year old. 🙌♥️🙌 pic.twitter.com/zNzmrKhLUs— amanda abbington (@CHIMPSINSOCKS) July 26, 2018
Who knows if Speyer will join The Navy someday, but she definitely has big aspirations. With confidence, she said:
Maybe in the future if no one beats me to the job, I'll be the first girl president.
I could scream the message that girls can be anything they want to be, they can be in charge someday. We can be the leaders of America.