This Girl Scout’s viral letter will make you want to give her a standing ovation
A 12-year-old Girl Scout from Ohio is the feminist hero we all need right now. While at her town’s Fourth of July parade, Julianne Speyer experienced the kind of systemic sexism that would make anyone’s blood boil — but she channeled her feelings about into an epic letter to the editor of her local newspaper.
It’s a must-read.
The letter has quickly been making the rounds on social media — and for good reason. It’s the most eloquent, perfectly cool set-down ever, the likes of which most adults aren’t capable of executing. Basically, it’s brilliant and deserves your time.
She begins by letting everyone know she was “offended and disappointed” by the town parade’s announcer and his disparaging remarks about the Girl Scouts compared to the Boy Scouts.
“The announcer labeled the Boy Scouts the ‘future leaders of America,'” wrote Speyer, “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.”
Julianne, that was just…so…absolutely…wonderfully…perfect.
That kind of dismissive, “oh look at those Girl Scouts just having fun” attitude deserves to be called out. Was the announcer intentionally being condescending and sexist? Probably not, no. All the more reason to address it though — because that kind of unconscious slight just promotes the idea that girls and female-driven activities and programs are somehow less than. In short, the patriarchy deserves to be lambasted and dismantled at every possible opportunity.
Julianne has been using her newfound internet sensation status to continue fighting the good fight, and even gave an impressive television interview about her letter.
She says the announcer’s comments about the boys being “future leaders of America” didn’t seem fair. “Because girls can be anything we want.” She wrote the letter after discussing the matter with her friends and fellow Girl Scouts.
If you don’t think a group of 12-year-old girls can change the world, it’s safe to assume you aren’t hanging out with any. I wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton when I was seven, dedicating my marker-written note in equal parts to HIV receiving the proper political attention it deserved at the time (thank you, Linda Ellerbee, for igniting my passion for informed citizenry) and also littering. I never once told my parents about it and when I got a letter back months later, they were speechless and stuttering in shock.
Julianne is a prime example of “the kids are alright” and I’m so proud of her I could burst, even though I’ll never meet her. Future generations will save us all, make no mistake.
“I have always been taught that if you think something is unjust, change it,” she ends her letter. “So this is how I am making a change. Thank you for listening to me and I hope you can help me.”