Julianne Speyer, a 12-year-old girl, was attending the annual 4th of July parade in Chesterland, Ohio, when she noticed something that didn't sit right with her. When the announcer introduced the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the difference between what he said about them seemed unfair to her. After she went home, Speyer decided to write a letter to her local paper, the Geauga County Maple Leaf.
The paper published her letter on July 19 so everyone could be inspired by Speyer's presence of mind.
My name is Julianne Speyer. I am 12 years old and I would like to inform you of how offended and disappointed I am by the announcer of the Chesterland 4th of July parade's comment about the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
The announcer labeled the Boy Scouts as "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 thing happens and how bad it is. I feel it is an insult to both girls and women of all ages. This kind of thing happens way too much and it is not OK at all.
Speyer concluded her letter by calling us to action:
I have always been taught that if you think something is unjust, change it. So, this is how I am making a change.
Thank you for listening to me and I hope you can help me.
It seems many have already decided to acccept Speyer's challenge. A GoFundMe was created to "Help Julianne Change the World." Proceeds all go towards the "Girl Scouts of NE Ohio," some of America's future leaders in training.
Speyer also appeared on her local news to speak about why equality between the sexes is so important even at a young age:
Though only 12, Speyer is a role model for all of us. By eloquently calling out in a public space what might at first glance seem like a harmless slip of the tongue, she's truly holding our society accountable for its own shortfalls. That's what leaders do.
Hello world. Julianne Speyer, 12 years old, has had quite enough of your sexist and patronizing comments. As a former Girl Scout myself, I demand an apology from the announcer of the Chesterland 4th of July parade immediately.— Jarina Mavor (@MarinaJavor) July 25, 2018
(Geauga County Maple Leaf, Thursday, July 19 2018) https://t.co/8fDvgnsM6S
I am so beyond proud of my little sister, Julianne Speyer. She has always been a leader, out loud and at heart. The fact that she noticed sexism AND spoke up as a catalyst for change gives me so much hope for the future. I love you, Julianne. You are an incredible inspiration. https://t.co/sRQFaZhJqP— Caitlin Speyer (@caitlin_speyer) July 26, 2018
She's our hero too!